Old 23rd January 2005, 15:54   #1
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64k vs. 128k

To me, as long as the station sounds good, the music is clear, and the station is online all the time... listeners wouldn't care about the bit rate if it were 64k or 128k.

But now... I'm having second thoughts because a couple close people to me tell me 128k is better, but I just don't see more than two benefits other than a bigger number, and a slight difference in sound.

Does it make a big difference at all for those of you who have upgraded from one bit rate to a higher?

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Old 23rd January 2005, 16:01   #2
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honest answer

I upgraded the stream from 56kbps 44khz mono to
80kbps 44khz mono and I do hear that it's a little bit better sounding as it was before , a little bit brighter, clearer or whatever you wanna call it.

still isn't as good sounding as the 64kbps icecast test stream.

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Old 23rd January 2005, 16:13   #3
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I've been so adamant to stick to our 64k stream because it took us about two months to perfect...

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Old 23rd January 2005, 16:25   #4
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How about some trial and error. Keep the 64k and test a 128k - if you think its much better, then go with it - if not, then keep with 64k

I'd say, if you stream in stereo to 64k - it doesnt always sound great. If you stream in stereo to 128k it does.
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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:14   #5
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The benefits of 128k didn't outweigh the costs.

Problem is going from 64k to 128k essentially doubles your bandwidth costs. Then you have to remember that most people are listening to internet radio through a cheap pair of computer speakers which don't reflect the improved sound of 128k. Some people have invested in better speakers for their PC but the majority don't waste their time and many more are on work or college systems and don't have that option.

Instead for clarity I also use 64k WMA which sounds quite a bit better than 64k mp3 and pretty close to 128k. Same bandwidth, same costs - improved quality. Also on the bandend I use audio compression and the such to improve the audio qualithy as much as possible before feeding it to the encoders. The end result is good enough for the listeners and I've never had a complaint about audio quality.

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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:36   #6
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I guess it's worth a shot at testing. What format is WMA?

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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:37   #7
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I stream in 128k -> I have this thing about quality.
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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:40   #8
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I figured a "quality fanatic" would post sometime soon. I just don't believe that a listener can even tell the difference so much... we experienced people can of course, but all the listener wants is to hear their favorite songs.

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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:47   #9
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WMA is Windows Media Audio. The only disadvantage to it is that you need a windows server to use it (You cant run on linux or your home PC) and there are no admin/stats options like the SC Blackscreen.

I was going to say earlier, 64k WMA does sound superb, you can hear our demo stream in this format at:
mms://bluedog.wavestreamer.com/wavestreaming1

Another thing is that it can only be played via Windows Media player, things like Winamp or Real can't handle it.
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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:53   #10
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One of our streams is in a WMA format (.asx), but we don't actually run a WMA server.

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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:55   #11
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If you're not running or pushing to a WMA server, your stream cannot be in WMA format.

Using an ASX file just directs a player to play a stream - it will not actually convert the format from Mp3 to WMA
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Old 23rd January 2005, 18:57   #12
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people do notice the difference, whether it is a placebo effect or not you cannot deny that some will notice. My attitude is that it makes no difference to most users between 96kbps and 128kbps not sure about as far down as 64kbps. The best people to ask would be your audience. We are going to have our own biased opinion, which doesn't neccessarily mean that it is good for your station.
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Old 23rd January 2005, 21:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wavestreaming
If you're not running or pushing to a WMA server, your stream cannot be in WMA format.

Using an ASX file just directs a player to play a stream - it will not actually convert the format from Mp3 to WMA :)
actually, thats wrong. ive been able to run a wma stream from here with no server. just set it as a pull stream and link people to http://myip:port/listen.wma

of course you are limited going this route, but it works nonetheless.
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Old 23rd January 2005, 23:17   #14
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Problem is people can click on a WMA file and it will play - it downloads the file and plays it. It is however not a WMA audio stream. That only occurs when using the Windows Media Server and is usually in a mms:// format.

I;m even more stumped how you're playing a WMA file through the http://iport/listen.wma link since Shoutcast doesn't support playing WMA files at all.

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Old 24th January 2005, 00:10   #15
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its very simple atleast with sam2/3. just set up a wma encoder in pull mode and use the link i posted. worked before. just check some of my previous posts on the subject.
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Old 24th January 2005, 00:32   #16
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Well, we went ahead with the transition from 64k to 128k. I'll admit, it does sound much more clearer, but I'll forever miss the 64k sound.

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Old 24th January 2005, 16:55   #17
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Try AACPlus!

Sounds great at 32 Kbps

Regards,

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Old 24th January 2005, 17:59   #18
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thats if you can afford the orban encoder. last time i checked there was no free aacp encoder available.

granted aacp sounds awesome at low bitrates, its just a more "pro" method till a free or lowcost encoder becomes available.
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Old 24th January 2005, 22:03   #19
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well i find 64k mono is twice better than 64k stereo. Infact 64k mono is almost as clean as 128k stereo.

I also find that all the big stations like DI (digitaly imported) broadcast at 128k or higher and have thousands of listeners but it seems like 70% are just stream rippers coz and not true radio listeners from what im told.

or dj's boradcast between 80-128k for live shows with a live vidoe stream of 64k too. when there are no live shows in progress i look after the autoplaylist which runs at 64k mono for the best sound qualityto birate enconomy effective birate.

Last edited by Germ; 25th January 2005 at 01:23.
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Old 24th January 2005, 22:22   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by PAUL_HELZ
well i find 64k mono is twice better than 64k stereo. Infact 64k mono is almost as clean as 128k stereo.

I also find that all the big stations like DI (digitaly imported) broadcast at 128k or higher and have thousands of listeners but it seems like 70% are just stream rippers coz and not true radio listeners from what im told.

or dj's boradcast between 80-128k for live shows with a live vidoe stream of 64k too. when there are no live shows in progress i look after the autoplaylist which runs at 64k mono for the best sound qualityto birate enconomy effective birate.
Everything was relative up until you started the second paragraph. Sounds like you're advertising to me.

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Last edited by Germ; 25th January 2005 at 01:23.
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Old 25th January 2005, 01:11   #21
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How is this 64k stream? Any suggestions? http://216.12.166.16:9450
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Old 26th January 2005, 00:21   #22
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I should point out DI broadcasts at 128k because they get free bandwidth from AOL and Nullsoft. If you had to pay for your own streaming costs you wouldn't use 128k for long.
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Old 19th February 2005, 00:05   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vchat20
thats if you can afford the orban encoder. last time i checked there was no free aacp encoder available.

granted aacp sounds awesome at low bitrates, its just a more "pro" method till a free or lowcost encoder becomes available.
The aacPlus software encoder I purchased cost $99 from streamguys.com - sure I wish it was free, but I feel it's definitely superior and worth the money. We wanted our dial-up listeners to get a good quality stereo stream and this is the only format that delivers that.
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Old 19th February 2005, 12:39   #24
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Wavestreaming said
Quote:
WMA is Windows Media Audio. The only disadvantage to it is that you need a windows server to use it (You cant run on linux or your home PC) and there are no admin/stats options like the SC Blackscreen.
there are ways to drag stats out of wms

eg
for stats on wms
to listen on wms

and it will soon have a nice page like shoutcast added for the functionality.... feel free to check the quality as it is a definate improvement on sound for a 48k stream
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