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mppenc 1.04, mppdec 1.04, WinAMP plugins 0.94, XMMS plugin 0
Dibrom
post May 29 2002, 22:41
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Cleaned up the thread and moved the OT stuff here.
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m0rbidini
post May 30 2002, 14:09
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Having read two pages of this topic I've seen nothing explaining how this reduced bitrates came. Can someone explain it, please. To all of us who asked.

Thnx
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Dezibel
post May 30 2002, 14:22
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for me mppenc version 1.02 sounds a little bit better than version 1.04 at the middle- and lower high- frequency section. tested on winxp using winamp and suse linux 8.0 using xmms.

does anyone now an gapless_playback plugin for xmms?

Dezibel
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cmagic
post May 30 2002, 14:31
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I made a few test with mppenc 1.04 and one of them is strange to me.

Album : Tina Turner - Simply The Best (best of)
Track : River Deep Mountain High ( it' a pretty old recording)

mppenc 1.01j --standard (no tweaks) --> 133 kbps
mmpenc 1.04 --standard (no tweaks) --> 85 kbps
mppenc 1.04 --xtreme (no tweaks) --> 95 kbps

As far as my hearing goes, the new (1.04) --standard and --xtreme ar as good as
the previous ones (1.01) and I 'm aware that this is an old recording with limited bandwith
but the sudden drop in bitrate really makes me wonder...

So what has really changed from 1.01 to 1.04 ?
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Hanky
post May 30 2002, 14:44
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This bitrate drops in the 20% range make me kind of nervous...
Can we still trust MPC to be as transparent as it was or will there be artifacts surfacing here or there? Do we have to start extensive listening tests now ?
Pleazz some comments from MPC development people on this.
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-=Ducky=-
post May 30 2002, 15:33
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Case
    *  Files with PNS are marked as SV 7.1 to prevent confusion with old decoders
    * URL for download displayed on unknown StreamVersions
    * Bug fixes in XMMS
    * mppenc now needs less bitrate while at least maintaining the quality 
    * smart help screens for mppenc
    * Changed overwrite behavior of mppenc

http://www.uni-jena.de/~pfk/mpp/


I believe Frank when he says it will at least remain the same quality or be even better, but I also would some kind of explination for this.
I'm just curious how he did it smile.gif.

@Hanky : I wouldn't bring out the headphones and tests just yet, don't panic mp+ and mpc has always been around quality and I don't think Frank or the other developers would sacrifice on that.
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AgentMil
post May 30 2002, 17:38
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I do seem to recall that one of the features of StreamVersion 8 was the reduction of bitrates via better Huffman coding. So IMHO Frank might be using this as a method of beta testing the method out.

Correct me if I am wrong I did a search for streamversion and huffman but came out empty. I am not to sure but offering an opinion for whats its worth smile.gif

Cheers
AgentMil


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Frank Klemm
post May 30 2002, 20:34
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QUOTE
Originally posted by AgentMil
I do seem to recall that one of the features of StreamVersion 8 was the reduction of bitrates via better Huffman coding. So IMHO Frank might be using this as a method of beta testing the method out. 

Correct me if I am wrong I did a search for streamversion and huffman but came out empty. I am not to sure but offering an opinion for whats its worth smile.gif

Cheers
AgentMil


This don't plays a big role for normal encodings.
I expect not more than 1...3% .
Enhanced huffman coding will play a role on tracks like fatboy and
castagnets and very high bitrate encodings where MPC now have some very
silly code.
May be a SV 7.2 which breaks compatibiltity will show most of the effects.
Or is Intensity Stereo for <100 kbps more important?


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Jan S.
post May 30 2002, 21:00
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most ppl here will care less about low bitrates and would like high bitrate/quality (not that it needs much improvement but a few bits cut of here and there will not hurt anybody) to be improved before anything else.
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mithrandir
post May 31 2002, 05:43
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Unfortunately, I am relying completely on subjective perception but it seems to me that mppenc 1.04 doesn't quite sound as good as 1.02 in the higher frequencies. There seems to be an "edge" to some of the high frequency transients that I don't remember hearing before. Hard to describe and harder to prove.
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Dibrom
post May 31 2002, 05:51
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QUOTE
Originally posted by mithrandir
Unfortunately, I am relying completely on subjective perception but it seems to me that mppenc 1.04 doesn't quite sound as good as 1.02 in the higher frequencies. There seems to be an "edge" to some of the high frequency transients that I don't remember hearing before. Hard to describe and harder to prove.


Hrmm.. do you actually have a desire to prove this?

Just curious, cause it almost sounds like you don't want to try or something. If you can't prove it though, then wouldn't you be inclined to believe it was only a placebo effect? So then why would it be worth mentioning ahead of time?

Sorry, I just don't quite get what you are trying to do here smile.gif If you think there's a difference then it's time to fire up the abx! tongue.gif

For what it's worth, I'm not saying there isn't a difference, I haven't had time to really listen for myself.. I'd just like to see a constructive examination if there is going to be one, rather than just speculation. I'm tired of seeing other people jump to conclusions about something based on what may be pure speculation.. it happens all the time with MP3 and the --alt-presets (remember the joint stereo stuff?)....
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PoisonDan
post May 31 2002, 08:11
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom

For what it's worth, I'm not saying there isn't a difference, I haven't had time to really listen for myself.. I'd just like to see a constructive examination if there is going to be one, rather than just speculation.  I'm tired of seeing other people jump to conclusions about something based on what may be pure speculation.. it happens all the time with MP3 and the --alt-presets (remember the joint stereo stuff?)....


Agreed, but the fact that Frank already made several posts in this thread, but still did not give any explanation about the bitrate decreases doesn't help it much. It almost seems as if he is hiding something.

Honestly, until I see some explanation, I'm a bit afraid to use this version on my music. I thought MPC was already heavily tuned, so I'm really surprised to see the big bitrate drops mentioned in this thread. It's almost too good to be true.
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Jan S.
post May 31 2002, 09:12
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QUOTE
It almost seems as if he is hiding something.


come on!!! rolleyes.gif
that's just insane. Just because Frank doesn't have the time to explain every little technical detain.
I say I would rather have him programming his great encoder instead of having to answer what he did to cut of 1%-3%.
MPC is great and Frank has only made it better.
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guruboolez
post May 31 2002, 09:25
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I tried to compare 1.02 and 1.04 (on recently encoded CD ). Profiles ware : standard (2CD), extreme, braindead, and insane 16-32. Disc : only classical music (concerto and symphonic music only)

The difference is only 4-6 kb/s (never less, never more) between 1.02 and 1.04. On twekaed profil (--insane --nmt16 --tmn 32 : 318 kb/s on a Mahler Symphony disc with 1.02, 312 or 313 with 1.04) or naked profile. Every track on the same CD are affected, and the bitrate drop is the same.

I don't care with this new version. Thanks to Frank Klemm (what happen with mppenc 1.03 ?)
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AgentMil
post May 31 2002, 09:41
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Thanks Frank for clearing what I thought was the real reason for the bitrate drops. biggrin.gif

Well so far encoding with 1.04 and then comparing 1.02 I seriously do not hear a difference. As you can gather from my signature that is the command line I use.

If there was a difference wouldn't that difference be heard *clearly* on those 1% of clips that MPC is supposedly has problems encoding?

Just my 0.02c but I seriously do not believe that there is no difference between 1.02 and 1.04, unless someone can come up with a clip that clearly shows the problem.

On another point, isn't it the goal of lossy audio compressors to achieve the highest possible quality at the lowest possible bitrate and not the other way around (high bitrate and high quality)?

Thanks Frank for the continued updates on MusePack!! biggrin.gif

Cheers
AgentMil


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ssamadhi97
post May 31 2002, 12:38
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Jan S.
I say I would rather have him programming his great encoder instead of having to answer what he did to cut of 1%-3%.

QUOTE
Originally posted by cmagic
[b]Album : Tina Turner - Simply The Best (best of)
Track : River Deep Mountain High ( it' a pretty old recording)

mppenc 1.01j --standard (no tweaks) --> 133 kbps
mmpenc 1.04 --standard (no tweaks) --> 85 kbps 
mppenc 1.04 --xtreme (no tweaks) --> 95 kbps

correct my if I'm wrong, but this seems to be a reduction by more than just 1%-3%...

Frank, care to elaborate please? smile.gif


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mithrandir
post May 31 2002, 16:19
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom

Hrmm.. do you actually have a desire to prove this?

Just curious, cause it almost sounds like you don't want to try or something.  If you can't prove it though, then wouldn't you be inclined to believe it was only a placebo effect?  So then why would it be worth mentioning ahead of time?

I've been using mppenc since version 0.90, but 1.04 is the first encoder that made something in my head say "hmm, something's different with the output". I wasn't necessarily expecting to hear any changes but the fact that some flag in my head got raised after listening to the output I have to wonder if 1.02 and 1.04 produce perceptually identical output. Could it be a placebo effect? Of course it could but I don't know at this point.

It's not a simple issue because I was using --standard when I think I heard something different. When I was playing with --braindead, 1.02 and 1.04 sound identical. Since the presets have been modified slightly (in some cases, largely) is it appropriate to ABX the same preset across encoder versions? For instance, --standard has now uses --nmt 6.5 instead of --nmt 6, which is a theoretical improvement. --thumb has been "overhauled". If 1.04 --thumb sounds different than 1.02 --thumb on an ABX test (and my guess is that it does), we still don't know if the difference equates to an improvement. It could be a degradation...all an ABX test tells us is that they are different (or not different).

If I seem tentative, it's because I don't know where I want to take this. Run some ABX tests? If so, what are the appropriate conditions?
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-=Ducky=-
post May 31 2002, 16:42
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What I'm wondering is, if there wasn't any reduction of bitrates would anyone be doing those listening "tests"??

I personally always upgrade my encoder to the newest one and encode all my albums further with that with the same profile I always use.
I never really listen for differences as I always expect that it will be the same quality or better.

But I recently also encoded some albums with the new 1.04 and I'm getting a bit worried when I saw those bitrate reductions and some experiences of other users over here.
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CiTay
post May 31 2002, 17:32
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After (quite theoretical, i admit) inverse-mix-pasting tests of 1.04 against 1.0 in Cool Edit (using --standard and --braindead --nmt 15 --tmn 30), the only conclusion is that 1.0 is a wee bit better in the highs, but otherwise rather close to what 1.04 spits out.

Attempts to sound those differences out, on various ordinary songs encoded with --standard, were unsuccessful. Tonight i will try to do an ABX test with more challenging samples, but i'm not expecting big disappointments there either.
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Dibrom
post May 31 2002, 17:37
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QUOTE
Originally posted by -=Ducky=-
What I'm wondering is, if there wasn't any reduction of bitrates would anyone be doing those listening "tests"??

I personally always upgrade my encoder to the newest one and encode all my albums further with that with the same profile I always use.
I never really listen for differences as I always expect that it will be the same quality or better.

But I recently also encoded some albums with the new 1.04 and I'm getting a bit worried when I saw those bitrate reductions and some experiences of other users over here.


I wouldn't really be worried at this point. Nobody has actually said that they "can" hear a difference for sure. So far, all I'm seeing is speculation. And the bit about inverse mixing is really useless as far as quality indication goes. The best encoder possible would sound flawless but would look horrible in a spectrogram... so you can't really tell anything from those unless you listen beforehand.

Until I actually see some abx results, I'm not going to assume either way... it's just not worth jumping to conclusions.
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CiTay
post May 31 2002, 17:47
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Dibrom

I wouldn't really be worried at this point.  Nobody has actually said that they "can" hear a difference for sure.  So far, all I'm seeing is speculation.  And the bit about inverse mixing is really useless as far as quality indication goes.  The best encoder possible would sound flawless but would look horrible in a spectrogram... so you can't really tell anything from those unless you listen beforehand.


I didn't want to draw conclusions about the sound quality, i wanted to see what could've changed to reduce the bitrate. I was reluctant to post the Cool Edit bit, because i thought i'd get jumped on for doing that... but hey... if i would've noted something more obvious in there, i maybe could've chosen some samples to exhibit a weak spot in 1.04. That's not the case.

The only thing left to do is to ABX. This i'll do tonight.
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Frank Klemm
post May 31 2002, 21:26
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QUOTE
Originally posted by cmagic
I made a few test with mppenc 1.04 and one of them is strange to me.

Album : Tina Turner - Simply The Best (best of)
Track : River Deep Mountain High ( it' a pretty old recording)

mppenc 1.01j --standard (no tweaks)  --> 133 kbps
mmpenc 1.04 --standard (no tweaks)  -->  85 kbps 
mppenc 1.04 --xtreme (no tweaks)  -->    95 kbps 

As far as my hearing goes, the new (1.04) --standard and --xtreme ar as good as
the previous ones (1.01) and I 'm aware that this is an old recording with limited bandwith
but the sudden drop in bitrate really makes me wonder...

So what has really changed from 1.01 to 1.04 ?


Reducing bitrate from 133 kbps to 85 kbps should be audible, isn't it?
Try to find out what happened. Be a detective!


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cmagic
post May 31 2002, 22:17
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Frank Klemm


Reducing bitrate from 133 kbps to 85 kbps should be audible, isn't it?
Try to find out what happened. Be a detective!


Yes, I guess it should but I was not able to tell the difference between the 133 kbps
1.02 encoded and the 85 kbps 1.04 encoded. (both with --standard)
Maybe my 45 years old hearing ! smile.gif

From about 20 albums I encoded with 1.04 it's the only track for which I found
such a dramatic bitrate drop. The average drop for the rest is 5 - 20 kbps with
bitrates never falling below 130.

This particular track is an old and quite bad recording with a huge lack of treble
could it be the reason ?

Also I think It's probably a mono recording, the CD booklet says the track
has been re-mastered and equalized.

I made new encodings and got :
135 kbps with mppenc 1.01j (straight --standard)
84.6 kbps with mppenc 1.04 (straight --standard)

Frank, I'll try to make the clip available somewhere so that you can check it out.

Sherlock wink.gif
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CiTay
post Jun 1 2002, 02:30
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ABX test, equipment: Hercules GTXP, AKG K-290 headphones, PCABX 1.7.5 (BTW it looks awful with Windows XP's "Luna" GUI, somebody should fix that).

I used the "--radio" profile for all tests, to get usable results (--standard is already too good sometimes).


Sample: "SmashingSample89.wav"

mppenc 1.0, 139.8 kbps: 15/16. Cymbal in the right channel is overemphasized.

mppenc 1.04, 138.4 kbps: 14/16. Same effect, slightly less distinct. I would even say that this sounds a bit better than 1.0.



Sample: "dogwhistle.wav"

mppenc 1.0, 129.7 kbps: 16/16. The whistle tone appears to be lower. Nervous chirping of the noise.

mppenc 1.04, 123.4 kbps: 16/16. Same effect. Again it sounds a little more pleasant to my ears.


I can't test longer in a row. Odd results, the opposite of what i expected. Of course these are only two samples, and the bitrate difference isn't immense. But so far i couldn't ask for more than maintaining the quality level of 1.0, and this seems to have worked.
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Garf
post Jun 1 2002, 10:27
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GCC 3.1 cannot compile the XMMS plugin correctly at an optimization level higher than -O1 (makes everything sound like udial)

GCC 2.95.3 works fine

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