Since the last Multiformat at 128kbps test, some development happened. Apple launched the iTunes music management app for the Windows platform; several developers - in response to Xiph's slow development rhythm - started developing tuning branches to standard Vorbis 1.0.1, improving quality considerably. Lame got tuned further by Gabriel Bouvigne mostly, and Atrac3 became an interesting contender since it's not limited to MiniDisc anymore.
Also, this test can be seen as an interesting competition about the quality in online music stores. The ubiquitous iTunes Music Store is represented by iTunes AAC, several other stores are using WMA Std, and Sony is expected to launch their own music store soon, featuring Atrac3.
The encoders and parameters tested are:
Anyone interested in audio quality at 128kbps, or interested in buying music from online stores. Or people that have no interest but would like to help making this test better. You don't need excellent hearing, but some good gear is welcome (headphones are must-have).
Download ABC/HR + the readme file from one of the following locations:
Instructions on how to participate are available in the readme.txt/readme.htm file inside the abc-hr_bin.zip package.
If you use BitTorrent, you can download .torrents for the sample packages here: http://www.rarewares.org/torrents/
If you can't use BitTorrent, you can find standard HTTP links inside the readme file
Yes! Thanks to schnofler, any person using an Operating System with Java can participate. Instructions are available inside the ABC/HR package (Readme.txt and unix-instructions.txt).
The test is scheduled to end on May 23rd
If you have any other question, please get in touch.
Thank-you very much,