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How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Hello, good day.

I've been using -b24x6 (around 200kbps for CD quality audio) ever since I moved my complete collection to WavPack, and I listen to only the lossy WavPacks on both my phone and my desktop computer (I keep the lossless on my external HD, for burning CDs et cetera.)

Ever since the start, lossy WavPack at -b24 (literally the lowest) is pretty much transparent to me. Granted, I don't have expensive headphones, but it's good enough for me.

Now, I have heard people say that lossy WavPack at that bitrate is bad etc. (I don't remember who exactly) but I don't think I hear a difference.

Now, I would just like to ask, how bad does it really sound? What atrifacts does lossy WavPack have compared to, for example, MP3? I don't notice a lowpass filter, pre-echo, or anything... Looking at spectrums, I see a higher noise floor, but it doesn't sound as bad as it looks--I don't even notice it. Would you be willing to listen to -b24 lossy WavPack or is it really bad, and I'm just not wearing quality headphones?  :D

Just curious. Thanks in advance to your reply :)

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #1
RTFM!!!!11111 ;P
http://www.wavpack.com/wavpack_doc.html#usage
and yes, not exist a codec the worst of mp3

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #2
200 kbps is a lot, if you recall that Opus is usually transparent at < 128 kbps (if we talk about stereo, of course).
as far as I remember, wavpack completely breaks down if you try to push it as "low".

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #3
I see a higher noise floor, but it doesn't sound as bad as it looks--
Listen to isolated high pitched, hard panned tonal sounds, like a triangle. They will turn to puffs of noise, merge together, and may become more prominent as the coding noise extends to a lower frequency. The noise will add "sand" to crash cymbals, they will get a synthetic quality like in old video games with FM music, and also to sibilant s-sounds in older music (like Freddie Mercury), and to sharp big band instruments.

Try encoding "Equinoxe Part 3" and "Part 4" by Jean-Michel Jarre. Part 3 will be destroyed. Listen to what happens to the hihat in the left channel and to the sweeps in Part 4. This is an artificial example, the defects are not as obvious in acoustic music. But then again lots of music is artificial today.

I wouldn't want to wait for an x6 encode. If I had a CPU from space, then I'd have enough storage space as well...

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #4
I'm surprised that 200 kbps WavPack lossy has not bothered you, especially since you are not even using the high modes. However, like you say, since it's not a transform codec you are not going to get artifacts common to those codecs like low-pass or pre-echo. You'll just get added broadband noise, and WavPack does its best to shove it around so you'll be less likely to hear it.

I have a few albums encoded at around 256 kbps that I listen to regularly and they're quite acceptable, and as long as you have the correction files you can always change your mind.

As j7n suggests, it also depends on the type of music you're listening to. Music that covers the whole spectrum (like heavy metal) might encode pretty well at that rate, while solo piano or violin won't because there's just no place to hide the noise.

A final factor is the background noise when you're listening, which is more important than your actual  headphones. If you listen on the subway it will be a lot harder to hear than in a quiet place.

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #5
wavpack lossy could have been a bit more interesting if it had true quality-based bitrate allocation mode (based on some kind of signal to noise metric). it has troubles at high frequency prediction sometimes, that's true, but it doesn't have to create audible artifacts in these places if it could just use more bits in problematic regions.

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #6
My suggestion is -b3 (265k) if the goal is keeping filesize size down while retaining usually transparent quality . -b2.5 (224k) for pushing it further . Use -b2 (196k) ONLY if getting the smallest wv file size is the main goal .
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #7
200 kbps is a lot, if you recall that Opus is usually transparent at < 128 kbps (if we talk about stereo, of course).
as far as I remember, wavpack completely breaks down if you try to push it as "low".

Don't believe it as this forum is full of hype . Not much testing is done as compared to 15 yrs ago . I am personally am not convinced. low bitrate Opus 32..64k  totally sucks (way more than wv lowest setting) going by what I heard and the 1st audio test I did. And this is natural music ..

I uploaded the case here:

https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,117915.new.html#new
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c


Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #9
Forgot to mention, Weeks ago I encoded spoken word albums with WV 200k and the result was good. For regular stereo 'music' , I will use around 265k

You can test a short speech sample:
http://www.rarewares.org/test_samples/female_speech.wv
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #10
why are you even comparing Opus at 64 kbps to WavPack at 200 kbps?
try 96 (true vbr), that's where it begins to be transparent for most ppl.

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #11
why are you even comparing Opus at 64 kbps to WavPack at 200 kbps?
try 96 (true vbr), that's where it begins to be transparent for most ppl.

I am not . Just pointing out that Opus also degrades more than it should when ' going low'.  Since 64k don't encode to well with problem samples , maybe 128k + is needed and there you can also use other codecs. And no, its not only about transparency, But rather how gracefully the degradation / deviation occur once you are not transparent - in this case opus does it ugly.

And it is known , WV lossy, lossywav is not for people interested in 128 ..192k.   They come and whine about it all over the internet saying it sucks because they can't use 128k or sounds bad @ 200k.  Does one typically use mp3 @ 64k  ?
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #12
Rather than trying to use a screwdriver as a hammer, as it were...

I think lossless codecs should just do what they do. If your intention is to get rid of the correction file or to create portable versions, you might as well just use Opus. FFMpeg can make Opus transcodes from WavPack files very well even though the native tools don't support each other directly at all.

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #13
Does one typically use mp3 @ 64k  ?

I don't use MP3 at all because it's horrendously obsolete to the point where Opus is twice as efficient and nobody is seriously going to argue that at this point. If you're going to halfass something, why do it at all? If you want small files that sound good, in my opinion, it's Opus or bust. Between AAC and MP3, there was at least the argument that LAME could go toe to toe with most AAC encoders, like Nero and FAAC because they didn't use the AAC format very well, but there's no comparing MP3 to Opus. MP3 just loses.

But I never used MP3 at 64k because it doesn't even sound very good at twice that. It just happens to collapse entirely under ~128k or so.

If MPC proved nothing else, it proved that it was possible to use a pure subband codec and get better results than MP3.

MP3 has staying power because it's what people used. It's sort of like the Windows of audio codecs. Sure there's operating systems that are faster, don't get viruses, and hardly crash at all (Linux), but it's hard to convince people when all they do know about is Windows. Actually, MP3 is worse because it's usually all they have and you can't transcode from it.

Even when almost everyone (other than paid bloggers, of course) agree "Hey, this thing really sucks.", it can be almost impossible to get rid of it.

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #14
...hardly crash at all (Linux)...
Lol. Big time free/open source fan, huh? Ubuntu is way buggier than Windows unless you install it on a headless AWS/GC instance and SSH into it. Not all distros are the same


Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #16
There lies certain niches . You can use aac / optus to get absolutely the lowest size possibe and thats good for internet streaming - even there using the ancient 128k mp3 is not that expensive anymore.  However, local storage isn't as tight for the last decade that 256 .. 500k or a limited dose of lossless is doable on portables.
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

 

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #17
Rather than trying to use a screwdriver as a hammer, as it were...

I think lossless codecs should just do what they do. If your intention is to get rid of the correction file or to create portable versions, you might as well just use Opus. FFMpeg can make Opus transcodes from WavPack files very well even though the native tools don't support each other directly at all.

Wavpack hybrid *lossless mode* does exactly that - LOSSLESS audio. The user may get rid of the correction file or not copy it in the first place  where space is favoured over max quality. On the PC, space is usually of less concern so the correction file can remain. So there its essentialy lossless like wavpack lossless, flac, ape etc no need for any further arguments; lossless = lossless.  Another example is that you may create a hybrid archive on one drive , yet not use correction file on your main daily hard drives which may be filled with other stuff. That is also fine since you still have another drive that has wv+wvc files intact that is essentially bit identical to flac,ape or any lossless codec.

The other side of it is I cannot be bothered creating additional lossy archives, different codecs, listening testing them. I can make do with 256k wv as a nice reduction , having it all using the same toolset.
wavpack 4.8 -b256hx6c

Re: How would you describe WavPack's lossy quality at the lowest setting (around 200

Reply #18
I don't use MP3 at all because it's horrendously obsolete

7digital, Amazon Music, other Mp3 sellers, & the people
who buy from them might disagree with you.

Stop picking on MP3, its getting old you know. :'(

And is one of the reasons this forum is here.

 
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