I just downloaded and tried this out.
It definitely is cutting size of file in half and sounds pretty darn good on the PRO player, but not playing it via Winamp. Not only is it cutting down the kbps, but the frequency "Kenneth" is also being cut in half. That would explain what it's doing and why it sounds closer to the 160 kbps original file on that PRO player and not on Winamp. The player itself "must" be making up for the slash in those two variables. Can anyone confirm this? When I played it on Winamp it sounds like "OK" FM, but it is distorted a bit on the highs and buzzed my tweeters a bit.
By the way, I am playing MP3 files from PC through a Philips Acoustic Edge sound card (Sound Blaster can't hold the jock strap for this card. IMHO) to my Home Theater A/V system that uses Pinnacle Classic Gold Tower speakers and Yamaha HTR-5250 A/V Receiver at 110 watts per channel. It shakes the house, trust me on that. You never heard MP3 files sound so good. People can't believe the PC is playing these songs. Sometimes I can't either.
There is GREAT potential in this format, not only in the smaller size, but when Winamp and the other players incorporate this new code into their programs the fidelity should be the same. As it stands now, playing these files on Winamp makes them sound distant and thin. But hey, it's only the first release, not bad for out of the gate and with a PRO player it sounds pretty **** good.
[This message has been edited by Steve_Jr (edited 06-15-2001).]
I have also downloaded the trial version and given it, er, a trial. I compared a particular track ("People Gotta Love Again" by the Doobie Brothers from SIBLING RIVALRY) in its CD form, as a 128 MP3 ripped using the LAME 3.88 encoder, and as a 64 MP3PRO file. It is amazing how close the two compressed files are soundwise. Once compatability issues are dealt with, this could be a tremendous boon for those portable players with very limited memory.
It will be interesting to see how things sound when MP3PRO encoding can be done at higher bitrates. This could be a real help for the various companies (and individuals) offering files for downloading.
I notice that they are also increasing the royalty cost per unit for hardware and software players.
This was just the thing to make me move to Ogg-Vorbis. http://www.vorbis.com/
I am getting more impressed by this new format the more files I convert and listen and compare. So far the predominant size of files end up being right around 1.5 MB. Think of that, 35-40 MB WAV files down to 1.5MB, whew! Just think if this had been around just prior to Napster and was already in Winamp, Win Media Player, MusicMatch, etc.
The RIAA thought they had problems, now it's only going to get even more wild. Downloading these files at these sizes sure makes it more tolerable via dial up than before. And with cable & DSL forget about it. I recently switched to cable modem and I now download stuff under 5MB without giving it much thought. At these smaller sizes it's going to be like clicking shortcut icons.
I sure hope Winamp doesn't take too long to add this codec into it's program. One word of usage on the MP3PRO Player. Right click on it and change the skin and it's much better. Why they don't have that second skin as the default is beyond me.
The only "bug" with this player is that it skips for a split second when doing other things while it's still playing. I am running AMD T-bird 1,100MHz CPU w/384MB RAM, so power is not the issue. Winamp does not do this, so I know it's the PRO player.
MP3's to get even leaner and cleaner
Anyone tried to encode using this new player from RCA?
I'll give it a try this weekend and compare the 64kbps quality of a mp3PRO file to the same song encoded at 128kbps with a regular mp3 encoder.
I made a little comparison between this encoder, Sound Forge's in-built MP3 encoder and Xing's MP3 encoder. Quality-wise, I would think that the 64kbps MP3 created using RCA's encoder is equivalent to a 112kbps MP3 created using the other encoders.
Btw, the program is real buggy man. I can't skip the track to anywhere I want. Sometimes, the MP3 just continues playing but there's no sound.
I compared a 10,000 Maniacs song (These Are Days). I encoded using the Thomson encoder at 64kbps and also did one at 128kbps.
On WinAmp the 128kbps definitely sounded better, but on the RCA player they sounded pretty much the same.
So if they started upgrading other players with this new "engine" (as I call it), we should be in for some pretty good times!
I downloaded the the RCA ripper, installed it, then I ripped "Enter Sandman" from "Metallica" using Music Match Jukebox 6.1(the newest one) and the RCA Mp3Pro one(had to use Music Match to rip it to .wav then I used RCA's ripper to convert it to mp3).I used the same bit rate for every rip, and you know what? The resulting mp3's were the same exact size! 2.53 or 2.54 meg. I'll try it again later when i have some free time, and post the results.
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