All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 29-05-2009, 03:31 AM
scoopex scoopex is offline
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Samsung: No plan to enhance camcorder audio in future firmware

Something has to be clarified here about audio codec on i8910HD (with XXIE4)

1. audio coding format from camcorder
AMR-NB

2. audio coding format from audio recorder ( i.e. Voice recorder )
WAV(Normal quality), AAC-LC(High quality), AMR-NB (MMS quality).

3. audio coding playback. (Some are containers)
Support Mp3 , AAC/AAC+/eAAC+ , AMR (NB and WB) , WAV , Real Audio , WMA , MP4.

I know most of you are complaining about no AAC for camcorder, but currently afaik, there is no plan to add it to new firmware release. Any updates we get will publish on this site.

http://innovator.samsungmobile.com/b...4&platformId=1

Come on ABS use your contacts at Samsung too see if this major flaw on this phone is being fixed.

  #2  
Old 29-05-2009, 08:17 AM
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If you read through the entire discussion thread on the Samsung Innovator site, you'll see Samsung gave a very frank, valid reason for their choice of using AMR-NB for the camcorder.

  #3  
Old 29-05-2009, 10:35 AM
Jules_N93 Jules_N93 is offline
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Stuclark, you probably mean this response:

"1) You are right about camcorder sound, it is using AMR Narrow Band at 8000Hz 16 bit 2 channel 12.8 Kbps bit rate. There are several factors leading up to that decision, and as always there are trade-offs too - AMR is felt to be a better choice for human voice - using the AMR software codec they are also able to get better noise reduction - and using the software codec they get better management of the load using the ARM CPU."

a remark made by a guy working at the Samsung UK HQ.

If you call this a 'valid' reason, you're either on the Samsung payroll, or don't take filming seriously. I know you have a I8510 Stuclark, which has the exact same problem. Have you ever had a Nokia and used that for filming? Haven't you noticed the enormous difference in audio quality? Have you even seen the review here on AAS, where the I8510 gets 4 out of 10 for filming, because of the crappy sound?

It's to bad that the moderator on the Samsung part of the AAS forum is always defending Samsung, even if there are serious problems like this, or like the battery problems with the I8510. This forum is supposed to be by and for the users! It's not a Samsung advertorial!! Take this request seriously: AAS, use your contacts to adress this with Samsung.

  #4  
Old 29-05-2009, 11:21 AM
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stuclark stuclark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules_N93 View Post
Stuclark, you probably mean this response:

"1) You are right about camcorder sound, it is using AMR Narrow Band at 8000Hz 16 bit 2 channel 12.8 Kbps bit rate. There are several factors leading up to that decision, and as always there are trade-offs too - AMR is felt to be a better choice for human voice - using the AMR software codec they are also able to get better noise reduction - and using the software codec they get better management of the load using the ARM CPU."

a remark made by a guy working at the Samsung UK HQ.

If you call this a 'valid' reason, you're either on the Samsung payroll, or don't take filming seriously. I know you have a I8510 Stuclark, which has the exact same problem. Have you ever had a Nokia and used that for filming? Haven't you noticed the enormous difference in audio quality? Have you even seen the review here on AAS, where the I8510 gets 4 out of 10 for filming, because of the crappy sound?

It's to bad that the moderator on the Samsung part of the AAS forum is always defending Samsung, even if there are serious problems like this, or like the battery problems with the I8510. This forum is supposed to be by and for the users! It's not a Samsung advertorial!! Take this request seriously: AAS, use your contacts to adress this with Samsung.
There's a couple of points in there I need to address...

Firstly, NO ONE on the AAS team is biased towards either Nokia, Samsung, SonyEricsson, Motorola, LG, or anyone else making Symbian based phones! Sure, we all have our preferences and those may differ from one person to another, but each device gets rated on it's own merits; not on which manufacturer its come from. No one is on the payroll of any company, and contrary to popular belief, we don't all get free handsets from everyone either (I wish)! It should also be noted that I'm not "the moderator on the Samsung part of the AAS forum" - if you look in the Nokia, Motorola, SonyEricsson & Sendo parts you'll find just as many posts from me. (and more moderating tends to go on there, as the more popular boards attract more spam, unfortunately)

To be honest, NO, I don't take filming dead seriously - if I did I'd invest in a decend, dedicated camcorder, as that will always beat a phone's filming abilities. That said, I have done a lot of testing with my 8910; although I know full well that my usage pattern will mean I won't use it as extensively in the future.

So, I guess it doesn't matter as much to me... but what does matter (and what Steve really slated the 8510 for in reviews) is the audio / video syncrohisation. I can confirm that on the current UK (Orange) firmware, the audio sync problems which plagued the 8510 (and still exist in that handset) and early 8910 prototypes have almost been eliminated. Even on "full" HD recording mode, the audio lag is acceptable. (in actual fact, the audio gets ahead of the video, due to the time it takes the phone to compress the video)

...which brings me to the next point... the one, stand-out comment from the Samsung guy was "and using the software codec they get better management of the load using the ARM CPU" - remember that when trying to encode HD video the phone's processor has a HELL of a lot to do. The phone's not running a top of the spec Intel i7 processor, so doesn't have loads of power to spare, so if there's something that can be (reasonably) reduced in order to reduce the load on the CPU, then it's quite legitimate to do it!

Oh, and yes, I have got many Nokia handsets, and yes, I do notice their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, this weekend I plan to do a couple of comparison videos on my 8910 to compare to some I took on my N95 a year or so back... (I'm also going to do some comparisons to videos shot on my 8510)
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  #5  
Old 29-05-2009, 11:45 AM
Jules_N93 Jules_N93 is offline
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OK Stuclark, that's all good to hear, thanks for the answer.

To re-phrase my previous post then: I disagree with you that the explanation they give is reasonable, because the main reason they state is that that codec is "better". For voices and for noise reduction. Both statements are false, even grotesquely so imho.

The argument that it's less load on the processor is of course valid, depending on the quality of the programming. However, nothing stops Samsung from implementing a decent codec when recording in lower resolutions.

I DO take filming quite seriously (both for prostarity and for 'citizen journalism'), and I can tell you that the quality of the sound is often even more important then that of the video. If sound quality is too low, you can't follow a discussion or hear the music, whereas when the video-Q is low, it's usually enough to get the idea, especially when sound-Q is good.

Last edited by Jules_N93; 29-05-2009 at 12:30 PM.

  #6  
Old 29-05-2009, 02:01 PM
shug shug is offline
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The more cynical amongst us would be forgiven for supposing that Samsungs purchase of the patents for the AMR format last year may have played a role in their decision. To use aac would involve minute tweaks in the video compression.

  #7  
Old 29-05-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shug View Post
The more cynical amongst us would be forgiven for supposing that Samsungs purchase of the patents for the AMR format last year may have played a role in their decision. To use aac would involve minute tweaks in the video compression.
Surely not? We've never seen a company using their own patents at the expense of the mass market, have we! *cough* Sony *cough*

  #8  
Old 29-05-2009, 03:03 PM
oile oile is offline
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deactivating audio in camcorder app produced a boost of +1 FPS so maybe they are correct...

ANyone will try to write an app for SD + AAC ???

  #9  
Old 29-05-2009, 04:01 PM
shug shug is offline
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Still I don't think the sound is that bad and I've never wanted this phone for the hd but for the hardware they were forced to use to get it working. I can cope with this far easier than with Nokia trying to offload the last million arm11 chips overclocked on their so called flagship device.

  #10  
Old 30-05-2009, 08:10 AM
scoopex scoopex is offline
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Fix for audio encoding problem on the way.

Hi st23, I'm here. We are a small team trying to do a million things, including trying to ship the DevPack to enable developers to write apps for the i8910HD, writing and testing example apps, trying to get API documentation into good shape, writing and commissioning tech notes and tech papers, helping out as Symbian Foundation prepares to go live, trying to run our forum as well as the overall developer programme, supporting our Core members to ship cool apps, trying to support the organisation to improve the maturity with which it deploys open platforms in handsets - and escalating and trying to get resolution for the issues that get reported through this forum and others.

Let me try to summarise this thread -

1. Some of you consider the i8910 broken because of its lack of support for AAC encoding in the Camcorder
2. Some of you find that problem annoying but not a showstopper because you value other features of the phone
3. Some of you have been starting to explore programming the audio and camera APIs
4. Some of you are so angry you can hardly control your anger

So what have we done?

- Escalated the AAC issue through the development team to understand the problem, through the engineering organisation to try to understand whether this is a defect or is by design, escalated through the management side to alert them to the need to plan for firmware updates, escalated through the management side to alert them to the damage this issue is causing

- Tried to answer your questions with as much information as we have, which sometimes is not very much at all

- Tried to hide our own frustration that our focus on developers is being diverted because of problems (like AAC and firmware update) that really don't have much to do with enabling you to write cool apps!

Right now, there is no more information I can give on if, how, or when this problem will be resolved. But we are not ignoring it. As soon as we have something helpful to tell you, we will post it!

Ben.




  #11  
Old 09-06-2009, 03:47 PM
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I, too, believe this to be a flaw, and as a consumer am disappointed in this aspect of the i8910. I have started talking to Samsung UK about this and have registered my hope that it can be fixed somehow ... (mmm...). Do please read the separate posting I started in this forum!
The i8910 is remarkable piece of technology - I propose we all interact with Samsung to make it almost perfect! I wish their development team all the best and thank them for the handset so far (well, I did buy it!). By improving this aspect, I am certain they can carry it forward into e.g. their new 12MP offerings in the near future.
Cheers!
PS seeing the iPhone 3GS debut... it remains that the i8910 biggest attributes are the wonderful screen and camera. Samsung should try their best to make these work as flawlessly as possible!

  #12  
Old 09-06-2009, 09:36 PM
sciroccokid sciroccokid is offline
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It is such an over site. Is it related to processor capacity?
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2009, 02:24 PM
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Hi sciroccokid - all I know is that as an end-consumer I cannot get 1280x720p working at 24fps on my LCD TV yet, in any fashion. My experience over the years tells me that I share your idea that the processor/chipset/graphics in the handset is not really up to the job, and Samsung's marketing department has put undue pressure on the tech. dept. and they've probably not quite made it, we are still in the beta-phase on this methinks - hopefully some of their techies/electrical engineers didn't stress-out! LOL :-) In any case, I wish them all the best & hope someone, somewhere, can figure out a workaround for me... but, I have some news for later on tonight - I want to write it up thoughtfully and post my report in a separate thread. It is not very exciting. At present I have been stress testing the battery all day in a 'real world' test and becoming pleasantly surprised on that too!

  #14  
Old 15-06-2009, 09:24 PM
Septemberregen Septemberregen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoopex View Post
Fix for audio encoding problem on the way.

Hi st23, I'm here. We are a small team trying to do a million things, including trying to ship the DevPack to enable developers to write apps for the i8910HD, writing and testing example apps, trying to get API documentation into good shape, writing and commissioning tech notes and tech papers, helping out as Symbian Foundation prepares to go live, trying to run our forum as well as the overall developer programme, supporting our Core members to ship cool apps, trying to support the organisation to improve the maturity with which it deploys open platforms in handsets - and escalating and trying to get resolution for the issues that get reported through this forum and others.

Let me try to summarise this thread -

1. Some of you consider the i8910 broken because of its lack of support for AAC encoding in the Camcorder
2. Some of you find that problem annoying but not a showstopper because you value other features of the phone
3. Some of you have been starting to explore programming the audio and camera APIs
4. Some of you are so angry you can hardly control your anger

So what have we done?

- Escalated the AAC issue through the development team to understand the problem, through the engineering organisation to try to understand whether this is a defect or is by design, escalated through the management side to alert them to the need to plan for firmware updates, escalated through the management side to alert them to the damage this issue is causing

- Tried to answer your questions with as much information as we have, which sometimes is not very much at all

- Tried to hide our own frustration that our focus on developers is being diverted because of problems (like AAC and firmware update) that really don't have much to do with enabling you to write cool apps!

Right now, there is no more information I can give on if, how, or when this problem will be resolved. But we are not ignoring it. As soon as we have something helpful to tell you, we will post it!

Ben.




hi, one question, why here in the allaboutsymbian review, we found a better audio in the 720p test clip ?
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/revie...niahd/720p.mp4

at time, audio in video recording, sounds in all chooseable resolutions, also in 720p bader, exact like in the 720x480 test clip:
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/revie...niahd/720p.mp4

the audio in the 720p test file is not "the best" but a lot better as in the firmware comes with the i8910.

thanks
WS from Germany

Last edited by Septemberregen; 15-06-2009 at 09:26 PM.

  #15  
Old 16-06-2009, 12:11 PM
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The mystery of the HD codecs thickens...!

Well, well, well - Septemberregen, a good point for these preview firmware-derived .mp4 fiels. I attach screen grabs relating to the codec properties, as reported by VLC, for these files from Rafe/Steve's excellent _preview_.

Indeed, the 1280x720 .mp4 is using an AAC codec at 16 kHz (!), as you can see & therefore I can play it back too, as you can, in VLC. Note it is at 20 fps though!
The 720x480p (D1) file is using the AMR "samr" codec for audio, hence no sound for me in VLC, and it is 30 fps.

BUT !!! I can assure you that my Orange-branded UK handset is outputting the 8 kHz samr (AMR) audio codec for BOTH these .mp4 settings from the i8910 camera...at 1280x720 and 720x480.
Thus I can only hear audio when I playback in Quicktime & have lip sync issues, as well as low quality audio.

Looks like Samsung changed the audio codecs at the last minute, hence my released XXIE2 Orange firmware has the duff AMR codec throughout.
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