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Topic: Best Audiochecker program? (Read 2200 times) previous topic - next topic
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Best Audiochecker program?

Hello, I have just made this account. Long time user of foobar, occasional lurker here on the forums. I have been trying to get to the bottom of this problem I've had with finding a decent audiochecker program. I hope this is the right sub-forum to post this in. I just typed out my inquiry on another site, so I'll just copy and paste that here:

Can somebody help me out, or direct me to a site I should go to to ask about the best audiochecker program? I have lossless audio files on my computer that I want to verify their authenticity with. It's mostly stuff I bought off of bandcamp, 7digital, qobuz, and sites like that depending on the artist. I typically use a spectogram (spek is a great program) which is a great way to snuff out the obvious transcodes. But sometimes the spectogram isn't enough. I've noticed that some 320kbps mp3's or even iTunes AAC's (256 kbps) still have the high 22 khz ceiling, so they're virtually identical under a spectogram. I also have Adobe Audition if this helps.

I have always used a program called Audiochecker by Dester. This is a good program but it hasn't been updated since 2006, and for some reason I can't get it to write a .log file for me when it's done. I guess I could just copy and paste the results, but when you go into the "show complete log" option it doesn't include the overall CDDA percentage it shows in the main menu. It's not a huge inconvenience, just annoying.

Then I started using a program called Lossless Audio Checker, which is one of the first things that shows up when you google for audiocheckers. It writes .log files for you. Great, right? Not really. I've noticed that no matter what I put in, it always comes out saying "Clean". Even files that come up as MPEG on the other program.

I also tried a program from y-soft.org (defunct site) called aucdTectManager. This one is really good, I think. It seems to be out of comission as far as updates though. However, I can't figure out how to get it to write a .log file! It can only do one file at a time and it analyzes the md5 checksum and stuff like that. I just want one convenient .log for CDDA checking! If anybody has used this program I'd like to know how to make it write a .log for a series of files.

Then just before typing this, I tried a program called tau analyzer. Unfortunately it only reads CD's, so that's not going to work (unless I burn my files to a CD first which I don't feel like doing).

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #1
Zoom in on the spectrogram more to see it thinning out. Also look at the difference between stereo channels. Make a SoX command-line that trims first and last 10 seconds or so of audio, where the level is lower. The spectrogram will be built much faster than if the whole file was processed. Zoom in to at least 25-40 samples per second (-X). Run the command on a set of files as if transcoding them, then look at the generated images. I use this command for stereo files (replace "input.wav" with a variable that your frontend provides).

sox.exe input.wav -n trim 0 10 -10 remix 1 2 1v0.5,2v-0.5 spectrogram -X 48 -y 257 -Z -10 -z 120 -t "input.wav / L,R-Side / first 10 sec, last 10 sec" -w Hann -o "input.wav.png-48-lrs.png"

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #2
It's a huge topic with many misinformation in the web. Audio checking and analyzing is not a simple task. And many informations are mixing up CD analysis, Release analysis (e.g. web shop remasters) and audio file analysis (upscaled fake releases). There is a reason for this unbelievable and highly expensive hardware tools TV companies use to test if a third party production company delivers upscaled audio and video material to reach their minimum deliver requirement conditions.

So it depends: Are you looking for all of them or only integrity check  of CD ripped files? Or do you want to find upscaled fake Audio in your library? Etc, etc. And it becomes even harder when the difference between the awaited result and the true result is small enough, that it becomes almost "similar" in detection. And the tricks used for upscaled audio or CD integrity faking files became even "better" over the years. It will be hard to get a detecting analysis correctly done on a smartly noise shaped 320 kps mp3 upscaled to a 44.1/16bit FLAC file with a faked CD integrity, especailly when it tries to simulate an early CD from the 80s where the spectrum of the masters was almost on the same of well shaped 320 kps mp3.

I typically use a spectogram (spek is a great program) which is a great way to snuff out the obvious transcodes. But sometimes the spectogram isn't enough. I've noticed that some 320kbps mp3's or even iTunes AAC's (256 kbps) still have the high 22 khz ceiling, so they're virtually identical under a spectogram. I also have Adobe Audition if this helps.

Exactly. Spectrum isn't enough. Even if sox and Spek are awesome tools and can be easely added to a workflow, for example via run services in foobar. We use a similar line of code like j7n's for quick testing (EDIT: but we use ffmpeg here since sox seems dead and last version was from 2015 with a lot of security and overflow issues reported). But in case when the original was a "bad" and cheaply produced master of an indie band from an island it will be almost impossible to find artefacts and differences clearly enough between the original CD track and a smartly compressed lossy high bitrate copy. And when it comes to digitalized Vinyl (and the mistakes they all do) it even gets a much bigger and messed up story ...

To be honest I haven't found yet a tool which 100% successfully created postive false results from my extreme testing on them with my audio test files. The most accurate test results you can get is on the CD level: comparing checksums and if you have the original data you can compare them to. I know, a quite antiquated Audio resolution ...



Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #4
And here another link to a German site (use a translate plugin of your browser to read in English) testing a non-free but promising audiofile checker application XIVERO MUSICSCOPE and demonstrating the complexitiy of tests needed to really determine suspicious files: https://www.mobilefidelity-magazin.de/macht-den-hi-res-schwindel-sichtbar-xivero-musicscope

While I am not 100% sure if this tool can find really ALL suspicious files with minimum errors in it and while I personally do not like Non Open Source applications where I can not look under the hood, but I am sure that this tool works better than any of those you have tested. And I think it is worth its 30 bugs.

EDIT: oh no ... after writing this, I had to find out that they stopped their development ... https://www.xivero.com ... but it says the application is still downloadable ... ? Hm. But I think it isn't free now, just the downloads for the former registered users. But I tested and installed the demo. The first 30 seconds audio file data are free in the test version without license. So maybe it is worth a look. Just to let know ...

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #5
When evaluating quality we don't usually care to determine the exact bitrate of the original, but to detect a transform codec stage at all. So the problem is simpler. It is usually possible to tell if the bitrate was low, high or if another process, such as noise reduction has been applied by observing how the bandwidth changes in response to the signal level. The test tones were steady unlike music.

It is unsurprising that in the linked example there were frequencies present all over the the spectrum even at low bitrate because the steady tones were unusually loud, and thus selected by the encoder for keeping, relatively simple to encode, and generated clipping both before and after encoding (0.8 =-2 dB, and 4 were summed). Regular music or sound effects would reach high levels at high frequencies only occasionally, and only those instants would be encoded. The spectrograms are not zoomed in enough, but even here I can see gaps in the 64 kbit/s example.

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #6
Yes it is possible to tell if the bitrate was low or noise reduction introduced observing how the bandwidth changes in response to the signal level on 0815 upscales. Buts thats a rather perfect test and ideal detection scenario. In reality those cases wouldn't even fail with the simplest tools. But the other ones which are not easely to detect they would fail. In reality it means: there is no drag drop "test the bunch of files in the folder and forget about it". This is what the OT was referring to when saying that the tests he did not always work and he asks if there's a better tool for it. And that's what I am referring to when I say the topic is more complex than just checking the Spectrogram and Bandwidth in some cases. And I am an audio mastering engineer.

I am pretty sure most simple tools won't succeed (detecting) when I give a "musically" upscaled file from 320 kbs mp3 to 441/16 FLAC, where the upscaler knows what he is doing. Musically upscaling means to introduce elements which blend the artefacts realistically (Dynamic Expander, Multiband Frequence Dynamic EQ, just to count some of them). Similar to upscaling and repainting in photoshop from a LoRes jpg. That's what I mean when I say that the best check would be a comparision with the original. Which is mostly not available in these cases.

To the frequencies all over the spectrum at the linked test comment: I just gave that link to generally demonstrate that it is not that simple like some websites mistakenly try to say (not more) with their simple go-to: look where it cuts off and you will know what kind of mp3 it was. It is not that simple. While I agree with the loudness aspect on high frequencies in the test over there, I would strongly recomment not to create the readers assumption that this is a rare case and by accident of the wrong test only. The hardly to control fuzziness of the so called additional "Harmonics" play an important part here and also on music while encoding and decoding. In any frequency scale and level. And change on every device or tool used for it. Look at those sweep tests https://src.infinitewave.ca/ - And they play an important part by EQing and Compressing (I talk about musically compressing dynamics, not the codec).

We should not forget about the basic reason why music listeners are interested in such tests and tools: To be sure that the audio file has not been corrupted in a lossy way. And for me there is no such tool at the moment, which would successfully find every error with 100% success rate. Only the obvious ones with a success rate of maybe 70%.


Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #8
@soundping -> yeah "MusicScope" looks promising but have you heard of that they closed the doors? Can you still run a legit copy and do you know if there is an opportunity to still purchase a late license? I think this 30 bugs are well invested for at least another 2 years compatibility with codecs and file resolutions etc.

RMAA is rather a signal flow test suite. It's a great tool indeed, but from what I know not for testing files isn't it?

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #9
I like very much this one: auCDtect Task Manager

Very reliable.

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #10
I like very much this one: auCDtect Task Manager

auCDtect was developed by y-soft.org (site down) and has been discontinued. Please remove the link you posted since we can not guarantee that the software installer provided there is harmless. The site do not provide an original hash for this zip file offered there. Here an alternative.to link with similar apps and the original link to their dead website: https://alternativeto.net/software/aucdtect-task-manager/

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #11
I wanted to participate just to help. It won't happen anymore.
Thank you for your kindness.

p.s.: IT'S IMPOSSIBLE DO EDIT MY PREVIOUS POST. PLEASE, SOME ADMIN, DELETE MY PREVIOUS POST AND MY PROFILE TOO. Or at least ban my profile so that I don't accidentally re-enter here.

Thanks in advance.





Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #12
I wanted to participate just to help. It won't happen anymore. Thank you for your kindness.
p.s.: IT'S IMPOSSIBLE DO EDIT MY PREVIOUS POST. PLEASE, SOME ADMIN, DELETE MY PREVIOUS POST AND MY PROFILE TOO. Or at least ban my profile so that I don't accidentally re-enter here. Thanks in advance.

Oh no. I am very sorry. I do not wanted you to feel like that. If I used wrong phrasing please consider it caused by that English is not my native tongue. I just wanted to inform that such links should be handled with care. Sorry if you felt bad about it.  Please accept my apolgize, That was not my intension. I just wanted to be careful about external links that  can harm computers.

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #13
perhaps we should approach this from the opposite view

first, find the best upscaling or re-mastering program for music, then see how they go about producing the lost portion to make it better again?

one of the equivalent in the visual world be waifu2x, which works for both video and static picture

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #14
These restoration tools extend the bandwidth by copying over parts of the lower spectrum or adding harmonic distortion (exciter), and filling in some remaing gaps with noise. On an analyzer you can see that features such as blocks from the encoding or the interference from a TV monitor get doubled. It would take a high level of added noise to cover them up.

The gap filling from Stereo Tool's delossifier module didn't sound like an improvement to me. There are processes that output continuous spectrum (ac3, dirac pitch shifter), but still sound bad at extreme settings. Some time ago I listened to the output of Zynaptiq Unchirp. It added an in impressive emphasis on transient sharpness. Its smoothing of the blockiness of "musical noise" stabilized background sounds, but also made them noticeably duller and happily removed sqeaks from guitar that were part of the original sample but similar in character to artifacts.

Waifu2x looks impressive on non-anime images. It restored cat's eyes and whiskers.

Re: Best Audiochecker program?

Reply #15
These restoration tools extend the bandwidth by copying over parts of the lower spectrum or adding harmonic distortion (exciter), and filling in some remaing gaps with noise. On an analyzer you can see that features such as blocks from the encoding or the interference from a TV monitor get doubled. It would take a high level of added noise to cover them up.

The gap filling from Stereo Tool's delossifier module didn't sound like an improvement to me. There are processes that output continuous spectrum (ac3, dirac pitch shifter), but still sound bad at extreme settings. Some time ago I listened to the output of Zynaptiq Unchirp. It added an in impressive emphasis on transient sharpness. Its smoothing of the blockiness of "musical noise" stabilized background sounds, but also made them noticeably duller and happily removed sqeaks from guitar that were part of the original sample but similar in character to artifacts.

Waifu2x looks impressive on non-anime images. It restored cat's eyes and whiskers.

one of the amazing capability about Waifu2x is its ability to upscale video and picture. ex DVD to BD, shitty scanned to better looking scan, or BD to 4K/UHD
though not always giving best result, but it's probably the top program out there for these type of things despite so many new programs, AI assisted applications and algorithms had became available since Waifu2x came out long ago

so I thought perhaps audio world would have some equivalent programs like this

 
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