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Why does Radio Paradise sound so good?

Discussion in 'audio' started by The Bish, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. left channel

    left channel Prominent Member

    The 320 kbps stream was originally a "Naim exclusive", but of course we all want more. Bill is currently testing a FLAC stream that would work in any player including Naim streamers. It is very much a beta test and keeps disappearing, but this is the url: http://audio-3.radioparadise.com:8000/flac
  2. jtrade

    jtrade pfm Member

    Living somewhat out in the sticks, we have a 4G modem & whilst the data is “unlimited “, after 100GB in a month, one has to top up manually via the T-Mobile app (5GB at a time).

    I have just learned that the FLAC stream uses this in a couple of hours, so I’ve downgraded to Ultra (which I think is 320k) for background listening. Sometimes I can hear a difference, sometimes not.

    In my home office, I stream from my laptop to my Audioengine A2 speakers & there always seems to be the full choice of four mixes, whereas via the iPhone app, there are sometimes only two (right now just Main & Mellow). I thought this might have been a FLAC thing, but it seems not : have others found the same ?

    But really happy to use & support RP.
  3. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

  4. Dave***t

    Dave***t pfm Member

    If streaming flac is using that much data, then something is going quite wrong somewhere.

    Flac should use somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1Mbps, so 450MB per hour.
    Pedro83 likes this.
  5. jtrade

    jtrade pfm Member

    Doesn't 1Mbps translate to 60Mb per minute = 3600Mb or 3.6GB / hour ? If so, that explains why my 5GB top-ups were disappearing so quickly; if not, I am only slightly more confused than usual...
  6. Dave***t

    Dave***t pfm Member

    Not quite. It's all about case sensitivity :) Mb (megabit) ≠ MB (megabyte)

    8 bits = 1 byte, so 1Mb = 0.125MB

    So 60Mb per minute is 7.5MB per minute.

    And to borrow someone on the net's calculation, 1 Mbit/sec = 0.125 Mbyte/sec = 7.5 Mbyte/min = 450 Mbyte/hour = 10.8 Gbyte/day.
    jtrade likes this.
  7. left channel

    left channel Prominent Member

    Bill recently posted this on the RP forum:

    We just don't have the time available to properly program the Rock & Groovy channels and bring them up to RP standards. Rather than continue to offer something that is — in our opinion — too repetitive and lacking in creativity, we have decided to pull those two channels, at least temporarily.

    They are disappearing from the website and all official apps. (The unofficial LMS app retains them, but in each I only get one track repeating over-and-over. Main and Mellow still sound great.)
    jtrade likes this.
  8. Copperjacket

    Copperjacket pfm Member

    Does the number of streams vary? and if so why? The other day there were 4: Main Mix, Groovy Mix, Mellow Mix and I think Rock Mix. Today only 2 - Main and Mellow?
  9. Covenant

    Covenant pfm Member

    Got to say I wasnt too impressed with the Rock channel. Its the variety on RP that is so good, plenty of rock on the main RP channel IMHO.
  10. robs

    robs pfm Member

    I mailed Bill and pointed him to this thread for some positive feedback - he replied (and I assume he won't mind me posting, since it addresses the OP question about why it sounds the way it does!):

    "Thanks a lot, It's always nice to hear from people who appreciate all of the work we put into quality audio.

    The tech description that someone posted is indeed rather out of date. This is a more current one:

    We're all-FLAC (with a very few exceptions that I haven't been able to track down) & no longer use any overall dynamics compression on the audio in our web player or apps. Audio via the stream links -- including 320k -- is still very lightly processed. I do normalization, a bit of manual gain adjustment on portions of some songs, and a few tricks to try to recover a bit of dynamic range (& improve AAC encoding, especially at lower bitrates) on aggressively-mastered recordings. I also occasionally will do some adjustments on recordings I consider to be poorly mastered -- like 80s/90s CDs that were produced using vinyl masters (an unfortunately common occurrence)."

    So it looks like the apps are unadulterated, and the stream links lightly so.

    It's the variety and play lists I love, and why I listen almost everyday. The excellent sound quality is just a huge bonus on top!

    Well worth a donation!
    Moppit, left channel and jtrade like this.
  11. left channel

    left channel Prominent Member

    Yes, only two for now:
    Copperjacket likes this.
  12. Copperjacket

    Copperjacket pfm Member

    Thank you
  13. The Bish

    The Bish Active Member

    Thanks all for an enlightening thread. As robs says, a great reminder for all of us enjoying RP to donate!
  14. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    I'm not sure which "tech description" is being referred to. But given what else he said I had another capture/anaysis this morning. The results can be summarised by looking at this:


    In short: The results seem to confirm my suspicion that there is, indeed, some level compression and 'to the roof' clipping. But that this may well be the source material being played. i.e. what RP get to stream has often already been compressed, etc, by the 'producers' (suppliers) of the music they get.

    Longer: The left hand plots show how the peak level and crest factor varied during a period of just over 30 mins this morning for the same flac stream address we discussed a while ago. What is interesting is that you can probably guess where individual songs/tracks start or end because of the way they vary. Good news is that the crest factor tends *not* to fall when the peak level seems nailed to 0 dBFS.

    The plots at the right show how often any given peak level arises. Top plot was this morning, lower plot a few days ago. Both show signs of level compression and some clipping. But this probably comes from *some* items streamed.
  15. Bjork67

    Bjork67 pfm Member

    Arrgh its down for me :( stream not playing. But it's noted on their forum page.
  16. thebiglebowski

    thebiglebowski pfm Member

    The 320k stream has also been down all day for me.
  17. left channel

    left channel Prominent Member

    Apparently their server went out earlier this week, but all is well again now, and today Bill has released a new test FLAC url.

    This is the link for the direct internet radio FLAC stream, not for the apps in LMS and BluOS.

    From the RP forum:

    Bill G wrote:

    Here's the new test URL. We've identified 2 issues. This URL should successfully address one of those. The other will be addressed tomorrow.

    If you've posted the test URL anywhere, please update your post to the new URL. The old one will be discontinued shortly.


    This is still subject to periodic outages — some brief (for software updates), some longer (due to failures caused by the second issue I mentioned above)​
  18. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    It would be interesting to know what the 'issues' were and what effect they would have had.
  19. left channel

    left channel Prominent Member

    Just saw this posted on the RP forum. I believe these are the final FLAC urls! No special app required.

    "We've sorted out the issues on our FLAC stream encoder, and these URLs should work fine now — bandwidth permitting, of course."
    Main Mix: http://stream.radioparadise.com/flac
    Mellow Mix: http://stream.radioparadise.com/mellow-flac

    They'll also provide "an API endpoint you can use to grab the current now playing metadata + the time until the next song starts", but apparently that is not yet available. Original thread: https://radioparadise.com/community/forum/topic/24857/3846994
  20. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    Hmmm, they don't work in Winamp.

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