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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Is lossless really as good as wav?

I understand that in theory FLAC is lossless and therefore should be as accurate as the original wav file.  However, given the extra processing required to ‘unpack’ the data on replay, does FLAC really sound as good?  I am about to rip all of my classical CDs to hard disc for use with Foobar and a Squeezebox3 and want to get it right!

Cheers

  • keytotime
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #1
Yes

  • SebastianG
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #2
> Is lossless really as good as wav?
No. It usually is even better (in terms of meta data storing capabilities)


The "Is this better than that" questions largely depend on what things are important to you. You seem to be mostly concerned about sound quality. In this case FLAC and the like are fine (= can't get any better).
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 08:58:40 AM by SebastianG

  • ggf31416
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #3
However, given the extra processing required to ‘unpack’ the data on replay, does FLAC really sound as good?


The decoding may cause some increase in the CPU fan noise, but only for the higher levels of some CPU-intensive formats (e.g. OptimFrog --mode bestnew), not for FLAC. But it's external noise, not a distortion of the audio signal.
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 09:25:20 AM by ggf31416

  • Synthetic Soul
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #4
You really should have done some reading before posting such a question!

I would reiterate SebastianG's response that lossless is better in the fact that it is smaller and has good support for storing metadata.

There will be no audio quality difference.
I'm on a horse.

  • keynell
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #5
just run bitcompare in foobar, or decode flac back to wav and compare files (for example in total commander)

yeah, and post the result asap

  • Jens Rex
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #6
in theory FLAC is lossless
Not just in theory mate. Lossless is lossless in reality too. Stop being dumb. I don't want another "lossless isn't lossless" thread again. It either is or it isn't, and it very much is. Consider for a moment the absurdity of claming that lossless isn't lossless. This can be proven mathematically, so you're saying that mathematics is bollocks.

  • Bourne
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #7
Hi, I was just wondering here.... Is it possible for developers to create a special version of the FLAC encoder, such as VBR FLAC? We all know that MP3 is limited to 320kbps, but FLAC is not. What if someone created or modified the existent FLAC algorithm to support VBR FLAC... I mean, you could get a VIRTUAL LOSSLESS file, if that thing could store VBR at its maximum consistency, that is... 32kbps for silence and up to 1411kbps for dramatic samples... we would be able to get real small file sizes... just an idea!

We could think of a new concept of lossless... REAL LOSSLESS that is what we have now with FLAC... and VIRTUAL LOSSLESS, that is, in terms of audio quality is exactly the same but the dramatic samples are stored without discarding any of its information!
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 11:38:33 AM by Bourne

  • pest
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #8
Hi, I was just wondering here.... Is it possible for developers to create a special version of the FLAC encoder, such as VBR FLAC? We all know that MP3 is limited to 320kbps, but FLAC is not. What if someone created or modified the existent FLAC algorithm to support VBR FLAC... I mean, you could get a VIRTUAL LOSSLESS file, if that thing could store VBR at its maximum consistency, that is... 32kbps for silence and up to 1411kbps for dramatic samples... we would be able to get real small file sizes... just an idea!

We could think of a new concept of lossless... REAL LOSSLESS that is what we have now with FLAC... and VIRTUAL LOSSLESS, that is, in terms of audio quality is exactly the same but the dramatic samples are stored without discarding any of its information!


FLAC is VBR by it's definition. and virtual lossless is anything which is transparent to you...

  • Bourne
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #9
oh i see... but you're cutting short... virtual lossless would be something definitely without any kind of artifacts, contrary on current lossy schemes...
this virtual lossless would be "lossy" anyway and not able to restore data bit by bit back as FLAC usually does. I think the better definition for this is... to have a lossy data compressor without any artifact present.

  • HbG
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #10
The best way to think of lossless is that it's like zipping your .wav file and have a decoder that can playback wavs straight from the .zip. Lossless doesn't change any bits, hence the term.

It's always VBR because some parts of the music are simpler and thus can be written down more efficiently than others. Like with data compression (where not all files and all parts in one file are equally compressed), a file that is truly random (white noise in audio terms) cannot be written down smaller than it already is, and this is the case for lossless, but codecs like mp3 will just write it down with however as many bits as you tell it to use.
Veni Vidi Vorbis.

  • Sunhillow
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #11
Please think for a few minutes.

without any artifacts means lossless. Or are you talking about a lossy lossless scheme? 
It cannot be both.

Those weird lossless topics over the past few hours are really entertaining 

  • pepoluan
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #12
 I think we all need some sleep...
Nobody is Perfect.
I am Nobody.

http://pandu.poluan.info

  • greynol
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #13
I suppose it's late at night over in Jakarta.  I've only been awake for a few hours.

Bourne, at what point artifacts can't be heard is pretty subjective.

Is Lame -b 320 or Ogg q10 not transparent to you?
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 02:17:10 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • guruboolez
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #14
I mean, you could get a VIRTUAL LOSSLESS file, if that thing could store VBR at its maximum consistency, that is... 32kbps for silence and up to 1411kbps for dramatic samples... we would be able to get real small file sizes... just an idea!

Your idea has several names: Musepack, Vorbis, AAC... and more generally lossy encoding with transparent quality.

  • memomai
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #15
Quote
oh i see... but you're cutting short... virtual lossless would be something definitely without any kind of artifacts, contrary on current lossy schemes...
this virtual lossless would be "lossy" anyway and not able to restore data bit by bit back as FLAC usually does. I think the better definition for this is... to have a lossy data compressor without any artifact present.


Have you ever tested WavPack in hybrid mode for example (around 384 bkps)? This is in fact transparency without detecting artifacts cause no psymodel is used here (well, I've never detect some, maybe others who say they can hear artifacts on Lame VBR -V 2 --vbr-new with their 2 dollar earphones lol)
FB2K,APE&LAME

Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #16
in theory FLAC is lossless
Not just in theory mate. Lossless is lossless in reality too. Stop being dumb. I don't want another "lossless isn't lossless" thread again. It either is or it isn't, and it very much is. Consider for a moment the absurdity of claming that lossless isn't lossless. This can be proven mathematically, so you're saying that mathematics is bollocks.


I will assume that your response is a result of a reduced IQ and not just being an ars*hole….

If you had bothered to read my post properly before dispatching the heap of vitriol (look it up) you will have seen that I stated that; “I understand that in theory FLAC is lossless and therefore should be as accurate as the original wav file”.  In other words, I understand the theory why FLAC is as lossless as wav.  I suppose I should have used ‘is’ as opposed to ‘should’ but I didn’t think for a minute that anybody on this Forum would be stupid enough to think that FLAC wasn’t lossless.  What I was asking, was if the extra processing introduced any quality change.  I did not start a “lossless isn't lossless" thread again.  I also didn’t say that mathematics is bollocks!

Anyway, it’s time you returned to your crayoning….

  • Sunhillow
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #17
eeerm...
You did ask if lossless is as good as wav.
Is full moon today?

Why should extra processing alter the result? If the result is bit identical to the original, nothing was altered. That is how simple it is if folks dont always smell conspiracy.

Or did you ever notice any change done to a word document after zipping and unzipping it?

Q: are you another incarnation of Excelsior?
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 03:04:38 PM by Sunhillow

  • SebastianG
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #18
This is in fact transparency without detecting artifacts cause no psymodel is used here

Be careful not to draw the wrong conlusions.
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=432927
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=407407

Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #19
You really should have done some reading before posting such a question!

I would reiterate SebastianG's response that lossless is better in the fact that it is smaller and has good support for storing metadata.

There will be no audio quality difference.


I did do some reading beforehand but didn’t find an answer to my question.  SebastianG's response was interesting (and welcome) but did not address the question. As I said to the other ‘gentleman’ I was not disputing that FLAC was not lossless. I was merely asking if the extra processing on replay had an effect.  If I had asked a few years ago on this Forum if all digital outputs were equal, no doubt that I would have been told that digital was digital and ‘consider for a moment the absurdity of claming that digital isn't digital. This can be proven mathematically, so you're saying that mathematics is bollocks.’

Then along came jitter……

  • greynol
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #20
I will say this in countryman's defense, playback of a lossless file like ape encoded @insane can get interrupted since it is so demanding of resources, but this isn't going to happen while decoding flac, regardless of the compression level.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • Jens Rex
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #21
Quote
I understand the theory why FLAC is as lossless as wav.
Quote
What I was asking, was if the extra processing introduced any quality change.

You're saying you know FLAC is lossless, yet you ask whether the processing introduces a quality change (ie. not lossless). I'm sure I'm not the only one here who can't make sense of that.

Quote
Anyway, it’s time you returned to your crayoning…

Very well.


Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #22
[quote name='Sunhillow' date='Nov 13 2006, 20:02' post='449176']
eeerm...
You did ask if lossless is as good as wav.
Is full moon today? [/quote]

Yes I did!  This is because wav is uncompressed and FLAC is compressed hence the smaller storage requirements.  As I understand it, when you replay a FLAC file it has to be uncompressed (unpacked) on the fly whilst undertaking the usual replay processing.  My question was whether this had an effect.

[/quote]
Why should extra processing alter the result? [/quote]

Dunno.  That is why I asked the question..

[/quote]
If the result is bit identical to the original, nothing was altered. That is how simple it is if folks don’t always smell conspiracy. [/quote]

 

[/quote]
Or did you ever notice any change done to a word document after zipping and unzipping it? [/quote]

No, but then I don’t read documents whilst they are unzipping.

[/quote]
Q: are you another incarnation of Excelsior?
[/quote]

What? 
  • Last Edit: 13 November, 2006, 03:57:57 PM by countryman

  • sld
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #23
FLAC, the lossless-but-not-quite-because-of-processing codec. I should go patent this.

  • bhoar
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Is lossless really as good as wav?
Reply #24
http://m-w.com/dictionary/lossless

Code: [Select]
Main Entry: loss·less
Pronunciation: 'los-l&s
Function: adjective
: done or being without loss (as of power or data) <lossless data compression> <lossless power transmission>


e.g. the lack of loss.  e.g. no loss.  e.g. you get out exactly what you put in.

-brendan
Hacking CD Robots & Autoloaders: http://hyperdiscs.pbwiki.com/