clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

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ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

MM4.1.4.1709 seems to have partly forgotten how to cleanly play OGG files. Lately, OGG files that I had previously ripped with MM and had played trouble-free for years, are now clicking and popping loudly at some parts of playback. The timing is consistent within a given song (so, play the same song multiple times, and you hear the same clicks in the same places), but the clicks' patterns for overall appearance does not consistently fit any obvious pattern.

For example, the clicks do not sound like normal clipping (volume overload), even though they do tend to happen more often at higher volume parts of songs. (The volume traces in Audacity do not how evidence of clipping, either.) And the clicks/pops cannot be explained as source media damage (e.g., scratched CDs), since the ckicks/pops appears on rips that I made on pristine new CDs ... and are only audible now, after years of prior crystal-clear playback of my older OGG files.

If I play the same source files using another program, such as Audacity, some of the clicks are completely gone to the ear, and they have no visible component in the track graphic in Audacity, ... while the remaining clicks that I hear in MM playback are also audible in Audacity, but are MUCH quieter -- this second type of click does show up in the track graphic in Audacity, as an extremely narrow and tall peak, with a time-width of about 2-3 of the smallest time steps that Audacity can display (whatever that time step size is).

These OGG files are typically recorded at high bit rates, like 256 to the high 400s. I recall ages ago experimenting and finding that at bit rates above 500kps, my MM rips played back with lots of this sort of loud crackly static. But after that discovery, I settled into somewhat lower bitrates for OGG rips (250 to ~480 kps), and never had any trouble, until recently. While I did not keep perfect records, this new playback problem seems to have started occurring after upgrading from MM3 to MM4 (which I did maybe a year after MM4 released). Though I can't rule it out as having started before then.

Can anyone comment on this? Has anyone else seen it?

I have found I can fix the clicks/pops by converting the files into FLAC, then using Audacity to convert them into MP3 (e.g., at 256 kps). The new files usually have no clicks/pops, but in rare cases where a soft click persists, I can just delete the tiniest portion of the song that contains that visible peak, and then do the conversion to MP3 (the deletion is so brief I can't hear it). This is fine for a few songs, but I am increasingly finding songs that need this kind of resurrection. It's adding up to WAY more time than I want to spend to recover normal playback, that I used to have without all the extra manual labor. This is starting to be MAJOR detractor to using MM. Not something I say lightly, since otherwise I usually think MediaMonkey is a godsend.

If a moderator can comment, I would very much appreciate it.

Thanks.
Lowlander
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Location: MediaMonkey 5

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by Lowlander »

ZenGeekDad wrote:I can just delete the tiniest portion of the song that contains that visible peak
Sounds like the source file is the issue.

Are you saying the problem started after an update to MediaMonkey 4.1.1?
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

Thanks for the reply. I guess I was hoping for some king of broadly-recognized bug readily fixed by something like a codec patch.

So, no one has had issues with MM playback of OGG files lately? ( << crickets >> )

Unfortunately I can't say exactly when the problem started. I could try reverting to various prior releases, to see if the affected files still click/pop. Haven't invested that kind of time into this yet. If I do, I'll post my results. The reason I'm not sure when it happened, is that the problem is sporadic, only showing up in a small percentage of my files. So, for a long time whenever I discovered a poppy track, I just assumed I had previously missed noticing problems with that rip. (I have too many tracks to be actively familiar with all of them.) But lately I'm running into clicks & pops on tracks that I know I ripped from mint CDs.
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

Still having this problem. And it's on mp3's too; not just ogg's.

I'm going to try to debug it, and post the progress here.

I'll use one test song, that can be found here: http://tabletopaudio.com/download.php?d ... ce_EVA.mp3

This song, BTW, plays fine in 9 out of 9 other players I own (Audacity, Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player, Jet Media Player, iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Center, RealPlayer, and WavePad Sound Editor). But in my current install of MM4, it crackles like crazy.
Last edited by ZenGeekDad on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

Well, no surprise, a simple update install of MM4 did no good.
Last edited by ZenGeekDad on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

Doing a quick-&-easy clean install, via the "portable install" option, gave me a fresh instance of MM4, which plays the test track with vastly fewer clicks and pops, but still a couple-few.
Last edited by ZenGeekDad on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

(deleted)
Last edited by ZenGeekDad on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

This time I ...

(0) made a back-up copy of C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\MediaMonkey\
(1) Unintalled MM4
(2) deleted C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\MediaMonkey\
(3) reinstalled MM4

This resulted in my test song playing like it does in the portable MM4 install on same PC: most of clicks and pops are gone (but not all).

But when I replaced just the new .ini file (C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\MediaMonkey\MediaMonkey.ini) with my old .ini file, this caused the test song to revert to the really heavy constant crackling/popping.

Comparing my prior .ini file with the clean install .ini file (via https://www.diffchecker.com/diff) I get WAY more differences than I have time, patience, or expertise to digest. But, just searching for all instances of difference with the term "codec", I get a couple ... like F_FLAC_CODEC.DLL_flac_Data=01 in the new .ini, vs. no value given in the old .ini. But none of these instances seem associated with statements or sections pertinent to mp3 or ogg playback (e.g., the example above is for FLAC files).
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by ZenGeekDad »

Ah-ha! :D

The problem is related to MM4's default playback volume-leveling setting*. At the default playback leveling target of 89, you get some occasional almost-mild crackling. But at my old norm of 92, this test file gives a boat-load of clicks & pops. And at a playback target of 85, you get no static/crackle/pop at all!

So, perhaps the reason that MM4 was susceptible to this, and my other 9 media players are not, is that the others do not do volume leveling , in the way MM4 does.

That heavy clicking/popping, with playback set for 92, was independent of the speakers used. Got it on desktop speakers, headphones, and ear-buds (all high-end). So the problem seems to be some sort of clipping, just not the type we are all used to hearing in speakers that are driven beyond their rating. So, if this is clipping (and the pattern says it is), then it is more like clipping that occurs in the playback decoder logic.

* Tools >> Options >> Player >> Volume Leveling >> (checked option) "Level playback volume to ..." = ___ (where default is 89 dB)
ZenGeekDad
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:44 pm

Clicking / popping in playback

Post by ZenGeekDad »

This is to summarize the results of a problem I resolved in another (more lengthy) thread ...

Some source files can playback in MM with a very unpleasant pattern of clicks and pops, like loud static. This sounds like defects in the source media for the song -- like scratches in a CD, for example. However, it appears to be codec-level clipping. (Analog clipping from over-driven speakers sounds different.)

This happens especially if you rip a CD (or create a Midi file, or Audacity-type edited file, etc.) at too high a volume level. This can be deceiving. The cases I have encountered do not show up -- for example, in Audacity -- as any kind of obviously visible excess volume peaks. In fact, in every other media player I've tried (9 total), the songs in question play back fine: no click/pops, no static, and no hint of excess peak volume. However, when played back in MM, with too high a leveled playback target, these songs crackle like crazy.

Steer clear of this by avoiding the temptation to rip or otherwise generate your music files at >89 dB leveled volume. And keep the playback volume level at (or below) the default 89 dB: Tools >> Options >> Player >> Volume Leveling >> (checked option) "Level playback volume to ..." = ___ (where default is 89 dB)

Problem songs can be reripped or converted by MM at lower volume targets.



(details at http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... 96#p400196)
GregH
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by GregH »

Thanks for this thread, zenGeekDad.
I've been having the same issue with FLAC, even hi-res from HD Tracks but it has been inconsistent. I was listening to Dan Fogelberg's Netherlands (MP3's ripped from CD) and it was popping today. I wasn't over-driving my speakers (M-Audio AV40's) and here I am getting a pop every so often. I decided enough was enough, found your posts and reset my MM4 leveling to 85.
Now, playing the same files -- no pops or other artifacts.

Thanks,
Greg
dps
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:25 pm

Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by dps »

I'm having a problem like ZenGeekDad.

I'm ripping to FLAC, not OGG, but otherwise experiencing the same thing on at least one track. The original CD plays fine in any player including the computer drive used to rip to MM. The pops sound similar to dirty vinyl, and occur consistently at the same place. Per reading this topic I reset the volume leveling from 89 to 87. Closed and re-opened MM, no difference in the noise. Deleted the album, re-ripped with the new 87db setting. A couple of the pops were missing, but plenty remained at the same time/place in the song.

So what's next? This particular track is frustrating, but what's more scary is how many hundreds of tracks I've ripped and then traded away the original CD so I can no longer re-rip any future noise discoveries. Other inquiries show forums where dBpoweramp and Perfect Tunes are recommended for ripping and checking your rips. I don't particularly mind the $58 but now I'm using various programs instead of just one.

Any suggestions appreciated!
rovingcowboy
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Re: clicks/pops playing OGG files (new problem)

Post by rovingcowboy »

you have to remember that also a cause of clipping is the bpm's used some songs in the genera are good at one level but along comes a song that might have more music and instrument changes in the background it will need more bpm's or you get clipping and merging or notes. this is just an compression issue and is only on some song files that fit the description I gave, some times the clipping makes new words if done in vocal songs. only thing to do is re rip that one or two songs in to a higher bpm. like from the 160 in to the 197 area. if still in the song try 230 range. if still in the song then there is really some other issue in the hardware or even as said the decoder. in that case you can try the fix for the decoder which is to use a 3rd party process manager that works in your op system, and allows you to set the prioritys of the exe files, then use it's way to browse to the mm folder and find the decoder.exe in mm folder, make the adjustment to the priority for that to high or realtime. depending on the number of cpu's your system has. if 2 or more use realtime and set it to only use one cpu so it doesn't mess up other stuff on your computer. but this will allow the decoder to get the full use first of that one cpu then the background processes that might be pausing the decoder in your current priority configuration can not pause it when it is running in higher or realtime. but that slight pause might be the reason for the clips and pops, when the song is being coded and decoded to different formats.

plus speeding up the decoder speeds up the rips and formats. 8)
roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy A51 5G Android ) 6. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.
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