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Topic: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps (Read 3955 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #25

Musepack has transparent transients but it’s very slightly noisy on high frequencies of tonality.
Its high frequency muffling which is perceived as very slightly dull + flat noise addition.


Do you think that using lowpass filter switch (--bw 16500 or 17200) would help Musepack to achieve better results?

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #26
@C.R.Helmrich
I'm agree with your observations. All post-MP3 formats are generally on par on such bitrate.

Clearly in the grand scheme of things such killer samples aren't that common, esp the Fatboy one, ...
Transients aren't that uncommon. Electronic music is full of them.

Also You make accent only on Fatboy sample and I've alredy mentioned to You that it wasn't the only sample where exhale had an issue.
One of another samples where exhale wasn't transparent is EIG ... which also has transients.

I 'm wondering if the results will be the same if the test is realized with hifi speakers...
Everything is transparent

Do you think that using lowpass filter switch (--bw 16500 or 17200) would help Musepack to achieve better results?
I don't know and I have no plans to dig into that.
As for me, only recommended default settings. Any deviation from default can work for one individual but can break the things for others. Not my type of fun.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #27
 Does anyone has tried opusrug? Is it competitive with some rock, melodic music? How does it score with fatboy or enolaguy? Do you think change the tonality target to 1.2f default could help with pads at low bitrate such as 32 kbps (Romanian music) while reducing the accuracy only a bit?
Anyone interested to try it in Linux?

So far it doesn't beat quality records with pop and it isn't miracles like Jpeg XL, Nero AAC ABR two-pass 69 kbps can sound good on unreleased pop. Also nobody has produced a bitstream of it in Linux and as I heard developers aren't interested because I didn't compile myself and the program should be up to master at least or use opusfile latest, I don't think j m valin or some other opus contributors have read my thread.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #28
Thanks very much, Igor, for this high-bit-rate test! It is very helpful for me, as the developer of exhale, since my hearing is not good enough anymore for testing such high rates myself.
You're always welcome, Chris.  :)
I didn't answer soon because was recovering from covid.  It's all ok now.

Second cent
Indeed, Igor, the reason is an excessive chain of transients on the first half of Fatboy. A few weeks ago I had a possible solution for this, but at the lower bit-rates it degraded the audio quality on some other samples, so I decided not to follow up on that issue. And, as Kamedo2 mentioned, at 96 kbit/s, where the overall audio quality is lower, the score on Fatboy doesn't degrade much more (3.5), see his personal test.
I see.  As from exhale's topic it's pretty clear that now its priority is lower bitrates <= 96 kbps.  And I can't be more agree with that. There is no reason to work on xHE-AAC and bitrates higher than 96 kbps when LC-AAC with its expired patents does excellent on such high bitrates. Last time I've tried exhale 1.0.7.0 @ 96 kbps and similar bitrates it was the best encoder and performed on par with Opus.

The main targent of this test was "MP3 vs post-MP3 codecs at high bitrate". I suspected but wasn't sure that all post-MP3 encoders were going to perform on par. Detecting where xHE-AAC has some issues was a by-product. Exhale here was for a complete picture, as just another post-MP3 encoder.

Take care, guys

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #29
Musepack can go above 320kbps even at --standard, I have some tracks reaching 390 ~ 800kbps. Yet with AAC/Vorbis on tracks like that don't do that despite having no frame limit like MP3/Opus. Yet on Noise/synth focused samples transform codecs really hate it, There some samples i have where the either artifact or have horrid bitrate bloat.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #30
I didn't answer soon because was recovering from covid.  It's all ok now.
Ouch! I'm glad you recovered!
There is no reason to work on xHE-AAC and bitrates higher than 96 kbps ... Last time I've tried exhale 1.0.7.0 @ 96 kbps and similar bitrates it was the best encoder and performed on par with Opus.
I'm glad to hear that. Still, your test sparked my motivation to look at exhale's handling of transients once more. Attached an experiment which, hopefully, improves the Fatboy sample a bit. I can hardly hear a difference. Could you compare this against the encoding in your test if you have time, please?

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #31
Chris,

Yes,  now it's much better.

Code: [Select]
ABC/HR Version 1.1 beta 2, 18 June 2004
Testname:

1R = C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\fatboy_exhale_cvbr9_exp17-brmRS2.wav
2R = C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\13 fatboy_30sec.wav

---------------------------------------
General Comments:

---------------------------------------
1R File: C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\fatboy_exhale_cvbr9_exp17-brmRS2.wav
1R Rating: 4.6
1R Comment:
---------------------------------------
2R File: C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\13 fatboy_30sec.wav
2R Rating: 4.0
2R Comment: Some  ghost speech in R channel.
---------------------------------------
ABX Results:
C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\fatboy_exhale_cvbr9_exp17-brmRS2.wav vs C:\Audio\15_samples\Personal Test 192 kbps\exhale m9 192 kbps\13 fatboy_30sec.wav
    5 out of 5, pval = 0.031

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #32
Great, thanks a lot! That would, hypothetically, result in an average score of almost 4.91 on your test set, assuming of course that no other samples are degraded in audio quality. I'll check if that's the case and then add this fix to the upcoming exhale 1.0.8 release.

Chris
If I don't reply to your reply, it means I agree with you.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #33
Has anyone here tested MPC at Q4.5 which is 160kbps VBR?, Would be fun too see how it fairs to AAC/Ogg/Opus there. No idea why people are perplexed MPC is transparent within 130 ~ 200kbps despite being pretty much modern MP2. It already uses PNS when under 128kbps & i wonder if that helping it a bit even at 200kbps?.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #34
I'm back on HA.org
I'm truly impressed by this test Igor: I know how hard it is to get usable results at such high bitrate. Well done!
Result is not a real surprise to me: MP3 struggles with pre-echo/killer samples and increasing the bitrate doesn't always help.
Post-MP3 formats are therefore better but not equally. However it's very difficult to show on a listening test.

Still, this test shows that an alternative to MP3 is preferable even near 200 kbps.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #35
AAC/OPUS 192kbps, really? ??? This quality is sufficient for this equipment? :o

Quote
Source: Benchmark DAC1 with built-in headphone AMP HPA2 (24bits/44.1kHz mode)
Headpones: Sennheiser HD 800

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #36
Result is not a real surprise to me: MP3 struggles with pre-echo/killer samples and increasing the bitrate doesn't always help.
MP3 fails to achieve transparency on a wide kind of signals as transients, tonal etc.

MP3's blocksize range is too limited:
Quote
higher coding efficiency for stationary signals (AAC uses a blocksize of 1024 or 960 samples, allowing more efficient coding than MP3's 576 sample blocks);
higher coding accuracy for transient signals (AAC uses a blocksize of 128 or 120 samples, allowing more accurate coding than MP3's 192 sample blocks);

Increasing bitrate on MP3 to ~256-320 kbps doesn't help much to reach quality of  post-MP3 codecs at 192 kbps.



AAC/OPUS 192kbps, really? ??? This quality is sufficient for this equipment? :o
That's what test shows.


Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #38
The test was performed on samples which are harder to encode than an average music.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #39
So MP3 unfit for any music with pre echo/sharp attacks?, at any bit rate. Really wonder how MP3 was green lit with so many issues that even Lame encoder can't fix. Since so much current music uses electronic elements with sounds on par with Eig/fatboy samples. Could explain the upsurge with AAC, Opus, Vorbis for the lossy camp.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #40
Really wonder how MP3 was green lit with so many issues that even Lame encoder can't fix.
At the beginning of hydrogenaudio in 2001 MP3 was—along with WMA—the only suitable lossy format for mobile use (digital audio player, CD-MP3…). Quality issues were well-known here. The audio stayed nevertheless very popular: wide-compatibility, and transparent for most users and even many advanced ones were not horrified by slight smearing. That's why MP3 is still widely used.

IgorC's test highlight MP3's Achilles heel but overall performance is far from being bad. An overal score of 4.46 means “very good with audible but not annoying differences”. The worst sample is ranked at 3.5, which means “between slightly annoying and not annoying”. And this is only 192 kbps. There are two stronger VBR modes (V1 and V0), and of course 320 kbps CBR. All these modes will lower the audibility of distortions and could even eradicate the slightiest artifacts heard at 192 kbps.

15 years ago I performed a very large listening test with 200 samples (150 classical music + 50 various). The high anchor was also LAME -V2 (3.98 alpha). Results were very similar: 4.58 for classical music and 4.61 for other musical genres. For the small electronic/artifical samples group (5 samples only) MP3's score was lower than Ogg Vorbis 128 kbps. Again, there's nothing new…  ;)

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #41
The pre echo/fast attack artifacts I get on stuff like electronic/artifical samples still fail at V0, 320kbps. I moved to other codecs since even just generic crackly static sounds like vinyl, noise, walking on snow would make Lame shoot to 275 ~ 318kbps at V4 setting or have loud pops not in the lossless version.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #42
The pre echo/fast attack artifacts I get on stuff like electronic/artifical samples still fail at V0, 320kbps.

It could be, but they won't be as audible. Overall score will rise further even if full transparency is technically impossible to achieve with MP3.

Quote
I moved to other codecs since even just generic crackly static sounds like vinyl, noise, walking on snow would make Lame shoot to 275 ~ 318kbps at V4 setting
During very short moments maybe but overall bitrate is much lower. And 275 kbps frames with V4 are not identical to 275 kbps with V2. Bitrate is only a result: there are maths behind, and different quality settings between different VBR modes.
And it's a smart move from you :) The best MP3 encoder/setting has been surpassed by Vorbis, AAC, MPC for twenty years ago and more recently by OPUS and USAC. Unless specific reason (like a car with limited compatibility) I don't see any reason to stick with MP3.

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #43
Yeah if your using <192kb/s their no point with MP3 unless your stuck with stuff that don't support AAC or Vorbis. The sharp rise on AAC & Opus seems to be from that Phones/DAP(android) now use them, MP3 seems to be the last thing people pick when going lossy now.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #44
That it performed really well at 192Kbps. I always thought Musepack needed more bitrate to sound transparent.
It does it still a subband codec like MP2, Some pure noise samples need higher setting to stop bit rate starving them hard.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #45
MP3 seems to be the last thing people pick when going lossy now.

Among people who know maybe, but in general the internet still has way too many posts from people wanting to convert their Youtube downloads or similar from AAC  to MP3, and many that are still convinced that MP3 CBR 320 is "the best", which sometimes leads to the mention of FLAC , which confuses the op even  more.

 

Re: Personal blind listening test – MultiCodec at ~192 VBR kbps

Reply #46
MP3 seems to be the last thing people pick when going lossy now.

Among people who know maybe, but in general the internet still has way too many posts from people wanting to convert their Youtube downloads or similar from AAC  to MP3, and many that are still convinced that MP3 CBR 320 is "the best", which sometimes leads to the mention of FLAC , which confuses the op even  more.

Noticed that too many get very sore when told AAC/Vorbis can be transparent at 160kbps. Since they just go then why does spotify/Apple use 256 ~ 320kbps.
Got locked out on a password i didn't remember. :/

 
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