A comparison of audio coder quantisation schemes that offer fine-grain bitrate scalability is made with reference to fixed-rate quantisation. Coding efficiency is assessed in terms of the number of bits allocated to significant transform coefficients, and the average number of significant coefficients coded. A new method of arranging the transform hierarchy for SPIHT zero tree algorithms is shown to result in significantly improved performance relative to previously reported SPIHT implementations. Results for a new quantisation algorithm are presented which suggest low-complexity fine-grain scalable coding is possible with no coding efficiency penalty relative to fixed-rate coding.
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