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News archives 2004-2003-2002-2001

2 Dec 2004
Because of scheduled software upgrades of the server, ratings could be unavailable for some time.

 

8 Dec 2003
Three new codecs were added to the system:

n6c (n6v) - MPEG-4 AAC High Efficiency (HE) from Ahead Nero Burning Rom 6.0.0.23
l3a - mp3 (ABR) from Lame 3.90.3
m8c (m8v) - mp3 from MUSICMATCH Jukebox 8.10.2017CJJ

Codec from QuickTime v6 Public Preview (qm4 - MPEG-4 AAC CBR Low Complexity) was removed. The use of this poor quality codec became senseless after the release of QuickTime 6.3.

 

18 Aug 2003
The bug was fixed (see previous news).

 

21 Jul 2003
After the new test files have been added to the system a bug was found, which makes impossible for SoundExpert participants to know whether their grades were accepted or not by the system. Nevertheless, the rating mechanism itself is working properly and all tester's grades are processed as usually. Unfortunately the bug could be fixed in a two weeks only. Sorry for some inconvenience.

 

18 Jul 2003
Four new codecs were added to the system:

a3c - ATRAC3 (Sony MD)
a3p - ATRAC3plus (Sony solid-state and CD Walkmans)
a1v - MPEG-4 AAC (VBR) Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom
q46 - MPEG-4 AAC for new QuikTime.

 

10 Feb 2003
New codecs have been added to the system:

m3v - mp3PRO (VBR) Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom
a1c - AAC (CBR) Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom
AAC (VBR) will join the competition as soon as the new update of Nero AAC plugin is released. Thank you all, who took part in discussion on this codecs and their settings.

 

3 Feb 2003
Now all nine SoundExpert reference test samples could be downloaded from THEORY section of the site (3Q of FAQ).

 

23 Jan 2003
mp3PRO (VBR) is supposed to be added to SoundExpert rating system soon. Suggested encoder settings are:

m3v - mp3PRO (VBR) by Fraunhofer IIS & Coding Technologies
CODER: mp3PRO Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom 5.5.10.0
- Encoding Quality - Highest
- Allow intensity stereo coding - yes
- Allow downmix - yes
- Padding - ISO
- Low (48.7), Medium (62.5), High (84.9), Highest (104.9) kbit/s - 44100 kHz Stereo
DECODER: THOMSON mp3PRO Audio Player Demo 1.1.0 (Build 0)

Your comments will be helpful.

 

22 Jan 2003
Ahead MPEG-4 AAC is supposed to be added to SoundExpert rating system soon. Suggested encoder settings are:

a1c - MPEG-4 AAC (CBR)
CODER: Ahead MPEG-4 AAC Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom 5.5.10.0
- Ahead audio RAW convertor (resampling plugin) - SINC, Quality 100
- Encoder quality - High
- AAC Profile - Low Complexity
- 32 (32.1) kbit/s - 16000 kHz Stereo, Enable PNS - Yes
- 64 (63.7) kbit/s - 32000 kHz Stereo, Enable PNS - No
- 96 (94.8) kbit/s - 32000 kHz Stereo, Enable PNS - No
DECODER: Ahead MPEG-4 AAC Decoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom 5.5.10.0

a1v - MPEG-4 AAC (VBR)
CODER: Ahead MPEG-4 AAC Encoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom 5.5.10.0
- Ahead audio RAW convertor (resampling plugin): SINC, Quality-100
- Encoder quality - High
- AAC Profile - Low Complexity
- Enable PNS - No
- Tape (79.9) kbit/s - 32000 kHz Stereo
- Streaming (104.9) kbit/s - 44100 kHz Stereo
DECODER: Ahead MPEG-4 AAC Decoder Plugin for Ahead Nero Burning Rom 5.5.10.0

Your criticism are wellcome.

 

14 Dec 2002
All test files are in ZIP format now, as it is more popular than RAR though less effective - each test file got approx. 700 Kb bigger. Hope this won't be a big problem for participants. All test files, partially downloaded before 14 Dec 2002 (.rar ones) can't be resumed anymore, please download .zip ones instead.

Now all testers can advertise at SoundExpert for free (all details inside test file).

 

30 Sep 2002
WMA 9 and OggVorbis 1.0 were added to the rating system.

 

25 Sep 2002
Windows Media Audio 9 is supposed to be added to SoundExpert rating system soon. Suggested encoder settings are:

w9c – Windows Media Audio 9 (CBR)
ENCODER: MS Windows Media Encoder v9.00.00.2799
- 32, 64, 96 kbit/s: 44100 Hz/16bit, 2-pass CBR
DECODER: MS Windows Media Encoder v9.00.00.2799

w9v - Windows Media Audio 9 (VBR)
ENCODER: MS Windows Media Encoder v9.00.00.2799
- (67.0) kbit/s: 44100 Hz/24bit, quality-based VBR – Q50
- (91.7) kbit/s: 44100 Hz/24bit, quality-based VBR – Q75
DECODER: MS Windows Media Encoder v9.00.00.2799

Your comments & criticism would be helpful.

 

20 Sep 2002
Not good news once again. OggVorbis test files will be replaced with the new ones for the second time. The settings, used for encoding testfiles, were not the most tuned and optimized for this encoder. New files will be encoded with the following settings:

og1 - OggVorbis audio format.
CODER: OggEnc v1.0 (libvorbis 1.0) (Quality controlled VBR)
- usage (35.7) kbit/s: oggenc -q -1 test.wav
- usage (62.6) kbit/s: oggenc -q 1 test.wav
- usage (103.1) kbit/s: oggenc -q 3 test.wav
DECODER: OggDec 1.0 from OggVorbis package.
- usage: oggdec test.ogg

If any comments, please, let me know. I thank all, who discussed this topic at various audio forums and in e-mails. I also apologize to all participants of SoundExpert testing and could only rely on your patience and understanding. In order to avoid such mistakes in future, all new codecs will be announced here beforehand.

 

27 Aug 2002
SoundExpert FAQ appeared in THEORY section. Algorithm of choosing test files was modified slightly to make distribution of test files more even.

 

30 July 2002
Three new codecs were added to the system: MPEG-4 Audio for QuikTime, PsyTEL(R) MPEG-4 AAC Encoder and long-awaited OggVorbis 1.0. Unfortunately, the previous test files of OggVorbis codec, which were under testing for some time (see 14 Mar 2002 news), were coded with another approach and having substantially lower FBR: (57.6) for 96 kbit/s and (54.5) for 64 kbit/s. What is more, the newly released version of OggVorbis codec has substantial increase in sound quality. Taking all this into account it was decided to remove old OggVorbis test files from the system along with adding new ones ("og1"-OggVorbis audio format. CODER: OggEnc 1.0), prepared in accordance with FBR approach.

 

14 Mar 2002
Lame 3.91 and OggVorbis 0.9 RC3 were added to the rating system.

 

10 Jan 2002
Testing period successfully finished - the rating mechanism is fully functional. New codecs (wma, mp3, mp3PRO, Liquid Audio, QDesign Music 2, RealAudio 8) were added to the system. Downloading mechanism was improved to support resume option.

 

19 Nov 2001
Launch of the project.

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