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Public, Multiformat Listening Test @ 64 kbps - OPEN
Sebastian Mares
post Jul 25 2007, 19:55
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Greetings!

I finally managed to extract my password database from a backup set and am happily using an Ubuntu live CD until my new HDD ships. Anyways, great news: the multiformat listening test at 64 kbps is finally open!

The featured encoders, as most of you know already, are:

Nero Digital HE-AAC (VBR)
WMA Professional 10 (CBR)
Ogg Vorbis AoTuV 5 Beta (VBR)

The anchors used in this test are:

iTunes LC-AAC at 96 kbps VBR as high anchor
iTunes LC-AAC at 48 kbps CBR as low anchor

The test is scheduled to end on August 5th, 2007 August 12th, 2007 August 15th, 2007. Its address is: http://www.listening-tests.info/mf-64-1/

Happy testing!

This post has been edited by Sebastian Mares: Aug 12 2007, 13:06


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ilikedirtthe2nd
post Jul 25 2007, 21:53
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Is the WMA Encoder the "plain" one or the one from WMP11 that uses some kind of SBR?
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Sebastian Mares
post Jul 25 2007, 22:08
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It's 10 Professional that comes with Vista and WMP 11.


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Alex B
post Jul 25 2007, 22:37
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I downloaded the Torrents and I'm seeding them now. The samples 1-17 have been downloaded a few times, but the sample 18 may have a problem.

Azureus reports this when I try to update tracker for the sample 18:

QUOTE
Connection Error (IOException:Server returned HTTP response code: 503 for URL: http://www.rarewares.org/tracker/tracker.p...Hi&azver=3)

All other samples show "OK" tracker status.


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rjamorim
post Jul 25 2007, 22:57
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I'll try redoing that torrent file. If it still won't work, you guys can always download through http...


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rjamorim
post Jul 25 2007, 23:15
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Redone the torrent file, seems to be working now! (please delete the old torrent file and download the new one:
http://www.rarewares.org/sebastian/Sample18.zip.torrent )

This post has been edited by rjamorim: Jul 25 2007, 23:16


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ff123
post Jul 25 2007, 23:22
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Yay! I might actually get time to contribute results this time.
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Alex B
post Jul 25 2007, 23:28
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Jul 26 2007, 01:15) *
Redone the torrent file, seems to be working now! (please delete the old torrent file and download the new one:
http://www.rarewares.org/sebastian/Sample18.zip.torrent )


Thanks. It works now.


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menno
post Jul 26 2007, 06:27
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Great job Sebastian, I hope we will get a lot of results.

QUOTE
# Nero HE-AAC Jul 20 2007
-q 0.24 (hard-coded value in this version of the encoder)


That last part can be left out I guess. The uploaded package has the complete encoder, including the linux binaries!!
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Sebastian Mares
post Jul 26 2007, 07:48
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I removed the info about the hardcoded value. smile.gif


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niktheblak
post Jul 26 2007, 08:51
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God damn it, it's becoming increasingly difficult to detect even 64 kbps encodings. Either codecs are now really good or I'm going deaf. On the tests I've performed so far, the only sample I can easily and 100% reliably detect seems to be the low anchor. And I'm using $300 Alessandro MS-2 headphones with headphone amp and M-Audio sound card.

These tests are an excellent way to lower one's self-esteem blink.gif
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muaddib
post Jul 26 2007, 09:39
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Hi all,

just to mention that the more accurate results on this test are, better quality of future Nero AAC Encoder you can expect. This is because results from listening tests are used to tune the encoder settings. So, please concentrate very hard when you perform the test. I don't have special hearing, but I can hear differences in these encodings and thus I believe that any of you with normal hearing can hear the differences. Thus please concentrate. At least you must be able to discover low anchor, but please try to grade all samples and all encoders.
And it is not important that Nero wins (though I would like it smile.gif), only that there are as many as possible results and that you tried really hard to hear differences.

Cheers, Goran.
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Alexxander
post Jul 26 2007, 09:46
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This is my first time participating in listening tests (though I have done rather a lot of ABXing with foobar2000).

To be sure:

I have to send the SampleXX.erf files generated through menu File>Save Test Results ?
(so that would a RAR file containing 18 .erf files)

Second question: Why isn't included iTunes AAC 7.3.1.3 64 VBR? Seems to me unfair not to include this speed.

Third question: Will I be able to see my own results?

Thx

Edit: Added second and third question

This post has been edited by Alexxander: Jul 26 2007, 10:36
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Ivan Dimkovic
post Jul 26 2007, 10:14
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QUOTE (niktheblak @ Jul 26 2007, 08:51) *
God damn it, it's becoming increasingly difficult to detect even 64 kbps encodings. Either codecs are now really good or I'm going deaf.
...


No, you're not going deaf - codecs are becoming better and better smile.gif
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Sebastian Mares
post Jul 26 2007, 11:27
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QUOTE (Alexxander @ Jul 26 2007, 10:46) *
I have to send the SampleXX.erf files generated through menu File>Save Test Results ?
(so that would a RAR file containing 18 .erf files)


Correct - at least if you want to test all samples. You can also send me an archive containing only five results if you only tested five samples.

QUOTE (Alexxander @ Jul 26 2007, 10:46) *
Second question: Why isn't included iTunes AAC 7.3.1.3 64 VBR? Seems to me unfair not to include this speed.


Because that is LC-AAC which is not really optimized for low bitrates like HE-AAC. LC-AAC and HE-AAC will be featured in an upcoming 80 kbps listening test.

QUOTE (Alexxander @ Jul 26 2007, 10:46) *
Third question: Will I be able to see my own results?


Not until after the test when I publish the encryption / decryption key.


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Alexxander
post Jul 26 2007, 11:56
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QUOTE (Sebastian Mares @ Jul 26 2007, 12:27) *
QUOTE (Alexxander @ Jul 26 2007, 10:46) *

Second question: Why isn't included iTunes AAC 7.3.1.3 64 VBR? Seems to me unfair not to include this speed.


Because that is LC-AAC which is not really optimized for low bitrates like HE-AAC. LC-AAC and HE-AAC will be featured in an upcoming 80 kbps listening test.


Ok, then what sense has to use VBR iTunes AAC 7.3.1.3 at 96 kbps and not higher speed? Why are high and low anchor included?

Just learning rolleyes.gif
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naylor83
post Jul 26 2007, 17:12
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QUOTE (niktheblak @ Jul 26 2007, 09:51) *
God damn it, it's becoming increasingly difficult to detect even 64 kbps encodings. Either codecs are now really good or I'm going deaf. On the tests I've performed so far, the only sample I can easily and 100% reliably detect seems to be the low anchor. And I'm using $300 Alessandro MS-2 headphones with headphone amp and M-Audio sound card.

These tests are an excellent way to lower one's self-esteem blink.gif


Typical. I was hoping this one would be a walk-over. smile.gif The last one I participated in, the huge ~128 kbps test around new year 05/06(?), was a nightmare.

This post has been edited by naylor83: Jul 26 2007, 17:12


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rbrito
post Jul 26 2007, 18:14
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QUOTE (menno @ Jul 26 2007, 02:27) *
Great job Sebastian, I hope we will get a lot of results.


I think that I may participate this time. This will be the first listening test in which I will be involved, but, as the old saying goes, practice leads to perfection. smile.gif

QUOTE
That last part can be left out I guess. The uploaded package has the complete encoder, including the linux binaries!!


Where can I find the linux binaries, please? I would love to encode my collection with your encoder, as it seems to be the "best of breed". And speaking of that, I can even provide Debian (also usable by Ubuntu Linux users) packages for that and I would be glad to provide packages for amd64 and powerpc too.

Regards, Rogério Brito.
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menno
post Jul 26 2007, 18:41
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QUOTE (rbrito @ Jul 26 2007, 19:14) *
Where can I find the linux binaries, please? I would love to encode my collection with your encoder, as it seems to be the "best of breed".


http://www.listening-tests.info/mf-64-1/NeroDigitalAudio.zip
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rjamorim
post Jul 27 2007, 03:09
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QUOTE (rbrito @ Jul 26 2007, 14:14) *
And speaking of that, I can even provide Debian (also usable by Ubuntu Linux users) packages for that and I would be glad to provide packages for amd64 and powerpc too.


PowerPC? blink.gif

The Nero encoder is distributed binary-only. Unless you get Nero's sources through some sort of NDA, you won't be able to create binaries for architectures other than i386.

PS: still not interested in creating a PowerPC repository at RareWares? smile.gif


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naylor83
post Jul 27 2007, 05:26
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Wow, this really was much harder than I thought. I never thought I'd have to listen so hard to 64 kbps music to hear the artifacts.

One thing is certain: It's definitely usable!


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muaddib
post Jul 27 2007, 09:41
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QUOTE (Alexxander @ Jul 26 2007, 12:56) *
Ok, then what sense has to use VBR iTunes AAC 7.3.1.3 at 96 kbps and not higher speed? Why are high and low anchor included?
Just learning rolleyes.gif


You can read about use of anchors in ITU-R BS.1116. Also try searching on this forum, there were already discussions about anchors.
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niktheblak
post Jul 27 2007, 09:47
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QUOTE (naylor83 @ Jul 26 2007, 19:12) *
Typical. I was hoping this one would be a walk-over. smile.gif The last one I participated in, the huge ~128 kbps test around new year 05/06(?), was a nightmare.

Fortunately transparency at 64 kbps is highly dependent on the sample. I had huge problems identifying the encodes with classical (Paganini_Allegro_spirituoso) and "normal" music (Senor), but it was much easier with a kind of music that is most familiar to me (symphnoy_metal [sic]).

Anyway I had to do several testing rounds and multiple listening passes to learn what to listen to; concentrate on cymbals, sibilants and on other high-frequency content and the encodes should be easier to spot.

Anyway at least two of the three codecs are really good.

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naylor83
post Jul 27 2007, 16:23
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QUOTE (niktheblak @ Jul 27 2007, 10:47) *
Fortunately transparency at 64 kbps is highly dependent on the sample. I had huge problems identifying the encodes with classical (Paganini_Allegro_spirituoso) and "normal" music (Senor), but it was much easier with a kind of music that is most familiar to me (symphnoy_metal [sic]).

Anyway I had to do several testing rounds and multiple listening passes to learn what to listen to; concentrate on cymbals, sibilants and on other high-frequency content and the encodes should be easier to spot.

Anyway at least two of the three codecs are really good.


Yes, I basically narrow in on a second or two, with lots of high pitch detail, and listen over and over and over again.


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mr budzone
post Jul 27 2007, 20:53
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Same here =)
This is awesome, first time I participate in such test <3

The Deutsch man was an interesting soundclip, first I thought this is gonna be impossible to distinguish but turned out it was one of the easiest so far tongue.gif

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