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AAC streaming?
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Zoidburg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:47 am   Post subject: AAC streaming? Reply with quote


Haven't been here in a while, ever since I started buying a lot more stuff and encoding it to lossless. Well, that and I don't really care for how MP3Pro sounds (sorry, just trying to be honest). Anyways, I was on the Hydrogenaudio.org forums today and noticed a post regarding AACplus streaming. Check out some samples:

http://www.tuner2.com/

Have to say I'm impressed. An AAC-HE 48k stream sounds really good IMHO (I listened with Foobar2000). Here is some more intersting stuff as well (check out the 64k and 32k tests expeically):

http://www.rjamorim.com/test/

Personally I think those AAC-HE streams at 48k sound much better than MP3Pro at 64k (less warbly artifacting). I believe MP4 is the successor to MP3 and that HE/PNS uses the same concepts that Mp3Pro uses (like spectral band replication). Could be wrong, this stuff isn't my forte. And I really don't know much about internet radio and whether this could be implementable in your current scheme, but I figured I'd pop in here and make a post for the heck of it. I may not listen in much, but I still love SST. Here is more tech info:

http://www.codingtechnologies.com/products/aacPlus.htm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:50 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks for the info Zoidburg. We use SAM (Streaming Audio Manager). When they have support for AAC and other new encoding technologies I will look into it then.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:00 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Oh yeah, I think you told me that once a long time ago. I had forgotten. Think I'll head on over to their website and have a look around. Maybe learn something new (like how it all works lol). Wink

Edit: Hmm, not many posts regarding AAC in their forum. But from the looks of it, support is coming in the near future.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:04 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thought I'd add some extra info just in case anyone wants to check out those AACplus streams but are having trouble. You have to use Winamp 5.05, and the in_mp4.dll (from Dolby Labs) that comes with it I believe. The one from Audiocoding that can be downloaded to replace it won't play those streams (yet). Some of this is assumption on my part because a while back I overwrote the Dolby Labs version with the Audiocoding version which won't play the stream, and don't feel like reinstalling Winamp. I think my assumption is fairly safe based on the info at the Tuner2 site.

Anyone using Foobar2000 (0.8.3 special which is what I used) and having trouble playing those streams will want to look at the following thread for an updated foo_input_std component:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=26936&hl=pls

I've been hunting around the web (Spacialaudio, Nullsoft, Hydrogenaudio, etc) for more info and have to say that it looks like good things are coming to the world of internet radio broadcasting in regards to AACplus. Will it change how we all listen to streaming music? I don't know, but I am definitely excited! Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:29 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Long time no, err, see. Haven't been around for quite a while. Saw your posts here:

http://www.spacialaudio.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7659

Glad to see you showing a keen interest, which has me excited at the prospect of coming here more often in the future. Looks like Spacial has confirmed that they are going to add full accPlusv2 support for SAM too. I read in another thread that your stuff is all in 128k MP3 and that you transcode on the fly to MP3Pro for broadcasting. Is that true? If so, will you be re-ripping all your CD's if you decide to add/switch to accPlus stream(s)? I don't think there would be much benefit in transcoding from one lossy format to another, at least not with 128k MP3 as the source. A lot of work to re-rip, I know, but I think your listeners would thank you. Especially those that miss Vorbis for it's great quality. I know I would. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:30 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


reripping all CDs?

I ripped my complete CD collection of roughly 75 CDs to AAC and that took me one and a half day. We have almost 2000 CDs at SST.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:05 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


75 CD's and one and a half day equals 50 CDs per day... with 2000 CDs at SST that comes to 40 days of continous ripping. Deffinately doable, but will of course take some time. But if one would start now with 5-10 CDs a day, they would all be ripped within a year... of course if the available harddrive space allows it.
I'd deffinately be willing to help with the ripping by ripping the CDs I have that are also in the SST library. I'm betting a lot of other people would be willing to do that as well Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:45 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Yes, we are extremely interested in aacPlus. I’ve been lightly lobbying for Live365 to take the plunge too.

This would not require re-ripping all the CDs. It is true that our source files are 128k but they're ~95% WMA and ~5% MP3. WMA offers greater reliability for us in SAM, only has one version of ID tags to keep track of, and is slightly better in sound quality than MP3. SAM decodes these files, then like you said, encodes them on the fly based on what encoder you choose. Right now that's MP3, mp3PRO, Ogg, and WMA. I can't wait to see aacPlus in the list! Most likely we would go 48k for “Hi” and 24k for “Lo”.

It is true we're going from one lossy format to another, but this is a radio station not a source for recording your personal music archives. Whether it’s 128k MP3, 96k WMA, 64k mp3PRO, 64k Ogg, or 48k aacPlus, you’re really not going to notice any difference. I’d challenge anyone to a “taste test” to back up my claim.

Of course aacPlus would be the best solution for us because of the lower bandwidth consumption as well as more player compatibility. If and when it’s available in SAM we will have to re-evaluate everything, including Live365.

If I were to re-rip everything I would do it all in WMA Lossless. The problem there is I would need a hard disk drive in excess of 1 Terabyte. Heh, maybe that day will come before aacPlus in SAM. Re-ripping wouldn’t be such a big ordeal either. Of course anything new would be encoded into WMA Lossless and I would just take my time doing all the stuff already in the playlist. The whole process would be transparent and you probably won’t even notice a difference in sound quality like I said above.

I haven't heard anything from SpacialAudio about aacPlus even after the conference they had. I missed the conference because I was in the middle of moving. It was pretty bad timing. A beta version of SAM was just released but no aacPlus. So, we’re still frustratingly waiting. Thanks for the interest.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:35 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Just so you know, I'm not the least bit interested in a source to record from. My entire CD collection is in Monkey's Audio actually, and the only time I ever touch lossy is when I transcode to Vorbis for my Rio Karma. It's just that once this station went to MP3Pro, I couldn't listen anymore. Vorbis was excellent when you used it though. I've been waiting for the day we see ACCplus take the throne away from MP3 since the former sounds so much better to my ears. Still noticeably lossy, but better none the less.

Regarding listening tests, here is a good link:

http://www.rjamorim.com/test/

I think they have a new 64k test up and coming but are waiting for some developments, such as AAC VBR in iTunes and ACCplus v2 in Nero. Speaking of which, I recently learned that ACCplus v2 for Nero is currently going through heavy internal testing and should be released soon, if anyone is interested.

For what it's worth, WMA has never been considered a very good lossy codec quality-wise. Hyrdorgenaudio.org is a better forum to discuss such things though, which is where you'll find a number of codec developers hanging out (LAME, Nero, Wavpack, FLAC to name a few). Lossless would be a good choice, but like you said takes a lot of space. One option would be to use a hyprid codec, like Wavpack in lossy mode, say around 384k. Wavpack lossy does not apply phycho-acoustic modeling, and is more like a lossy version of zip actually. 384k would be more than enough quality to transcode to any format from. Optimfrog is another similar codec. At 384k I doubt no one, no matter how good their equipment or ears are, could tell the difference between it and lossless. Anyways, the point is that transcoding from one lossy phycho-acoustic based codec to another often introduces nasty compression artifacts, which is really the only reason I mentioned redoing the collection at all. I would certainly be willing to help out if you have a place to upload. I'm sure many members would be willing actually if it meant better quality audio.

Good luck, and I hope Spacial gets off their keesters and introduces AACplus v2 soon. We've waited almost a year so far, I suppose a little longer won't hurt lol. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:30 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I found out aacPlus v2 should be launched in Q4 2005.

The problem with SAM is it can only decode MP3, WAV, CDA, OGG, WMA. FLAC, Monkey or Musepack would be nice. I'm willing to re-rip the whole library once SAM supports a lossless compression that which the average bitrate is under ~350k. Only then will it be worth the effort.

I'm sorry 64k mp3PRO is unacceptable quality for radio listening to you.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:27 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Excellent news about SAM. That is going to make a LOT of people happy, both listeners and broadcasters. I look forward to being able to listen again, and becoms a regular Paypal contributer. Please don't feel bad though. MP3pro has it's uses, but orchestral stuff just isn't one of those things that compesses very well, and transcoding just makes things worse. It's partly my fault. I've been training myself to ABX codec for transparency and that tends to make one more inclined to hear artifacts. It's why all my music is lossless only now lol.

It's odd that SAM can't decode FLAC considering it's open source, multi-platform, and easily the most popular lossless codec these days. I'm sure Josh would be happy to help Spacial implement it for their users if asked. I don't think Musepack would ever make it in though since there has always been some uncertainty about it's licenses (being MPEG layer 2 based I believe). The best source for streaming to ACCplus in my opinion would be lossless, then Wavpack or Optimfrog lossy at around 384k, then probably Musepack since it's a transform codec and should handle being transcoded not too badly. The rest all use psycho-acoustic modeling. I would guess OGG Vorbis at -q7 (about 224k nominal) might be ok to transcode from, but definitely not MP3 or (especially) WMA (unless it was lossless that is). Beta 4 of the aoTuV Vorbis encoder is considered very excellently tuned, and a lot of folks over at HA.org are hoping Monty makes it part of the official Vorbis code.

Take care, and God bless! This station is easily the best on the internet! Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:17 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Just got my hands on Winamp 5.1 Surround Edition which now has a Coding Technnologies based aacPlus v2 encoder. It supports 8k to 128k, at either 32kHz or 44.1 kHz (mono, dual channel, *parametric stereo*, stereo independant, and stereo). I just ripped some movie music to 48k 44.1kHZ parametric stereo and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Way better than 64k mp3pro without a doubt. You all may want to play around with it yourselves just for fun. Wink

PS: Note that Winamp doesn't display AAC file info properly, and I'm not 100% if it's playing back right either. Might have something to do with the Thompson mp3pro plugin perhap, I'm not entirely sure. Files do display and play properly in foobar 0.8.3 though, with the foo_input_std.dll I linked to at Hydrogen Audio in an earlier post in this thread.

Edit: Looks like Winamp 5.1 was officially released this evening. Free version includes the accPlus v2 encoder, and ripping has been upped from 2x to 8x (48x in the paid version). Someone made a command line encoding tool that makes use the new Winamp components, but it doesn't work for me unfortunately. If your reading this and interested, see this thread:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=36772
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:49 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks for the update. Will check it out!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:55 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


JERIC wrote:
Thanks for the update. Will check it out!

No problem at all. Hopefully I'm not being annoying. I'm just enthusiastic is all, heh. Wink

Got another exciting aacPlusv2 update (tests, and info involvoling the soon to be released Nero implementaion of aacPlusv2):

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=36868&st=25

Now to find out what that hub-bub was about regarding satellite radio up here in Canada. Finally starting to think something like XM up here would be cool to get, and I've been looking for a good reason to buy a new car stereo, hehe. Especially since the wife does a lot of travelling and would probably not be opposed to me spending the money lol. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:35 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Any progress on this? The MP3-Pro 64kbit just does not do justice to symphonic soundtracks.
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