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  #1  
Old 09-07-2004, 02:36 PM
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Question Gagliarchives audio quality

Just curious..

I think Gagliarchives plays some great stuff. But I listen through the 56k stream. Its audio quality is much lower than that of the regular AM stream at 56k. I wish I can hear it at a better rate.
How is the 128K stream? Is it seeming lesser than AM at 128 or does it sound great? I think maybe they audio compress it for radio and use that file for this stream.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2004, 09:33 AM
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It shouldn't sound "bad", but it won't sound quite as good as regular 56k - but it should certainly be acceptable. A few things contribute to this.

1. WBZC, where the Gagliarchives broadcasts from, broadcasts at 32k Realplayer (you can listen to the original stream through their website). That's what we get to rebroadcast. The quality is actually pretty good, but since we have to rebroadcast it, there is some loss from uncompression/recompression. So, even the 128k won't sound quite as good as the original 32k realplayer stream, but it's closer to the original quality of the source stream than the 56k.

2. WBZC's server has a habit of bumping our stream (and assuming many others) down from 32k to 21k at least once in the four hour broadcast. I know Roger (and previously me) used to keep a close eye on it, and manually get it back to 32k when this happens. But sometimes he doesn't catch it, and the audio quality will go down for a significant portion of the show. Unfortunately, this also affects the recording (which is recorded off the 128k stream) for rebroadcast.

There isn't anything we can do about either item. Most solutions would involve changes at WBZC, including sending us our own higher quality bitrate stream for broadcast, finding out why the server is doing this bumping, and so on. But as Tom would surely testify, we're lucky that we're able to get streaming at all from the station!

Avian
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for your reply. The stream is definitely acceptable. Being an audio engineer I just am more sensitive to audio quality.

As a related discussion...
I also realize that audio quality in general has a substantial affect on music impactfulness. Well-recorded music can move someone more than poorly recorded music, despite it's content. Same goes for listening through better speakers or listening to CD audio (or DVDA) rather than compressed mp3s. I think I'll start a thread on this under "General".
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Avian
2. WBZC's server has a habit of bumping our stream (and assuming many others) down from 32k to 21k at least once in the four hour broadcast.


in the defense of the poor overworked server at WZBC, it's not entirely their fault. A good deal of what can cause it to bump down is network latency. That's not 100% of the problem, but a good portion of it.

Quote:

I know Roger (and previously me) used to keep a close eye on it, and manually get it back to 32k when this happens. But sometimes he doesn't catch it, and the audio quality will go down for a significant portion of the show.


In my OWN defense this time [grin], I might catch it, but often times it will manifest itself during the interview section, or in the middle of a song. I'm VERY hesitant about restarting the feed during actual content, preferring to do it during PSAs and the like.


Quote:

Unfortunately, this also affects the recording (which is recorded off the 128k stream) for rebroadcast.


Ain't that the truth.

Quote:

There isn't anything we can do about either item. Most solutions would involve changes at WBZC, including sending us our own higher quality bitrate stream for broadcast, finding out why the server is doing this bumping, and so on. But as Tom would surely testify, we're lucky that we're able to get streaming at all from the station!

Avian
As far as bumping us down is concerned, I've got a very strong suspicion (based partially on experience, partially on cynicism, and partially on reading coffee grinds (since I don't do tea)) that it has to do with network latency. Our end negotiates with their end for 32k initially, and as time goes on, the signal slows down, buffers empty, and the timing of the streaming slows down. To keep the feed going, quality has to drop. Unfortunately, it doesn't go back up once the network latency goes away. Bummer that. So we have to reinitialize the connection. However, this leaves gaps in the show (like last week's five seconds of silence). I like to do that during PSAs, especially those that are local to the New Jersey listeners.

Another factor that one has to bear in mind is that the stream is mixed and put together based on setting for FM broadcast, whereas we tend to use different settings for MP3s. I'm no audio engineer, but I know based on my settings in iTunes during Gagliarchives vs. normal time, they're quite different. You might want to consider lowering the bass and treble and bringing the mid range settings up a bit. That'll improve the sound quality somewhat (at least it does on my Mac. Your mileage may vary).

Roger -Dot- Lee
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:55 AM
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Internet radio as a whole is pretty dodgy sometimes.

The only SURE way to get all 4 hours of the show in good or better quality is to move within reception distance of the station
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by herbie2001tdi
Internet radio as a whole is pretty dodgy sometimes.

The only SURE way to get all 4 hours of the show in good or better quality is to move within reception distance of the station
Except when the antenna goes down - which has happened!
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Avian
Except when the antenna goes down - which has happened!
Don't I know it! As it is, I am on the fringes of the broadcast, so I sometimes get nothing but static. Believe it or not, it's taken me at least 7 frustrating years of moving an antenna around, hooking up a rooftop aerial, trying so many different combinations of wires and antennas, I think I might have finally found the right combination by simply adding 3 feet to my dipole antenna and snaking it up the wall to the second floor of my house. I have never gotten a stereo signal, but I have been moderately successful in tuning in clean mono (moreso over the past month, but even at that, I still had one show a few weeks ago with static at the 3rd hour for about 45 minutes).

But by and large, the actual over-the-air broadcast is much more reliable than the internet one.
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