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  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Around Christmas time I added to the Clipping section and added in SeeDeClip4 to the Mediaserver section of the Wiki.

The clipping article had no outside links and the mediaserver entry matched the others with just a single link to the main website at www.cutestudio.net.

I'm not understanding why this has just been all casually deleted and reverted, and have written to the user who decided it

a) all had to go
and
b) I was to be blocked from posting on the wiki ever again (ban type is infinite).

So far no response.

Given that I've spent a considerable amount of time and expertise in offering a free music server and analyser to the audio community I'm surprised at the uncompromising and brutal censorship and punishment.

Perhaps someone here could explain exactly what I did wrong because it sure puzzles me.

Copy of the email to Greynol:
Quote
Hi Greynol.

You appear to have blocked me and deleted all my contributions.
Happy Christmas to you too.

Your stated reason for blocking the clipping page was
   "Spamming links to external sites"

despite there being no link to an external site on that page.
I have been very straightforward and am not trying to hide my interest in clipping and yet I see all of my edit gone. Could you please explain why you simply deleted the whole article instead of just edited the odd part?

Additionall I notice you have also casually deleted by Media player entry, despite that section containing many other media players that are also partly commercial.

I feel therefore that you have reduced the usefulness of the wiki and picked upon my contributions unfairly. What exactly is the reason for removing my media player entry completely??

Is it really that bad to have worked for 12+ years on declipping and to offer a free music server that would be very useful to many DIY audio fans?

I'm not understanding my 'crime' - could you please explain.

Thanks in advance.

Graham of Cutestudio Ltd.

The sinful clipping changes I made can be seen here:
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Clipping&diff=27144&oldid=27143
The deletion of my additions is particularly ironic due to the phrase "You can help Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase by expanding it." being at the bottom of the page.

and the crime of adding an entry for the mediaserver is here
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Topic_Index&diff=next&oldid=27141

although the page I carefully typed in has been completely deleted.
Isn't this supposed to be a list of mediaservers?
Was I not helping the "Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase by expanding it"?
Why was adding SeeDeClip4 to the list a crime?

BTW while I'm typing this I'm listening to the SeeDeClip4 media server in my living room (files + SeeDeClip4 on the garage server, remote on a browser tab on the laptop, music served to the HiFi on an Android Tablet) - so I'm pretty sure it's real.

So I have 2 questions:

1) Why were my additions considered 'Spam'?
2) What is the Wiki actually For??

I can see that Greynol has been busy deleting a lot of stuff
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Special:Contributions/Greynol

which might help explain why the wiki is still so small and incomplete after all this time.

Any clues gratefully received, I'm obviously missing something about Hydrogenaudio. What is it?





Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #1
Still no response about my BANNING from the Wiki.
Here's the Wiki's standard policy

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Hydrogenaudio_Knowledgebase:Wiki_Policy

I read this before my edits and they all complied. Nowhere does it mention random decisions and instant deletions of content people decide they disagree with. In fact it points to a process with consensus. The deletion and reversion of my edits are not conformant to the wikis own rules or guidelines. How can be co-operate on a wiki when the guidelines are ignored by the general admin?

* Civility
Being rude, insensitive or petty makes people upset and stops Hydrogenaudio from working well. Try to discourage others from being uncivil, and be careful to avoid offending people unintentionally. Mediation is available if needed.
* Editing policy
Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. Avoid deleting information wherever possible.

Have a read of the main page here: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Main_Page

where you will note the following text:

Quote
To get started:
Check out the Topic Index or the Categories List. Click a category to browse the list of sub-categories.

To discuss:
Browse the forums or join #Hydrogenaudio@irc.freenode.net on IRC.

To get help:
Browse the help topics.

To contribute content:
Use the Search box or the Random Page functions on the left navigation bar, and find a place where you have something useful to add!
When editing articles, please observe our wiki policy and standard article guideline. If your article is short, please tag it with {{stub}} at the bottom. You can discuss HAK—whether generally as a platform, or about specific articles or topics—in our dedicated subforum here.

As you can see it invites people to read the guide and contribute.
It also states clearly at the top:

Quote
Welcome to the Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase (HAK), a wiki-styled resource designed to be a focal point for information related to all facets of audio technology.

The relevant part is
designed to be a focal point for information related to all facets of audio technology.

So I added an entry for the SeeDeClip4 media server - which - believe it or not - is a FACET OF AUDIO TECHNOLOGY and that gets me an immediate banning from the entire Wiki. WTF?

This is why the Wiki is pathetically inadequate, because people keep deleting useful content. It's not just SeeDeClip4 either - where is GrooveBasin? Groovebasin is a COMPLETELY FREE OPEN SOURCE music server yet it's not in Software or MediaServers either. Did they have it deleted here too?

Frankly the HydrogenAudio Wiki is fast becoming a joke, and a very bad one for me. I have now wasted time learning it and fitting in the new entries to match all the other information there and conforming to the guidelines. I based my SeeDeClip4 entry on RhythmBox which ALSO had a single external link. This was I guess the link I was BANNED for, the link that is stated to be added in the guidelines on the Wik itself.

And now I have to waste my time here asking why I was BANNED from the WIKI for FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES ON THE WIKI??
Is it just me or is there something wrong with this situation?

Perhaps a new note saying: If you add a single external link to a new Mediaplayer entry you'll be permanently BANNED, despite us asking you to do so in the guidelines and all other entries having one or more links it would help future editors?

BTW I assumed that the Wiki was new when I first added SeeDeClip4 to it as it was so small and incomplete, but having earned my infinite BAN for posting relevant content within the published guidelines and had it instantly deleted, I now have a new theory.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have an explanation of the Wiki's admin conduct in deleting relevant compliant content without wanrning or discussion, and my BANNING without warning or discussion when all I did was FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES ON THE WIKI.
  • Last Edit: 05 January, 2017, 06:19:45 PM by CuteStudio
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • saratoga
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #2
You should probably wait more than 6 hours before freaking out over being banned from the wiki.

Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #3
Quote
Greynol blocked CuteStudio with an expiry time of indefinite (account creation disabled) (Spamming links to external sites)
According to the log, you were banned for spamming.

While only Greynol can tell you exactly why you were banned, I suspect it was because several of your behaviors are consistent with other spammers:

  • All of your edits were to add information about one single piece of software
  • The software costs money
  • Your username is associated with the developer(s) of the software
  • Your edit to the Clipping page reads like an advertisement for the software

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #4
You should probably wait more than 6 hours before freaking out over being banned from the wiki.
You are probably right, somehow the combination of deletion, defamation and banning has REALLY irritated me.
This is NOT the behaviour or the attitude I expected from a hobby audio site that I've been a long time member of (as long as Greynol BTW).

Quote
Greynol blocked CuteStudio with an expiry time of indefinite (account creation disabled) (Spamming links to external sites)
According to the log, you were banned for spamming.

While only Greynol can tell you exactly why you were banned, I suspect it was because several of your behaviors are consistent with other spammers:

  • All of your edits were to add information about one single piece of software
  • The software costs money
  • Your username is associated with the developer(s) of the software
  • Your edit to the Clipping page reads like an advertisement for the software

Thanks for your thoughts Octo.

According to the guidelines he could have reverted the edits and let me know, I've only been a member here for 10 years. I don't post a lot but I do read and have a life long interest in audio which surely warrants a courtesy email rather than instant deletion and an indefinite ban that prevents me from even discussing this matter on the Wiki.
I have worked on audio software for a long time and this is my first mediaserver, so I foolishly thought 'I know, I'll add it to the Wiki'. Boy was I wrong :(.

The Wiki policy itself states:
Quote
Civility
Being rude, insensitive or petty makes people upset and stops Hydrogenaudio from working well. Try to discourage others from being uncivil, and be careful to avoid offending people unintentionally. Mediation is available if needed.

Editing policy
Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. Avoid deleting information wherever possible.

I was afforded neither civility or mediation, and the deletion of information from the wiki is arbitrary and epidemic according to the logs, and not just of my contributions either.

There is also the blocking policy:
Quote
Blocking policy
   Disruptive users can be blocked from editing for short or long amounts of time.

I hardly think that adding a mediaserver entry obeying all of the policy and guidelines is disruptive.
Maybe I'll get banned from the main forum now, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

All of your edits were to add information about one single piece of software
Yes, this was the reason I was editing the Wiki. This reason is however not forbidden.
Also who else is going to add these items than the owner? It's a catch 22 - if no one knows it exists no one will add it, and no one will add it if no one knows it exists. I could have set up an anon account from a proxy and added it like that. Would that have helped Hydrogenaudio Wiki readers? I doubt it.

The software costs money
No, the base software is FREE.
Anyone here can freely download and setup a multi-user music server for the home without paying a single penny.

I've the one who has put in the decades of programming experience, audio experience and thousands of hours generating the embedded website software, the multi-threaded debug of the mastering quality analysis and the time to get it running on Windows as well as the easier *nix grade platforms. And that effort is downloadable and useable for FREE.

I note that Windows Media Player is on there - but to use that you have to pay for a Windows license from Microsoft so I can't even try that out without paying. Microsoft has been waging war on the Open Source community for decades and yet suddenly they are purer than I am?
Groovebasin is free and open source and yet that isn't on the Wiki either, and it's not a new piece of software either. Daphile is also missing, which is a shame as it's a very neat server too.

Additionally In Greynol's California there exists the world's largest and richest software companies so I fail to understand the 'hippy commune' excuse that only free software can be mentioned.
That requirement that one can't even charge for software upgrades appears nowhere in  the wiki policy or guidelines.
It would also be great if I didn't need to eat or pay the rent either, but Microsoft - creator of Windows Media Player - has a value of nearly $400bn but I'm wrong to ask for less than a cheap audio cable for software that declips digital music?
How does that work? Am I supposed to feel guilty I need to heat the room where I write this software?

Your username is associated with the developer(s) of the software
Yes, I am CuteStudio. It's not an association, I've been CuteStudio on here for 10 years.
I'm not trying to hide my identity, the username next to the edit is unambigous and clear for any reader to see, what would anyone gain if I hid my identity? Again it's not mentioned or forbidden that the owner of a product can add an entry for it - as I said before - who else will? The wiki is (or should be) freely open to discussion and editing by all HydrogenAudio members, if people disagree with what I say then that's fine, but to censor me and delete all my posts is not what Hydrogenaudio claims to be about.

If I may remind the reader it starts of claiming:
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Main_Page
Quote
Welcome to the Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase (HAK), a wiki-styled resource designed to be a focal point for information related to all facets of audio technology. Check out the main topics of HAK:

If it deletes my media server and clipping data it's certainly NOT a focal point is it?
Underneath it invites people to contribute:

Quote
To contribute content:
Use the Search box or the Random Page functions on the left navigation bar, and find a place where you have something useful to add!
When editing articles, please observe our wiki policy and standard article guideline. If your article is short, please tag it with {{stub}} at the bottom. You can discuss HAK—whether generally as a platform, or about specific articles or topics—in our dedicated subforum here.

Your edit to the Clipping page reads like an advertisement for the software
Then edit the page.
I mention software that specialises in analysing clips and fixing them. Is that relevant? I think it is, the correct response would be to add some more software that declips audio.

If you actually read the comments I made you'll also notice I clearly state: The best declipper is prevention - choose a track with less clipping to start with.

The clipping entry has problems:
1) It's wrong:  Only a small percentage of clips are at the digital word limit.

2) It's wrong again: Clip audibility is highly dependent on the DAC. The reason I write TxtDeClip a decade ago was because my Behringer DAC had an audible overload from digital clip overshoot.

3) It's too short. Clipping is endemic to our music today. Use Audacity and prove it to yourself. Compression and clipping is the single biggest source of distortion in todays music and I for one have created a FREE program that will catalogue the quality of mastering to a) Publicise this and b) Allow people to choose the better recorded tracks,
This is highly relevant to the topic.

Perhaps rather than sweeping away the edits of someone who's spent the last decade+ studying clipping - to revert it to a faulty and pithy dismissive summery it would have been better to contribute to the topic or discussion instead?
After all the Wiki has a policy of:  Avoid deleting information wherever possible


As for the stated reason for an indefinite ban, we can see the reason given in the title of your post: Spamming links to external sites
Ref: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=User:CuteStudio
I based my entry on the RhythmBox one which has an external link in, that is the only external link I added and conforms with the guidelines for mediaservers
Ref: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Help:Standard_article
Quote
==External links==
External links section.

So I don't think that reason can apply unless it's illegal to follow the guidelines on the Wiki itself.
The whole HA experience around the Wiki has been one of dismissive arrogance and hostility, perhaps this is what the site is about and I really don't fit in here.

The basic question Hydrogenaudio mods need to address is:

"What is the Wiki For?"

Because by following it's stated purpose and invitation to contribute has ended up with an incomplete and inaccurate Wiki plus some very ill feelings indeed. The Wiki will remain incomplete and inaccurate while this attitude persists and it's a shame that this has happened, it was entirely preventable if the wiki guidelines were either a) followed or b) people simply edited pages instead of choosing to blindly delete and censor. HiFi has suffered enough of the past few years, 'protecting' the wiki in this way is not helping.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #5
[b]STILL NOTHING AFTER 2 DAYS[/b]

As I'm permanently BANNED from the Wiki I can't post there to discuss the Wiki content, or ask why the SeeDeClip4 multiuser media server was deleted from the Wiki.

I have also not heard why famous, long standing, open source media servers like Groovebasin are not in there either, as well as newer ones like Daphile.

I have however found the address of my original Clipping entry that was deleted - against the wiki rules - so here it is for you all to judge the content for yourselves:

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Clipping&oldid=27143

I used as much of the old content as possible (because the stated Wiki policy is to not delete where possible) to fit my edits around, and to correct the errors. It's quite a good edit I think, I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Make the most of it because now I can't edit it. Or any wiki page. Ever again. That'll teach me and everyone else to contributing our knowledge.

If anyone has Wiki access and agrees with any of the content please feel free to copy it from here and paste it in. Knowledge is however a dangerous thing, people might read it and start experimenting and getting into audio and HiFi, if we want to keep our club and our knowledge secret we have to work hard to stamp out and censor any new information.

If anyone has any deeper permissions I'd advise deleting the entire Wiki, because it's misleading and works like a trap for the unwary (like me). In it's rather chronically pathetic form it's so incomplete that it's not really useful for anything either. Information on there is expanded in far greater detail around the web and obviously it won't be improving any time soon. Which reminds me that I should be contributing to Wikipedia - not this wiki. I only added to this one because I'd been an HA member for ages and it looked rather forlorn. Plus the invite on the main page, which no longer applies.

Perhaps when we all get deleted and banned we can set up another, friendly audio website with adult moderators, opinions and everything. Maybe we'll call it 'diyaudio'.

Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • Chibisteven
  • [*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #6
99% of all modern CDs are clipped?  I saw your edit that you linked to.  It was mostly bullshit and read like an advertisement for a product.  Perhaps you should give it a rest.

  • saratoga
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #7
Seems pretty clear why you were banned.  If you had handled this better you might have been given a second chance, but at this point, its pretty clear that you should not be editing the wiki at all.

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #8
I wish I could feel this deeply about something. Anything, really :-)

E: Your edits are blatant advertising for your own software, that's probably why they were deleted.
  • Last Edit: 07 January, 2017, 06:53:24 AM by KozmoNaut

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #9
99% of all modern CDs are clipped?  I saw your edit that you linked to.  It was mostly bullshit and read like an advertisement for a product.  Perhaps you should give it a rest.

Hi, thanks for your input and for reading the link.
You are actually misquoting me however, the actual quote was:
Quote
At a rough estimate 99% of modern pop CDs are clipped

The key word you missed was 'Pop', and of course I prefaced the statement with "It's a rough estimate".
You can edit that in the wiki (or you could if it was still there!) if you disagreed, or wanted to remove the product reference. In fact this is what I expected to happen, quite how a simple Wiki change blew into a review of moderation standards is quite surprising.

As I've seen the clips however, and you haven't, could I ask you to find me a modern pop track that isn't clipped?
You can use Audacity if you don't like my program, or any other clip detection you fancy,

So here's the challenge: Find me a modern pop song that isn't clipped.

There are some around, but they are rare and they are usually not pop, or they are old.
BTW Katie Melua doesn't count as pop, most of her output is rather unusual in not being clipped. She may be the 1% however.

I think you should easily be able to find dozens of unclipped modern pop songs if you are correct however, and the 99% is BS.
Perhaps it's 95%, perhaps it's even as low as 90, you could be right that 99% is a little high, but I think it would be nice for you to pick out some unclipped modern pop because I think from your reply that consider clipping to be a rare phenomena.

Before you start looking - what did you think the percentage was of clipped modern pop? 5%? 10%?

Thanks for your interest and time.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #10
Seems pretty clear why you were banned.  If you had handled this better you might have been given a second chance, but

Thanks for your input saratoga (funny, I've actually driven up past Saratoga from Los Gatos to Alice's Restaurant!).

I'm still not sure why I was banned, sorry - I'm not really getting this am I?
  • I added a media server entry (with one external link the same as RhythmBox - the entry I based it on)
  • Then I corrected and expanded the related entry (Clipping) mentioning SeeDeClip4 a grand total of 2 times.

Now I'm being a bit slow here, but I'm completely confused about this Wiki now.
It hasn't got Groovebasin but it has Winamp and Windows Mediaplayer etc, so I assumed it wasn't a 'Free Software Only' list.
Nothing in there (did I miss something?) states it's only a list of free software.

So could you please answer the question: Is this ONLY a list for free media players?
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Category:Media_Players
And if the answer is 'Yes', could someone please add a note to that effect?
                (and add Groovebasin - which is totally free - and nothing to do with me).

Obviously I thought this list was something else than other people: So what is it? Help!

at this point, its pretty clear that you should not be editing the wiki at all.

At this point you have experienced the disbelief and frustration of someone who cares about the rapid deterioration of recorded music quality and is trying to do something about it.
Seeing those efforts result in an immediate deletion and banning was a bit like stepping out into the road and being hit by the bus that you made sure wasn't there when you started across.

At the point of the Wiki edit, it was just (I thought!) a harmless addition and an edit that could have been modified to make it less 'advert like' in about 2 minutes by Greynol himself, or a reversion and a note or warning to me so I knew what was going on. I didn't expect warm handshakes and congratulations, but I didn't expect to be nuked either..

This is in fact what the Wiki policy states - please forgive me for finding it ironic that I'm the bad guy for following that policy and someone who didn't is the good guy. What value is the wiki policy?
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #11
I wish I could feel this deeply about something. Anything, really :-)
Careful what you wish for, it's a curse ;)

E: Your edits are blatant advertising for your own software, that's probably why they were deleted.
The addition of the media player entry can't I guess be anything else. At least I can't think of a way to write an entry for a player without mentioning what it does and to add the (required by the Wiki guidelines) external link.
So if I got someone else to add it - would that be better? I suspect not, lots gets deleted.

So I see your point but for me that's a catch 22.


As for the Clipping entry edit, I think it's very easy for an article on clipping that mentions a declipper - to not sound like at advert.
I.e. it's easy to have it sound like
a) Hey, look at this big problem you didn't know you even had!!
    - followed by
b) This is a great solution!

So the quick solution would be to just delete the 2 references to SeeDeClip4. I was sort of expecting other people to either do this or to add some different declippers - or maybe I'd get around to it later as I made the mistake of thinking that I had both
a) time
and
b) Edit rights.
The infinite ban really affected those two.

I think my mistake was in assuming the HA wiki was a living hobby/enthusiast Wiki with the usual give and take that for instance goes on at Wikipedia, one adds something, people object or want proof, there's a discussion, and we agree on a solution. In fact did this recently with the visibility of stars from space (and from earth).

If no one is allowed to alter it I still don't understand why it's a) a wiki at all or b) it invites people to alter it.
Sure my edits weren't perfect, but I was trying to get it right and meant well.

A breakthrough!
I think I may have solved one big question though - why the Wiki policy wasn't relevant:
 - it's full of references to Wikipedia - someone's just copy-pasted that one in.
check it out: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Hydrogenaudio_Knowledgebase:Wiki_Policy

No wonder I thought it would be a similar process - doh!! I really should have spotted that. I was following the Wikipedia policy. Maybe that's why it all seemed so straightforward and why the fall of the guillotine was a big surprise!

Rest assured however, I won't be contributing to the wiki again, I've learned that it's forbidden, very bad things happen if you do and I'm now protected from myself by a nice big ban. First ban on an audio forum ever too, which is nice. It must be the elemental Hydrogen magic :D
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #12
Let me guess, you really like hearing yourself talk, don't you?

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
The CD/Digital Clipping challenge
Reply #13
This is a response from yesterday and it's refreshing in it's honesty:

99% of all modern CDs are clipped?  I saw your edit that you linked to.  It was mostly bullshit and read like an advertisement for a product.  Perhaps you should give it a rest.

It also tells me that most people have never looked at the waveform and just think clipping is a rare, occasional thing in digital music. Perhaps I should have guessed this as most people I talk to look in disbelief that a record company would effectively vandalize it's product - because it's supposed to be CD quality right?

Sites like Hydrogen audio spend many years discussing whether 16 bits is enough, whether dither can correct that and if 44.1kHz really is HiFi, especially in case of dual channel ultrasonic beat frequencies and filter shapes. There's also the discussion on crossover distortion in class B amps and arguments that NFB wrapped around nonlinear systems like this do more harm than good - all of these facets of audio are discussed.

At the base of everyone's listening system however is The Waveform. Apart from the usual Vinyl vs Digital discussion, remarkably little is said about the compression, limiting and clipping of this waveform. For someone who's been looking at these waveforms for over a decade now it's easy to me to laugh at someone describing the nuances in a track that I know has been rolled into a brick shaped waveform by the record company, and then had a very close shave that chops the top off the peaks at a preset level.

I have also noticed a taboo about criticising The Waveform akin to denying the Moon landings, but having seen thousands of them for myself I feel that the death of public interest in HiFi is more serious than people's need to kid themselves that everything's ok.

Because I've seen the 'CD Quality' sink lower and lower each year I decided to try to do something about this, by writing a media (music) player that clearly shows the user the waveform that they are playing, and analyses all the tracks and ranks them by mastering quality. The hope was that a small groundswell of people would then start demanding better quality from the record companies.
Mentioning this on the HA wiki however didn't go down well and I think the reason is one of mass denial of the issue.

Perhaps then some validation and education would help? As with all education, discovering for yourselves is the best way.
Also here in the USSR software that you can use to improve the waveform and pay to upgrade is nasty, sinful and indeed, evil, we'll be using Audacity for the challenge. You won't need your free cables, free amps and free speakers for this, just your free PC.

The Challenge
Before we start you need to estimate the proportion of modern (2010 on) pop songs that are clipped. I make the claim 99% which has (quite reasonably) been challenged. I like challenges, censorship however is unproductive. 

So before you start - have a guess: Is it 1%, 5%, 10% or even 20% of all modern pop songs.

The challenge is to rip some modern pop (ideally into WAV or FLAC) and use Audacity to look at them.
For each track the HA readership is going to need
  • The artist, album, track
  • What shape you thought the waveform was (Musical / Compressed / Brick)
  • And then by zooming in to the busiest areas tell us (Not clipped / slightly clipped / OMG)

If there's only a small amount of clipping this should only take a few minutes and your nearest modern pop album.
When you've found either:
  • A track without any clipping
  • or - reached 100 tracks

Please post up the results so we can all see the evidence. It's a great way to prove me wrong so I'm hoping for a few people to have a go. Modern Rock is also fine - Muse etc, it's all good (bad).
I'm still waiting for the first unclipped modern pop track to be found BTW.

Thanks for your interest and time.

Let me guess, you really like hearing yourself talk, don't you?
This is writing Kozmo, I can only hear the keys click.
If you can hear your computer speaking, it may not be your voice or mine..

I look forward to your results of the challenge.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #14
The only person who really should have responded to the initial post, did not.
Rather interesting, don't you think?

99% of all modern CDs are clipped?
Maybe not 99%, but definitely over 50%

  • CuteStudio
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #15
The only person who really should have responded to the initial post, did not.
Rather interesting, don't you think?

99% of all modern CDs are clipped?
Maybe not 99%, but definitely over 50%

He may well be responding - he may have a large number of CDs to analyse in the quest to find an unclipped track LOL.

I'm picturing in my mind a darkened room, piles of CDs strewn on the floor and a bloodshot, tired researcher slumped at the desk certain that the next track must be the one he was looking for..

It's almost as if someone should write a free program to scan a directory for music tracks and sit there overnight doing a background scan for clips and mastering quality while you sleep. But that would never catch on so I'm sure no one ever will ;)

We should send coffee. :D
  • Last Edit: 08 January, 2017, 07:52:08 AM by CuteStudio
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • pdq
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #16
What I would rather know is what percentage of modern pop CDs have audible clipping.

  • CuteStudio
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #17
What I would rather know is what percentage of modern pop CDs have audible clipping.

It's a good question, I went into a little detail about this on the Wiki entry that was deleted shortly before my indefinite ban. You'd be able to read that of course if it was still there, but the Wiki engine is quite good at keeping some info and I found a copy of the page here:

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Clipping&oldid=27143

There are some before and after clips on my website that is forbidden to mention here for some reason.
The answer however is dependent on these factors in priority order:

  • How forgiving your DAC is. Unfortunately this means that every device will present clipping slightly different, a modern CD player will expect the clipping and be as quiet about it as possible.

    This is because customers would be forming a queue to return them if they reacted badly to clipping because no modern pop album is clip free and most tracks have many thousands of clips which would form quite an annoying buzz when played.

    Like I said on the link though, pro audio DACs are sometimes different because you're not supposed to overdrive the, the behringer DAC I use is cheaper than domestic HiFi DACs and has fantastic quality with clean track. Non remastered Floyd etc all sounds great, but pop on some Red Hot Chilli Peppers and it's like the speaker cones are loose. This was my introduction to digital clipping, as which point I promptly lost the urge to buy CDs and started writing my first declipper
     
  • The level of compression and limiting.
    These three factors work together and it depends on the listener. For instance modern generic blando-rock like the Kaiser Chiefs etc. sounds odd when the big loud bits with a guy whacking the snare drum are mysteriously no louder than the bits without any drums, which is a sig of simple compression.

    Having owned a drum kit and knowing that the waveform plot of this stuff is shaped like a very precise brick I can't listen to this anymore as it just sounds ridiculous to me now. I'm sure a single acoustic guitar string can have the same waveform magnitude as the hit of a snare - but not in this universe. Next time you're passing a music shop, drop in and give the snare a whack - it's a good reminder of how pathetic modern HiFi and sound recording is. Also it's good fun.  :D

    Limiting can fool a declipper but shows up on the clip edge histogram because there's suddenly rather a lot of digital values swarming around the extent of the waveform (which at this stage looks like a brick in Audacity and the forbidden software.
    The 'Floyd's Pulse disk's version of a track from The Final Cut is like this, a big bulge of desperate limiting in the final 4% of of the waveform that's totally absent on the original 1994 version of the CD, which I find must better to listen to.
  • The audibility of a pure clip - without any DAC overload issues - mainly seems to depend upon the length. During the clip there is no sound, because it's flat/almost flat. So this interrupts the treble and mid for little periods of time like a dotted line, in some tracks that's quite a bit percentage of the whole time (i.e. in some Black Eyed Peas tracks) so you get a discontinuous treble/mid which is less smooth sounding. Then the missing height of the waveform gives you unwanted odd-order harmonic distortion and in itself if of course compression - some of 3-6dB, which reduces impact. This listening depends upon the ears and the person listening however.

At any time you are hearing the combination of these effects but they all add up.

The biggest problem is ironically not the clipping itself, but what the forming of these precise brick shaped waveforms does to the music in a more subtle way - it's influencing what we get to listen to now.

Stripped of all dynamics and with snare drums now sounding like the postman putting a rubber band on a pack of envelopes I've noticed the modern emphasis of vocals and lyrics. All the X-factor etc shows are now all singers, because the instruments don't seem to matter any more and there's no dynamic interest there anyway.
There's also support behind the idea that much modern pop is mixed for MP3 which of course isn't HiFi either (i.e. if they aimed for pure WAV we'd be hearing a different mix).

This mastering compression makes any HiFi pointless and redundant. HiFi is good because the quiet bits are sweet and subtle and the loud bits are LOUD, but today everything is 'loud', so everything is average after the volume knob is used.

Whenever I hear some old Stones, Queen, Floyd, Bowie etc. I'm suddenly struck by the sound of the drum kit and the interest in dynamics - especially of course in Floyd's The Wall.

This is why my forbidden product shows the waveform - kids today have never heard decent recordings and have no idea what their music actually 'looks like', and therefore sounds. I'm running out of stuff worth switching my HiFi on for because all the modern stuff is average. When's the last time you actually jumped at the sudden sound on a recording?

So your question is a very good one, but I'd suggest asking

 "What percentage of modern pop CDs have audible dynamics"

Because clipping is merely a symptom of a more serious disease in the record industry. My original product only fixed the clips - this one goes deeper and tells me which are the tracks more likely to be worth listening to - which actually is a more useful thing to know. IMO.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • pelmazo
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #18
I now had a look at the rejected wiki article, and I side with those who find it deficient.

I don't like the notion that clipping is something that can be fixed. The article makes it clear that it is guesswork, but I think the problem is more fundamental than that. Once the material is clipped, the damage is done, and nothing can undo it. People should not be given the impression that repair is possible. The audible effects of clipping may be made more agreeable in some cases, but the result is a matter of taste. In this sense, any product that advertises itself as a declipper is stifling expectations it can't fulfill.

We have also progressed way beyond the point where mastering just results in clipping. Quite often these days you can't say whether the material is clipped, because the processing has become much more sophisticated. Mastering tools can play tricks with phase, and with frequency-selective dynamic processing, to increase the subjective loudness without causing simple clipping. The chances of undoing this are even more remote.

It is a bit ironic that we have a discussion about this now, as the time when simple clipping started to become a serious problem in CD mastering lies more that 15 years ago. In the arms race for higher loudness, the declippers seem hopelessly outdated.

Short summary: I think that a declipper isn't a suitable weapon in the war that has been going on for two decades now. I wouldn't like to have a wiki article that conveys the false notion that it is.

  • Porcus
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #19
So here's the challenge: Find me a modern pop song that isn't clipped.
So here's the challenge: Understand what "burden of proof" means.

Edit:
I think there were traces of a reasonable discussion in this thread https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,33226.msg880152.html#msg880152
on what software authors should (not) highlight about their own products.
  • Last Edit: 09 January, 2017, 10:50:02 AM by Porcus

  • CuteStudio
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #20
I now had a look at the rejected wiki article, and I side with those who find it deficient.
I agree, I would remove or considerably shorten the section entitled 'Does clipping affect me?", I think I may have copied that bit in accidentally. Without that section I consider it fairly balanced. I have no problem at all with people wanting to change, alter, discuss anything. Why should I? What I object to is immediate and infinite bans without thought, consideration, knowledge or conforming to the Wiki policy itself. Now it just looks stupid with mistakes in it.

Additionally the deletion of the  SeeDeClip4 entry in the media server list was uncalled for. It is, after all, a media server, even if a mod does dislike me. I also note that no one has added Groovebasin since I mentioned it - it seems to be a very small, random list.

I don't like the notion that clipping is something that can be fixed. The article makes it clear that it is guesswork, but I think the problem is more fundamental than that. Once the material is clipped, the damage is done, and nothing can undo it. People should not be given the impression that repair is possible. The audible effects of clipping may be made more agreeable in some cases, but the result is a matter of taste. In this sense, any product that advertises itself as a declipper is stifling expectations it can't fulfill.

We have also progressed way beyond the point where mastering just results in clipping. Quite often these days you can't say whether the material is clipped, because the processing has become much more sophisticated. Mastering tools can play tricks with phase, and with frequency-selective dynamic processing, to increase the subjective loudness without causing simple clipping. The chances of undoing this are even more remote.
Again I agree, and to prove that I agree could you please read the last part of the post directly above yours?
It starts "Reply #17 – Today at 05:16:37 PM"

The main point in Reply #17 was that I wrote a declipper around 12 years ago, but this year I finished a free software tool that tells you how well mastered the tracks are. This is how I know that all or most modern pop is clipped BTW, I have it on my screen in a big list.

Additionally even in modern pop there is still simple clipping, compression with simple clipping and all the combinations in between - some modern tracks are easy to declip and look and sound pretty good afterwards. But yes, the information is lost, and the new information added to fill the vacuum (clip) is by definition, not the original. Personally I much prefer listening to the declipped version though.

It is a bit ironic that we have a discussion about this now, as the time when simple clipping started to become a serious problem in CD mastering lies more that 15 years ago. In the arms race for higher loudness, the declippers seem hopelessly outdated.
The discussion was had 15 years ago, and every year since.
Last year I had a thought that if people could SEE the waveform they were playing they might realise something, somewhere might be wrong, because nothing else has worked.

It's also rather sad that my initial attempts to spread this new idea - aimed at creating a groundswell of protest and demands for better sound - and planted right in the middle of the group who are most affected by it - was immediately greeted with deletions, banning and hostility.
If a hobby audio site is happy with 15bit CD quality - where the missing bit is the most significant one - who am I to suggest how to move forward in HiFi? No one else cares, I listen to the best sound I can - based on better waveforms than anyone here has access to, so why do I bother?

The decline of the HiFi industry has followed a close path with the degradation of dynamics in music. By removing any benefit HiFi had over the car radio the nation has - quite naturally - stopped buying HiFi. Because with modern pop - why would you? I have the huge benefit over todays buyers because I actually like the old stuff - which I can obtain in pretty good shape if I dodge the 'remasters', the next generation will never know good HiFi or sound.

Short summary: I think that a declipper isn't a suitable weapon in the war that has been going on for two decades now. I wouldn't like to have a wiki article that conveys the false notion that it is.
Agreed, which is why it's not just a declipper (and the free version doesn't declip BTW). It's a music server that shows you the mastering quality of each track so you can select the good ones.

Also - about that wiki article - I couldn't find a 'Loudness War' entry in the Wiki (another huge omission?) and the 'Clipping' entry was inaccurate anyway so I fixed and added to that.

I didn't want to spend too much time and effort editing the Wiki to add the history of the loudness war because I wanted to see any responses and comments to the additions I had made. As I was immediately banned and all traces of my edits deleted this turned out to be a Very Wise Move...

Now I've answered all of your points, could you perhaps explain what you contributed to fighting the Loudness War as you've obviously been aware of it for some time?
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #21
So here's the challenge: Find me a modern pop song that isn't clipped.
So here's the challenge: Understand what "burden of proof" means.
So you haven't managed to find an unclipped modern pop track either eh?

My challenge was for Chibisteven to prove his assertion that '99% of all modern CDs are clipped ...  bullshit '
99% of all modern CDs are clipped?  I saw your edit that you linked to.  It was mostly bullshit and read like an advertisement for a product.  Perhaps you should give it a rest.
He only had to find one track. What didn't you understand about that? Should be easy right?

But perhaps you think I need to go further than just asking people to back up their insults?

Perhaps I need to add a 'Hall of Shame' page to my website with a list of all the CDs I ripped and the full clipping analysis? Well I did that several years ago.

Perhaps I should go further and write some free software that runs on any Windows, Mac or Linux box and analyses each persons music collection for them, and tells them exactly how many clips, how much lost time and the ppm of track lost in clips?
Well I've already done that too.

What more proof did you require? A hand delivered report to your desk?

Edit:
I think there were traces of a reasonable discussion in this thread https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,33226.msg880152.html#msg880152
on what software authors should (not) highlight about their own products.

Thanks for finding that.
It needs adding to the Wiki's sparse Media Server page where it would actually be useful, congratulations for volunteering.

Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • Porcus
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #22
So here's the challenge: Find me a modern pop song that isn't clipped.
So here's the challenge: Understand what "burden of proof" means.
So you haven't managed to find an unclipped modern pop track either eh?

Why should I spend my time trying to verify or falsify your marketing claims? You should be expected to have evidence at your fingertips before trying to sell a product with such an ad.

Tell me, why is it reasonable to require me to spend my day listening to music I do not like, only to have you discard any example as "that's not modern pop"? given that it is you who (I) make marketing claims without citing sources, and (II) and enter it in a wiki which is not supposed to be an outlet for marketing claims in the first place?

  • Wombat
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #23
These days are confusing!
First BS found we need MQA to know how it was meant to sound and now i learn everything is clipped and must be repaired in a way only CS knows.
BZZOWNT
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

  • pelmazo
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #24
Again I agree, and to prove that I agree could you please read the last part of the post directly above yours?
It starts "Reply #17 – Today at 05:16:37 PM"

The main point in Reply #17 was that I wrote a declipper around 12 years ago, but this year I finished a free software tool that tells you how well mastered the tracks are. This is how I know that all or most modern pop is clipped BTW, I have it on my screen in a big list.
Sorry for not taking this into account. I was mainly looking at the rejected wiki article.

Quote
Additionally even in modern pop there is still simple clipping, compression with simple clipping and all the combinations in between - some modern tracks are easy to declip and look and sound pretty good afterwards. But yes, the information is lost, and the new information added to fill the vacuum (clip) is by definition, not the original. Personally I much prefer listening to the declipped version though.
That may very well be so. My own experience and stance is somewhat different, which may have its roots in a different music selection, and/or in different playback gear. For quite some time now I don't consider clipping to be the main problem anymore. Early playback equipment frequently reacted to clipped source material with extra distortion (intersample overs triggering problems in digital filters). This has changed for the better, and can easily be avoided by reducing the level slightly on the digital side.

The main problem is the loudness war itself, which leads to overcompression in mastering, which affects the way the material sounds, even when there is no clipping problem. There are dynamic range databases for quite some time now, to allow people to make an educated guess before buying. They have their own serious problems, as we all should know by now.

Quote
Last year I had a thought that if people could SEE the waveform they were playing they might realise something, somewhere might be wrong, because nothing else has worked.

It's also rather sad that my initial attempts to spread this new idea - aimed at creating a groundswell of protest and demands for better sound - and planted right in the middle of the group who are most affected by it - was immediately greeted with deletions, banning and hostility.
I don't know why the reaction was as hostile as it was, but given that we have had discussions about this numerous times here, people may just have acquired short temper.

Quote
If a hobby audio site is happy with 15bit CD quality - where the missing bit is the most significant one - who am I to suggest how to move forward in HiFi? No one else cares, I listen to the best sound I can - based on better waveforms than anyone here has access to, so why do I bother?
I am much beyond trying to measure sound quality in bits.

Quote
The decline of the HiFi industry has followed a close path with the degradation of dynamics in music. By removing any benefit HiFi had over the car radio the nation has - quite naturally - stopped buying HiFi. Because with modern pop - why would you? I have the huge benefit over todays buyers because I actually like the old stuff - which I can obtain in pretty good shape if I dodge the 'remasters', the next generation will never know good HiFi or sound.
There are a few more factors contributing to this.

Firstly, the CD has long ceased to be regarded as a quality medium, and the fact that all attempts at establishing an effective copy protection scheme had led content producers to try to establish alternative media that allow them to control copying. I would venture to assert that at least some of them have tried quite deliberately to harm the CD's quality peception to help moving people over to a different medium. They gave the people overcompressed shit because that's what they wanted to do. It wasn't an accident. Much to their frustration, the other media (i.e. SACD, DVD, ...) didn't catch on. They now pin their hopes on streaming.

Secondly, they haven't got enough money to do several different masterings of the same thing for different applications, and end up going for the broadest market. Kind of a lowest common denominator approach.

Quote
Now I've answered all of your points, could you perhaps explain what you contributed to fighting the Loudness War as you've obviously been aware of it for some time?
I became aware of it around 2000, if I remember correctly. Besides numerous forum posts and a few blog posts, I can't say that I worked actively against the loudness war. My own pet theory is that it could be killed dead by introducing a floating point distribution format that doesn't have a clipping point of any practical relevance. Removing the wall everone is banging their head against should remove the damage to the heads. But alas, I seem to have difficulties convincing people of this way. I failed miserably here in this forum.

Edit: Quotes repaired.
  • Last Edit: 09 January, 2017, 02:26:21 PM by pelmazo