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Old 25th January 2004, 17:13   #181  |  Link
bond
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rjamorim already has plans for a new aac test

but now the important test is mp3 at 128kbps
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Old 25th January 2004, 23:48   #182  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sirber
AAC range is from 64 to 320kbps, RA8 (cook) is from 16 to 96kbps. AAC is surely better than cook for CD ripping, since you can choose 192kbps.
This was what I thought based on a previously published table showing the different levels of quality. However, it's confusing given the following quotes:

"RealAudio 10 incorporates the standards-based and widely used MPEG-4 AAC codec at bitrates over 128 kbps."

"RealAudio 10 incorporates the RealAudio codec for bitrates less than 128 kbps and is renowned for delivering near CD audio quality at 64 kbps."

Source: https://www.helixcommunity.org/realcodecs/

"For low to mid bit rate files (< 128 Kbps), RealAudio 10 deploys the advanced audio compression techniques that have made Real the worldwide leader in streaming media technologies and content delivery. "

"At higher bit rates (> 128 Kbps - typically suited for download or high bandwidth networks), RealAudio 10 incorporates the MPEG-4 AAC codec."

"AAC codec support at bitrates over 128 kbs means that music encoded can reach the many devices that support AAC..."

Source: http://www.realnetworks.com/products...realaudio.html

All of these quotes seem to imply AAC doesn't come into play until rates over 128. At 128 or lower, it's Cook. What gives?

Given the overlap (64 to 96), what am I using when I select 96kps in RealPlayer as the CD rip quality? Cook or AAC? I would love if the documentation discussed some of these issues.

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About RV10 vs DivX, it's all about taste. I encode mostly animes, and with RV10 I can get 60% smaller files without big quality loss.
Hmmm, interesting... I've been using Dr. DivX to encode my Simpsons DVD sets to HD. Can you recommend a good HOWTO for ripping DVDs to RealVideo? I am assuming you can't give Real Producer as VOB file as a source.
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Old 26th January 2004, 01:19   #183  |  Link
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You can't give VOB to any apps, it all go through AVISynth.

Cook: 5kbps - 96kbps
AAC: 64kbps - 320kbps
HE-AAC: 64kbps - 128kbps

Youcan use whatever codec you want.
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Old 26th January 2004, 03:28   #184  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sirber
You can't give VOB to any apps, it all go through AVISynth.
Dr. DivX can process unencrypted VOB files. I thought Real Producer or another RealVideo tool might be able too.

Quote:
Cook: 5kbps - 96kbps
AAC: 64kbps - 320kbps
HE-AAC: 64kbps - 128kbps

Youcan use whatever codec you want.
In RealPlayer 10, there are no distinctions. There are bitrates under "RealAudio" format and _one_ of the options is 96 Kbps. Given your chart above, how do I know which CODEC is being used? Cook, AAC, HE-AAC? They all support 96 Kbps. This is probably more obvious if using the CLI encoder, but not so obvious with RealPlayer 10.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 26th January 2004, 03:45   #185  |  Link
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I don,t know about Dr DIVX, but if your VOB is playable by DirectShow, procuder can handle them. About "Real Producer GUI", not RealPlayer, I can't tell since I only use my own encoding tools
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Old 26th January 2004, 03:45   #186  |  Link
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hello kamiller42, thanks for your interest.

Your question about MPEG-2 as input to Producer is answered in the main sticky RV9 Info thread, section "Supported input formats to producer"

I understand you are confused about which codecs are used in RealPlayer 10 when ripping to "RealAudio 10". It is not easy to know. Unfortunately for advanced users of RealPlayer 10, design decisions are made mainly for the main intended target audience for RealPlayer 10, who are perhaps not that advanced, and one is worried they would be more confused by "complicated codec choices" ... Uuhm. Also see the FAQ in this thread, section "Why is not HE-AAC encoding supported in RealProducer, or why does not RealPlayer 10 rip music to HE-AAC at 96 kbps and below?" and "Which file format is AAC wrapped in when encoded in Producer or ripped in RealPlayer 10?"
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Old 26th January 2004, 10:50   #187  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by kamiller42
"RealAudio 10 incorporates the RealAudio codec for bitrates less than 128 kbps and is renowned for delivering near CD audio quality at 64 kbps."
well thats simply marketing! you will surely not get cd quality at 64kbps!
do you believe everything the ads tell you?

once again he-aac (and vorbis) beats the hell out of ra8 (or wma9) if it comes to 64kbps as proven independantly here

Quote:
"For low to mid bit rate files (< 128 Kbps), RealAudio 10 deploys the advanced audio compression techniques that have made Real the worldwide leader in streaming media technologies and content delivery. "
"At higher bit rates (> 128 Kbps - typically suited for download or high bandwidth networks), RealAudio 10 incorporates the MPEG-4 AAC codec."
well i guess this already answers your question about: "what am I using when I select 96kps in RealPlayer as the CD rip quality"?
you will use cook (ra8)

if you want to use 96kbps and realplayer isnt able to output aac at that bitrate, simply use another aac encoder (ie quicktime or nero), which are more compliant to exisiting hardware players anyways as they output .mp4 files (whereas realplayer outputs .ra which i doubt is supported by ipod for example)

Quote:
I've been using Dr. DivX to encode my Simpsons DVD sets to HD. Can you recommend a good HOWTO for ripping DVDs to RealVideo? I am assuming you can't give Real Producer as VOB file as a source
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Last edited by bond; 26th January 2004 at 10:54.
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Old 26th January 2004, 13:15   #188  |  Link
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Well I'm a bit confused now (which isn't difficult)!

I followed your link and found this: -

Supported input formats to producer
Producer's native input format is I420, but it accepts YV12 and most uncompressed YUV formats with minimal color conversions. Also, since Producer reads files via DirectShow in Windows, it can transcode any format you can play back with a DirectShow player. This means you can directly encode .MPG, .WMV, .ASF, .MKV, .D2V, .AC3, .AVI (uncompressed, compressed, XviD, DivX), .AVS (of course), and even .VOB files, as long as you have the DirectShow filters installed such that the files are playable in your DS media player of choice. You can even transcode RM files, if you have the RealMediaSplitter installed.


Previously with Helix Producer 9, I used to have to install Elecards Mpeg2 player (as well as AC3 filter) in order for Producer to 'see' .vob files in all their glory!

Has this really been superseded by simply installing the RealMediaSplitter 1.0.0.9?

Cheers
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Old 26th January 2004, 13:53   #189  |  Link
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nope, a splitter isn't a codec
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Old 26th January 2004, 17:02   #190  |  Link
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Quote:
Has this really been superseded by simply installing the RealMediaSplitter 1.0.0.9?
You can even transcode RM files, if you have the RealMediaSplitter installed.

RealMediaSplitter adds the ability to have Producer read RM files. It does not assist in reading MPEG-2.
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Old 27th January 2004, 07:28   #191  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by karl_lillevold
hello kamiller42, thanks for your interest.

Your question about MPEG-2 as input to Producer is answered in the main sticky RV9 Info thread, section "Supported input formats to producer"
Good to see I can feed VOB files to Real Producer. I didn't have much luck in the past. I will have to give the new version a spin.

Quote:
I understand you are confused about which codecs are used in RealPlayer 10 when ripping to "RealAudio 10". It is not easy to know. Unfortunately for advanced users, design decisions are made mainly for the main intended target audience for RealPlayer 10, who are perhaps not that advanced, and one is worried they would be more confused by "complicated codec choices" ... Uuhm.
I guess I am one of those not so advanced. That's ok. I can eat a piece of humble pie with the best of them.

Let me see if I can summarize what the FAQ and thread says about RealPlayer.

1. HE-AAC is a higher quality format than AAC.
2. AAC is a higher quality format than RA8, otherwise known as Cook.
3. Real Network nor Helix wrote the AAC or HE-AAC codec. It's good nonetheless.
4. You cannot rip to HE-AAC at any rate now or when it's gold.
5. You can rip to AAC at bitrates 128kbps and above.
6. AAC files are ripped as .ra files.
7. On Gold release, AAC files will rip to .aac files. (What does this mean for AAC files ripped .ra in the beta?)

Did I get it right? Please correct or expand on these points.
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Old 27th January 2004, 07:50   #192  |  Link
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@kamiller42: I apologize for any un-intended categorization. I only meant to speak of how the RealPlayer 10 UI is in some cases simplified so much that it is hard to use when one wants to fine-tune settings and make codec choices. Since you want to know exactly which codec and format to use, you are clearly one of the advanced users of RealPlayer 10 Then the simple menu is hard to understand, since it lists only RealAudio 10. Coming up with a UI that's user-friendly and understandable for everyone is pretty hard. Perhaps a check-box for "advanced" should be added, opening up all sorts of options, like detailed codec choices, encoder complexity, Volume Control preference, etc.

1) HE-AAC is just an addition to AAC, increasing the quality at 96 kbps and below, by adding so called SBR information. It is like MP3Pro, also invented by Coding Technologies, who later came up with AACPlus, now called HE-AAC.
2) cook does not scale above 96 kbps. AAC first starts to behave really well at 128 kbps. Which is better at 96 kbps and below probably depends on the listener. This listening test shows that AAC and cook got almost the same overall score at 64 kbps, while HE-AAC got the best score by far. Of course, your own ears should be the final judge.
3) absolutely
4) nope not now, but I can not speak for Gold.
5) yes
6) yes
7) Could be .m4a, could be .aac, most likely not .ra. Time will tell.

Thanks!
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Old 29th January 2004, 20:39   #193  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by karl_lillevold
@kamiller42: I only meant to speak of how the RealPlayer 10 UI is in some cases simplified so much that it is hard to use when one wants to fine-tune settings and make codec choices.
Now there's a statement which hits the nail right on the head.

Quote:
Since you want to know exactly which codec and format to use, you are clearly one of the advanced users of RealPlayer 10 Then the simple menu is hard to understand, since it lists only RealAudio 10.
Since you raised the issue of the user interface, what happened to the handy hypertext navigating RealOne Player had? I loved that thing. When you keep navigating down into your library, like all the way down to a song, you could click one of the "bread crumb" hyperlinks just above the list view to get yourself back to whatever upper level you like. Maybe something else replaced it, and I don't see it.

Quote:
Coming up with a UI that's user-friendly and understandable for everyone is pretty hard. Perhaps a check-box for "advanced" should be added, opening up all sorts of options, like detailed codec choices, encoder complexity, Volume Control preference, etc.
That sounds like a great idea.

Quote:
1) HE-AAC is just an addition to AAC, increasing the quality at 96 kbps and below, by adding so called SBR information. It is like MP3Pro, also invented by Coding Technologies, who later came up with AACPlus, now called HE-AAC.
So HE-AAC excels at 96kbps and below, whereas AAC is best above 96. Hmm, so if HE-AAC is used by the RealPlayer 10 Gold for bitrates below 128, that doesn't leave much room for Cook. I guess Real Networks has an invested interest in keeping Cook around, and therefore, will probably not use HE-AAC to cut into Cook's turf. We'll see when Gold comes out.

Quote:
2) cook does not scale above 96 kbps. AAC first starts to behave really well at 128 kbps. Which is better at 96 kbps and below probably depends on the listener. This listening test shows that AAC and cook got almost the same overall score at 64 kbps, while HE-AAC got the best score by far. Of course, your own ears should be the final judge.
If I'm reading the test correctly, the scores are based on an average of votes from contributing listeners. It seems tht would be susceptible to bias by fanboys. There are people who will say mp3 is superior to all no matter what. Ditto for RealAudio, etc., but I think the population of MP3 users heavily weighs bias to MP3's side.

Quote:
4) nope not now, but I can not speak for Gold.
Now I hope it will.
Quote:
7) Could be .m4a, could be .aac, most likely not .ra. Time will tell.
Speaking of time, what's the target date for gold?

The reason why all of this is important to me is because I've been using Real for music and recently video management since RealJukebox 1.0. I've purchased every version since. I've maintained my CD collection as a digital archive. I'm ready to refresh my digital audio library and am trying to determine which format should be my next high quality, compressed format. I would do lossless, but it takes too space.

I was going to start using RealAudio @ 192kbs, which gives me AAC. Should I wait to see if HE-AAC comes out with Gold? It would seem better to use HE-AAC @ 96kbps than AAC @ 192kbps if the quality is comparable. Am I oversimplying?
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Old 29th January 2004, 21:06   #194  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by kamiller42

If I'm reading the test correctly, the scores are based on an average of votes from contributing listeners. It seems tht would be susceptible to bias by fanboys. There are people who will say mp3 is superior to all no matter what. Ditto for RealAudio, etc., but I think the population of MP3 users heavily weighs bias to MP3's side.
If you had also read
this, you had noticed that the listening test was done using a program called abc/hr using which the users don't know which sample they are rating. I know this stuff. I was one of the participants.

Quote:
I was going to start using RealAudio @ 192kbs, which gives me AAC. Should I wait to see if HE-AAC comes out with Gold? It would seem better to use HE-AAC @ 96kbps than AAC @ 192kbps if the quality is comparable. Am I oversimplying?
The quality isn't comparable. It is possible to distinguish the 96 kbps HE-AAC sample from original by most people. The 192 kbps version is better. If you don't believe me, test it yourself using abx-method.

Ps. If you want to test your own hearing, take part in the MP3 at 128 kbps test
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Old 30th January 2004, 10:44   #195  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by kamiller42
If I'm reading the test correctly, the scores are based on an average of votes from contributing listeners. It seems tht would be susceptible to bias by fanboys. There are people who will say mp3 is superior to all no matter what. Ditto for RealAudio, etc., but I think the population of MP3 users heavily weighs bias to MP3's side.
before claiming that the test could be biased better read how it was done

it is a so called double blind listening test meaning the listener doesnt know which codec he listens to atm, he only has uncompressed .wavs on his hd not knowing which codec was used to create each file
the next thing is he doesnt know which sample is the encoded one and which one is the original source wav

all in all i dont see how you can bias this test
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Old 31st January 2004, 19:44   #196  |  Link
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kamiller42:

Quote:
Since you raised the issue of the user interface, what happened to the handy hypertext navigating RealOne Player had? When you keep navigating down into your library, like all the way down to a song, you could click one of the "bread crumb" hyperlinks just above the list view to get yourself back to whatever upper level you like.
I don't have a system with RealOne V2, so I am not 100% sure I remember this feature. However, it seems in RealPlayer 10, you have both hyperlinks and pulldown-menus to navigate back up the library tree. See this snapshot:



Quote:
So HE-AAC excels at 96kbps and below, whereas AAC is best above 96. Hmm, so if HE-AAC is used by the RealPlayer 10 Gold for bitrates below 128, that doesn't leave much room for Cook. I guess Real Networks has an invested interest in keeping Cook around, and therefore, will probably not use HE-AAC to cut into Cook's turf. We'll see when Gold comes out.
We support RealAudio on many devices now, especially in the mobile space, where Cooke himself and his colleague have optimized the cook decoder to run faster and with a smaller memory footprint than their fixed point MP3 decoder, which is already the world's fastest ARM implementation. AAC on the other hand is a more complex decoder, especially if you include all its advanced features. Add HE- on top of that, and you have something that is very hard to get to run on small devices. Besides of course, the cost associated with obtaining fixed point implementations and licensing the IP for HE-AAC. This is why HE-AAC has its drawbacks even though it sounds great at low bitrates.

Quote:
I was going to start using RealAudio @ 192kbs, which gives me AAC. Should I wait to see if HE-AAC comes out with Gold? It would seem better to use HE-AAC @ 96kbps than AAC @ 192kbps if the quality is comparable.
I would recommend AAC at 192 kbps, which I think there is wide agreement is very close to transparancy, and sounds better than HE-AAC at 96 kbps. This will play fine on devices that support AAC. I know of the iPod right now, others are probably soon arriving. Since RealPlayer 10 currently rips to .ra, you will have to go through some trans-muxing steps to convert to a device friendly format, until RealPlayer 10 Gold ships. See my FAQ in the first post.

Personally I ripped all my CDs to an early version of MP3 at 128 kbps many years ago, and have been happy with that for general computer playback. However, with practice from listening tests, for instance on hydrogenaudio, but mostly the use good headphones and a high quality DAC, I felt as if I learned a whole new world [yes, I am a video codec engineer, not audio]. I can now hear how many artifacts MP3 at 128 kbps has, and have started re-ripping all my old CDs to AAC at 192 kbps, assuming there will be widespread support for AAC in devices. Due to the reasons listed above, it will take more time until we see HE-AAC in devices.
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Old 31st January 2004, 19:52   #197  |  Link
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Amazing!

I still can't get over the idea of having AAC audio in an RM (or RMVB) container.

I wonder what other streams could be put in the container... Mpeg4 video perhaps?

Cheers
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Old 31st January 2004, 19:58   #198  |  Link
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Originally posted by karl_lillevold
AAC on the other hand is a more complex decoder, especially if you include all its advanced features. Add HE- on top of that, and you have something that is very hard to get to run on small devices.
well what i read aac was developed also having "small devices" in mind, ie nokia and siemens also had their hands in the development of aac if i am informed right
and there exist nokia mobile phones which support aac decoding already

and the 3gpp standard, which was designed especially for mobile phone use, has aac defined as its audio format...
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Old 31st January 2004, 20:06   #199  |  Link
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bond: true, but it is still a more complex decoder than MP3, by how much I do not know, perhaps not by much for baseline AAC. HE- though, is still very complex, I have been told.
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Old 31st January 2004, 20:10   #200  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by SeeMoreDigital
I wonder what other streams could be put in the container... Mpeg4 video perhaps?
Yes, MPEG-4 video would work fine. RealMedia is just another flexible container format, like MP4 or Matroska.
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