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Lossy Audio Codec's Comparison [HUGE amount of pics] [iTunes UPDATE on p.7] - Page 4

post #46 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
"Better"? How is it "better"? You're using an undefined, subjective term. If you mean that it is "better" in that it discards less information than some other encoder, I suppose I would agree with you. But that doesn't mean that it sounds "better" or that the perceptual encoder, whose job it is to discard inaudible information, is doing a "better" job.

Ok.... thats probably your most foolish comment you made in this threat, it was an comparison between an uncompressed pure sound and a mp3 rip of it. I hope your ears are better then your eyes.

Or you know a mp3 codec wich sounds better (SQ) then the pure, clean, perfect, uncompressed file, if so please share it.
post #47 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
How do you know that? Answer: you don't. You're making a lot of unfounded assumptions.


"Better"? How is it "better"? You're using an undefined, subjective term. If you mean that it is "better" in that it discards less information than some other encoder, I suppose I would agree with you. But that doesn't mean that it sounds "better" or that the perceptual encoder, whose job it is to discard inaudible information, is doing a "better" job.
Ok, so we schouldn't talk about what sounds best, because we know that some people actually preferes lossy to lossless. But we can se what codec is most like the lossless file, as hydrocity says "How you people say a graph is not accurate when you clearly see some of the rolloff?" I think this is true.
post #48 of 225
The whole point about this arguement is psychoacoustics isn't it? And how it relates to the word "better". Men have gone to war over less words before.

Update - I can see where this thread is going, this will be my last post here.
post #49 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Nobax View Post
Ok.... thats probably your most foolish comment you made in this threat, it was an comparison between an uncompressed pure sound and a mp3 rip of it. I hope your ears are better then your eyes.
The ad hominem attack does nothing to advance your argument. Plus, you have completely missed my point. "Better" can have many different meanings and you haven't defined how you are using it.

If it is your position that the graphs show that one codec will sound "better" than another, I disagree. "Better," in that context is wholly subjective. While it is certainly possible to observe and evaluate subjective opinions on how codecs sound (see the Hydrogen Audio listening tests for an example of how this can be accomplished in a rigorous scientific manner), you must first established that the listener can hear a difference before you can draw any valid results, and the only way to do that is through a listening test.

If it is your position that the graphs show that one codec is "better" because it retains more of the data that is contained in the original, then I don't dispute your conclusion, but the conclusion bears no relationship to how the codec will sound for a variety of reasons that have already been discussed at length in this thread, including the fact that (1) it is the goal of lossy encoders to discard data while retaining subjective quality, and (2) lossy encoders are designed to work with music, not with pure tones.

Quote:
Or you know a mp3 codec wich sounds better (SQ) then the pure, clean, perfect, uncompressed file, if so please share it.
Again, this is not the point. I do know of mp3 codecs that render files that are indistinguishable to the original for a large majority of the population. Your graphs do not identify which codecs are effective in creating lossy files that are indistinguishable from the original, and which are not. You need to do a listening test to determine that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurra1980 View Post
Ok, so we schouldn't talk about what sounds best, because we know that some people actually preferes lossy to lossless. But we can se what codec is most like the lossless file, as hydrocity says "How you people say a graph is not accurate when you clearly see some of the rolloff?" I think this is true.
The issue is not whether you can see the roll-off. Clearly, the roll-off is visible. The issue is whether you can hear the roll-off. The only way to make that determination is to conduct a listening test.
post #50 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
I do know of mp3 codecs that render files that are indistinguishable to the original for a large majority of the population.
I do too, by only looking at the graphs. If you only take an look at the graphs you'll see three encodings doing that, 320kbps AAC, 320kbps MP3 Blade and the 256kbps WMA 10 Pro.


... Guess what result you get when you listen to them, indeed indistinguisable encodings of the original.
post #51 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
If it is your position that the graphs show that one codec will sound "better" than another, I disagree. "Better," in that context is wholly subjective.
If you by this even mean that he can't say that a lossless codec sounds better than a lossy. then I agree with you.

But just because this is so subjective I think we have to go with that the codec that keeps the most of the info in the music is the one that is the best sounding.
post #52 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hYdrociTy
If something is not there, that means it's not there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
But that does not mean that the absence of that "something" is audible.

That is the exact reason why the spectographs are more accurate then a listening test.
post #53 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurra1980 View Post
But just because this is so subjective I think we have to go with that the codec that keeps the most of the info in the music is the one that is the best sounding.
And thats why i made all those pictures , for people like you and hYdrociTy.

... BTW does anyone know a good ATRAC encoder (without having to download that evil Sony software )
post #54 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurra1980 View Post
But just because this is so subjective I think we have to go with that the codec that keeps the most of the info in the music is the one that is the best sounding.
Take two codecs.
  • Codec A is a lossless codec that discards NO information.
  • Codec B is a lossy codec that that results in files that are approximately 25% of the size of files produced by codec A.
I think that we would agree that Codec B discards more of the information than Codec A.

Now, let's say that you and I do an ABX test, and the results of that ABX test indicate that neither one of us can distinguish Codec A from Codec B. In other words, assume that the listening test identifies no audible difference between the two files.

Which file sounds better?
post #55 of 225
I applaud(sp?) your work and tests Sir Nobax. The graphs are a great visual comparing the different codecs & bit rates. My ears are not perfect, but my vision is pretty damn good.

Spending hours doing ABX tests to find the best "sounding" codec is not my idea of fun. But looking at your graphs and seeing which one looks the best makes my choice of what codecs and bitrates to ABX test alot faster.
post #56 of 225
I am going to have to go with Febs on this one.

The only way to determine which codecs sounds better is to listen. You just can't tell by looking at the pictures you made. ( no offense, I really liked the comparison and I think it is useful)

I think the ideal codec for portable use would be the codec that can throw as much data away as possible and still maintain good quality as far as SQ is concerned. I think that is the entire point of lossy files anyway.
post #57 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
What I dispute is the assertion that the graphs are more effective than actual listening when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of lossy compression that uses perceptual encoding schemes..
.
.
.
I think that it is a mistake to look at a spectrograph, see that a codec leaves out significant amount of data, and decide from that spectrograph that the codec sounds bad. I would expect the opposite to be true. All other things being equal, wouldn't the best codec be the one that leaves out that most data and still sounds indistinguishable from the original?
Maybe i came off as a bitch and sorry(hunger/morning) , but I really didn't say any method is better the graphs or abx... just that one is more easy for some people, like me. Yes we can all (most of us) hear rolloffs easily, but for me, abx is very hard because I am not good at it . There are methods and stuff in that kind of testing, and honestly I dont have enough mental maturity and experience to really do those tests, especially since my ipod and music is not the most resolving stuff anyway. That is why I don't like it when people proclaim one is better than the other and should always be done. True that many people are good at abxing (on their computer with high end stuff anyway), and I know it is a long way before I can tell differences between different kinds of lossy compression schemes(especially on an ipod), but I know that for now, before I reach the experience and ability of you and others, I would rather trust a bunch of pictures(and make conclusions that will satisfy my rather docile mind) than random thoughts i used to have like "oh ill just stick to flac."

True that we are looking for efficiency, and that is the sign of a good compression technology, but imo I would rather choose the most accurate(read similar graph) codec otherwise I would feel really stupid for getting my portable amp and retarded overpriced cables.. Its plecebo for me. Makes me happy. When i do abx, i cannot focus because I have problems. so abx is not the end all.. unless its on some better system than my ipod, with those high class switch boxes and stuff.

cheers
(>'-')>
post #58 of 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs View Post
Take two codecs.
  • Codec A is a lossless codec that discards NO information.
  • Codec B is a lossy codec that that results in files that are approximately 25% of the size of files produced by codec A.
I think that we would agree that Codec B discards more of the information than Codec A.

Now, let's say that you and I do an ABX test, and the results of that ABX test indicate that neither one of us can distinguish Codec A from Codec B. In other words, assume that the listening test identifies no audible difference between the two files.

Which file sounds better?
But maybe someone with a 20 000$ stereo and golden ears can and then our result is of no meaning to him. These things tells a difference that maybe someone can hear and someone else cannot. I can't hear any difference between 192kbps WMA9.2 and lossless out of my 595+iriver but i guess trose49 can

IMO for the best results for everyone, you nead both ABX and tests like these
post #59 of 225
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hYdrociTy View Post
Maybe i came off as a bitch and sorry(hunger/morning) , but I really didn't say any method is better the graphs or abx... just that one is more easy for some people, like me. Yes we can all (most of us) hear rolloffs easily, but for me, abx is very hard because I am not good at it . There are methods and stuff in that kind of testing, and honestly I dont have enough mental maturity and experience to really do those tests, especially since my ipod and music is not the most resolving stuff anyway. That is why I don't like it when people proclaim one is better than the other and should always be done. True that many people are good at abxing (on their computer with high end stuff anyway), and I know it is a long way before I can tell differences between different kinds of lossy compression schemes(especially on an ipod), but I know that for now, before I reach the experience and ability of you and others, I would rather trust a bunch of pictures(and make conclusions that will satisfy my rather docile mind) than random thoughts i used to have like "oh ill just stick to flac."

True that we are looking for efficiency, and that is the sign of a good compression technology, but imo I would rather choose the most accurate(read similar graph) codec otherwise I would feel really stupid for getting my portable amp and retarded overpriced cables.. Its plecebo for me. Makes me happy. When i do abx, i cannot focus because I have problems. so abx is not the end all.. unless its on some better system than my ipod, with those high class switch boxes and stuff.
Oh my, there is a 2nd 'Sir Nobax' on this world .

Everything she said counts for me too, my 'big rig' has'nt got enough power to let me hear the difference between a FLAC or a 192kbps lossy file when im not tottally putting all my effort in ABX'ing. (wich i dont, i dont want to search every tone i hear for flaws, i want to enjoy the music and listen to pretty voices) My best experience of music is with my 'portable rig', when i am biking i focus 99% on the music (Auto-pilot FTW ) every flaw of the music comes up. But because ABX'ing in public isnt a good idea i needed something else, thats why i made the spectrographs.
post #60 of 225
These graphs are interesting as a curiosity, but they're not really relevant to any practical application since a lossy codec, by definition, plays with psychoacoustics. You can make changes that result in quite substantial changes to the audio signal without anyone being able to notice. On the other hand, you can also make changes that don't change the audio signal a huge deal and which are yet quite perceptible. For any given bitrate, all lossy codecs remove a similar amount of information: the question is which does the best job of finding the least important information to get rid of. This does not really correlate to the prettiness of the graphs. So you can't really get much relevant information out of them.
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