Extreme low bitrates 32khz 32kbits (technical brief complaint :))
I had an error when I tried compressing a .wav file to .ogg using 32kbps average bitrate. It seems .ogg isn't capable of compressing at very low (streaming) bitrates. I wanted to compare .ogg to it's rival .wma I know .wma is not the best codec in higher bitrates (64kbps and beyond); but it is untill now my best codec for the lower bitrates; 56Kbps & below. It has by far surpassed mp3, and even mp4 on these low bitrates; with a peakquality/compression at 32Kbps/32Khz stereo (which is WMA's best quality/compression ratio) if you don't believe, try any sample out and compare it to MP3's 32Kbits-32khz stereo version, and you will see (or hear).
I heard btw real and wma, and compared them as well; And I'm sad to say, that wma is much better then real, since it uses a way more advanced stereoimage while real has the tendency to make sound appear in the center even when it is slightly panned. => I believe REAL has an extreme bad virtual soundfield in the lower bitrates; almost anything sounds mono, if you get what I mean. Also wma uses better low frequencies. There where real seems to cut off low frequencies, wma keeps it. Also the highfrequencies sounds better to me (which is a pure sense of taste). If cymbals would resound, wma sounds artificial, and real's sound will be closer to the original, I agree on that; but on very low bitrates (32kbits-32Khz) the hissing of taperecordings, or high frequencies resounding through a song, like cymbals, will sound much more stable then mp3 or real sound. While with mp3 and real, you hear a fluxuating of the high frequency cut-off, WMA seems to keep a stable cuttoff, which is better for the ear. This same phenomenon is there when comparing Fraunhofer's MP3 with Lame's. On exactly the same settings, Lame's codec encodes the high frequencies slightly better then the Fraunhofer one; Only, The Lame's codec fluxuates more, then fraunhofer. Which results in Lame giving more clear, and brighter sound, while Fraunhofer gives more stable, almost dry sound.
I personally would prefer lame above the other, but on my AMD, lame encodes at an average of 7 to 8x; while Fraunhofer encodes at 24x Also with playback, lame decoding require 3% more of CPU power, then Fraunhofer's.