An interesting real-world benchmark

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WytRaven
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An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:42 am

Hi All,

I just did any interesting "benchmark" of my machine.

Back in my PC days I backed up my entire CD collection to the FLAC lossless audio format using a Windows app called MediaMonkey. I went through the painful task of getting album art for everything at the same time. So today I decided it was about time that I imported it all into iTunes ready for when I get my iPad in a few months.

I found sometime ago a Mac app called "Max" which is a free CD ripper/Audio encoder. I set it up to decode my entire FLAC library, extract album art, extract other meta data, encode 320Kbps/VBR AAC, embed meta data, embed album art, and save results to a new folder on my RAID (mode 0, 2 x WD RE3 1TB). Max is multi threaded so I configured it to use 16 threads.

My library consists of 3212 tracks. The machine is an Octocore 2.66GHz Xeon Nehalem Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM.

Time taken?

48 minutes... :lol:

That even surprised me! Especially considering Time Machine started backing up somewhere in the middle of that and I have no idea how long it was running before I caught it and stopped it. :cry:
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

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Meelis
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by Meelis » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:54 am

That's fast :shock:
Did u encode to mp3 with highest quality settings (slowest method)?

I remember 1st audio CD on my 1st PC took about 15min to rip to FLAC format (duron 800 Mhz ).

OpenCL audio encoding may have no futture if HDD aint fast enough. :lol:
H264 will do just fine, i can even encode 0,05 fps with slowest X264 settings.

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WytRaven
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:27 am

I used highest quality AAC (320Kbps/VBR). MP3 is pretty much a dead format these days as most decent devices support AAC.
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

gagar
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by gagar » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:14 am

Hey, thanks for sharing. I will give "Max" a try.

Speed-wise, let's see what happens when such apps start to support OpenCL... Might need fast disks to keep up ;-)

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dcm
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by dcm » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:47 am

WytRaven wrote:MP3 is pretty much a dead format these days as most decent devices support AAC.
:lol:

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eman7613
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by eman7613 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:18 am

Itunes can convert for you too, so long as the detination format is AAC or mp3
Yes i know, my spelling sucks

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WytRaven
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:59 am

Yeah I know but (I'll admit I didn't check) as far as I know it can't read FLAC. I would also wager it would ignore the extended metadata.
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

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WytRaven
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:02 am

dcm wrote:
WytRaven wrote:MP3 is pretty much a dead format these days as most decent devices support AAC.
:lol:
I'm not sure what's funny about that statement. MP3 was great as the first digital format but it can't compete anymore with newer formats that produce better quality in the same or smaller space... The king was Sony's ATRAC but unfortunately due to Sony being unwilling to open the format it has now gone the way of the dodo :(
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

neo0.
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by neo0. » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:09 am

WytRaven, the MP3 format is far from dead. It is still the dominant format for portable media players (they are called mp3 players afterall, right) and accounts for almost all the digital exchange of music over the internet. When people want to send someone a song or offer up an album for download (through a bit locker or with a torrent), they upload in it in MP3.

Just because support for better formats exists, doesn't mean they will be readily adopted. MP3s are small and for most people, the quality is just fine. Heck, almost my entire library is encoded in 128 Kbps MP3 and it sounds just fine to me. I have tried other formats, but they take up more space the difference in quality is minimal at best. PNGs probably look a bit better than JPEGs, but most people still use JPEGs, because they are small and the quality is just fine. PNGs take up around 3 times the space of JPEGs.

Standards are slow to change.. Well, except when it comes to piracy where the impending threat of legal ramifications compels people to adopt new technologies that they think will help them hide from the law... :lol:

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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by PureSpider » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:34 am

Aight, how's your VHS recorder doing? 8)

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Meelis
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by Meelis » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:04 am

Stereophile concluded that AAC is better than MP3, but AAC has more noise on hi frequencies and MP3/AAC are both far from good quality.
http://www.stereophile.com/features/308 ... ndex1.html

Anyway lossless formats aint that mutch biger in file size.

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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by gagar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:52 am

WytRaven wrote:Yeah I know but (I'll admit I didn't check) as far as I know it can't read FLAC. I would also wager it would ignore the extended metadata.
You could use ALAC (Apple Lossless) instead of FLAC. Or go for experimental: http://blowintopieces.com/fluke/

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WytRaven
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:39 am

Meelis wrote:Stereophile concluded that AAC is better than MP3, but AAC has more noise on hi frequencies and MP3/AAC are both far from good quality.
http://www.stereophile.com/features/308 ... ndex1.html

Anyway lossless formats aint that mutch biger in file size.
I will be converting the FLAC archive into an ALAC archive (simply because my household is now Mac exclusive).

But I was tossing up whether or not it was worth using it for my iTunes library and the iPad. I am planning on getting a 64GB version so space isn't that much of an issue, especially seeing as I'm not one of these people that feels the need to have my entire music collection in my pocket, but I don't expect the DAC and headphone amp on the iPad to be anything like audiophile quality so I ended up choosing max vbr quality AAC as a compromise between not wasting space unnecessarily and still getting the best lossy comp quality.

On the MP3 v AAC quality. I can tell the difference between the two and although there may be a higher measurable distortion at the upper end with AAC I find AAC "sounds" better from a subjective point of view. There is just something "muddy" about MP3 to my ears.

...

neo0 I believe I just saw a white rabbit run by and out the door to this thread. Feel free to follow it. I have no interest in what the world of music pirates use to distribute their wares.
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

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CoolColJ
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by CoolColJ » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:53 am

mp3 4 lyfe

it depends on the codec used. I can hear difference between the various m3 codecs. Some are muddy, some are crisper etc

But if you have plenty of HD space, why even bother compressing them? The real deal is that much better

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WytRaven
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Re: An interesting real-world benchmark

Post by WytRaven » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:21 am

CoolColJ wrote:mp3 4 lyfe
Are you an NWA fan CCJ? ;)

I guess it's just one of those things. Some swear by ogg too. Each to their own I guess.

The more I think about it. It probably would make sense for me to just convert the FLACs to ALAC and rather than keep that as an archive, actually use it as my library. As I said before I'm not one of these people that needs my entire collection with me everywhere I go so having 10 or 15GB of ALAC sitting on the pad shouldn't be a space problem. See I don't use my Mac for listening to music at all as my PS3 has 500GB HD, and has my entire archive on it already (yes I know about media servers but I don't want to have to have my MP on just to listen to music), that is my central entertainment system.

...yup ALAC it is, Meelis, CCJ, you have convinced me that lossy compression is unnecessary, regardless of whatever the iPad's audio subsystem quality turns out to be.

So the question is how quick can I go from FLAC to ALAC ;) *note to self: disable Time Machine before conversion this time.*
:idea: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Emerson 1841

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