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Thursday, 19 March 2015

MP3 vs. AAC (Audio), MPEG-4 vs. AVC (Video)



+for BluRay: MP3 vs. AAC (Audio) and MPEG-4 vs. AVC (Video).. So I noticed a difference in my digital audio/visual setup

Film Sample
Fast Five (Fast and Furious 5 aka Rio Heist)

Audio Findings - MP3 vs. AAC (Audio)
AAC Audio is more true to the audio representation! My setup is 5.1 surround with the Audio theater setup

frontleft-center-frontright
rearleft-rearright

MP3 muxes the soundtrack to the front speakers with little to no resonance in the rear speakers.

AAC pushes the sound effects to the rear speakers respectivley.

Video Findings - MPEG 4 vs. AVC (Video)

MPEG-4 is dominant with a 1280x544 resolution.
AVC is only at 640x272

For awhile I believed MP4 to be the standard for conversion. This is true for video only. But this recent comparison has me favoring the audio format (AAC) over video. It was a better experience with the sound effects resonating. The MP3 audio seems inferior to the AAC audio in this case for the overall movie experience. MP4 is superior to AVC visual quality, however.

In fact I am referencing Blu-ray rips. Also comparing the formats that come from Netflix and Crackle. From what I am finding, everyone is staying away from the 5.1 because of it's size (and bandwith required to stream). The other part of this may go in the Home Theater Boards, but do 5.1, 7.1 setups really matter anymore when people are just watching them on devices with headphones, etc.?

WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p, by Western Digital

WD TV Live Media Player Wi-fi 1080p, by Western Digital

If you're using Blu-ray rips which have been transcoded down to 720p or lower. Not really a fair comparison. 720p rips with the 1.5 Mbps DTS core are pretty good.

MP3 muxes the soundtrack to the front speakers with little to no resonance in the rear speakers. Sounds like you were using joint stereo or dual mono. Joint can (and does) do really weird things to the audio. Also, MP3 only supports mono or 2-track stereo, not 6-track surround*, so what you were probably hearing was an analogue matrix derived from the stereo audio track.

* Some MP3 encoders actually do support it, but this is a very nonstandard hack. Most decoders will either ignore the extra four channels or just play the whole thing back as garbage (noise).

This recent comparison has me favouring the audio format (AAC) over video. It was a better experience with the sound effects resonating. MP3 audio seems inferior to AAC in this case for the overall movie experience.

That's because MP3 is an inferior codec. The future is AAC. Actually the real future is FLAC, but AAC is a better compromise of size versus fidelity, than even LAME MP3 at its highest setting (44100/320/stereo CBR).

MP3 is a reasonable codec for encoding speech or clippy, over compressed pop music to be played through crappy earbuds on an Apple device, but little else.

Lighten Up...

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