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posted by martyb on Thursday May 04 2017, @01:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the lets-party-like-its-1999 dept.

MP3 decoding was already free and got recently included in Fedora. But now, encoding is also free according to Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS: "On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated." The Wikipedia MP3 article confirms that.

So, do you still use an MP3 library or have you switched to another format or means of listening to music such as (spying built-in) streaming services?


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Snotnose on Thursday May 04 2017, @01:58AM (24 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday May 04 2017, @01:58AM (#504107)

    Some, jeez, 17 years ago I encoded my CDs with ogg. Couldn't find a player to support it.

    Some, jeez, 10 years ago got a huge hard drive and encoded my CDs with flac. Couldn't find a player to support it.

    Now, I just use MP3. Yeah, I can use flacsquish or somesuch to convert flac to MP3, but fark it. I just save everything as 320 VBS and burn stuff to a USB drive when I want to listen to it. I listen to most of my music either driving or riding my bike (phone playing MP3).

    --
    In this month in 1958 Project Snot was started. This has upset many people and is widely considered a bad idea.
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by epitaxial on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:25AM (18 children)

    by epitaxial (3165) on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:25AM (#504143)

    9 out of 10 people can't tell 192kbps mp3 from straight .wav files.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:31AM (16 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:31AM (#504147)

      Stop this nonsense. It depends on the type of music. If it's rich music with lots of harmonics and overtones, more of its details are removed when compressed, and the discrepancy becomes more noticeable.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:42AM (14 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:42AM (#504204)
        Stop this nonsense. Double blind ABX tests using various types of music have conclusively shown that just about no one can really tell the difference between a 256kbps MP3 and the original uncompressed music.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by KiloByte on Thursday May 04 2017, @06:37AM (13 children)

          by KiloByte (375) on Thursday May 04 2017, @06:37AM (#504221)

          Stop this nonsense. Double blind ABX tests using various types of music have conclusively shown that just about no one can really tell the difference between a 256kbps MP3 and the original uncompressed music.

          Stop this nonsense, even I, with my no-longer-young ears, on shitty gear, can ABX 320kbps MP3 on some specific samples, and there are people who on good gear can find passages they can ABX in an arbitrary long enough sample from certain genres of music (obviously, no one can do so for most of modern pop that's serfed (I refuse to call that "mastered") with 4 or less bits of dynamic range).

          No other popular music format (OGG, AAC, Opus) suffers from degenerate cases on real-world sound. Especially Opus is fully transparent for most people at 96kbps and for trained listeners on good gear in a quiet room at 128kbps.

          MP3 is a shit format that needs to die. Use Opus, screw the rest, although if you're stuck with a crap proprietary player, OGG and AAC are good enough.

          --
          Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Zyx Abacab on Thursday May 04 2017, @07:31AM (8 children)

            by Zyx Abacab (3701) on Thursday May 04 2017, @07:31AM (#504233)

            Two words: MP3 Sizzle.

            The clash of hi-hats, and the roar of applause, and the sound of rushing water are all hell to encode lossily. All sound rather close to noise—without actually being noise—and, as such, are very difficult to profile correctly in an encoder.

            MP3 just can't pull it off; and better formats, like Opus, have been able to for several years now.

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:08PM (7 children)

              by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:08PM (#504402)

              And since over 95% of people listen to their music collection on the go (car, gym, run, work), and on basic playback devices, it doesn't freaking matter...

              You can keep spouting nonsense about what perfect people with perfect hears in perfect listening situations might be able to distinguish, or just realize that most "music" and listening situations make every codec sound identical, but only MP3 is universally supported.
              Convenience over perfection, people ... Can't you learn from Apple's success?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:47PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:47PM (#504431)

                Nobody is talking about "perfection". And what the hell does Apple has got to do with anything here?

                Some of us care that lossy compression degrades audio quality, and we would like to strike a decent bargain between file size and audio quality.

                If you don't care, then be happy and kindly bug off.

                • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday May 04 2017, @06:01PM (5 children)

                  by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 04 2017, @06:01PM (#504445)

                  Did you read the first two posts of the thread, or was your Monster Oxygen-free-silver triple-shielded directional audio cable in the way?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:03PM (4 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:03PM (#504506)

                    Go learn something about information theory and signal processing. Maybe then you won't come across like an ignint knucklehead.

                    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:46PM (3 children)

                      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:46PM (#504549)

                      ... the god of irony is having a good day, as most of my screen real estate is code and debug for my real-time JPEG2000 decoder, including PSNR measurements.

                      When I point out that nitpicking about barely audible compression differences is absurd, because very few people could potentially notice in their daily listening (which cannot be contested), assuming that I don't know what I'm talking about is both an absurd jump, and a good reflection on your own narrow-minded approach to the question. Did I trigger you?

                      • (Score: 2) by Zyx Abacab on Friday May 05 2017, @03:54AM (2 children)

                        by Zyx Abacab (3701) on Friday May 05 2017, @03:54AM (#504667)

                        I hate to interrupt the bitch-slapping festival, but there is a lot of [coresv.net] actual [hydrogenaud.io] data [ietf.org] on this subject.

                        Opus - and several other modern codecs - perform measurably better than MP3, end of story. Even if MP3 is somehow "good enough", the alternatives are still demonstrably superior according to hard data.

                        And, of those alternatives, at least Opus and Vorbis are unencumbered by patents.

                        This is a technical discussion site, for god's sake. Shame on you both.

                        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday May 05 2017, @06:08AM (1 child)

                          by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 05 2017, @06:08AM (#504707)

                          Why shame on me?
                          up the thread:
                          epitaxial: 9 out of 10 people can't tell 192kbps mp3 from straight .wav files.
                          bob_super, concurring: most people are not listening in conditions where codec differences are noticeable.

                          Those docs you link: those curves are all pretty darn close at 192kHz and above. Thank you for supporting our point.

                          • (Score: 2) by Zyx Abacab on Saturday May 06 2017, @01:33AM

                            by Zyx Abacab (3701) on Saturday May 06 2017, @01:33AM (#505262)

                            The AC was certainly more belligerent, and said some nasty shit, that's true.

                            But saying things like:

                            [W]as your Monster Oxygen-free-silver triple-shielded directional audio cable in the way?

                            isn't exactly becoming of a constructive discussion, no matter how much of a jerk he or she may be.

                            Calling the AC narrow-minded—after he or she says that, if MP3 is good enough, you should be happy and not complain about what other people choose to do—is not called-for, either.

                            If I can hear compression artifacts in the sound of a hi-hat (or applause) on consumer-level equipment, in a double-blind test, having used the best-available MP3 encoders, then the format really does matter to me. Evidently it matters to AC too—whether or not we're in a 5% minority.

                            MP3 works for you, and that's great! If I don't dismiss your situation, will you do me the kindness of not dismissing mine?

                            [I]t doesn't freaking matter... [y]ou can keep spouting nonsense...

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:17AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:17AM (#504251)

            You sure about that? Because according to Opus developers themselves, beyond 128 Kbps there's almost no difference between codecs so an MP3 at 192Kbps should be indistinguishable from the original. See this graph [opus-codec.org].

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:38PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @05:38PM (#504420)

              Well, as always it depends on the quality of the encoder. "192 kbit/s" simply refers to file size, and is not a measure of encoding quality. A bad encoder can certainly produce poor-sounding results that take up lots of space.

            • (Score: 2) by KiloByte on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:02PM

              by KiloByte (375) on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:02PM (#504505)

              That's for typical non-"degenerate" passages rather than hard to encode pieces. Unfortunately, for MP3 a lot of cases it can't handle pop up in normal usage.

              --
              Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday May 05 2017, @12:18AM

              by kaszz (4211) on Friday May 05 2017, @12:18AM (#504608) Journal

              Jean-Michel Jarre have some music that won't encode right using mp3 joint-stereo at anything below 256 kbit/s. I think the Chronologie album is one of them. (no 4?)

      • (Score: 2) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:25AM

        by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @05:25AM (#506760) Journal

        Are you this guy: https://www.audioasylum.com/messages/pcaudio/119979/ [audioasylum.com]

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday May 05 2017, @03:47AM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Friday May 05 2017, @03:47AM (#504665) Homepage

      If you keep the lossless originals, you can reencode them as lossy compression algorithms improve. Remember how JPEG compression was optimized by 35% a few months ago? If that happens to MP3, I can reencode my music because I still have lossless versions. Sucks to be the guy that only saves MP3.

      You also need lossless versions if you want to mix them. I guess that's not relevant if you're a mindless consumer type.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by bzipitidoo on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:20AM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday May 04 2017, @08:20AM (#504238) Journal

    Microsoft tried to kill all other lossy compression methods for music. They couldn't destroy mp3 because it was too well known, but they had much better luck killing Ogg Vorbis. That's why it's crazy hard to find a music player in the US that supports Ogg Vorbis. Car radios also tend not to support Ogg Vorbis. You'll have better luck in Europe. But there are several ways around MS's attempt to ban all formats other than WMA/WMV.

    Get a music player that can run Rockbox. https://www.Rockbox.org [rockbox.org] . It's not too difficult to install.

    Another way is to buy a player that is sold in both Europe and America. Then, flash the device you bought in America with the European ROM. That worked for the Samsung Yepp.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Nerdfest on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:51AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday May 04 2017, @09:51AM (#504258)

      Very much second RockBox if you have an old MP3 player around that you still use. I have a couple of SanDisk players around that I use for exercising, etc, and RockBox not only adds support for more formats, better EQ options, ReplayGain, etc, but also reduces the startup time with a large from minutes to pretty much instantaneous. I think it's very cool that SanDisk also plays nice with RockBox. Of course, pretty much everyone uses smartphones now, but there are still spots where it's handy to have one of these tiny players.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04 2017, @03:43PM (#504354)

    If you could write your own software for the players, then you'd have OGG and FLAC support (even if that means less battery life while playing them).

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Thursday May 04 2017, @07:09PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday May 04 2017, @07:09PM (#504482) Homepage Journal

    I switched to Ogg fifteen or more years ago. Winamp played them. My new TV won't, but will play MP3s. It doesn't matter, I play music from the computer, ran through the stereo system.

    --
    mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
  • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Tuesday May 09 2017, @09:36AM

    by Wootery (2341) on Tuesday May 09 2017, @09:36AM (#506807)

    But OGG/Vorbis support is now widespread, no?

    And there are even better formats like Opus. With a good smartphone that shouldn't be a problem (if that's a practical choice of playback-device).