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What lossy formats do you use on a *regular* basis?

AAC or HE-AAC v1,v2 (.m4a, .aac…)
[ 122 ] (24%)
LossyWAV + lossless (.lossy.flac, .lossy.wv, .lossy.tak…)
[ 15 ] (2.9%)
MP3 (.mp3)
[ 194 ] (38.1%)
Musepack (.mpc)
[ 23 ] (4.5%)
Ogg Vorbis (.ogg)
[ 62 ] (12.2%)
Opus (.opus)
[ 45 ] (8.8%)
WavPack lossy (.wv)
[ 8 ] (1.6%)
AC3 Dolby Digital (AC-3, E-AC-3)
[ 10 ] (2%)
Other lossy format
[ 5 ] (1%)
I don't really use any lossy codec on a regular basis
[ 25 ] (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 333

Topic: 2015 format poll (Read 32888 times) previous topic - next topic
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2015 format poll

Hello, guys and girls.

This is a traditional poll. Let’s see how preferences were changing over time.

And here are some graphs.
Lossy Formats:

MP3's share is slowly declining . The same situation for Vorbis.
AAC is steady and it's not actually a bad thing looking at how another popular formats loose their shares.
And "codec of the year" is Musepack! During the last year its share has grown most of all (+2.84%).
Opus is also doing quite well.
LossyWAV and WavPack lossy have low shares but they are rather constant.

Take into account that there was no poll in year 2010. The data for lossy formats was interpolated here. While the data for lossless of year 2010 was interpolated by cubic spline interpolation on time period of 2007-2014. Just for the record.


FLAC is a leader. And now when 1.3.1 version is released it’s even more faster (both decoder and encoder). WavPack, TAK and ALAC have comparable shares. Monkey’s Audio already had a little share during last years and now it’s almost gone.

There were some changes in poll options.
WMA (only 2 votes in 2014 poll) and USAC (1 vote) were removed from Lossy section. It's too early for USAC … and probably too late for WMA. 
For the same reason OptimFrog (0 votes) and WMA Lossless (1 vote) were removed from lossless section.
New options. 
Lossy: AC3, "Other Lossy Format".
Lossless: DSD (SACD), Blu-Ray or DVD-Audio formats (MLP or DTS-HD Master Audio). It was suggested by lvqcl.
Now it’s 'a format poll' rather than just 'a codec poll'.

Well, that's all.

2015 format poll

Reply #1
Thanks for this new poll!

"I don't really use any lossy codec on a regular basis"

"FLAC (.flac)"

Are my options.

2015 format poll

Reply #3
ALAC (originals)

AAC when transcoding from ALAC into the iPhone

MP3 on the car CD player

2015 format poll

Reply #4
I am always uncertain as to how to interpret the  "use" on a "regular" basis. If playback counts, then I use quite a few. If storing counts, then even more - then I have to include formats for files I do not regularily play. I use .wav (PCM) as an intermediate format quite often, but I do not want to use it for anything else really.

... and, here comes the point:

Let’s see how preferences were changing over time.

I cannot freakin' remember what interpretation I stuck with when I voted last time :-o

2015 format poll

Reply #5
Lossy & Hybrid:
Ogg Vorbis Aotuv b6.03

LossyWAV 1.4
I have started using this codec since I hear no difference to the original and because I rather have some more bitrate just to be 99.99% sure there are no audible artifacts.

2015 format poll

Reply #6
I am always uncertain as to how to interpret the  "use" on a "regular" basis.

I had the same doubt for a while but the seasonal nature of the poll, plus the variety of CODECs many of us keep experimenting with over here, make me think of something in the lines of "what you are encoding your audio with ATM", not playback.

So for me is the odd FLAC/Hybrid Wavpack for some albums I consider irreplaceable and MP3 for the car player or (mostly) single tracks I happen to have in more than one compilation CD.

But I might as well be wrong in my assumption.
Listen to the music, not the media it's on.
União e reconstrução

2015 format poll

Reply #8
AAC is my main format for music. i rip/trancode everything to vbr mode 5(192kbps) using fhg AAC in fb2k.

MP3 i only use this when no other format is available.

Flac i use this to archive my album collection since I've no space for my CD's in our house.

2015 format poll

Reply #9
FLAC for archiving my CDs that I really like. Apple AAC V108 for the rest of my CD's and all Apple AAC V91 for everything else. Oh, and V63 for movies.

2015 format poll

Reply #10
I'm holding out for MQA because I don't like discoloration and smearing.
Loudspeaker manufacturer

2015 format poll

Reply #11
My phone is filled with Opus/MP3/Vorbis files, anything from a lossless source is transcoded to Opus, though I was experimenting with vorbis too and haven't bothered changing everything to Opus yet.

I'm using GoneMAD Player on Android to play my Opus files, plus it also has the ability to disable focus-loss ducking (this feature of android is the most enraging/annoying thing ever forced upon a user in Android).

Also VLC on Android supports Opus within an MKV so I've started to make mini-rips with 64kbps Opus for my phone when I travel.

2015 format poll

Reply #13
Flac on the home server and my laptop.
Mp3 on mobile devices and in the car.

2015 format poll

Reply #14
make me think of something in the lines of "what you are encoding your audio with ATM", not playback.

Well. There were months last year when I did not rip new CDs and hence did not encode with FLAC, but I would certainly consider myself a FLAC user those days. Since I have a very few floating-point PCMs, that means WavPack is permanently in. (I also use it to store some other oddballs I do not want to confuse with my "ordinary" losslesses; I think WavPack deserves a userbase, so I have employed that as an excuse to use it even though I could e.g. have just used the Ogg container, but now I actually need it.)

Lossies (mp3) I create and delete all the time, so it is a no-brainer to say that I "use" that particular format.

But here are two other examples:

1) for streaming I choose Spotify with ogg. I could have chosen Spotify with mp3 (they use different formats for different platforms). Meaning I listen to oggs for quite a fraction of the time I listen to lossies. I would be a bit uncertain if that would qualify - and it would be a stronger case for "yes" if I actively chose it because I wanted ogg (say, "I want to use open formats as long as I can" ... I even used the word "use").

2) What if I were doing extensive testing (or ... not even rigorous "testing", possibly only "been spending quite a bit of time playing with") of encoding? I could have considered that as "using". But right now I am not doing that, so I need not consider the issue :-)

But I might as well be wrong in my assumption.

I'd wouldn't say "wrong"; as long as people are consistent then the poll will reflect trends. But that has been an issue with me, I am not sure if I respond consistently.

2015 format poll

Reply #15
For me nothing has changed since last year. FLAC almost exclusively for archival, AAC (TVBR Q90) for 99% of my everyday listening.
Every night with my star friends / We eat caviar and drink champagne
Sniffing in the VIP area / We talk about Frank Sinatra
Do you know Frank Sinatra? / He's dead

2015 format poll

Reply #16
mp3 for lossy format, flac for lossless (very rarely wav)

2015 format poll

Reply #17
CD audio isn't a choice, but I'm still acquiring CDs at a rapid rate.

I'd like to be acquiring DVD-Vs of live performances, but they are like hens teeth.

2015 format poll

Reply #18
Just ordered a 'new' car (Peugeot 208) and it's compatible with OGG Vorbis and FLAC

Now LossyWAV + FLAC is usable in my car without the need of an external player

2015 format poll

Reply #19
CD audio isn't a choice, but I'm still acquiring CDs at a rapid rate.

I'd like to be acquiring DVD-Vs of live performances, but they are like hens teeth.

Same here.
Hmm. It would be interesting to find out where everyone gets their music. CDs (new or used), DVDs, iTunes, other online stores, etc.

2015 format poll

Reply #21
I currently play-back Vorbis files on my portable device.  I recently converted my FLAC library to Opus and, when I get a new mobile device, I'll use Opus exclusively (for music, speech audio and within Matroska containers for multi-channel audio) going forward.

As an aside, I'm interested in people's motivations for their selection of format in this poll.  I expect that the three main criteria in deciding which format to use are probably:
- compatibility
- transparency
- portability (file size footprint)

Perhaps you could add 'curiosity' to that list but I wonder in which order people would rank these criteria.  Does any one criterion trump another (for example, would you happily sacrifice transparency for portability so that you could fit all your songs on a mobile device)?

2015 format poll

Reply #22
Lossy: mp3 because I'm currently stuck with a legacy device (pre-smartphone era mobile), space is a big issue (2gb max) and I like mp3 artifacts more than aac artifacts. I was using vorbis on my smartphone though, and waiting for opus to 1) hit mainstream support and 2) to get easier on CPU usage.

Lossless: still TAK, despite its lack of unicode. Speed is good, and it compresses much better than flac which still saves me from buying a new HDD for my archive.

2015 format poll

Reply #23
I am always uncertain as to how to interpret the  "use" on a "regular" basis.
It's difficult because whenever I watch SD TV I am "using" MPEG-1 layer II (let's just call it mp2), and so is almost everyone else in Europe (and many people beyond) - but it's not on the list

Hence I just answered for stuff that I rip+encode myself, purchases, and free downloads. I'm excluding streaming, broadcast and any form of telephony.

That might mean I'm excluding the majority of what I hear, but it gets silly otherwise. Do I have to include all the codecs YouTube might push at me via various platforms? I might hear them almost every day, but mostly I don't know or care what they are.

If you only stream it, I don't think it counts.
If you don't encode it AND don't process it AND don't playback from it more than a couple of times a year, I don't think it counts.
If there's some niche use that you only require a few times a year, but you always use X codec for it, then I think it does count, unless it's really only a couple of times a year, in which case it probably doesn't.

Anyway, that leaves me with the simple: FLAC, mp3, WAV and maybe DSD.
If you include streaming, and frequent testing outside of normal listening "use", you can add mp2, Vorbis, LC-AAC, HE-AAC, AC-3, E-AC-3, lossyWAV, and Opus.


2015 format poll

Reply #24
FLAC + MP3 for me;  the former for storage, the latter for portable audio.  I'd like to transition to Opus, but need to get a Rockbox-capable player first.