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Initial D World - Discussion Board / Forums > Initial D Music > Analysing music to spot transcodes


Posted by: Lebon14 Mar 4 2011, 02:37 AM
Hello everybody.

I'm pretty sure you saw me b*tch about it in the past. Well, now, I want people to gain knowledge on how to spot them. I will explain roughly on how to detect transcodes with two softwares :

1. Adobe Audition (Trial should do the job, but still ~400$ to buy).
2. Audacity (Free and open source - google it).
3. Spek : http://www.spek-project.org/ (Not covered here, but straight forward)

-------------------

So, to start off, let's get a little background. Let's say someone shared you an extended from Super Eurobeat 183 for a long time and somebody suddenly step in and share, OMG, a MP3 320!!! But is this MP3 320 is really a good MP3 320k encode? Let's see how to find out.

Adobe Audition

The best software out there for that is the Adobe Audition line. To check it out, load your MP3 and go into Waveform mode (aka single file edit mode) and click in the waveform somewhere in the tune. Then go Window -> Frequencies Analysis.

A window should appear with the analysis at the current point in the song.

Audacity

The free solution and it is able to let you know what you want. Google and install. Load your song and click somewhere on it then go Analysis -> Plot Spectrum. Audacity will prompt that it can only analysis like the 4 first minutes, but that's more than enough. A graphic should appear. That's what you want.

But... but... that's all good but what frenquencies is what quality

Check this out :
user posted image
click to enlarge

Be sure to enlarge the picture. Even if those are "approximative", it should give you a good idea. If the song was originall VBR, you can spot this by seeing that it settles for a minimum and a maximum frequency instead of only of a maximum. Your best bet is to play the end to see if quality diminish with less sound. Happens a lot for AAC.

Anyway, I won't go into details. Note that, I reserve right to remove a download if it's transcoded.

Suspect list

EVERYTHING that was downloaded from iTunes Japan (m4p 128kbps), mu-mo/mora (DROM WMA 128kbps) and Musico (DRM WMA 128kbps for Avex releases). You CANNOT get extra quality by encoding at 320kbps. So, the "extended" that you got for you SEB 183 song has probably been downloaded from mu-mo/mora or Musico. Be sure to check with either software and if it was badly encoded, re-encode accordingly to save space and to have exact information.

Exception from iTunes Japan : if the item was "iTunes Plus", it's still transcoded (because M4A 256k VBR is better quality than MP3 320) but less noticeable.

It's annoying to everybody, don't try to hide the truth, somebody will unveil it someday.

Posted by: K1RZA Mar 4 2011, 06:04 AM
user posted image

Posted by: Lebon14 Mar 4 2011, 12:55 PM
QUOTE (C1RZA @ 6 hours, 51 minutes ago)
http://i1.fastpic.ru/big/2010/0107/1e/9c56...7bc30f24a1e.jpg

Good find, mate! thumbsup.gif

Posted by: Lebon14 Apr 9 2011, 10:55 PM
Added a software called Spek at the beginning of the 1st post. Its only purpose is to check the spectrum. Highly recommanded!

Posted by: K1RZA Apr 10 2011, 02:36 AM
It seems not only do I recommend http://www.spek-project.org/ smile.gif
user posted image
Image size reduced, original size: 670 x 532. Click here to view the image in its original dimension.

QUOTE ("Features")

    Supports all popular lossy and lossless audio file formats thanks to the FFmpeg libraries.
    Ultra-fast signal processing, uses multiple threads to further speed up the analysis.
    High number of frequency bands for the best spectrogram quality.
    Shows the codec name and the audio signal parameters.
    Allows to save the spectrogram as an image file.
    Drag-and-drop support; associates with common audio file formats.
    Auto-fitting time and frequency rulers.

Posted by: Ralli380Gvr4 Jan 8 2013, 11:28 AM
Good knowledge if your making some eurobeat.

Posted by: kyonpalm Jan 8 2013, 03:12 PM
QUOTE (Ralli380Gvr4 @ 3 hours, 44 minutes ago)
Good knowledge if your making some eurobeat.

Why would this be useful for music production?

Posted by: Nomake Wan Jan 8 2013, 05:11 PM
QUOTE (kyonpalm @ 1 hour, 58 minutes ago)
Why would this be useful for music production?

Shh. Don't question the antics of a newbie trying to buff up his post count for certain purposes. whistling.gif

Posted by: Lebon14 Jan 9 2013, 11:04 AM
QUOTE (Nomake Wan @ Yesterday, 9:11 PM)
Shh. Don't question the antics of a newbie trying to buff up his post count for certain purposes. whistling.gif

LOL, good point. But he isn't half-wrong though... if you are using samples to create your music and want your final result to be 100% lossless, you should know how to spot those transcoded samples. smile.gif

Posted by: kyonpalm Jan 9 2013, 01:50 PM
QUOTE (Lebon14 @ 2 hours, 45 minutes ago)
LOL, good point. But he isn't half-wrong though... if you are using samples to create your music and want your final result to be 100% lossless, you should know how to spot those transcoded samples. smile.gif

I was going to mention that if the conversation got a little deeper, actually. smile.gif

Posted by: dexter9898 Nov 7 2014, 09:14 PM
Spek is really a good software. But some avex cds during the 90s and early 2000 can show poor results on the spectrum too.

Posted by: eXtaticus Nov 7 2014, 09:28 PM
-redacted-

Posted by: K1RZA Nov 8 2014, 12:45 AM
QUOTE
Audiochecker

Then it is better to use auCDtect Task Manager. Although the algorithms are the same.

Posted by: KonradZuse Nov 8 2014, 11:11 AM
I just saw this thread so I wanted to say that I have a license of Adobe CC, and I believe Audition is in the suite.

I am curious if that will help me learn more about audio in general (some of the comments made it seem that some of these programs aren't good for making music)?

Just curious if it's something I should look at?

No clue about audio creation/editing etc, would like to learn though.

Posted by: K1RZA Jan 26 2015, 10:29 AM
Add useful links. Suddenly someone come in handy. rolleyes.gif
Adobe Audition CS6 5.0.2 Portable
user posted image
Adobe Audition CC 2014 Portable
user posted image
My Foobar (1.3.7) Portable
user posted image

Posted by: sderenzi Jan 29 2015, 10:36 AM
I've rather been fond of this actually http://spectro.enpts.com/

About Spectro

Spectro is a freeware audio file analyzer for windows. Currently capable of reading FLAC, APE, MP3 and WAV files. Spectro lets you view vital data about compressed audio files and creates a spectrogram of the wave data. This allows you to quickly and easily spot quality issues with a file and also look for transcodes.

Spectro will soon support an automatic transcode detection feature and will be able to scan your music library for suspect files.

Posted by: bombers Aug 25 2015, 10:31 PM
Guys, I need some help about transcode files.

See, I've been finding a lot of JPop mainstream flac files over the web, they have a good spectrum (it does goes over 20khz) but they just sound ... wierd. It doens't sound like a 192kbps mp3, does sounds like a 320kbps mp3, but does not sound clear as a flac, or any type of flac. So, the problem now it is that although people do rip their cds into flac, they don't do it the right way. And I've been struggling to decide which source of flac is good enough to keep. Well, lately I've been enjoying more JIdol music, so right now my playlist is more on the loveline, akb, baby metal, morning musume kinda side.

So, I've been using mainly the auCDtect Task Manager Kirza posted, and most of the time they go around 79% MPEG for those misterious flac files. But when I check the spectrums, they always go over 20khz. So, in my mind, and here is where I need help to clarify things, is: how the heck I'm suppose to read a spectrum? Is there anything in particular on a FLAC file I'm suppose to look at to know if this is a good FLAC?

Posted by: Lebon14 Aug 26 2015, 05:06 AM
Mind to post some of them? Also, it doesn't mean that the spectral goes over 20KHz that it's lossless. MP3 320kbps's cutoff is 20.5KHz for exemple...

Posted by: bombers Aug 26 2015, 08:06 AM
Sure, do you want the files or the spectrum? Thanks already for the help wink2.gif

They actually cut around 21.5hz

Posted by: Lebon14 Aug 26 2015, 08:44 AM
I'd like to have the FLAC themselves, if possible. You don't need to upload the whole album.

Posted by: bombers Aug 27 2015, 02:59 AM
I will try my best to upload it today, yesterday a bunch of work came in so I'm a bit overwhelmed, sorry to make you wait.

https://mega.nz/#F!R9820IrL

Here are the samples, I would appreciate the directions you will take to consider the flac "real" lossless or "fake".

Posted by: Lebon14 Sep 1 2015, 01:24 PM
QUOTE (bombers @ Aug 27 2015, 06:59 AM)
I will try my best to upload it today, yesterday a bunch of work came in so I'm a bit overwhelmed, sorry to make you wait.

https://mega.nz/#F!R9820IrL

Here are the samples, I would appreciate the directions you will take to consider the flac "real" lossless or "fake".

I can't download that. I need the encrypting key which you gladly from the link when you copied it off MEGA by unchecking that box...

Posted by: bombers Sep 1 2015, 02:56 PM
so sorry:
https://mega.nz/#F!R9820IrL!4dPEuKoQ9Z_rBaGyBoUihg

please let me know if it works

Posted by: Lebon14 Sep 1 2015, 03:13 PM
Heavy Rotation is 100% lossless. The rest is lossy sourced. I don't know what codec was used beforehand though.

EDIT

I downloaded the single for "12 Gatsu No Kangaroo" from a reputable source that had a EAC ripping log. I can tell you that it's legit. It looks lossy but I guess it's not.

I can check HKT48 soon.

EDIT 2

Same for HKT48. Now, that I think about, it might be a 24-bit / 48KHz to 16-bit / 44.1KHz thing. And after a convertion of mine... it might.

Anyway, it might just be lossy mastering.

Posted by: bombers Sep 1 2015, 04:47 PM
Lebon, thank you very much! I remembered the posts about lossy mastering around the forum and though that that might be the reason why it seems like it was transcoded. It might happen because the ab48 groups always press a lot of cds because its goodies (voting tickets etc) and therefore the final quality sucks... So I think for those particular groups it might get down to how well is my "hearing". Right?

btw, if the cd has a log, and i use the cuetools to check, will it confirm that it wasnt a transcode?

Posted by: Lebon14 Sep 2 2015, 07:22 PM
All idol group is based on gimmicks to make people buy CDs. Heck, I think I remember AKB48 selling 1M single for people to vote for the best girl. They could get infinite entry as long as they bought a copy... But there's no relation of that and the quality of the track on the CD.

First of all, get good gear: either headphones or speakers; whichever fits your deal best. You can find tons of reviews, tutorials online on how to make a good purchase. The rest, it's pretty much down to you.

CUETools will varify against AccurateRip and its own database to check if the rip was accurate. It won't tell you if the encode was legit or not. Audiochecker is a good tool for that. However, I'd pair that up with Adobe Audition or Spek to check the spectral yourself. Imo, I don't like Audacity to check that because of the color scheme used.

That's pretty much it.

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