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  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Hi I wanna back-up my CD collection and put it on DVDR's.

Once Ive got the WAV file and converted it into FLACs, if I ever wanted to make them back into WAVs, will the quality be affected?

Also, is there any point to convert to to WAVs once I have FLACs? My understanding is that there will be NO difference in quality but I need to know this 100%.being dumb 

Thank you and sorry for asking a dumb question or two

  • Synthetic Soul
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #1
FLAC is a lossless compressor, which means that there is no loss in quality when encoding or decoding using this codec.

Hopefully, this will be enough to calm you, but if you still have concerns try encoding some WAVE files to FLAC, decompressing them, and then comparing the source WAVE and the decoded WAVE.  They will be bit-identical (certainly the audio data will be).

Here's a good thread by evereux.

There is no need to decompress to play, but if you need to burn to audio CD you will need to decompress.  There are GUI apps to do this as part of the process though, like Burrrn or foobar.

If you are backing up CDs you may want to look at this wiki page, which details using FLAC directly from Exact Audio Copy
  • Last Edit: 19 April, 2006, 07:39:13 AM by Synthetic Soul
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  • Firon
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #2
Some CD burning apps can decompress FLAC on the fly (with or without a plugin), so decompressing to WAV beforehand might not be necessary.

  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #3
If you are backing up CDs you may want to look at this wiki page, which details using FLAC directly from Exact Audio Copy


Thanks for that, but I have also noticed this:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=16146

Now why are there two and which process is actaully better? Im looking to gain the best possible end result.

  • Synthetic Soul
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Reply #4
IIRC the wiki article is based on ripping to tracks, and westgroveg's article is based on ripping to image (one file for the whole CD).

This thread has some info on the differences, although there are probably better ones.  Many members here rip to single tracks, and many rip to image.  It mainly comes down to whether you will be playing the files regularly, or whether your are simply archiving.

If you are archiving, which is suggested by the fact that you are burning to DVD, I would say that ripping to an image with cuesheet is the easiest way of creating a good backup.  This ensures you maintain gaps, INDEX 00 entries and hopefully TRACK 01 INDEX 00 hidden tracks if your ripping drive is up to it.  Here's a good thread on that subject.

I would also suggest that you look at REACT, to make the whole process easier.

Welcome to the exciting world of CD archiving.
  • Last Edit: 21 April, 2006, 06:02:15 AM by Synthetic Soul
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  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #5
IIRC the wiki article is based on ripping to tracks, and westgroveg's article is based on ripping to image (one file for the whole CD).

This thread has some info on the differences, although there are probably better ones.  Many members here rip to single tracks, and many rip to image.  It mainly comes down to whether you will be playing the files regularly, or whether your are simply archiving.

If you are archiving, which is suggested by the fact that you are burning to DVD, I would say that ripping to an image with cuesheet is the easiest way of creating a good backup.  This ensures you maintain gaps, INDEX 00 entries and hopefully TRACK 01 INDEX 00 hidden tracks if your ripping drive is up to it.  Here's a good thread on that subject.

I would also suggest that you look at REACT, to make the whole process easier.

Welcome to the exciting world of CD archiving.


Thanks Synthetic Soul. Good information there.

How do you archive your collection? You seem to be in the know. Is it better to use React? I mean if I want to listen to the image on my PC and go between tracks, etc., I can easily do this by installing a plugin to winamp so thats not a problem. Obviously I cant do much with FLAC just yet on portable players due to nothing supporting the format. I envisage that in the coming years portable players will support lossless codecs although even then an image file will not be good as I have to go between tracks. Now Ive heard that through Foobar2000 you can extract particular tracks from an image and convert to MP3 so this will do for now as far as transferring to portable players goes.

Also, if I choose to encode to FLAC as seperate tracks rather than an image file, can I a)create a cue sheet and b)will the file size be different? Seems that it is better to do seperate tracks anyway because then it takes the hassle out of converting individual tracks to mp3 or anythign else (if you ever wanted to). Im still struggling with the real advantage of a single image file over seperate tracks...

  • Synthetic Soul
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #6
I use REACT to archive to a WavPack image and MP3 track files.

I believe that some hardware players do play FLAC.  Check the FLAC website.

You can use foobar or ACDIR (command line) to extract tracks from an image using the cuesheet, very easily.

You can rip to tracks and create a cuesheet manually from "Action" > "Create CUE Sheet".  The files sizes will no doubt be different as the tracks will each have a header (rather than one in the image) and more tags.

The benefits to images are listed in my post #2 in the thread I quoted.  When ripping to an image you don't really have to worry about any of those three points, as long as your ripping drive can handle TRACK 01 INDEX 00 entries (point 3).  I simply stick the CD in the drive, hit F10, click OK, and off it goes - as near perfect backup as you can get with a Plextor PXW5224A.

Edit: The benefit of an application like REACT is that you can perform multiple operations as part of the ripping process.  My setup is as so:
  • Encode WAVE image to WavPack, adding basic tags and embedding cuesheet and log file
  • Verify WavPack file
  • Create PAR2 data for WavPack file
  • Use ACDIR+LAME to create MP3 track files from WAVE+CUE
  • Move WV/CUE/PAR2/LOG files to an <artist>\<album> folder structure
  • Add the disc details to a CSV file that logs all my rips, including the DVD number that it will be stored on
So, by setting EAC going I get all this.  I then just wait until I have enough images to fill a DVD and burn it off.

NB: Creating PAR2 data per file is maybe not the best option, but it's the easiest for me, and offers some protection.  Many people create PAR2 data of the final DVD image.  I back up to hard drive as well now, so I'm not quite so bothered about my PAR2 habits.
  • Last Edit: 21 April, 2006, 08:19:47 AM by Synthetic Soul
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  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #7
Thanks, can you please tell me why you support Wavpack over Flac?

  • skamp
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #8
Dude, read the forums...
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • Synthetic Soul
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #9
Thanks, can you please tell me why you support Wavpack over Flac?
Dude, read the forums...
  It's probably worth looking at the comparison in the wiki and making your own conclusions.
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  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #10
Thanks, can you please tell me why you support Wavpack over Flac?
Dude, read the forums...
  It's probably worth looking at the comparison in the wiki and making your own conclusions.


OK Im gonna go with Wavpack but I think I should encode to individual tracks. I may be using these files for DJing and possibly online streaming on the radio and on the road so its probably best to make them into seperate files. If Im encoding to seperate files, there isn't really a need to make a cue sheet is there? I can always do with using the cuesheet to display and play playlists though... hmmm.

  • jcoalson
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #11
Obviously I cant do much with FLAC just yet on portable players due to nothing supporting the format.

nothing?
http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware

  • JunkieXL
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #12
You might want to do a little more research before making statements like that Badass01.  The FLAC codec is very versatile and a really great lossless codec.  Not to mention it has a great amount of software and hardware support out there.

Between the two codecs it really just boils down to personal preference.

Personally, I prefer FLAC for my archiving and playing purposes and LAME aps mp3s for portable.

Just read around and see what suits you best.
JXL
  • Last Edit: 21 April, 2006, 07:50:34 PM by JunkieXL

  • keytotime
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #13
If you want WavPack and FLAC playback on your portable device check out Rockbox:
http://www.rockbox.org/

  • Synthetic Soul
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #14
If Im encoding to seperate files, there isn't really a need to make a cue sheet is there? I can always do with using the cuesheet to display and play playlists though... hmmm.
REACT is to be updated this weekend to allow track-rippers to create cuesheets automatically as part of the process.  It's worth looking at REACT, as it can really help to automate your ripping process, even if it's simple things like creating the cuesheet or creating "<artist>\<album>" folder structures to rip to.

You only need a cuesheet if you are worried about INDEX 00/02+ entries when you burn back to CD (see thread originally quoted).

nothing?
http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware
I did attempt to address this.  I guess I should have dug up the link, or been more definite.
I believe that some hardware players do play FLAC.  Check the FLAC website.

Just read around and see what suits you best.
Similarly, this is why I pointed him to the comparison, rather than attempting to force my preferences on him... I don't see any point in persuading people away from FLAC when it's obviously a good codec.
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  • Badass01
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #15
Similarly, this is why I pointed him to the comparison, rather than attempting to force my preferences on him... I don't see any point in persuading people away from FLAC when it's obviously a good codec.


So it all comes down to personal preference? FLAC is probably better as it has more hardware and software support so why do you choose WAVPACK over it? Ive read the wiki comparison and the only con wavpack has is limited hardware support. So then it has to be better than FLAC as it supports RIFF Chunks as well and encodes and decodes faster?

Ill definitely give REACT a go  What I don't really understand is the point about INDEX 00/02+ entries. What are they?

  • Synthetic Soul
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #16
So it all comes down to personal preference?
I sincerely hope so.

FLAC is probably better as it has more hardware and software support so why do you choose WAVPACK over it?
Umm... personal preference?

Ive read the wiki comparison and the only con wavpack has is limited hardware support.
... and that...

So then it has to be better than FLAC as it supports RIFF Chunks as well and encodes and decodes faster?
It doesn't decode faster.

Ill definitely give REACT a go  What I don't really understand is the point about INDEX 00/02+ entries. What are they?
I've never seen an INDEX 02 or higher entry.  Here's a quote from the thread I keep referring to:
When ripping this way, then the gaps will be perfectly extracted(exept hidden tracks in track one's pre-gap), but they will just not be marked when burned to disc(INDEX 00). Like Synthetic Soul explained, this will have the effect that their won't be displayed a negative countdown in the CD players display between tracks(if their is a pre-gap present). Another minor thing that will occure is that when playing the tracks in random order(programmed play), then the pre-gaps are played, even though they actually should be skipped. These two things isn't enough of a reason for me to make cuesheet's.
Basically, INDEX 00 entries in the cuesheet point to track marks before the next track starts.  Your CD player displays these by counting up from a negative number to zero, at which point you reach INDEX 01 of the track, the position that the track starts if you use the skip button: generally the beginning of the song.  INDEX 00 entries are useful to ensure that you have an exact backup, but are not imperative.
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  • jcoalson
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #17
So then it has to be better than FLAC as it supports RIFF Chunks...

that table row is misleading.  FLAC (and all the other lossless codecs) supports the RIFF subchunks used in the vast majority of wave files, including all canonical wave files that most tools (including EAC) output.  it's talking about other non-standard subchunks like 'list' that a few editing tools use.  if you need to keep those then you have to use one of the 'yes' codecs or add them to the FLAC metadata.

Josh

  • guruboolez
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #18
I've never seen an INDEX 02 or higher entry.  (...)

Higher Index entries can be found on discs that have (or suffer from) huge tracks (like long symphonies movements, modern compositions, etc...).

example:

Code: [Select]
PERFORMER "Berio, Luciano (1925-2003)"
TITLE "Laborintus 2"
FILE "Range.wav" WAVE
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    TITLE "Première partie"
    PERFORMER "Berio, Luciano (1925-2003)"
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    INDEX 02 04:18:52
    INDEX 03 06:34:07
    INDEX 04 09:19:50
    INDEX 05 12:41:07
    INDEX 06 14:34:42
    INDEX 07 17:08:37
  TRACK 02 AUDIO
    TITLE "Deuxième partie"
    PERFORMER "Berio, Luciano (1925-2003)"
    INDEX 00 19:05:25
    INDEX 01 19:10:20
    INDEX 02 27:56:50


Side note: by editing by hand the cuesheet, I can convert the INDEX entries into TRACK entries, which are usually much more conveniant for immediate seeking through a software and hardware players.

  • bryant
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #19
Code: [Select]
PERFORMER "Bach - Glenn Gould"
TITLE "Goldberg Variations BWV988"
FILE "Range.wav" WAVE
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    TITLE "Aria & 30 Variations"
    PERFORMER "Bach - Glenn Gould"
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    INDEX 02 03:01:10
    INDEX 03 04:11:70
    INDEX 04 05:01:47
    INDEX 05 06:32:17
    INDEX 06 07:22:57
    INDEX 07 07:59:35
    INDEX 08 08:39:47
    INDEX 09 09:55:47
    INDEX 10 10:49:60
    INDEX 11 11:49:10
    INDEX 12 12:53:22
    INDEX 13 13:46:72
    INDEX 14 15:24:72
    INDEX 15 18:03:22
    INDEX 16 19:07:60
    INDEX 17 24:09:72
    INDEX 18 25:48:35
    INDEX 19 26:42:35
    INDEX 20 27:45:47
    INDEX 21 28:48:72
    INDEX 22 29:38:72
    INDEX 23 31:51:47
    INDEX 24 32:54:72
    INDEX 25 33:52:60
    INDEX 26 35:36:47
    INDEX 27 41:39:60
    INDEX 28 42:32:07
    INDEX 29 43:53:35
    INDEX 30 44:56:60
    INDEX 31 45:58:35
    INDEX 32 47:28:47


  • guruboolez
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #20
 
I have two different recordings of Gould's Goldberg (1955 & 1981), and both of them are: 1 part = 1 track. Is that a CBS/Sony Classical CD? What a weird way of mastering CD...

  • bryant
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If I converted/decoded FLAC into WAV...
Reply #21
Yes, it's a CBS / Sony, but it's a very early one (I probably got it in 1983). I remember that some early CD players had trouble making "gapless" transitions between tracks (the reviews used to test for this) and so some CDs that had to be gapless were done with indexes instead (I have a couple like this).

I only listen to Goldberg straight through, but I can see why someone might want to reburn it using tracks instead. For one thing, it would work better in shuffle mode!