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Possible Poor Performance Of Alt-presets, found a problem sample?
post Sep 23 2002, 23:58
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WinABX developer

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I've just doing some ABX tests with the sample trumpets1.wav, which you can find at http://www.pcabx.com/product/reference/trumpets1.wav

It's a trumpet sound, with no pre-echo issues, just added harshness on some alt-presets.

My results:

--alt-preset standard: 6/6 p= 1.6%, quite easy
--alt-preset standard -Z : 7/7 p= 0.8%, quite easy
--alt-preset extreme : 7/7 p= 0.8%, quite easy
--alt-preset extreme -Z : 12/14 p= 0.6%, seems more difficult, or I'm more tired
--alt-preset insane: 3 trials, total 20/32 p=14%, quite difficult, I think I can ABX it on optimum conditions, but I can't prove it right now rolleyes.gif . Edit: not so sure I can ABX it...

So, seems that the VBR alt-presets have more room for tuning?
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post Sep 24 2002, 02:38
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Are you basically stating here that due to circumstances, it's unlikely the --alt-presets can/will ever be further improved (significantly) in terms of quality?

Unfortunately, yes. There may be improvements, but unless the core psymodel for LAME itself is significantly improved first, then the --alt-presets aren't going to get a whole lot better than they are now. And since it seems unlikely that this will happen (at least anytime remotely soon), well.. you get the idea.

As for the other formats, unless/until they have some significant hardware support they are nearly useless, IMHO (who wants to sit in a hard desk chair in front of a computer, listening to music?).  It's sort of a catch-22, but it's in the hands of the hardware manufacturers, since MP3 holds the popularity crown and is not likely to lose it without hardware support.

You don't have to listen in front of your computer. Many people on these forums run lossy audio formats through their main sound system in their house. Of course, you can't take all of this with you in your pocket yet, but you still aren't simply restricted to being physically in front of the desktop.

And there are already some possibilities for portable usage of some other formats. For example, I can play Ogg Vorbis files on my PDA. If I spent some time, I could probably even get mppdec working on it. FAAD2 was apparently integerized recently, so that's another possibility..

Honestly, most of these not-quite-so-mainstream formats will probably never be well supported by the common portable product, but I expect that at some point we will start to see more specialty products pop up which are capable of supporting nearly any format out there. All we really need is for someone like iriver to release an API and development kit, or something similar. It's got to happen eventually. Either that or PDA's will continue to drop in price along with solid state media until it all reaches a point where it's more practical to use something like that then to rely on more hardcoded playback devices.

It's probably likely that the latter will happen sooner than the former, unfortunately, but I guess that's the price to pay for wanting something better -- which is almost always not the mainstream choice. It always seems to take a little more time, a little more effort, and often (though not always) a little more money to get the best.
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