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MP3Pro Released

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the so-many-submissions dept.

Music 212

Andrew writes "An initial news story tweaked me to the fact that, "Thomson Multimedia and the Fraunhofer Institute, the two creators of the MP3 format, released a coder and decoder (codec) for the MP3pro format Thursday on the RCA.com Web site". It apparently achieves parity with the MS version 8 player. Their download on their web site is here (Windows only)." *yawn*

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212 comments

**yawn** ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149177)

I agree. So why post it?

Hardware support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149178)

More interesting will be watching if the manufacturers of mp3 portables switch over. Given the price of memory sticks and the low capacity most players have, this is a very appealing way to double storage for the cost burning a chip or two. If the Rio's do go MP3Pro it could have a serious effect on the longevity of standard mp3's.

Re:yawn? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149179)

Compressed 5.1 is called AC3, although the bitrate on a DVD is usually 448kbit/s which is a bit much to put in a divx rip...

It's also possible to put two mp3 or wma streams in a file, giving 4 channel audio.

And vorbis supports multiple channels.

Re:So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149180)

Ogg Vorbis is never going to become popular. For one, it has a really weird name. For another, people don't call it by it's file extension. For another, what IS it's file extension? .OV? People are used to three letter extensions. If it doesn't have a 3 letter extension, it's not gonna become widespread. Name one single format which has a two letter extension and is popular. And no, .GZ is not popular... it's only used by unix and linux guys... you don't find gzipped files on most websites. Change the name to something that's more normal and give it a 3 letter extension. I've got an idea... call it MP5. Then people will assume it's a newer version of MP3. I doubt that the company that makes the MP3 format could possibly get away with keeping people from using MP as a file extension in combination with any other letter or number.

Re:MP3 Pro... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149181)

Best luck with girls, they often know Tux or the BSD Deamon because they are cute, but not for what they represent.
Well, isn't that enlightened of you.

yawn? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149182)

We'll see whether or not the piracy groups adopt the new mp3 codec. If they do, then there's a good chance that the rest of us will. If not, we'll stick to mp3's at 160kbps and 44.1kHz.

Personally, I think it's likely LAME/mp3 will remain the standard for quite some time. Bandwidth and storage are cheap.

Which reminds me, when are we going to get a decent compressed surround-sound scheme? Compressing two channels is easy, I want 5.1 though, as will anyone who uses divx in the future.

Comparatively speaking... (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#149183)

Apparently OGG Vorbis V1.0 (released next month) is going to achieve near CD quality at the 80Kbit range - whereas MP3Pro gets there at 128. http://www.technologyreview.com/web/kiang/kiang061 401.asp

Re:and still... (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#149192)

Actually the latest versions of Ogg Vorbis are quite competative in quality per filesize, especially with variable bitrate.

FLAC? (1)

Nick Mitchell (1011) | more than 13 years ago | (#149193)

What about <a href=http://flac.sourceforge.net/>FLAC</a&gt ;? Lossless audio compression, that way I'm not beholden to the latest lossy compression fad, and get true CD quality. And, whenever I want to compress further, I can downsample to MP3, or whatever. XMMS plugin, it's got it all? Or am I missing something?

Re:What is quality? (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 13 years ago | (#149194)

Real state-of-the-art quality will never come from a compressed file

Of course it will. It just won't come from lossy compression schemes like MP3 and Ogg Vorbis.

Re:It won't be windows only for long (2)

Grue (3391) | more than 13 years ago | (#149196)

I think the bigger issue that most slashdoters are concerned about is that the mp3 codec is encumbered by Fraunhofer patents. It's not an open standard, but one that a company owns.

Josh

Yes, I really did mean slashdoters.. it's funny, laugh :)

Re:hmm.. (1)

don.g (6394) | more than 13 years ago | (#149201)

You'd lose quality. This may not be what you want.

But you're building the player yourself. It can handle whatever codecs you can lay your hands on. You can progressively re-rip all your CDs with Ogg Vorbis at 96kbps VBR while leaving the mp3s you don't have CDs of as MP3. Disk is cheap.

--

Re:So what? (1)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 13 years ago | (#149204)

it's like all those naysayers that say "Amiga" had such a "wonderful GUI", when only a small percentage played with it -- whatever

Superior technologies often lose. It's just a matter of marketing and timing. Remember Betamax? Where is it now?

Re:So what? (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 13 years ago | (#149216)

find I'm not really able to get excited about their claim that they're as good as the windoze AUdio 8 format.

It's amazing that you can brush this off so easily when it's apparent that you haven't even heard (or seen, for that matter) what the latest Windows Media formats can do. Try this link [microsoft.com] if you're at all interested in scoping out the competition (yes, I realize that's an MS press release, but it does have a few good links to examples of content encoded with the new versions). The quality of the streaming video is no less than astounding, and the audio is right up there with it. So while you may not be excited that MP3Pro is as good as the "windoze AUdio 8 format" (as you put it in your oh-so-leet way), you'd do well not to brush this off lightly, either.

Re:danger of audio format monopoly (2)

GauteL (29207) | more than 13 years ago | (#149225)

The problem is that even though you could do this digitally, with little loss (some due encoding twice), most people wouldn't.
They run windows, and can play all the .wma, so why bother encoding it in something else?
This would mean that the people that DO care about this, is a minority, and the amount of mp3s would diminish.

Re:Yes, I *can* brush this off. (2)

harmonica (29841) | more than 13 years ago | (#149226)

It's a hell of a lot better than the DCT approach we use in JPEG, and better even than the wavelet technique used in JPEG-2000, ...

Do you have anything to support this claim?

The long encoding time for fractal image compression alone makes it impossible for the method to be "a hell of a lot better".

Re:So what? (1)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 13 years ago | (#149228)

What about a four letter extension? .html
You'll find that it's quite popular.
But that's beside the point.

Most people don't look at file formats *at all* on Windows these days - they have pretty icons which shows them what the file type is.
But that's beside the point as well.

The Ogg file format extension is .OGG, and Ogg is a general packet based streaming file format. The Vorbis audio format is the first user of this system. So, in a way, .OGG files are intended to be competitors to QuickTime .MOV, which also encompasses a wide variety of codecs.

Re:Why it's so small and why you want to avoid it (1)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 13 years ago | (#149229)

You may want to hang on just a little longer, for the 1.0 release candidate -- they're just finished implementing all the features in the Vorbis 1 spec (cascading, etc.) which the beta4 decoder/encoder doesn't understand. beta4 Ogg Vorbis files will still be decoded fine, but 1.0 files may not play correctly under the beta4 decoder (but hey, that's why it's beta :).

This is good news - beta4 already compresses better than standard MP3, and 1.0 should only improve this.

Re:So what? (2)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 13 years ago | (#149230)

Asking the average teenager on the street anything and expecting them to tell you anything moderately intelligent is a triumph of hope over experience.

All a new file format needs to be successful is for the people that pirate movies and CDs to start using it. One of the triggers for the success of .mp3 was the warez scene, and the same could happen for .ogg.

The alternative route is for the file format to mysteriously become the default on the operating system that all these technically semi-literate people use (as Microsoft will be trying to do with .wma).

The real advantage of .ogg over *all* the other recent lossy perceptual encoders is that it has *no* patenting issues, *no* licensing issues, and has equal or better performance than the current market leader. All it needs now is for some people with a marketing budget to pick it up :)

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (3)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 13 years ago | (#149232)

The best Windows based ripper/encoder is CDex [n3.net] . It's small, light, fast, fully featured and free. Hard to think of a better combination of features (yes, it's also open source, but that's beside the point).

For Linux, use cdparanoia + lame or oggenc, or one of the many good frontends - Grip comes to mind. Additionally, the upcoming KDE 2.2's builtin audiocd IOSlave will allow you to rip CDs very easily (though not yet write them).

You 'gave up after 5 albums' - why? You can use the computer for other things while you're ripping a CD, you know :). Combine ripping and encoding, and it'll probably take about 30 minutes to fully process a CD, but there's no reason why this shouldn't go on in the background.

Re:What is quality? (3)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 13 years ago | (#149233)

The problem with MP3 isn't content protection -- the problem is the licensing. There is no need to pay to get a license to *decode* MP3, but there is to *encode*. Even if you write a free encoder, you are supposed to pay for a license.

Given this, and despite what they say on their website, Lame and all other free MP3 encoders are unlicensed, illegal software in the USA.

The only reason this hasn't been pursued by Fraunhofer is the bad press it would generate -- but never rely on a company not to change its mind. One parallel: GIF and the UNISYS patent.

How about portable Ogg-Vorbis players? (2)

Kieckerjan (38971) | more than 13 years ago | (#149236)

Don't you think that as long as there are no products like Creative Jukebox [creative.com] or the Rio players [riohome.com] that play Ogg-Vorbis files, this format is going to have a really tough time gaining wide-spread use? Why would I want to store my music in two formats: Ogg-Vorbis at home because its cool, and MP3 because it's the only way to listen to it on the road? (Sure the manufacturers all promise support of future audio-formats, but will these include Ogg-Vorbis?)
--

Re:Comparatively speaking... (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 13 years ago | (#149238)

As someone else pointed out, CDs have a lot more than 128Kbps. Both mp3 and OG achieve the lower bitrate by compression. If one compression format is better than another, then, I hate to tell you this, but you can get better quality at a lower bitrate.
--

So what? (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 13 years ago | (#149239)

So, what does this give us that MP3 doesn't? Better audio quality? (If it doesn't beat Ogg Vorbis at every bitrate, then why bother?) I find I'm not really able to get excited about their claim that they're as good as the windoze AUdio 8 format. -jcr

Yes, I *can* brush this off. (5)

jcr (53032) | more than 13 years ago | (#149241)

FYI, I've been involved in signal processing for a *long* time, (around 20 years now) and I certainly *will* brush off a proprietary encoding scheme in favor of an open one.

Here's an object lesson: look up fractal image compression, invented by Michael Barnsley in the 1980's. It's a hell of a lot better than the DCT approach we use in JPEG, and better even than the wavelet technique used in JPEG-2000, but since Barnsley apparently has NO business sense, (insisting that he MUST get paid each and every time someone uses his compressor) the only place you'll see fractal compression is in things like the MicroSquish Encarta encyclopedia, NOT saving us all about 40% of the bandwidth wasted on P0rn every day.

So, even if the MicroSquish audio compression format were significantly better than Vorbis (which it isn't, I've listened to them both), I'd still dismiss it out of hand.

-jcr

Re:Is the name "MP3" trademarked? (2)

smooc (59753) | more than 13 years ago | (#149244)

what about MP3Enterprise or MP3Datacenter...?

Re:What is quality? (4)

Bilestoad (60385) | more than 13 years ago | (#149246)

MP3 is not MP3 - you can make good ones and bad ones, and it's easier to make a bad one than a good one, especially if you use many of the commercial all-in-one ripper/encoders. r3mix.net [r3mix.net] (http://www.r3mix.net if you like cut & paste) has some very interesting analyses of various MP3 codecs, and a link to a series of tests conducted by German magazine C't involving 300 listeners. Bottom line is, at high-enough bitrates most people can't hear the difference between CD and MP3. Now imagine how often people will pick the difference

- in less than ideal listening conditions - like through a Soundblaster card, or even the best "PC Speakers"
- using better options with better encoders (like LAME [sulaco.org] ) (Fraunhofer "high quality" settings can be worse than "low quality"!)
- using the newer "Pro" standard

"But I can always tell the difference!"

Sure you can? Have you had someone prepare good MP3s for you and done a real blind test? Until then you only think you can tell. This is the point where fools stop reading - that is, "audiophiles" who think they know everything. As the Insanely Audiophile story showed, some people just like to spend money regardless of necessity.

"Ogg is better because..."

Great, choose it for your own recordings. The rest of the world, including me, will use what works everywhere - I won't be throwing away my mp3-only portable. I don't actually care how idealogically pure a codec is. Nobody says content protection is to come, only that it is possible. And even if it becomes possible that doesn't mean every MP3 (pro or otherwise) will become protected, only the ones you get from certain sources. If you're interested in creating copies of CDs you own, no problem. If you want to be a pirate, you're SOL and I have no sympathy. Enjoy your Ogg.

Once you accept the quality is there, you may as well make archival-quality MP3s of every CD you have and store those CDs somewhere where they won't take up so much space. Or, keep the CDs close by your CD player and enjoy great sound at work too.

Is the name "MP3" trademarked? (2)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 13 years ago | (#149247)

Is "MP3" trademarked? If not, the scope is there to use a confusingly similar name to refer to Ogg Vorbis. Something like "MP3Ultra", perhaps.

VQF (4)

psergiu (67614) | more than 13 years ago | (#149250)

Anyone remember VQF - the copyrighted and patented audio compression format that was supossed to bury MP3 ?

Nobody remembers it ?

I tought so...

--

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

TommyW (75753) | more than 13 years ago | (#149253)

D'oh! Yes, 30 Gbytes. Mea Culpa...
--
Too stupid to live.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 13 years ago | (#149258)

Oh man! 23 CDs times 6 minutes is 138 minutes. This could possibly waste 3 hours of your life with HARD WORK changing discs. I pity you! Your life is truly miserable.

- Steeltoe

Re:Yawn?? (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 13 years ago | (#149259)

If he didn't, you would read the story somewhere else and submit it to Slashdot. Or complain about it on another thread.

- Steeltoe

Re:Relevance for Free OS (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#149262)

MP3Pro files will work on all old MP3 players, just that the quality won't be as good as MP3Pro.
--

and still... (5)

bencc99 (100555) | more than 13 years ago | (#149263)

...it's horribly patent encumbered, and even more expensive than MP3 to license. At least we have Ogg Vorbis [vorbis.com] to make up for it. Sure, it may not be quite so small, but at least it's completely *free*, and storage isn't so much of an issue these days...

It won't be windows only for long (5)

JohnnyBolla (102737) | more than 13 years ago | (#149265)

So what if it's windows only right now? It's supposed to be half the size of regular mp3, if it's any good it will get adopted as a standard and the open source community will figure out a way to use it. People on this board are too quick to condemn progress because it's on the "wrong" platform. Progress is good, regardless of who it benefits.

silly name... (2)

SmasKenS (104811) | more than 13 years ago | (#149270)

Adding 'pro' to a name like that sounds really silly if you ask me, I cant think of many other cases at the moment but I know there are pleanty of such names... Im sure you all can name a few more...

multimedia is needed on desktop (1)

gaemon (106063) | more than 13 years ago | (#149272)


we should pay more attention to this kind of news. without sufficient multimedia formats available on linux, it will be very hard for linux to root on most users desktop. and we definitely won't want to have every linux distro to pay $7.50 per codec as license fees.

one solution would be to encourage everyone to use free (read: ogg) or more-or-less free formats (like mpeg 1 video, mpeg 1 audio layer 3 etc). once this area is saturated by proprietary formats it will be harder to revamp than usual software market.

Re:actually... you're a moron (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#149274)

Apparently you're a moron too, since you switched the two M-words...

Re:the two m's are supposed to be switched (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#149275)

Now if I were paranoid, I'd believe that the name was chosen specifically to make me look like a fool here...

Anyway, it's not really a play on words, it just sounds nonsensical.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

elgardo (117823) | more than 13 years ago | (#149278)

I'm sitting on about 8 Gigabytes, and still haven't ripped all my CDs yet. (Got about 350 CDs) And then they tell me "Oh, but you should be doing Ogg Vorbis" - sorry, but until there's Ogg-support in my video editing software, I am stuck with MP3. Not to mention, I didn't find any easy Windows software to decode Ogg - just encoding... what happens when I want to make that music mix for mah car?

Re:Comparatively speaking... (3)

Agthorr (135998) | more than 13 years ago | (#149285)

Sadly, you are incorrect. From the article: "An MP3pro file carries near CD-quality sound recorded at 64Kbps".

-- Agthorr

Re:and still... (2)

TomV (138637) | more than 13 years ago | (#149286)

The flipside of this for commercial vendors though is that Ogg Vorbis is horribly GPL encumbered

Actually, it's only slightly encumbered, rather than horribly so. To quote the xiph.org website:

The encoders, decoders, plugins, and tools at vorbis.com are under the GPL (GNU Public License) and the libraries are under the business-friendly BSD license.

I agree that under pure GPL, ogg would be a commercial non-starter, and therefore would probably never build up sufficient volume of encoded material to make an impact. But it looks like the Xiph team are way ahead of us here...

TomV

Sounds like crap! (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 13 years ago | (#149290)

I booted into windows so I could try this out. On the "demo" download you can't encode at a bitrate better than 64Kbps. I tried it and ... well, it sounded like a 96Kbps mp3--that is, like crap. There is no guarantee that this format's slim advantage at low bitrates will stay when the bitrate is something more reasonable like 192. Maybe dividing up the signal will introduce distortion that LAME can avoid.

If I wanted my MP3s to sound like shit I'd download them.

Re:What is quality? (1)

Woefdram (143784) | more than 13 years ago | (#149291)

It just won't come from lossy compression schemes like MP3 and Ogg Vorbis.

Ok, subtle difference :)You're right, if you would use an algorithm that would show no difference between a decompressed file and the original recording, you're talking state-of-the-art audio from a compressed file. I stand corrected :)

Re:What is quality? (2)

Woefdram (143784) | more than 13 years ago | (#149295)

Maybe they mean that Open Source stifles their profits...?

Yup. One more strong reason to go for open source :)

What is quality? (4)

Woefdram (143784) | more than 13 years ago | (#149296)

Real state-of-the-art quality will never come from a compressed file (see Insanely Audiophile [slashdot.org] here on /. yesterday). MP3 is not used for it's quality, but for its convenience: don't have to change CDs every hour, don't have to look them up, don't even have to go out and buy them. If you really want good quality, buy a decent audio installation and good CDs.

So I don't see huge benifits in MP3pro just because it's smaller and slightly better. I do however see a disadvantage: the content protection that is to come. That would take away a lot of its convenience. I'd say let's go for Ogg.

Re:Relevance for Free OS (2)

Refrag (145266) | more than 13 years ago | (#149297)

Actually, they said half of the MP3Pro stream would play on MP3 players. So, I think saying that the quality won't be as good is understating it. The quality will be piss-poor.

Ogg Vorbis ecoder 1.0 release candidate 1 (1.0rc1) (5)

Adam Bertil (159503) | more than 13 years ago | (#149299)

From the Ogg Vorbis [xiph.org] - www site.


---
Decoder 1.0 release candidate 1 (1.0rc1) scheduledfor June 17th, 2001

With good fortune, the fully completed 1.0 decoderwill be in CVS this weekend. This represents completion of the final decoding features missing in beta release 4 that are needed for 1.0. Specifically, this decoder release includes cascading, channel coupling, and sparse codebook support. Aside from bugfixes, no additional changes will be made to decoding through 1.0. This decoder implements all Vorbis 1.0 specification features.
---
:)
Keep up the good work Monty and the rest of the crew!

Re:silly name... (1)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 13 years ago | (#149301)


like CoolEdit Pro perhaps :)

One of the funniest named programs ever written must be DeluxePaint Pro or AutodeskAnimator Pro. Nowadays we have Omnipage Pro and PaintShop Pro.

Funny maybe it's a coincidence but all these have to do with multimedia of sorts.

cheers,
Ignace

Re:yawn? (2)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 13 years ago | (#149303)


Thanks I didn't know this one existed. But ehm.. activity: 0%, and only 3 developers.. not good.

Re:yawn? (3)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 13 years ago | (#149304)


Right, .wma is seldomly used, as mp3 has the obvious advantage of playing everywhere AND carrying the main trade sticker people are looking for. So all Fraunhofer institute could do (and what MS couldn't do) is to change the cargo under the label and hope everyone will update their codecs. This way, they are now getting the attention of RIAA etc. back, which means they're in business. Maybe. Atleast it gives them an edge again.

If someone writes a decent OggVorbis codec for windows' MP and others start dealing .ogg's I think Ogg Vorbis might stand a chance. If people get better compression for equal quality, they won't have to wonder why the hell they should swithc to a new format. In a sense because they won't switch alltogether, mp3 is just fine, but some people might very well be open to the notion of patent free software and music formats. After the Napster thing(tm), everybody is a bit educated in what free software and free music is all about, and Ogg Vorbis could very well cash in on that, but then I'm afraid it needs to deliver much faster, while people are making choicesin the post-Napster thing(tm). Anyway, that's a lot of IF's for Ogg Vorbis.

Cheers,
Ignace

Re:Comparatively speaking... (2)

asonthebadone (167531) | more than 13 years ago | (#149305)

Correct link here [technologyreview.com] .

Re:Why it's so small and why you want to avoid it (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#149307)

Why wait?

You can always listen later to what you encode now.

If 1.0 comes out just upgrade. It's backwards-
compatible.

Also, I was under the impression that any decoder
can decode files from any encoder, but I may have
been wrong.

--
GCP

Re:Why it's so small and why you want to avoid it (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#149308)

>But there is virtually nothing over 15 KHz on
>most music and many sound cards/speakers have
>rolled off response in that range, so we aren't
>missing much.

Thats true. Most (cheap) cards have a little
more distortion and less response in that range,
but it's still quite audible. Do a CD rip, make
a copy of the wav and pass it through a 15Khz
lowpass filter. Now listen to both in sucsession.
On most music it's quite easy to hear the
difference, although having your card connected
to your stereo helps a lot. It also depends on
the CD. Your more likely to hear difference
on DDD (digital recoding/mastering ) CD's than
on AAD (analog recording/mastering) CD's.

Now pass it through a 10Khz lowpass filter. No
matter what equipment you are using, it will
suck. That is the real quality MP3Pro brings you.
The range between 10-15Khz is just 'made up'.

(It's harder to store higher frequencies, hence
by cutting 33% of the frequency range they can
cut bandwidth in half)

--
GCP

Why it's so small and why you want to avoid it (5)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#149311)

If you like your records, MP3Pro is something to
stay away from.

It attains such a high compression by using a
technique of constructing the higher frequencies
by _guessing_ what the ones that the compression
left out where, based on the lower frequencies,
and amplifying the rest.

You could compare this to saying that a cassette
sounds just as good as a CD if you just use
Dobly B/C. Not.

MP3Pro is limited to 10Khz, and can replicate
the sounds up to 15Khz. A cd is 22Khz and the
human ear can go to 19Khz for a normal healty
person. This means that you LOSE over half
the spectrum. Sure, you may not notice it
immediately because of the 'guessing' and the
'replictation', but if will be gruesome when
compared to the original CD.

Face it, you can't do wonders AND stay compatible
with old mp3 players.

Sure, it's a nice trick for streaming if 64Kbps
is all you have, but it's not fundamentally
different from the old mp3 format and using an
exciter plugin. The utility is severly limited.

That said, just use Ogg. It works. Yes, I really
mean that. The sound quality is great, the tools
are stable enough (beta4), and plugins are available
for most importants apps.

All it's missing is an ACM plugin for Windows so
non-Ogg-aware can deal with it too. Not that there
are many left. All serious sound editing packages
have native support now. And yes, it's being worked
on.

--
GCP

Re:Comparatively speaking... (5)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#149312)

>CDs are sampled at 128Kbit

Err, hate to tell you this, but you're just plain wrong.

44100 samples/second x 16 bits/sample x 2 channels = 1411200 bits per second

CD's are sampled at 1378 Kbps.

MP3/OGG/WMA can get it down to 128Kbps because
of the compression.

--
GCP

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#149317)

Wow, 30 Mbytes? That must have taken you, what, 15 minutes to encode? Oh the humanity!!

ducks and runs for cover

Sorry, too easy a target to resist.

Damn.... (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#149318)

MP3pro.com is already taken

There goes my chance to create a massive "independent" distribution channel and lawsuit target for the RIAA. I never get to have any fun.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

ponxx (193567) | more than 13 years ago | (#149319)

I assume that should have been GBytes?!? Or are you really struggeling for HD space for those 5 or 6 songs you ripped!?

On a more serious note: If anyone had bothered to look at the format, it's compatible to MP3!!! No need to rip files again! Your new player still plays MP3s, and the old player even plays the new MP3s, though you obviously get slighly lower quality...

Re:So what? (2)

Arielholic (196983) | more than 13 years ago | (#149320)

I've never even heard of "Ogg Vorbis" (it's like all those naysayers that say "Amiga" had such a "wonderful GUI",

Ignorance is no excuse.

Re:What is quality? (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 13 years ago | (#149321)

Real state-of-the-art quality will never come from a compressed file

It's small wonder why the MiniDisc format never really took off in the USA. One of the big problems with the MiniDisc format is that it makes a LOT of assumptions on how to compress an audio file in order to fit 74 minutes of audio onto the very small MiniDisc magneto-optical disc, similar to what the MP3Pro format does in terms of audio compression. The result is considerable compromise in sound quality, especially on any piece of music with big dynamic range. (Besides, the rapid growth of CD-R/RW drives is another very good reason why MiniDisc isn't popular in the USA; why bother with a highly-compressed audio format when you can make discs that have pretty much the same audio quality as real CD's?)

Re:silly name... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149322)

Pentium Pro.... Was a heck of a processor, still use one and it runs like a charm.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149323)

Okay, I agree....I have a miserable life because in my free time I enjoy doing other things than waiting for a CD to get ripped. Instead sitting in the sun with a nice book, is of course a real waste of time.
Besides, I'm lazy.... :-)

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149324)

The reason I actually gave up is that when I started to encode (that is years ago...MP3 was very young), I only had L2ENC.EXE (Original Fraunhofer-IIS encoder) and some Adaptec tool for ripping (came with my SCSI card).
The ripping itself took ages under NT4 on a 4x SCSI CD-Rom. The CPU I had in that time (still have it) was a Pentium Pro 200 wwith 32Meg RAM, and encoding one song took up to 30 minutes (if not longer, and some Pink Floyd songs are extremely long). I automated the encoding with batch files, but the ripping still took too much time.

I know the tools are better now, but I just didn't know any good ones. I'll surely give a try to CDEx and cdparanoia. You know: desolation at first try can be quite a demotivator. Damnit, that explains why I never get women interested in me ;-)

MP3 Pro... (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149325)

Yep, what you describe is "brand recognition"....and to keep a certain market (if you can call compressed music a "market" of course *grin*) you need brand recognition. Nearly everyone from 12 to 45 knows what MP3 is. So actually, releasing something that is called MP3Pro, well...sound like the same thing, people will buy it.

To make my point, some days ago my sister came along to ask what to do with a WMA file. She plays MP3s all day, but WMA? What is WMA? (yes, I know what it is and I told her) The same would happen for OGG files, I'm sure. MP3Pro will be accepted for the name and not the merits.
Besides, brand recognition is something Mircosoft has a big advantage over Linux...ask you Joe Sixpack about Linux and he'll give you a strange look. (Best luck with girls, they often know Tux or the BSD Deamon because they are cute, but not for what they represent)

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149326)

Bah, you know very well that it is not the encoding that takes time. (tough, I tried it with the original Fraunhofer IIS encoder and that was sloooow) I have the most problems with ripping itself: That takes time due to changing disk, even at 10x it takes 6 minutes to rip one CD. I wanted to rip all my Pink Floyd CDs (I've got about 23) and I gave up after 5 albums.
Besides, anybody know a good free (GNU) ripper? If it works on both Win and Lin it's a plus. :-)

Playing the "wait and see for DRM" (1)

sasha328 (203458) | more than 13 years ago | (#149327)

From the article: Windows media files carry digital rights management (DRM) protections, preventing unauthorised copying. MP3 files do not, and neither do MP3pro files, for now.

Why is it always companies want to prevent us from *breaking teh law* by copying music. I personally do not copy music that I do not own on CD or tape; but how can they tell what I own on tape or CD, and so they will stop me doing what I want to do.

Great. I hope that "now" lasts for good.

Re:danger of audio format monopoly (2)

isorox (205688) | more than 13 years ago | (#149329)

better not play it out of an good quality analog port and record on another sound card as a wav, compressed to mp3

Re:Yawn?? (1)

TooTallFourThinking (206334) | more than 13 years ago | (#149331)

Yeah, I noticed that too. But I think there is a difference between what he finds interesting and what others will find interesting.

Plus, i think the *yawn* actually meant "Yeah, yeah. I've heard this all before. They released a 'better' mp3 format but its still closed source. When will this people ever learn. Go Sixers." I think... ;)

Re:Playing the "wait and see for DRM" (1)

boomi (207352) | more than 13 years ago | (#149333)

>Why is it always companies want to prevent us from *breaking teh law* by copying music.

Because the music industries don't want to release stuff that can be copied, look at CSS or SDMI.
Frauenhofer wants its codec as standard, so they have to provide a copy protection if asked.
Frauenhofer doesn't care if you are breaking the law.(as long as they get their license fee, of course)

Music copy protection will ALWAYS be cracked (you can do an analog ripp anyway) but this game is played nontheless.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

boomi (207352) | more than 13 years ago | (#149334)

> Besides, anybody know a good free (GNU) ripper?
Take grip (http://nostatic.org/grip/)
It uses cdparanoia, so you might get a headache about the ripping gettig slower again, but hey, your Pink Floyd won't skip :)

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

boomi (207352) | more than 13 years ago | (#149335)

>Not to mention, I didn't find any easy Windows software to decode Ogg

Dude, there's always the ogg-winamp plugin!

Re:yawn? (1)

boomi (207352) | more than 13 years ago | (#149336)

I don't think the piracy groups adopt it.
They starte with 192kb/s CBR with Frauenhofer and had no changes ever since.
You think they'll adopt a format which has the main advantage of "interpolating" the sound?

*Grrrrr* (1)

boogy nightmare (207669) | more than 13 years ago | (#149337)

Ok I got a shed load of MP3s floating around, I booted up the dusty box and DL'd this thing, at the moment you can only convert wav files..... talk about hanging out the carrot

You people can't see past your MP3 collection... (1)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 13 years ago | (#149338)

Yes, an MP3Pro format might not do much for all the songs you downloaded from Napster, but it can enable people to encode sound at better quality on portable devices, and reduce bandwith/improve quality on streaming music.

danger of audio format monopoly (2)

clarkie.mg (216696) | more than 13 years ago | (#149339)

On a related theme, microsoft is now trying to tie music to windows. In this wired story [wired.com] , it is explained that they trie to convince music publishers to release the music in their wma audio format. They also have a deal with upcoming music service from sony / universal.
Do you also feel that we'll soon have microsoft music ?
See also : http://www.strom.com/awards/210.html

Re:It won't be windows only for long (4)

kubla2000 (218039) | more than 13 years ago | (#149340)

Progress is good, regardless of who it benefits.

Surely you don't mean that.

There's a point to ethical business practices and consumer protection agencies. While I agree that business cannot and should not be over-regulated precisely because of the danger of stifling innovation, an attitude that defends progress inspite of who benefits from it is almost equally dangerous.

GM foods are one good example where innovation has been allowed to go unchecked with little thought of knock-on effect. Broader environmental issues are another good example. If it were not for a consideration of net benefit, we'd still have unrestricted nuclear testing.

This is a long way from MP3s, I'll give you that; however, part of the 'battle' being fought by the Open Source community is precisely to establish ethics in the computing industry. Why should we pay (with our time) to re-engineer an open standard to something which should have been made open in the first place? Why should we cow-tow to an organisation which is using its market dominance to entrench a set of standards that haven't been through the testing and innovation and imagination offered by the Open Source community?

As long as attitudes like the one you have flipped-off in your comments pervade the computing sector, we'll all be forced to 'make do' with shoddy / poorly designed and implemented products.

hmm.. (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 13 years ago | (#149344)

it didn't say,
but, does anyone think it is possible to rerip a 128kb Mp3 to become a 64kb Mp3pro file?
I am building a mp3player for my car, and this would save a ton of disk space.
And, do you think a p120 would play them ok?
or would they require too much power than that cand provide?

Re:It won't be windows only for long (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 13 years ago | (#149345)

Ironically it is an open standard - "Open" does mean things outside of "Open Source" and was being used long before it to describe exactly this kind of thing (which is why The Open Group gets away with calling itself that) - the algorithms are published for anyone to see, and anyone can put together an encoder or decoder for any purpose as long as they're willing to pay the licence fees, which for free decoders is $0.

Fraunhofer and Thompson can't afford to make it more controlled, if they were to do so the MPEG group would drop their standards, which would mean, effectively, that they'd fade into obscurity.

This is in stark contrast to MP3Pro's biggest rival, Microsoft's WMA family of codecs. If you can find the actual algorithm (as opposed to the techniques, published in their patents) published anywhere, I'd be enormously surprised. And if you did attempt to licence the codecs from Microsoft, they would be highly unlikely to let you use their technologies to produce a Linux/BSD/etc anything.

This is not to suggest that MP3/MP3Pro wouldn't be a whole lot better without the Fraunhofer patents for the free software and open source software communities, but Thompson and Fraunhofer aren't as closed as they're being made out to be.

They just want to be paid, and have chosen a method which doesn't help us very much.
--

ape is lossless compression (1)

discovercomics (246851) | more than 13 years ago | (#149346)

For Lossless Compression what about .ape from monkey's audio [monkeysaudio.com] .

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

Joe Hardy (_yoda) (252679) | more than 13 years ago | (#149349)

Exact Audio Copy (http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/ [exactaudiocopy.de] ) is the best ripper for Windows I've seen yet. Fast, accurate (lots of features for error detection and removal) and free (though not GNU unfortunately). CDDB support as well (though it would be nice if FreeDB support was implemented).

Re:yawn? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 13 years ago | (#149350)

If someone writes a decent OggVorbis codec for windows' MP

You mean like this [xiph.org] maybe?

Re:and still... (2)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 13 years ago | (#149352)

...[MP3Pro]'s horribly patent encumbered

The flipside of this for commercial vendors though is that Ogg Vorbis is horribly GPL encumbered. Namely they can't use it in a commercial product without either A) violating the GPL and using the code anyway, or B) GPLing their work where required by the GPL. They don't want the potential legal issues of "A", are uncomfortable with "B", and so they opt instead for "C" and pay a license fee to use proprietary code because that is the devil they know. It's because of Option #C that MP3 has mutated into MP3Pro; technology has moved on and there is a market for updated proprietary code licenses.

This seems to be the prevalent attitude of too many companies these days, they seem quite happy to pay big license fees and ste^H^H^H use BSD licensed code but not the GPL. All it all, it would seem that Richard Stallman et al have some GPL evangelising to go yet...

Relevance for Free OS (1)

imipak (254310) | more than 13 years ago | (#149353)

>(Windows only)." *yawn*

If all the Windows users switch to mp3Pro, there won't be much for you to listen to except what you rip yourself, will there? Which pretty much kills mp3, no?
--
"I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

Re:and still... (2)

imipak (254310) | more than 13 years ago | (#149354)

> storage isn't so much of an issue these days...

Mebbe not, but download time is. Some of us are still on dialup y'know, and the download costs add up pretty quickly.
--
"I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

Re:and still... (2)

imipak (254310) | more than 13 years ago | (#149355)

I never understood those things... why on earth would I want a portable mp3 player when I'm sitting in front a computer for > 12 hours a day?
--
"I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

Question (1)

voidLight (300985) | more than 13 years ago | (#149360)

if it's so easy to halve the file size ("An MP3pro recording uses two tracks, one like the old MP3 and another just for high-frequency sounds"), why don't they halve it now to 32kbs, and again have the edge over msft?

Re:So what? (3)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 13 years ago | (#149361)

  • If it doesn't beat Ogg Vorbis at every bitrate, then why bother

Remind me, where can I buy an Ogg Vorbis portable player? ;p

Re:It won't be windows only for long (3)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 13 years ago | (#149366)

It's supposed to be half the size of regular mp3

Supposed to, but aint'. Come one, this is known as marketing BS. This is akin to MS's claims that WMA acheives CD quality at 64kbits. Sure, on the couple of test sampels it sounded ok, though it was clearly o less quality than a CD, but give it anything hard and it choked. By the same token MPPro does not sound the same at half the size.

Only one person needs to do it (3)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 13 years ago | (#149367)

So suppose MS releases a whole album in WMA format. Joe D. Windowsuser downloads the whole thing, and digitally rerecords it and recompressess it as MP3, then puts it up on Gnutella. Now anyone who wants it in MP3 can get it and redistribute it. Soon (if it is an indemand album) it's all over the internet.

Re:Bleeding edge compatibility (1)

ikinaa (325882) | more than 13 years ago | (#149369)

Don't forget he's got to take the CD out of the Case and that's really a hard piece of work ;-)

Re:So what? (1)

slaida1 (412260) | more than 13 years ago | (#149371)

And if they noticed their MP3's taking up less room (perhaps after a download on the scale of Napster) they would be much happier.

I still see most of the mp3 files around are encoded using 128bps and CBR (Constant Bit Rate). If people could learn to encode with avg. bit rate of 112 or 96 with VBR (Variable Bit Rate) enabled, I'd bet they'd get smaller files and better quality most of the time. BTW, Lame [sourceforge.net] Enc does VBR and it's free!

Re:So what? (3)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#149380)

Compression formats mean absolutely *nothing*. Bitrate performance means absolutely *nothing*. If this was the case, WMA would have beat MP3 out more than a year ago.

The point in all of this is that if a new MP3 standard is raised, with mass media participation, it will supercede the previous MP3 standard and give better audio quality at a lower bandwidth cost to all. Try as I might, I've never even heard of "Ogg Vorbis" (it's like all those naysayers that say "Amiga" had such a "wonderful GUI", when only a small percentage played with it -- whatever), but if you asked the average teenager on the street, most would identify the term "MP3". And if they noticed their MP3's taking up less room (perhaps after a download on the scale of Napster) they would be much happier.

How about parallels to graphic formats? (1)

buglord (455997) | more than 13 years ago | (#149381)

Reading this, the .gif format comes to mind.

It's also patented and licensed - so what? File formats are just vehicles which are easily exchanged if they prove cumbersome.

I thought the content is important, but maybe that's just too idealistic

Windows Only - For a few days (2)

Thnurg (457568) | more than 13 years ago | (#149382)

OK, so Fraunhoffer / Thomson have released it as Windows only for now, but it's like the original MP3 in that decoding is free for non-commercial use.
I expect XMMS to include a plug-in for it within a week, and for T0rd to have bladeencPro written real soon now.

Quality? (1)

hrhansen (457847) | more than 13 years ago | (#149383)

Is it just me or does this mp3pro sound like crap?

I tried encoding some pieces of music, and it sounded even worse than normal 128kbps mp3. /me puts on a real CD instead...

Re:silly name... (1)

KransHopeson (458618) | more than 13 years ago | (#149384)

> Im sure you all can name a few more...

AGP Pro?

Re:What is quality? (2)

KransHopeson (458618) | more than 13 years ago | (#149385)

> I'd say let's go for Ogg.

I agree. Go for Ogg. Maybe it could get the same success in the compressed audio field that Apache has in the Web Server one.

Open Source is good, because you can see how the software works, if you want.

Microsofts claim that Open Source stifles innovation is ludicrous. Look at the success of Apache, PHP, MySQL... the list goes on and on.

Maybe they mean that Open Source stifles their profits...?
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