The "Gigantic" Background
The Tech Giant in question already had MultiDSLA systems when they approached us for a solution to process large quantities of recordings to provide voice quality and audio quality scores. This was clearly a requirement for MetricServer, Opale’s high-performance platform for bulk POLQA, PESQ and PEAQ processing applications.
The first step was straightforward – the customer wanted to evaluate MetricServer and of course we were happy to facilitate that. The first thing they did was to verify that MetricServer gave them the correct POLQA scores. How did thy do that? Simple - they took the test vectors provided by the ITU. These are pairs of reference and degraded speech files published as part of the POLQA standard, ITU-T Rec. P.863. Of course the ITU also publishes the scores which POLQA should return for each pair of files. But then came a surprise because the results the customer obtained were not quite as they expected.
A Story of Three Versions
"Strange" we thought, because we know MetricServer and MultiDSLA meet the close tolerances of the official test vector results. Sure enough, the explanation soon became clear. The customer had been using the test vectors for version 3 of POLQA, which form part of Recommendation P.863. In fact the ITU published the latest version of Recommendation P.863 in March 2018, but a significant delay in the commercial availability of POLQA v3 meant that MetricServer offered only POLQA v1 and POLQA v2 at that point. Incidentally, the story of POLQA version 3 is for another time!
Now that the customer was happy with the validity of our POLQA implementation, they presented the next challenge, which was a request to extend the automation support in MetricServer, to be compatible with their existing automation platforms.
We had a think and decided to go “above and beyond”, by implementing a new MetricServer Python package compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux.
With the preliminaries out of the way, the customer’s evaluation proceeded smoothly and quickly and we were soon on our way to completing the deal.
Opale Systems was awarded the supply contract for MetricServer for Voice and Audio quality analysis. The success factors were:
- Opale’s openness to the customer’s requirements
- Rapid technical engagement and response
- The capabilities of MetricServer’s API
- An outstanding price/performance ratio.