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Old 02 July 2017, 11:08 pm   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 372

Yeah, having a stable, pretty much "finalized" version of the format, which fixed the problems with the previous version, has been really important and relieving. It's definitely a big reason for the widespread, ever-growing support. We spent years raising awareness to Musepack, cleaning things up and getting support, much thanks to our influential friends in the audio software world, and people like you who spread the word. We were lucky to have Nicolas show up and do lots of great, very professional work for a long time, got the SV8 beta Slashdotted , did lots of testing to make sure everything works right under all conditions, got everything going. Paid off.

Although SV8 does allow multichannel and support by containers such as MKV, it hasn't happened yet, because the video world is completely dominated by formats owned by huge corporations. Even FLAC, which by now has pretty significant industry support behind it and is supported in MKV, is struggling to find a place in video. Truthfully, the error-correction-code considerations in video are great, and some formats offer a greatly superior "complete package" that neither Musepack nor other formats ever aimed to offer, so this gives them an advantage, even though having a universal external ECC solution would have been a much better solution. But that goes against business interests .

Also, as much as multichannel MPC would have been nice, it has the same problem that AAC and others have, which is: no one really does multi-channel coding properly, it's basically a very lame hack of multiple stereo pairs and mono channels. A proper multichannel perceptual audio encoder would have to have true multichannel coding that takes advantage of the info in all channels, to reduce bitrate as much as possible, which is the whole point of efficient audio coding to begin with. Without this, we just get a huge waste of bits, and files which may be several times bigger than they could have been had the coding method was true multichannel. The problem, of course, is that it would be incredibly hard to design, and no one in the world would invest the resources needed to upgrade an existing format like Musepack or even AAC which has all the support in the world, not to mention design something new aimed at high sound quality, which would be senseless of course, and which I don't expect to happen in the next decades. Luckily stereo will always remain the dominant format, as we have two ears, and people will keep using headphones and two speakers in most places, and headphone usage will greatly increase in the future, as "virtual reality" and "augmented reality" in every aspect of entertainment, media and life in general keeps increasing.
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