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nonoitall

Suggestion: FLAC remixes?

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Dave is the only one who can answer that definitively. However, if I remember correctly, between all mirrors we do a couple terabytes a month.

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Well, I decided to try listening to the Valse Aeris clips played through my speakers this time, instead of headphones, to be on equal footing with Sir Bahamut. And guess what? I actually couldn't tell them apart at all, not even after repeated back-to-back listens! So indeed, for casual stereo-speaker listening, this level of encode does seem fine.

However, it's worth noting that my speakers don't posses the clarity that my headphones do, and everything that I previously noticed exhibiting flaws seems to sit further back in the mix when played by my speakers. Chalk it up to dissimilar frequency response curves?

So to make sure I was actually hearing something on my headphones and not just imagining it all, I went back to do some authoritative ABX listening tests with my 'cans. And, oh boy, was the difference ever clear again.

Doing 12 trials for each clip, I was able to identify which known samples corresponded with which "mystery" sample with 100% accuracy, completing the test in only a short few minutes. It was almost ridiculously easy for me to identify the flaws in the ~103Kbps ABR track while wearing my headphones. I never had to listen hard nor play any tracks twice during a single listening trial.

Now, I know that at least some of you remixers have headgear as sensitive, or more so, than mine. All I ask is that someone don their trusty Senns or Grados or what-have-you and at least check out the samples in my last post, to tell me that I'm not insane, and that someone else can hear the metallic shimmering and warbling artifacts prominently in the soundscape too.

But even if no one else cares to try, the fact remains that some audio equipment is *easily* picking up on distortions from encodes that are forced to be that low, without the listener even needing to listen closely. Now, I know DJP has his reasons for the size limit. And I don't doubt that many folks have already tried to see it changed. But for some reason today I feel masochistic enough to try bashing my head against the wall. ;P

Since there is already an established maximum bitrate of 192Kbps, might it also possibly be prudent to establish a minimum quality? Being the VBR enthusiast that I am, I would love to see the minimum correlate to a VBR quality mode. Hell, if it were my choice, I'd see that everything were encoded in LAME's -V2 --vbr-new mode. But realistically, rather than a VBR quality minimum, a minimum bitrate would just be a lot simpler to satisfy.

After all, OverClocked ReMix is a site all about the music, even with everything else that's been growing around it. And for many ReMixers, this site is the only place where their work will be hosted. I would hope that the judges -- and THE judge himself -- care to let ReMixes have enough room to sound clean & as intended after the necessary lossy compression. Establishing a minimum bitrate seems to do this better that trying to tweak the compression so it doesn't sound too bad.

And if one is concerned about bandwidth or about storage space, the 6MB limit could perhaps still be in place, overridden only by the minimum bitrate. And since long songs come by only every so often, it doesn't seem likely that there will be any significant increase in bandwith or storage... especially if the minimum bitrate were to be 128Kbps, which most people agree is near the edge of audible transparency anyway. And while I realize that this may be a bit biased coming from a free user of the site (as opposed to he who spends many dollars and long hours on it) it seems better to preserve the odd long song than to forsake it to rigid policy. Besides, when a song more than 6 minutes long passes the panel these days, you know it's something epic to have survived such scrutiny. (And whoever commented that songs more than 10 minutes long are inevitably stuffed with filler... yeah, okay dude. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach... they were really terrible with all that filler.) It seems reasonable to ensure that such musical epics get 128Kbps protection.

Sorry for length.

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96kbps is currently the suggested minimum (under "Format").

Thank you for pointing that out.

So whoever reads my post above, consider it to be suggesting an increase of the minimum instead. o.o

Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't 96Kbps MP3s use a 33kHz sampling rate? The sentence directly below states "Audio must be 44.1kHz Stereo."

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Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't 96Kbps MP3s use a 33kHz sampling rate? The sentence directly below states "Audio must be 44.1kHz Stereo."

Not necessarily. I believe LAME defaults to encoding 96kbps material at 32kHz, but that can be overridden, and some other encoders behave differently. I'm pretty sure the MP3 spec allows for 44kHz material to be as low as 32kbps, but of course, anything other than silence sounds horrible at that rate. :D

So, are there any thoughts about accepting and retaining lossless submissions? (Not distributing or requiring them in that state, but just hanging onto them in case bandwidth is available in the future?)

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FLACs would be interesting to listen to but definitely useful for editing purposes. I quite enjoy stringing songs together to form a coherent theme (just like how video games are in the first place only with visuals along with audio), and without initial OCR FLACs the final output would either be 1) even more compressed MP3 or 2) (needlessly large) FLACs from the already-available MP3s.

Also, with keeping everything at such low quality it seems as if OCR is catering to options that bring in the widest variety of population, when the core of the site's submission process is to not be a popularity contest. Sure bandwidth problems exist, but as soon as they don't exist (just one example) there's no reason to hold back, because overall it would be an influential step to making people more aware of the medium.

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I think this initiative might be much better served as an unofficial community effort, at least initially. The project leader(s) would take it upon himself to contact as many active ReMixers as possible for lossless files, and secure hosting for them. A torrent actually may not be feasible in this particular case since the demand is so low and would most likely result in few to no seeds. Although if one were eventually made, I can't imagine it would be a matter of more than a few minutes or so to add it to the OCR tracker.

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Well, it doesn't necessarily have to be that involved. You could start off by doing something as simple as posting an open call in GenDisc and ReMixing for FLAC/WAV versions of people's ReMixes. You're bound to get at least a few responses, as I'm sure several ReMixers keep their source files.

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I actually created a thread a year ago or so willing to do that, but didn't think it through thoroughly enough. I'll be learning site design 'n' stuff in the coming years, though I probably have enough understanding and possibly bandwidth already. I don't see why calls couldn't be made immediately 'cuz I'd be willing to host the files and of course torrent them, and the sooner the better 'cuz well it's obvious why.

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I'm planning on making subsequent releases available in FLAC, and if I ever

have time to recover data from my old machine, I'd make older mixes available

as such as well.

Until there is a more suitable place for them to reside, here is a link

to my most recent, encoded at 48khz and 24bit:

http://cotmm.theqcp.org/mp3/CotMM-StevePordon-Solstice_DemnosInquisitor-48k24b.flac

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Thank you for pointing that out.

So whoever reads my post above, consider it to be suggesting an increase of the minimum instead. o.o

No, because we'd rather be able to receive tracks that are longer than 6 minutes even though we have the filesize limit in place.

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No, because we'd rather be able to receive tracks that are longer than 6 minutes even though we have the filesize limit in place.

Apologies for being unclear. To address that, the filesize limit would be instead secondary to the new minimum bitrate (128Kbps in my scenario). So the vast majority of songs would still be limited to less than 6MB. But if a song were longer than 6 minutes, the minimum bitrate of 128Kbps would supersede the filesize limit of 6MB, to preserve audio quality.

However, seeing Dave's recent announcements as to how OCR's advertising is not paying for the site, I doubt that any such extension of the filesize limit will be seriously considered at this time. And understandably so, since such a move has the potential to increase the bandwidth expended by the site.

Such quality-preservation perhaps would be best undertaken as an unofficial effort on the part of those who care enough about encoding quality to put in their own time and bandwidth. And thus...

I actually created a thread a year ago or so willing to do that, but didn't think it through thoroughly enough. I'll be learning site design 'n' stuff in the coming years, though I probably have enough understanding and possibly bandwidth already. I don't see why calls couldn't be made immediately 'cuz I'd be willing to host the files and of course torrent them, and the sooner the better 'cuz well it's obvious why.

I would certainly be willing to help out here, in whatever ways I can.

I'm planning on making subsequent releases available in FLAC, and if I ever

have time to recover data from my old machine, I'd make older mixes available

as such as well.

Until there is a more suitable place for them to reside, here is a link

to my most recent, encoded at 48khz and 24bit:

http://cotmm.theqcp.org/mp3/CotMM-StevePordon-Solstice_DemnosInquisitor-48k24b.flac

And, whoa! A 24bit 48KHz monster! And I think most of us were just expecting simple lossless versions of the same 16bit 44.1KHz audio submitted to the site. Thanks!

I'm not sure if I'll keep the entire 72MB behemoth, besides for preservation's sake, but now I can most certainly have your song in high quality (LAME 3.97 -V2 --vbr-new) MP3! ^.^ And speaking of recovering old files, the idea of Pure Lands (Total Darkness) in high bitrate or lossless is like sweet manna. ^^

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Either my download for cotmm's just-linked flac mix keeps corrupting or the file is corrupt. It won't play past a certain point in my Winamp or even load in Audacity.

I'm almost done with a site whose content will be geared toward user-submitted FLAC remixes from the most popular VGremix site out there (OCR VGMIX KWED THASAUCE ...and even ANIREMIX). It won't be anything close to ocr-quality in terms of coding...for now.

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http://flacmix.escaprism.org/index.html

I don't know anything about ASP/PHP/Java(script)/VBscript/MYSQL/databases (they all seem cool but hard to initially understand/implement via webresources alone) so I can't figure out how to make users upload FLACs (only accepting FLACs) which would then upload to individual folders I have and then show a field of uploads for other users to download FLACs with visible ease.

Actually, if I wanted to open up the playing field even more, I could allow APE or other lossless formats. Not too sure about that.

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Either my download for cotmm's just-linked flac mix keeps corrupting or the file is corrupt. It won't play past a certain point in my Winamp or even load in Audacity.

Even though loading the FLAC directly into Audacity makes the program freeze on my machine, it loads fine when converted to WAV first. And WinAmp has no problem playing the FLAC I downloaded all the way through.

And that's a good base for a site. I know some software coding, but I wish I knew the prominent web application languages.

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For the record, I'm definitely interested in offering a torrent or something at some point in the future, but I'm working on 7,837,231 diff. things for OCR right now, and this isn't one of them, so in the meantime, any efforts to aggregate are appreciated.

I don't think an actual permanent website geared towards collecting and hosting FLAC versions of mixes long term is a particularly grand idea, but building a site to help gather what's out there for the ultimate purpose of hosting torrents on OCR or elsewhere seem like it has value.

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And speaking of recovering old files, the idea of Pure Lands (Total Darkness) in high bitrate or lossless is like sweet manna. ^^

From the ashes of a pile of dying harddrives:

http://cotmm.theqcp.org/mp3/CotMM-PureLandsTotalDarkness.flac

I have a few others to tag and upload as well. Here's what else I've found so far:

http://cotmm.theqcp.org/mp3/CotMM-NorfairFrailtyAwaiting.flac

http://cotmm.theqcp.org/mp3/CotMM-BrinstarAreciboReceptionsFrom.flac

The Brinstar track was not an offical OCRemix (It ended up being too long to fit comfortably under 6 megs, and I didn't want to shorten it.)

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Oooo, thank you sir! :) Hope it wasn't too hard to recover those from your dead drive. These FLACs are much appreciated.

Also, I understand how busy you are with the site, DJP. I respect & appreciate your dedicated work on it, and this is not by any means an attempt to diminish that. In all honesty however, a torrent does not seem the best format for distributing lossless remixes, since it will obviously be a very incomplete set of tracks with new additions cropping up sporadically, whereas a torrent is static in content. Also, it seems that Audity wishes to include remixes from other sites in addition to OCR.

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I could see myself downloading FLACs of remixes in addition to the mp3s if they were offered.

I used to have a bunch of Hendrix APEs and SHNs, but this was years ago when hard drive space wasn't cheap and also when I was a poor teenager, so they were all converted to mp3s :/

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I'm sure he would like the idea of a site for flacs if the background design had a huge letters saying DJP ROCKZ DA HIZZOUSE YO D00DZ OCR CHECCIT AIGHT. But torrents are good, too, though I think it's awesome to manage sites that have huge files via HTTP (and for user-uploads I plan on using FTP), as it shows progress towards better and better bandwidth capabilities. For instance, the basic plan of my Web host (Lunarpages) keeps upgrading bandwidth availability. Taken from here:

"1,500 Gigs Storage!

15,000 Gigs Data Transfer!"

And it's stayed the same price. It's rather quite scary. It started out much smaller a couple years ago.

I'm theoretically taking a risky chance on bandwidth by making the site available. But lots of things in which I take great interest and initiate never seem to gather many people's attention, so until I see a decent amount of people submitting, I feel like this is just going to be a waste.

(I know I'm just wasting more time not trying to get a method for upload and advertisement, but I got this sudden feeling that I'd be killing my school grades if I do. I guess that final semester stretch does it to me. Actually, instead of doing nothing at all, school or otherwise, until the last second during this feeling, as per the usual when it occurs, I should just get all my school stuff out of the way to feel refreshed again.)

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Most hosts "oversell". They don't actually have that much storage available, or even close. They figure out how much the average person typically uses and then advertise way above that, and figure most people wouldn't use the advertised amount.

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