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  1.    #1  
    ..from a Norm Soft CSR:

    We do not plan to support MP3Pro due to the excessively high cost of licensing the technology and low user demand. Adding MP3Pro support would force us to raise the price of PT by at least $5.

    We had a special in November for free upgrades for life on Pocket Tunes Deluxe edition, but that promotion ended on Nov. 30. Currently, the free upgrade for Deluxe registrations only covers 2.x versions.
    Let me know if there's anything else I can help with!

    Take care,
    Gerald

    For customer support, please include the entire text of this email when replying so we can help you more quickly.

    NormSoft, Inc.
    www.normsoft.com
  2. #2  
    I just tried the .ogg format on my Treo using PT. I am very impressed. I converted most of my files from 192 kbs mp3 to an average bit rate of 80 kbs ogg. I can't hear any difference in the sound quality on my Treo. I used Media Jukebox (free) on it's "low quality" setting to do the conversion.
  3.    #3  
    I know that MP3Pro is backwards compatible with devices or software that can only handle MP3s (representing the vast majority). Is the same true for .ogg?
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by ghileman
    I know that MP3Pro is backwards compatible with devices or software that can only handle MP3s (representing the vast majority). Is the same true for .ogg?
    .ogg is a completely different format (like .wma). So I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work on any device that doesn't specifically support .ogg.
  5. #5  
    I know that MP3Pro is backwards compatible with devices or software that can only handle MP3s (representing the vast majority). Is the same true for .ogg?
    I haven't found more than a couple of devices that actually support MP3Pro.
    I don't expect the number to grow either, now that AAC-HE is out an about (the MP4 equivalent of MP3Pro).
    If I were NormSoft I wouldn't be throwing money at adding support for a dying format.

    I suggest you throw a couple of MP3Pro files on a device which only understands ordinary MP3s and have a listen. They'll sound attrocious, because they'll be around 64kbps, and MP3 just doesn't sound any good at that bitrate (hence the existence of MP3Pro).

    All of the PC and PDA media players can play Ogg, and so can a fair bunch of the latest hardware MP3 players.
  6.    #6  
    I previously ran comparison tests using Musicmatch v8.1 encoded MP3 and MP3Pro (encoded at 100% VBR) files. I then listened to the two files back-to-back using PocketTunes on my T600. The MP3Pro files always delivered equal to higher-fidelity. So at least in my case the data contradicts your claim.

    Of course, the big advantage of MP3pro VBR files is that they take up roughly half the memory of a regular MP3.

    Ogg would probably work just fine for me except the lack of backwards compatability with MP3 only devices. Does anyone out there actually believe that the MP3 format will be dethroned from its dominant position in the foreseeable future? My personal feeling is that the MP3 jinni is more than out of the bottle at this point...
  7. #7  
    I previously ran comparison tests using Musicmatch v8.1 encoded MP3 and MP3Pro (encoded at 100% VBR) files. I then listened to the two files back-to-back using PocketTunes on my T600. The MP3Pro files always delivered equal to higher-fidelity.
    Think about what you've just done...
    Assuming the two files came out the same size then the MP3 had just MP3 data, and the MP3Pro had this PLUS some extra info to reconstruct the hi-freq content.
    If you play them back on a device which doesn't take advantage of the extra information in the MP3Pro file then the MP3Pro file will always be lower quality because it contains less usable information.

    Unless that is, you limited MP3 to being CBR and let MP3Pro use VBR, in which case you're not making a fair comparison since MP3 is quite capable of being encoded VBR as well.

    There's a thing called the placebo effect which you should read up on - you'd be surprised how easy it is to fool yourself when you're expecting a particular result.

    Just for interests sake, what was the resulting bitrate for these files?
  8.    #8  
    Well, if the placebo effect does in fact account for the perceived fidelity advantage, then I guess we can add yet another checkmark to the “Why one should encode in MP3Pro” advantages column.

    But seriously, your point could have merit if your assumption that the psycho-acoustic compression has not improved at all between MP3 and MP3Pro is correct. As my German is a little rusty and I don’t work at the Fraunhofer Institute, I cannot verify if this is the case or not.

    There is a relevant example in the analog word that supports my experience with MP3Pro. Dolby HX Pro is applied when a recording is made onto analog tape. However, HX Pro is not needed on the playback deck to enjoy the benefits of it in the recording process.

    It is possible that MP3Pro uses better logic when it compresses the
    data below the cutoff threshold of MP3s (15kHz I believe), such that an
    MP3Pro sounds better than an MP3 even on MP3 only players. Any MP3Pro psycho-acoustic encryption experts out there willing to take up this question?
  9. #9  
    You make it sound as if there is only one MP3 encoder... there are many.
    Psycho-acoustic compression has improved a lot since MP3 was introduced - there have been several improved versions from Fraunhofer alone.
    Until you do a blind test you won't really know which is best.

    The fact remains that at bitrates below 128k, MP3 sounds rubbish.
    MP3Pro sounds good at lower bitrates, but so does Ogg - and Ogg has much wider support than MP3Pro (as you've already discovered from your conversation with NormSoft).

    Even if you can convince yourself that MP3Pro makes a better MP3 encoder than any other MP3 encoder out there, I'd try listening to an Ogg at 64k - 100k before I got too excited.
    For me the difference is big enough so that no amount of wishful thinking would hide MP3s deficencies.

    (You still haven't said whether you were using VBR for the MP3 encode, or what bitrate your resulting files were).
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by ms264556
    [...] All of the PC and PDA media players can play Ogg, and so can a fair bunch of the latest hardware MP3 players.
    Do you happen to be able to name a few of those hardware players? The Neuros is the only one I've seen so far.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  11. #11  
    The Rio Karma does Ogg. So does the iRiver iHP-120.
    iRiver has a Firmware release for several other players to support Ogg due 24th Dec, with a roadmap for supporting Ogg on all of their older players (with the exception of some older players which don't have enough memory).

    Of course any PDA will play Oggs fine with any number of media players.

    I grabbed the latest Thomson MP3Pro encoder on Thursday and encoded a few songs I know well. They do sound very listenable at 64kbps when played using the provided MP3Pro decoder on my PC; but after a few minutes of listening to them through pocket tunes on my Treo I'd have to suggest that ghileman has ears of lead if he can endure this.

    A severe annoyance for me is that I now have to listen to my existing MP3s through Thomson's MP3Pro decoder (they share the extension and the Winamp MP3Pro plugin insists on either taking all MP3s or doing nothing at all).
    At least with Oggs I'm free to use the standard MP3 plugin (which supports streaming properly for example) that comes with my player.

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