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Article comparing opus and mp3

I don’t know if this is old news but someone did a BSEE project comparing sound quality

Article

Interesting read.

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #1
Quote
2.1.2
MP3 encoding: LAME encoder 3.99.5 - Bit rate: 128 kbps CBR
Opus encoding: Opus 1.3 - Mode: CELT - Bit rate: 64 kbps VBR

5. Summary
5.1 Conclusion

This study tested MP3 at 128 kbps against Opus at 64 kbps in music encoded comparisons to uncompressed WAV format at 24 bit, 44.1 kHz. Results showed MP3 outperforming Opus for all song scores combined as well as in the song 8 Out Of 10, and WAV outperformed MP3 in the song Without You.

MP3's victory could be because of the selection of the four tracks they used. If they used 20 or more diverse tracks, the conclusion could have been different.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,117489.0.html

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #2
When you give a format twice the bitrate, that's one hell of a head start.

 

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #3
I can believe that 128 kbps MP3 is more transparent than 64 kbps Opus.  Probably not a huge amount in it, though, and the paper confirms that (as in there was only a statistical difference for one track, and for all the tracks averaged together).  One justification given for the chosen bitrates (other than the obvious one in the abstract) is that Opus at 64 kbps has been claimed to outperform MP3 (not sure *which* MP3) at 128 kbps.

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #4
64kbps is probably right at the edge of being equal to mp3 at 128.

I certainly notice a rapid quality increase in opus going from 64 to 96. 96 is transparent for me. Already at 72 I have to really focus.

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #5
Based on many results I've seen in the past, I think Opus can match a good *VBR* MP3 encoder with about 60% of the bitrate. That explains why people have reported that when operating at 50% of the MP3 bitrate Opus sounds a bit worse than MP3.

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #6
Based on many results I've seen in the past, I think Opus can match a good *VBR* MP3 encoder with about 60% of the bitrate. That explains why people have reported that when operating at 50% of the MP3 bitrate Opus sounds a bit worse than MP3.
this is kinda offtopic but jmvalin, are you planning on adding Machine Learning to future versions of opusenc? that would be pretty amazing

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #7
nah, Opus at 64kbps is WAY better than MP3. its been that way since the codec debuted. I have thousands of songs in this codec and i have played them on various equipment and they sound phenomenal.

Now, maybe they did indeed sound different in those listening conditions due to the fact that they were being played on computers and DAW programs and not on an embedded or dedicated device like a Portable music player or set top box.

Re: Article comparing opus and mp3

Reply #8
64kbps is probably right at the edge of being equal to mp3 at 128.

If I recall correctly, I think another member around here said Opus @ 80kbps is roughly equal to MP3 @ 130kbps (i.e. LAME v5) which, if I calculated that right, it plays inline with what jmvalin said about Opus only needing about 60% of the bit rate of MP3 for similar level of sound quality in his post above.

so it appears 64kbps Opus is probably close to LAME v5 (130kbps), but a bit shy of being about equal.

p.s. but personally, I would take Opus @ 64kbps over MP3 @ 130kbps (LAME v5).

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I certainly notice a rapid quality increase in opus going from 64 to 96. 96 is transparent for me. Already at 72 I have to really focus.

I would be pretty much the same (give or take), along with many others to, as I think 64kbps is all around solid but that extra 32kbps increase to 96kbps is probably worth the 32kbps bit rate increase for many people as, if I recall correctly, I remember reading around here a while ago that Opus @ 96kbps many people really struggle detecting differences which means it's pretty much transparent for many, if not most I suspect, especially for people who are not really young (say their 20's and younger) since we can't hear those really high frequencies etc.

but it does seem like that with Opus in that you get solid sound quality gains up to around 96kbps and then things start to really decline to where you got to jack up the bit rate (like from 96kbps to 128kbps to 160kbps) to get minimal gains to sound quality which is why I pretty much consider 96kbps to be the sweet spot with Opus (96kbps is what I would consider a default suggestion for most people who want a simple use-it-and-forget-it kind of answer). that's pretty much how I came up with the stuff in my signature about 64kbps(minimum)/96kbps(default)/128kbps(maximum) because I feel beyond 128kbps is largely a waste of space and somewhat defeats the purpose of lossy audio which is to keep the file size minimal while still maintaining a close enough to transparent level and on the flip side I feel 64kbps is still high enough that should keep the overall sound quality stable/good enough and while going lower than 64kbps (say 48kbps or 32kbps) might be okay for some people, to me it's not worth sacrificing that level of sound quality for minimal bit rate savings, especially if one is not real tight for storage space and wants to cram in as many songs as they possibly can into a more limited amount of storage space. but personally in a situation where storage space is tight, I would probably just stick to 64kbps and sacrifice the volume of songs I can get on a device, unless of course sound quality is not that important then one might be able to get by with 32kbps or 48kbps etc as even 32kbps is not bad considering the bit rate. but personally, even trying to go more towards the extreme bit rate savings mindset I would avoid going lower than 48kbps as it's easily worth the sound quality increase from 32kbps to 48kbps for a minimal increase to the bit rate. but in general, given storage space is typically not going to be any real problem I suggest no lower than 64kbps for music and I feel 64kbps is not that far off from the 96kbps setting in the overall sound quality on a bunch of random songs.

even based on a Opus poll with 182 votes the following three bit rates, which are the three highest in terms of individual percentage, make up 56.0%(it's actually 55.5% but I moved my vote from 64kbps to 96kbps which makes it a even 56%) of those polled seem to prefer either 1)128kbps 2)96kbps 3)160kbps for Opus as I figure beyond 160kbps it's definitely a waste of space and efficiency takes a big hit and I think even beyond 128kbps is mostly a waste of space (NOTE: I would not be surprised of some people selected 128kbps over 96kbps as a bit of a safety buffer more than them actually needing it for general enjoyment of their songs etc). but personally I am more of the group who prefers 96kbps but I would probably take 64kbps over the 128kbps setting if I had to choose between the two because going from say 64kbps to 128kbps cleans up the sound a bit, but it's not that much on random songs on average range equipment and takes twice the bit rate and I don't see many people complaining about 64kbps as it's not much worse than the 96kbps setting when just listening to music without focusing hard on detecting sound quality issues and your just sitting back enjoying your music.

ill stop babbling now ;)
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

 
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