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Nando1970
2010-06-10, 04:21
Hello

I would love to setup a proper ABX test using Squeezebox players, but I couldn't find a dedicated plug-in.

My main goal is to verify if I can discriminate between MP3 V2, MP3 320, FLAC 16/44, FLAC 24/96 using my current hardware configurations:
1) Duet -> Harman Kardon AVR-255 -> Chario Syntar 200
2) Boom

Since the Squeezebox Server can serve different streams to multiple players it should be able to switch between different streams for the same player, especially if perfect synchronization between the different streams (playing the same track) is not strictly required.

Any suggestion?

ciao -- Nando

lrossouw
2010-06-11, 00:34
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=41808&highlight=abx+plugin

But it looks old. You may need to investigate if ti still works.

iPhone
2010-06-11, 06:39
Any suggestion?

ciao -- Nando

Suggestion, yes, don't waste your time! FLAC 24/96 is the best format out of the ones you have listed or any lossless format for that matter is better then MP3 anything. Hard drive space is cheap now so using lossy formats to save space/money doesn't make sense these days. So rip at the highest possible resolution and enjoy the music the way it was recorded and not how some lossy codec thinks you will not notice a difference.

lrossouw
2010-06-13, 20:31
Suggestion, yes, don't waste your time! FLAC 24/96 is the best format out of the ones you have listed or any lossless format for that matter is better then MP3 anything. Hard drive space is cheap now so using lossy formats to save space/money doesn't make sense these days. So rip at the highest possible resolution and enjoy the music the way it was recorded and not how some lossy codec thinks you will not notice a difference.


I'd agree with this. Go for FLAC. Lossless is the best choice for future options, even if you just rip to flac as a backup now and convert to mp3 for everyday use for compatability for itunes, mp3 players etc. It's a waste of time to rip to lossy formats as you'd probably end up wanting to rerip at some future date in any case.

wowo
2010-06-14, 01:13
Erland has made a long time ago a ABX-plugin for the Squeezebox. See my thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=68251&highlight=ABX and http://svn.slimdevices.com/repos/slim/7.4/trunk/contrib/plugins/ABTester/
It is fun to test by yourself but others have made similar tests for you.
By the way this plugin is a a very basic plugin.
The Foobar2000 plugin has much more possibilities but it runs on a Windows PC.

erland
2010-06-14, 12:33
Any suggestion?

As already said, make sure to rip to a lossless format, FLAC is good. This is a good idea even if you immediately afterwards convert them to MP3, the reason is that multiple conversions between lossy compressed format will make the music lose more quality than needed. If you keep the lossless copy you will always be able to create a good lossy copy in whatever format you need in the future. You never know what the future will bring, even if you can't hear the difference on the current equipment that might change in a year or two.

You don't want to end up having to re-rip your collection just because you want better quality later and wanted to save some GB of hard drive space. As many others I've been there and done that, it's not fun.

Regarding the AB Tester plugin:
- It was developed to make it possible to compare different DSP configurations for the Boom.
- It can be used to do a ABX test of different file formats, but you will have to edit some XML files manually, see link earlier in this thread.

However, as already said, you want to rip to lossless format to be safe for the future and this means that you will have good quality music stored somewhere. In this scenario it doesn't really make sense to feed the Squeezebox with anything else. It makes sense to convert the music for iPod's and other mobile devices where hard drive space is a limiting factor, but for a Squeezebox setup you should use lossless music if you have it.

drewe181
2010-06-14, 15:46
You don't want to end up having to re-rip your collection just because you want better quality later and wanted to save some GB of hard drive space. As many others I've been there and done that, it's not fun.



+1. It took me all of 10 seconds to notice the difference between FLAC and Mp3 when I first got my SB many moons ago, but took months to rerip 400-500 albums into FLAC.
Even switching between 24/96 on the Touch and the downsampled version played through the SB3 it was made IMMEDIATELY apparent the difference in SQ
Why not make a lossy file and cue it up with the same lossless file in a playlist and just listen to them consecutively?

Like stated previously, if you need to make an Mp3 copy of something it doesn't really take that much time to do and storage is super cheap

Nando1970
2010-06-14, 23:29
thank you everybody.

Just to make you all sleep well ;-) my CD collection is ripped in FLAC using EAC for my home listening, then converted to MP3 for the iPod, and I've been advocating FLAC it's a long time now

Anyway I would love to be able to do some proper ABX test and I'll investigate into your suggestion (too bad all of the sudden I'm currently very busy at work...)

I would love to start with two 24/176 tracks (Tchaikovsky:Hopak from Mazeppa by The Minnesota Orchestra and Gottschalk: Suis Moi! Caprice by Joel Fan), then dither it down to 16/41, and finally use lame for MP3 320, V0, V2, CBR 128 and have the setup ready also for my guests to help make my point about FLAC.

Any suggestion about what tool to use to dither down from 24/176 to 16/41 without introducing artifacts?

I might also set up a similar test with few Abbey Road (Beatles) 24bit tracks

ciao -- Nando