[Speex-dev] How to get podcasters to adopt Speex?

Tom Grandgent tgrand at canvaslink.com
Tue Oct 3 11:41:34 PDT 2006

Please consider using 16-bit 16kHz (wideband) instead.  It's a huge 
increase in audio quality and the bitrate is still very low, especially 
if you take advantage of Speex features such as VBR.

8kHz seems totally inappropriate to me for desktop streaming audio, let 
alone 8-bit samples.  Or perhaps your recording equipment is an original 
Sound Blaster from 1989?  (Even that could record at 12kHz.)

People often tell me how amazed they are with the audio quality of my 
VoIP software based on Speex, compared to other VoIP software they've 
used.  What amazes me is how low most people's standards are when it 
comes to sampling rates.  I don't think 16kHz is that much to ask.  And 
yes, I'm talking about SPEECH and not audio in general.

Of course, sometimes there are legitimate reasons to use 8kHz.  I'm 
just saying, try to make sure the sacrifice in quality is not in vain.


Bertie Coopersmith <bertie at coopersmith.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> If its just speech that you're after, why not narrowband (8kHZ) speex. I have 
> found that to be perfectly adequate at about a seven'th of the file size of a 
> typical (music quality) MP3. 
> The other good thing is that neither server nor client needs to bother with
> streaming software or streaming protocol - http will do. I need this because my
> web host does not allow user-supplied server software on its free web pages.
> I just upload my .spx files (mono,8-bit samples, 8000 samples/sec, 8KHz). which may
> have originated from various sources: Live recording, radio, TV, or Web. 
> My listening audience consists of family and friends, small in number but spread
> over 4 continents. At the crudest level they can do a binary download and convert
> to .wav with speexdec (speexdec.exe in the case of Windows). However, they can also
> play direct to a unix/linux client by means of
> curl url | speexdec -
> where the url string is http...spx . In the case of Windows XP this becomes
> curl.exe url | speexdec.exe - 
> I've elaborated this into a .cmd script which obviates
> the need to enter a long url plus filename and also, it
> displays a companion .txt file while playing the .spx:-
> @echo off
> rem   Play a speex (.spx) file on 
> rem   Bertie's website. If there is a companion .txt
> rem   file, display it while playing the .spx.
> cd c:\...\wbin
> rem  In this directory you keep, amongst other things,  
> rem   the win32 executables known as Unix utilities.
> rem   In particular this script depends on curl.exe,
> rem   speexdec.exe, sed.exe, fgrep.exe, cat.exe,
> rem   echo.exe, tr.exe and nl.exe.
> rem  delete scratch files left over from a previous run:- 
> del /q spxt* sndt*  txtt*
> set url=http://www.coopersmith.demon.co.uk
> echo Speex audio files on %url%:
> echo -----------------------------
> rem remove the html tags
> curl -s %url% | sed -e "s+</A>++" -e "s/^.*>//" > spxt2
> fgrep -c .spx spxt2 > nul || goto nospx
> echo ---------- Speex files -------------------
> fgrep .spx spxt2 | nl
> echo ------------------------------------------
> set /p num=Enter the number of the one to play and press SEND:
> echo.
> fgrep .spx spxt2 | sed -n %num%p > spxt3
> echo.exe  -n "curl -f %url%/" > sndtout1
> cat sndtout1 spxt3 >sndtout.cmd
> sed  -e s/-f/-fs/ -e s/\.spx/.txt/  sndtout.cmd > txttout.cmd
> txttout | more
> pause
> sndtout | speexdec -
> exit
> :nospx
> echo No .spx files found on %url%
> pause
> This works well on both dial-up and broadband. 
> However, its not gui. I have found that with Foobar2000 on
> Windows XP one can open a url to one of the .spx files on my
> website and play it. One can even pause and play from a
> different position in the file. This cannot be done with the
> curl command file.
> I tried doing the same with illiminable's Ogg DirectShow filter
> but without success.   
> Bertie Coopersmith
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