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2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards This forum is for the 2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.
You can now vote for your favorite projects/products of 2016. This is your chance to be heard! Voting ends on February 7th.


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View Poll Results: Video Media Player Application of the Year
Dragon Player 2 0.66%
DVD-Player (XBMC) 3 0.99%
FFplay 1 0.33%
kaffeine 0 0%
Miro 2 0.66%
mplayer 50 16.50%
mplayer2 13 4.29%
mpv 25 8.25%
Parole 0 0%
Totem 4 1.32%
VLC 195 64.36%
xine 2 0.66%
VideoPlayer (Kodi) 5 1.65%
MythTV Internal player 1 0.33%
Xplayer 0 0%
Voters: 303. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2017, 12:04 PM   #31
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
^ you mean smplayer with either mplayer or mpv as backend?

what other frontends do we have for mpv?
Yes - that's what I meant. I do not know what other, if any, front ends can work with mpv.

Cheers :-)
 
Old 01-31-2017, 06:09 PM   #32
gargamel
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VLC, because it has the highest sound fidelity of all audio players, I tried so far. I replaced the default GStreamer backend on all my machines with the VLC backend.

So sound-wise VLC is top. What needs improvement, IMHO, is the GUI. It's efficient, but not intuitive. The VideoLan project really needs a UI designer for their team...


gargamel
 
Old 02-01-2017, 08:14 AM   #33
stevethefiddle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargamel View Post
VLC, because it has the highest sound fidelity of all audio players, I tried so far. I replaced the default GStreamer backend on all my machines with the VLC backend.

So sound-wise VLC is top. What needs improvement, IMHO, is the GUI. It's efficient, but not intuitive. The VideoLan project really needs a UI designer for their team...


gargamel
I agree that VLC is a terrific media player, but the rationale that "it has the highest sound fidelity of all audio players" is spurious. For example, when playing a lossless audio format such as 16-bit PCM WAV, with the same hardware, the audio should be identical regardless of the player being used. Any audio player that produces different audio from 16-bit PCM WAV is broken.

VLC uses libraries such as FFmpeg and twolame for decoding, as do many other audio players, and it is the decoding library that determines how a file is decoded into a raw PCM data audio stream for the computer sound system, so there is no reason why VLC should sound any different from other media players that use the same decoding libraries with the same hardware and same media.

Double blind testing can be an eye opener: http://lacinato.com/cm/software/othersoft/abx
 
Old 02-02-2017, 08:18 AM   #34
gargamel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethefiddle View Post
I agree that VLC is a terrific media player, but the rationale that "it has the highest sound fidelity of all audio players" is spurious. For example, when playing a lossless audio format such as 16-bit PCM WAV, with the same hardware, the audio should be identical regardless of the player being used. Any audio player that produces different audio from 16-bit PCM WAV is broken.

VLC uses libraries such as FFmpeg and twolame for decoding, as do many other audio players, and it is the decoding library that determines how a file is decoded into a raw PCM data audio stream for the computer sound system, so there is no reason why VLC should sound any different from other media players that use the same decoding libraries with the same hardware and same media.

Double blind testing can be an eye opener: http://lacinato.com/cm/software/othersoft/abx
Well, that's theory, and your arguments are all valid. But the difference between theory and practice is usually bigger in practice than in theory. (Well, not sure if this sentence works in English...)

So, although, everything you say makes sense, I hear differences, when I compare VLC with other audio players. I recommend that you simply try it out yourself. I am pretty convinced that you will confirm that there are differences in the sound when you compare VLC with MPlayer, for instance. It may be a matter of personal preference which one you prefer, and it certainly depends on the music you select for your test, how pronounced the difference is, but there *is* a difference. A song that I often use for such tests is Avril Lavigne's "I'm with you".

BTW, VLC does some special oversampling, that the developers are proud of, which other media players don't do. Of course, with VLC as audio backend, Kaffeine and Amarok sound the same (although VLC is a bit louder than Amarok with the same volume setting). But Kaffeine with Xine backend is slightly different compared to VLC, although the differences in sound fidelity are very, very subtle, so small that they are irrelevant for most practical reasons. Still, the differences in the image they create of the stage are noticeable.

As I said: Try it out yourself. And, BTW: I think I mentioned it my original post, that my tests were not double-blind, not scientific, but just fun. I still wanted to share my results.

Finally, if not for its sound quality I wouldn't use VLC. Almost any other audio player I know has a better UI, and if they really all sounded the same, there'd be definitely better options than VLC, IMHO. Just not, when sound fidelity is your primary concern.

EDIT: Thanks for the link, very interesting!

gargamel

Last edited by gargamel; 02-02-2017 at 08:22 AM.
 
Old 02-03-2017, 03:14 PM   #35
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargamel View Post
BTW, VLC does some special oversampling, that the developers are proud of, which other media players don't do.
source please?

edit:
s/he might be right:
https://wirejungle.wordpress.com/201...-sound-in-kde/

Last edited by ondoho; 02-03-2017 at 03:16 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2017, 06:51 AM   #36
stevethefiddle
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Sorry guys/gals but fact is that if you send a specific stream of data to a specific sound card, then you will get the same audio signal out regardless of which back or front end is sending the data. For uncompressed PCM audio files, all players will produce the same data stream unless (a) they're broken (b) the data is resampled.

Dismissing the case of "broken" applications, it would be fair to say that one player has a higher quality resampling library than another, though modern resampling libraries are getting so good that it's becoming difficult to even measure the differences between the best resampling libraries, let alone hear the differences (see here for some comparisons: http://src.infinitewave.ca/).

In any case, resampling only comes into the picture if the file sample rate is not supported by the playback device. In the usual case of playing uncompressed PCM audio data at 44100 or 48000 Hz, a binary "1" in the file audio data will stream a binary "1" to the audio device, regardless of the application, and a binary "0" in the file audio data will stream a binary "0".
 
Old 02-05-2017, 05:06 AM   #37
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevethefiddle View Post
it would be fair to say that one player has a higher quality resampling library than another, though modern resampling libraries are getting so good that it's becoming difficult to even measure the differences between the best resampling libraries, let alone hear the differences
i think this is what we are talking about now.

clearly a statement like "sound-wise VLC is top" is over-simplified, i think we can agree on that, but these "special oversampling" libraries indeed exist.
i took a few minutes to research this yesterday, see the link in my previous post.
xine-lib is indeed installed on my alsa-only system, a "multimedia playback engine", and its list of optional dependencies is impressive. according to the article i linked, phonon-qt?-vlc is an alternative to xine.
now it may be that all this is outdated (the article is from 2010) or only applies to KDE. in any case gstreamer now seems to be a third option.

it is also possible (and likely) that equally good or better (*) sound quality can be achieved by tweaking configurations for other re/oversampling utilities.

(*) imho, beyond a certain point there's no objective way of deciding what's better, but some hifi freaks seem to think so.
 
  


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