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What is ATRAC 4.5 and why is it not for Hi-MD?

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I thought ATRAC3plus was the best encoder Sony had to offer but I've heard of ATRAC 4.5 used in other models (non Hi-MD). What is the difference and shouldn't it be available for Hi-MD? Edited by Chris G

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I thought ATRAC3plus was the best encoder Sony had to offer but I've heard of ATRAC 4.5 used in other models (non Hi-MD). What is the difference and shouldn't it be available for Hi-MD?

ATRAC 4.5 refers to SP mode encoding only.

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I thought ATRAC3plus was the best encoder Sony had to offer but I've heard of ATRAC 4.5 used in other models (non Hi-MD). What is the difference and shouldn't it be available for Hi-MD?

You're confusing ATRAC types and ATRAC revisions. Since the Minidisc.org pages are strangely out of order I'll explain this as briefly and quickly as possible.

ATRAC is the original codec that started it all. 292kpbs and it is what MD started out using (MD in SP mode). This is the ATRAC or ATRAC1 codec. ATRAC is nearly entirely exclusive to MDs in SP mode and no other format on any other device or medium used this (there are some *technical* exceptions but irrelevant for this explanation).

This ATRAC is more "nomenclaturally-correctly" called, based on later revisions, ATRAC1. Notice there is no space between the word ATRAC and the number 1. It isn't actually called/printed as ATRAC1 because it was the first--there was nothing else when it started so ATRAC is the name.

ATRAC[1] comes in several revisions. Sony (and other companies as well) continually revised the codec and so we've had:

ATRAC 1.0

ATRAC 2.0

ATRAC 3.0

ATRAC 3.5

ATRAC 4.0

ATRAC 4.5

ATRAC Type-R (really ATRAC 5.0 just named Type-R for coolness I guess, lol)

Then we have ATRAC3. Again notice no space between the word and the number. ATRAC3 is a codec which originated with MDLP. It has three bitrates IIRC though only two are used for MDLP. There's 132kbps (LP2), 105kbps (not used on legacy MD), and 66kbps (LP4).

You should stop and realise here that ATRAC 3.0 and ATRAC3 are not at all the same thing. One is the 3rd revision of the ATRAC codec and one is another codec altogether.

Later Sony created ATRAC3plus which is what is mainly used with Hi-MDs and flash and HDD based Walkmans. This format has various bitrates available.

There is one trick here. ATRAC Type-S is actually a playback-only enhancement for MDLP (ATRAC3) tracks. Type-S however, if it is displayed on a unit, automatically implies that the unit also has ATRAC Type-R for SP (ATRAC).

This should clear things up. ATRAC3plus is it's own codec, not an encoder revision of the original ATRAC format. Comparing ATRAC3plus and its various bitrates to ATRAC 4.5 as you mention is like comparing apples to oranges.

Hope that helps!

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I thought ATRAC3plus was the best encoder Sony had to offer but I've heard of ATRAC 4.5 used in other models (non Hi-MD). What is the difference and shouldn't it be available for Hi-MD?

A very good question and a good answer form MDX-400. I have wondered myself about this. ATRAC 4.5 DSP to me always produced stunning results. So what is the difference in sound quality between this and ATRAC3plus??

I just wish Sony would bring out that HI-MD deck (JA777ES maybe)!!

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A very good question and a good answer form MDX-400. I have wondered myself about this. ATRAC 4.5 DSP to me always produced stunning results. So what is the difference in sound quality between this and ATRAC3plus??

What one is better quality atrac3plus or 4.5?

Again, you're missing one little thing here.

You can't just compare ATRAC3plus to ATRAC1 4.5...

Since ATRAC3plus has many bitrates you have to specify which one.

E.g. ATRAC3plus at 48kbps is going to be no match for ATRAC encoded with revision 4.5 encoder.

But ATRAC3plus at 256kbps is arguably roughly equivalent to original ATRAC, even at Type-R, perhaps even better. Though 256k is a little lower bitrate than 292k, ATRAC3plus is over 10 years newere a codec (not that much newer than the Type-R revision but as a base codec) and has significant enhancements in technology.

ATRAC3plus at 352kbps should easily win over ATRAC just by sheer bitrate (352kbps is already 60kbps higher than 292kpbs), nevermind the fact that it is far newer. Same for ATRAC3plus @ 320kbps.

In the end, however, it's just up to your ears. Compare SP encoded with Type-R to your favourite ATRAC3plus rate and you decide.

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So the next logical question is:

Do atrac3 and atrac3+ (any bitrate) have revisions? If so, what are they, and where is each revision used? (e.g. 1st gen Hi-MD and onward, soniscage 3.2 and onward etc)

I guess if the answer to the first question is yes a horrible messy answer will ensue, so sorry if that's the case :)

Thanks!

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Actually, ATRAC is used other than MD ( and various Sony CDs and network walkman units). It is the basis for SDDS, the sound encoding used by various movie studios owned by Sony. This may be where the acutal push for improvement comes from.

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Pesonally, I think Hi-SP 256kbps is more than suitable for most portable listening needs, no matter who you are, and what and on what you are listening to.

I could be wrong though.

PS. I listen to 352kbps ATRACplus3 when listening at home via line-out plugged into my Logitech Z-680 5.1 System (THX Certified with 505 watts RMS).

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for me atrac3+ 256 > SP

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Actually, ATRAC is used other than MD ( and various Sony CDs and network walkman units). It is the basis for SDDS, the sound encoding used by various movie studios owned by Sony. This may be where the acutal push for improvement comes from.

ATRAC meaning ATRAC1 has never been used on CDs or Network Walkmans, to my knowledge. Only ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus. On CDs ATRAC would make absolutely no sense as no CD player would be able to read it; on an NW it would make no sense either because there is no computer program available to use ATRAC with--SS does not provide options for transferring ATRAC to any device. (Though SS does allow transfer to SP on MDs, it's fake. SS only streams ATRAC3 132k to the recorder which then in turn transcodes to ATRAC.) ATRAC remains and will always remain "under lock and key" when it comes to computer access/transfer of the format--it simply isn't possible.

However you're correct that ATRAC was the basis of SDDS--that's one of those exceptions I was speaking about when I said "there are some *technical* exceptions but irrelevant for this explanation", LOL.

So the next logical question is:

Do atrac3 and atrac3+ (any bitrate) have revisions? If so, what are they, and where is each revision used? (e.g. 1st gen Hi-MD and onward, soniscage 3.2 and onward etc)

As for revisions to the ATRAC3 and 3plus codecs it is possible though that information has never been released by Sony. Since these are, the majority of the time (the only exception being MDLP recording really), encoded by a PC, Sony could have upgraded the encoding process several times and no one would ever have known. There have, afterall, been several revisions of SS the main program for encoding these formats. However, it's just as likely that the encoders have never been upgraded/revised at all. I.e. Barring some other information, we don't really know if there are revisions.

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Best regards from Peru. This subject is totally subjective, we are also leaving aside the hardware, of course, we are in a forum where it is discussed about Atrac Sony, but attention, I have a collection of approximately 50 Portable Md of different times and brands. As well as players and recorders. The Atrac versions of the beginning of the 90, make with them recordings taking in consideration the amount of Bits of the source. For example I compared a sony player with an MD recorder from the 90's competition, very good sound quality, but now this same competing recorder, with a 24-bit source of high fidelity competition, improves the musical detail , The sound amplitude. There is not everything, probe in a md sony player with mega bass, very well, but in a player, from the late 90's with best DAC competition and with its own dedicated amplifier, wow impressive clarity. Now the theme of headphones! Is to enter another field (but I have tried with only one hearing aid in all cases, high range of course).

It is subjective, but yes, technically there should be a demarcation on this topic, indicate if the SP is really pure or it is made up according to the ATRAC Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

 

Saludos cordiales de Peru. Este tema es totalmente subjetivo, estamos dejando de lado tambien el hardware, si claro, estamos en un foro donde se discute acerca de Atrac Sony, pero atencion, tengo una coleccion de aproximadamente 50 Md Portatiles de diferentes epocas y marcas. Asi como reproductores y grabadores. las versiones de Atrac de inicio de los 90, realice con ellas grabaciones teniendo en consideracio la cantidad de Bits de la fuente. Por ejemplo  he comparado un reproductor sony con un grabador MD de la competencia de los 90, muy buena calidad de sonido, pero ahora este mismo grabador de la competencia, con una fuente de 24 bits de la competencia de alta fidelidad, mejora el detalle musical, la amplitud sonora. Ahi no queda todo, probe en un md reproductor de sony  con mega bass, muy bien, pero en un reproductor, de los  fines de los 90  de la competancia con mejor DAC y con su propio amplificador dedicado, wow impresionante claridad. Ahora el tema de audifonos! es entrar en otro terreno (pero he probado con solo un audifono en todos los casos, de alta gama por supuesto).

Es subjetivo, pero si, tecnicamente deberia haber un deslinde acerca de este tema, indicar si realmente es pura el SP o es maquillado segun la Version del ATRAC.

Gracias.

 

 

 

 

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