Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Other ABX testers

I'm very distressed that PCABX disappeared before I even had a chance to use it.  I remember eagerly viewing the PCABX website for years and looking at all the hearing tests I could perform on myself.  And now it's gone.  Even if it were there, I suppose that if the author hadn't updated it for a later version of windows, it would be useless anyway.  (I hate endless OS updates.)

I've seen people recommend Foobar, which has an ABX plug in.  This is apparently The Standard at HydrogenAudio.com which distributes Foobar.  But I have no reason to want to mess with Foobar, giving that I primarily use Macs.  I don't need another music browser given that I have Sonos and iTunes already.  I expect using Foobar to run ABX is first climbing the hill just to learn how to use Foobar, then finally, if I ever get that far, learning to use Foobar/ABX.  And all using an OS I can barely stand to look at and rarely use and would never use regularly for music.

Here's an essay on ABX which mentions the ABXTester by Takashi Jogataki.

It can be downloaded from the Mac App store!

I ran into a cross-platform Java ABX called ABX/Shootout-er that looks very interesting.  It runs anywhere with Java, including linux.

Here's an Open Source (Gnu GPL) ABX tester.  The author doesn't know if it works other than on linux systems using ALSA.

Here is Simple ABX Tester for Android.  It allows the comparison of any two audio files as the second mode.

Here is ABX Audio for Android for $0.99.  It defaults to letting you compare any two files on your phone.

Here is a discussion about building hardware ABX comparators.  One poster says he has built several, but they were too expensive to make a kit.  He's interested in an open design, where anyone could build the required switch boxes to go with a computer controller which he could sell.  YES!!!

SOME of the links on David Carlson's site still work.  (The link for NEW ABX Comparator available October 1999 does not work, but fortunately all the other links do seem to work, and there is still interesting information here.)

Arny Krueger talks about making blind test CD's.  When that essay was last updated, I had already done this, making a set of polarity test CD's for testing by my friend George Louis, the self-described Polarity Pundit.  He took a year to finish the test, but the results did not reach p < 0.05 significance.  I literally bought a Mac laptop in 2010 specifically to enable me to make the tests for George while I was staying at his house.  He envisioned becoming the distributor of these tests to help people learn how to hear whether polarity is correct.  The Mac has become part of my computer collection and is still very much appreciated.

Here is a great discussion on ABX testing at AVS Forum featuring Arny, a well known subjectivist named Amir (who is a moderator at What's Best Forum and almost universally well regarded there (a place Ethan Winer has been banned), but less so at AVS forum), several newbies, and old hands.  Arny continues to say the best place to get started with ABX is to download Foobar2000 and the ABX plug in.  Here he also recommends the audio test files from Ethan Winer.

Following that link back to Winer, he used these test files in a video recorded seminar on audio myths.

I'm not sure if I linked this above, there is also the Lacinaot ABX software written in Java.  This should be the same as the Shootout-er above.

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