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License Free codecs

 
    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 29 jun 2008, 15:19

    License Free codecs

    Many independent labels and artists do not want the added cost of licenses to the Fraunhoffer Institute for mp3 encoding. Flac files are now very common in user playlists as they are a preferred high-fi codec for paid downloads. Could then last.fm allow ogg and flac tags for scrobbling please?

    • Eleniel sa...
    • Användare
    • 29 jun 2008, 16:19
    Yeah! FLAC is a great lossless format, and Vorbis is better than MP3 :)

    • muz sa...
    • Alumni
    • 29 jun 2008, 17:22

    Re: License Free codecs

    Eleniel said:
    Yeah! FLAC is a great lossless format, and Vorbis is better than MP3 :)

    You're referring to radio streaming. Artists and labels can upload in formats of greater quality than 128kbps CBR MP3 and we will automatically transcode it for streaming.

    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue en masse where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.

    luh3418 said:
    Many independent labels and artists do not want the added cost of licenses to the Fraunhoffer Institute for mp3 encoding. Flac files are now very common in user playlists as they are a preferred high-fi codec for paid downloads. Could then last.fm allow ogg and flac tags for scrobbling please?

    For scrobbling if you're on Windows and using the official last.fm client, we simply scrobble based on the tags your media player feeds the plugin. So, if your media player can play format X and handle the metadata for that file fine, then you can scrobble it.

    For OS X, it depends on the file formats iTunes can read.

    And as for Linux, it's down to that media player and it's third party plugin being capable to read that file format.

    Redigerad av muz den 30 jun 2008, 09:41
  • Last.fm allows all and every format for scrobbling. MP3, OGG, FLAC, WMV... heel, create your own audio-compression and call it .zut; as long as you can get your player to play it and read the tags, the client will scrobble it.

    Remember to say "thank you" for the things you haven't had
    • fmera sa...
    • Användare
    • 29 jun 2008, 17:32

    Re: Re: License Free codecs

    mustaqila said:
    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue on mass where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.

    it's not technically possible to stream in different formats? because if it was, i wonder if you could leave what's existing be, and just encode newly acquired music differently.

    U.G.L.Y. - changing the face of music, one artist at a time.
    there are some things pngs can't fix. for everything else, there's pngoptimizer.
  • Re: Re: Re: License Free codecs

    fmera sa:
    mustaqila said:
    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue on mass where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.

    it's not technically possible to stream in different formats? because if it was, i wonder if you could leave what's existing be, and just encode newly acquired music differently.

    Would the quality of the music actually be better then though? I mean, unless the labels upload the music in Vorbis with all the right settings etc (or whatever format they change to), or in a lossless format, then they would have to transcode from one lossy format to another. And I've always been told that that's, like, really bad. Of course I don't know what the people uploading the music are like, but I'm guessing 128 kbps MP3s are something most of them, and most programs, "understand". And that's good, because then there's as little transcoding as possible. I don't really know what I'm talking about though. But what I do know, is that no one in their right mind would name their format ".zut".

    The most pointless war in history needs to be stopped. So join and stuff.
    • Eleniel sa...
    • Användare
    • 29 jun 2008, 22:04

    Re: Re: License Free codecs

    mustaqila said:
    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue on mass where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.


    OK, but what about download? I would like download the files directly in FLAC, for example.

  • I wouldn't expect that all tracks would have FLAC versions ready to download, and transcoding is fairly pointless unless your device only plays FLACs.

    For those tracks that do, I guess it would be preferable, if it could be done with no performance hit - but I'm not personally too bothered about getting the absolute best quality out of last.fm as long as it keeps up most of the time. If I really like something I'll probably buy a CD or go to someone else's website where it's in high quality anyway.

    Let's make cover versions or music or whatever.
    • fmera sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 jun 2008, 08:23

    Re: Re: Re: Re: License Free codecs

    TheMannen said:
    fmera sa:
    mustaqila said:
    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue on mass where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.

    it's not technically possible to stream in different formats? because if it was, i wonder if you could leave what's existing be, and just encode newly acquired music differently.

    Would the quality of the music actually be better then though? I mean, unless the labels upload the music in Vorbis with all the right settings etc (or whatever format they change to), or in a lossless format, then they would have to transcode from one lossy format to another. And I've always been told that that's, like, really bad. Of course I don't know what the people uploading the music are like, but I'm guessing 128 kbps MP3s are something most of them, and most programs, "understand". And that's good, because then there's as little transcoding as possible. I don't really know what I'm talking about though. But what I do know, is that no one in their right mind would name their format ".zut".

    transcoding from one lossy format to another is the last thing anyone would want, of course. so i would never propose anything like that. but if the original source uploaded were, say, something lossless like FLAC, or some other superior streamable format (preferably non-proprietary!), then i'd say yes, go for it - stream it in its original format instead of downsampling and/or needlessly converting it into mp3.

    my point was, as far as streaming goes, leave what's done unchanged, but start fresh with the new material if it is true that mp3 carries with it licensing costs, which FLAC evidently does not, especially if there is an audible improvement.

    U.G.L.Y. - changing the face of music, one artist at a time.
    there are some things pngs can't fix. for everything else, there's pngoptimizer.
  • Re: Re: Re: Re: License Free codecs

    TheMannen said:
    But what I do know, is that no one in their right mind would name their format ".zut".

    ;)
    ".zut" is just an example, of course.
    Point is: make up a new audio-format, write a plugin for your player, and as long as the player reads the information in ID3-tags (or whatever (semi-)compatible format you think off) and the last.fm client will scrobble it... It doesn't give a rat's ass what the source is. As long as the player understands the information, the client will.

    Remember to say "thank you" for the things you haven't had
    • muz sa...
    • Alumni
    • 30 jun 2008, 09:40

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: License Free codecs

    fmera said:
    it's not technically possible to stream in different formats? because if it was, i wonder if you could leave what's existing be, and just encode newly acquired music differently.

    We use custom in-house streaming software that had been made specifically to stream 128k CBR MP3s for a number of performance reasons and also as a somewhat preventative measure to stop stream ripping. Ever notice how you can only ever play the track in real time. Changing the serverside software to play other formats and bitrates would be a massive undertaking.

    Eleniel said:
    OK, but what about download? I would like download the files directly in FLAC, for example.

    The idea has been raised before and isn't one which we're just ignoring, so the possibility is there that it may be implemented for tracks where we have the resources to offer this service. I can't say if and when though.

    • kean13 sa...
    • Användare
    • 2 jul 2008, 15:33

    REgarding Licensing codecs

    Hey guys!

    Need to know where & which codecs ; one can get free one? i don't have any idea about that

    Although i know the companies sell or license their software codecs on many portals like IPsupermarket.com, design-reuse, or design-win.net etc

    • Grassor sa...
    • Användare
    • 22 aug 2008, 20:59
    +1 for OGG streaming. As far as I know you can get the MP3-quality with a lower bitrate in ogg. It would also stop all the licencing issues (not that I'm having any), which I suppose is good. It would save you some bandwidth at the very least.

  • Please read the staff comments in this thread again, especially mustaqila's first one in the thread.

    All comments reflect the views of the poster and not of last.fm or it's management.

    • jarvolt sa...
    • Användare
    • 23 aug 2008, 22:19
    I'm the kind of person that would prefer Vorbis over MP3, but the majority of people would just be pissed off. Although Firefox now natively supports Vorbis, so you never know what the future may bring. Might be able to avoid shitty flash-embedded players altogether one day.

  • Maybe you should lock this thread, or put it under Previously Suggested Ideas, or something.

    Let's make cover versions or music or whatever.
    • akrde sa...
    • Användare
    • 18 nov 2008, 09:14

    Re: Re: License Free codecs

    mustaqila said:
    As for changing the file format of the stream, this would require reencoding our entire catalogue en masse where possible (where we have source files of better quality), and this just isn't feasible for now.


    This sounds to me like that Last.fm will stuck to this 128 kbps CBR MP3 low streaming quality forever! :-(

    • gwalla sa...
    • Användare
    • 18 nov 2008, 17:29

    Re: Re: Re: License Free codecs

    FLAC sucks for streaming, guys. It's not designed for it.

    akrde said:
    This sounds to me like that Last.fm will stuck to this 128 kbps CBR MP3 low streaming quality forever! :-(
    128kbps is not low quality. Studies have shown that most people can't tell the difference between it and higher bitrates or lossless audio at the same sample rate. It'd increase bandwidth usage and the frequency of re-buffering drop-outs for an increase in quality that most people wouldn't even notice.

    And since most of their tracks are uploaded in MP3 in the first place, streaming in any other format would require transcoding, which necessarily leads to a drop in sound quality.

    Ideas that would make things worse are not good ideas. Let it go.

  • to conclude with

    it's like asking the brits to change their roads and drive on the right side.
    Now it's like this, we're stuck with it...

    [although the swedish did it]

  • Err... I think it is a bit different... it is not the Brits changing to the right...
    It is making all cars run on water, at about 3 liter per kilometer. And expecting that it will work even if you have to fill your tank through a straw.

    I really pity all the people on dail-up, data-limited connections or limited bandwidth trying to stream lossless audio.

    Remember to say "thank you" for the things you haven't had
  • yeah well...
    why not create "lossless-last.fm", with a £60/month subscribtion (and ads), only for those who want....?

    • gwalla sa...
    • Användare
    • 19 nov 2008, 03:28
    Because it'd have a tiny fraction of the content of regular Last.FM, and maybe three people would sign up?

  • yeah well it was kind of a rethorical question. The number would be so small that the price would probably have to be much more than £60, and the catalog would be very small at first so the number would be even smaller....

    anyway.

    • nyamya sa...
    • Användare
    • 30 mar 2009, 18:07

    128k mp3 is low quality indeed - at least for ISDN-users

    there still is a high percentage of low-bandwidth users in Europe (~20%?), so while 128k streaming on two ISDN-lines would be possible to listen to with a normal webradio, with last.fm, scrobbling and cover-art leaves you with stuttering music. This is low-quality indeed, much worse than the occasional compression artifact now and then, if one would re-encode the stream.
    I personally would appreciate to have a low-bandwidth AAC+ or OGG version of the service. (Isn't there a nearly CBR-version of OGG encoding?)

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