Old 28th February 2012, 08:06   #1
franpa
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Why do some plugins hate "Allow 24bit"?

The wording of the option implies that 24bit audio files will be played at their native quality when the option is enabled, otherwise they're downgraded to 16bit. It does not (to me) imply that all audio will be forcefully converted to 24bit during playback.

Based on my observations above, it makes no sense for plugins that only support 16bit audio files to complain about the 24bit option when attempting to playback a 16bit audio file.

Here's a picture showing what happens when I try to playback a 16bit OGG file. The OGG Input Plugin should just ignore that setting and play in 16bit... why doesn't it? Makes no sense! Also isn't very user friendly the way stuff is worded!
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Old 28th February 2012, 12:42   #2
SilverBird775
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This format is not discrete, its lossy, it does not preserve the quality either. Ogg is 32bit float point naturally. 24bit integer is the best match among non natives. So the 32bit oggs in most scenarios are forcefully converted to either 16 or 24 bits hence the winamp makes the correct choice actually.
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Old 28th February 2012, 12:59   #3
franpa
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Ah, I didn't realize at all that OGG files are 32bit audio files. Still, why does Winamp seemingly force specific audio output modes and stop plugins that don't support the mode Winamp specifies instead of automatically restricting it self to the currently active Input plugins capabilities? (Safely defaulting to 16bit if the plugin doesn't properly report to Winamp what bit depths it supports)
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Old 28th February 2012, 13:06   #4
DrO
 
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first thing, the message shown in the screenshot is not a message from a natively shipped plug-in so we're instantly into the 3rd party plug-ins not supporting newer Winamp features correctly state.

secondly, the message is not meant to be user friendly - the purpose is to put off people from tinkering with things since in most cases there is no benefit in trying to run things as 24-bit when most input media is still 16-bit. all that ends up happening in most cases is zero-padding the 16-bit audio data to 24-bit.

thirdly, maybe it isn't as clear as it could be but enabling that changes the playback chain to be 24-bit where possible which is the main cause of DSP plug-ins having issues since most that people use never would have considered Winamp providing 24-bit data - since how can people have developed for something which wasn't available / supported / considered up to a decade before the feature was added.


so as the warning message shown indicates, unless you absolutely need to, leaving things as 16-bit is the preferred choice as unless you've got a compatible output device and also input media which natively provides 24-bit output (i.e. not upscaled from 16 to 24-bit with zero padding), then even if you can hear a difference, you're not going to get any benefit.

-daz
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Old 29th February 2012, 17:16   #5
Stone Free
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrO View Post
so as the warning message shown indicates, unless you absolutely need to, leaving things as 16-bit is the preferred choice as unless you've got a compatible output device and also input media which natively provides 24-bit output (i.e. not upscaled from 16 to 24-bit with zero padding), then even if you can hear a difference, you're not going to get any benefit.

-daz
Although the 24-bit option is listed as a playback option it seems to affect file based input (i.e using the Format Converter send-to item)!
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Old 1st March 2012, 01:10   #6
franpa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrO View Post
so as the warning message shown indicates, unless you absolutely need to, leaving things as 16-bit is the preferred choice as unless you've got a compatible output device and also input media which natively provides 24-bit output (i.e. not upscaled from 16 to 24-bit with zero padding), then even if you can hear a difference, you're not going to get any benefit.

-daz
I do have such a device (Auzentech Forte) and find it annoying that it requires me to toggle it for plugins that don't support 24bit or properly report what they support. It would make the whole experience much more seamless and pleasurable if under those circumstances it silently switches to 16bit output during playback of a file that depends on such a plugin instead of requiring me to navigate dialog boxes and menus to toggle the switch each time.

Being able to take advantage of my sound cards support for 24bit audio processing at the moment is just tedious with Winamp. The change I propose would require a minor change to plugins that support 24bit (Update them to inform Winamp that they support 24bit otherwise Winamp would have them output 16bit only) and from my perspective it would be best to implement the change as soon as possible rather then wait until 24bit audio devices become common place. (They already ARE somewhat common these days, most discreet audio devices support it now afaik)
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Old 1st March 2012, 09:29   #7
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i will repeat myself, the error message you showed in the screenshot does not belong to any of the native Winamp plug-ins. to my knowledge the ones which do support it or don't and is then internally upscaled to 24-bit would do as you're suggesting.

the preferences option sets a flag which can be queried by plug-ins but the onus is on the plug-ins to do things as needed from what i remember and pretty much every 3rd party plug-in out there still thinks / targets Winamp 2.x rather than trying to use the newer api's which make doing / detecting features much simpler.

however i could be wrong with what i vaguely remember about it's implementation and is only something you'd get properly answered by a proper developer / someone who actually worked on it.

-daz
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