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ATRAC SP (Type-R) in 320 kbit/s group

First hardware audio codec - ATRAC1 SP (Type-R) has been just added to SE. Some of the reasons why:

  • For relatively long period of time MiniDisc and ATRAC SP were a standard of hi-fi digital recordings at home and in semi-professional area. 
  • The format still has substantial user base consisting mostly of demanding listeners.
  • Its perceived audio quality is well known, discussed and compared a lot with other formats.
  • Development of ATRAC stopped and now it could be considered as Latin among lossy audio compression schemes.

Taking all these into account ATRAC SP will be a perfect anchor point on SE quality scale, helping other ratings of upper end to be more meaningful. 

ATRAC SP is also a landmark in the history of SoundExpert. For the first time output signal for a codec was obtained during real-time recording-playback on hardware device - MD recorder. Usually real-time recordings have small time inconsistency, which is insignificant for most tasks of processing/listening but easily destroying difference signal - the core of SE artifacts amplification technology. Thanks to precise time warping procedure developed inside SE those time inconsistencies can be effectively corrected now with predefined accuracy. This special time-treatment opens SE for wider class of devices/technologies which now can be rated. Also for the first time test recordings for a codec were made outside SE by volunteers. The whole story is in two news articles:

  1. Call for ATRAC SP (Type-R) test recordings
  2. Analysis of submitted ATRAC SP (Type-R) recordings

As usually SE thanks several people who contributed their time and efforts to make all this possible. Lee Keywood for this codec proposal and invaluable help during development of time warping procedure. Numinos and Mike Rofone for making test recordings on their MD equipment. 

Now ATRAC SP is in the system along with a hundred other codecs. First reliable results are in two-three weeks depending on testers' activity. Participation is simple and easy as usually.

Cheers,
SE Team.

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