history of britain in numbers

Jim web web at audiomisc.co.uk
Tue Mar 3 08:39:10 PST 2015

In article <E11BF51454B540F990EECCFD915BF6FA at vasonote>, Vangelis
<northmedia1 at the.forthnet.gr> wrote:
> On Tue Mar 3 12:31:58 GMT 2015, Jim web wrote:

> Hi again, Jim!

[big snip of useful info]

Thanks for that, it explains a lot. I will also read the get_iplayer info.
Accept that its about time I did! :-)  However until now gip 'just worked'
so I didn't get the round tuit.

> > Or have the BBC also dropped the quality for the last episode
> > so this is as good as that gets?

> From my previous layman's terms analysis, this would then be a YES!

The real curio now remains why the BBC picked out just one episode to
deliver at a third of the rate of the others. I tend to lean towards the
cockup theory of the universe rather than the conspiracy one...  8-]

> NB: This is a speech only show; AAC-LC at 320 (and even 128) kbps
> is - if you ask me - a total waste of bandwidth/disk space!
> For comparison, try to fetch the flashaaclow mode by running:

> get_iplayer --type=radio --pid=b053c3pd --modes=flashaaclow --force

> It is a ~ 4MB .m4a file that sounds quite fine for spoken audio
> content (that is if your software/hardware player supports the
> HE-AACv1 profile...).

Well, you are talking to a fully paid-up audiophile nuitcase. So don't
expect a totally rational response. 8-]

I agree that 128k-ish acc generally sounds fine for speech radio when well
produced. [1] That said, I tend to go for the highest quality I can get.
Partly for 'just in case' reasons and the fact that if I don't I'll then
keep wondering if I've missed something that sounds a bit better.

Given > TB drives all over, I'm not too concerned about the file sizes, I'm
still no-where near filling my NAS even though the files I've been adding
in recent months tend to end up approaching a GB flac per 'LP'. Compared
with that, 30 MB-ish seems small change. :-)

And I do every now and then run tests to compare 'our end of the pipe' with
what the BBC have/send. If you look on my webpages you can see some
examples. ( All audio, but from TV as well as radio.) In some cases I've
been provided with files from the BBC for comparisons. Given that I've been
aiming to aid all concerned to get 'the closest approach to the original
sound' (to borrow someone's catchphrase) I tend to look for the widest pipe
in between to assess the best that can be achieved. That said, its mainly
for music and radio3 type material, not speech.

I'll now be interested to compare the 128-ish kbps m4a with what I recorded
from the flash plugin for FireFox. Alas it didn't occur to me to monitor
the actual rate used by that at the time. Although I'm now tempted to try
again and see what the rate is via that route. I assume it will prove to be
the same 128-ish as it looks like for this episode the BBC simply didn't
put up anything bigger.



[1] Must now do some checks on the 'Cosmos' series on R4extra. The sound
quality of that in places is truly awful and the levels hop all over the
place. I assumed it was just crappy production, but maybe something else is
going on! Content good, sound awful! Gives the impression it started off as
low-rate mp3 files.

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