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FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Hi all,

Speculating, yes! 
But what I'm wondering about are the chance to see the one or the other to become THE standard in lossless audio compression and in particular supported natively in commercial apps, such as audio editors etc... and also audio devices (car or portable) in the future.

I've picked FLAC (at -5) and WavPack (at default). I think FLAC is on a good way for that.
Both codecs with these settings are on par on the aspects suiting my needs: speed and compression ratio, though I've got a little preference towards WavPack, regarding compression - and speed - at default setting.
Both codecs are cross-platform, widely supported. However FLAC seems advance compared to WavPack, regarding this aspect.
Thanks to the developpers and community, the formats are supported in most populars players and apps at the time being. Also, FLAC more often natively than WavPack.
But we've seen WavPack being implemented in WinZip recently...
I'd pick FLAC.

I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

Speculating too: Perhaps, this is a silly question as storage capacity is becoming cheaper and cheaper, we will certainly, in the future I'm thinking about, have no need of compressing audio (rather than video).

And, maybe I go wrong and commercial lossless codecs such as Apple's ALAC or Microsoft's WMA will never let the way for those two codecs to become "standard". And so should I go for ALAC instead of FLAC for instance?

Okay, this was just a (plenty of?) question. 

Alex.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #1
Beauty of lossless audio is if you pick one and the other becomes "the standard", you can always convert. Wavpack and FLAC are definitely the top two, with Wavpack offering Hybrid/lossy mode along with RIFF chuck support and FLAC offering better hardware support currently.

Chances are neither will go out of favor, at least in my opinion. If someone manages to compress stuff losslessly to the size of an mp3, ok, maybe then.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #2
If someone manages to compress stuff losslessly to the size of an mp3, ok, maybe then.

This will never happen, because of the way lossless compression works. I.e. you could never guarantee that a certain codec will compress everything to <500kbps, for example, simply because the varying "randomness" (entropy?) of the input material. For example, try to losslessly compress some pure noise and see what kind of bitrates you get...

Other than that, I fully agree with your post.
Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #3
My guess too.
I'd pick FLAC for decoding time and wide support.
I'd pick Wavpack for its speed/compression ratio, because I've been using using it for long now
I'd pick ALAC for the chance to see it widely supported in commercials apps, but that's still speculating.

RIFF chunk support: it don't know what that represents and the adavntage of it. Can you explain?

BTW, actually, I'll go for FLAC.

Thanks for reading.
Alex.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #4
Hi all.

I'd pick WavPack because of the lossy+correction feature which is very useful to share albums with other users. If one is only trying, it can download only the WV. If one wants the lossless version, then all he/she has to do is download the correction (WVC) file. Very nice indeed!
The differences in compression sizes are negligible to me.

Regards

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #5
I like WavPack more than FLAC, but in all honesty, FLAC currently has more widespread support (in terms of usage and supported players).

However, WavPack has better compression (and is also pretty fast), and I really like the hybrid lossy mode it has.

But it doesn't matter which you choose, since it's lossless, you can always just convert between the two.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #6
I'm eager to see how much the WinZip adoption of WavPack will do in terms of furthering its worldwide acceptance, anyway David's superb app is my choice thanks to the compression/speed ratio and the brilliant hybrid mode (it's definitely pretty convenient to store correction files separately).
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #7
I'd prefer to use FLAC, and I'm not sure my reasons are entirely logical. On top of that, Bryant's work is improving WavPack so much, I almost feel like it's wrong NOT to prefer WavPack. I am, however, using WavPack to archive all my music. I switched from FLAC for the encoding speed/compression ratio. I was excited to see the latest version of FLAC, but WavPack still beats it, although maybe not for decoding speed (using default settings).

Honestly, the only thing that irks me about WavPack is its use of APE tags. Call me crazy, but the fact that FLAC has its own proprietary tagging system just makes me feel... well... more comfortable about it. I guess it's consistency. Nothing to do with reliability. It just makes WavPack feel "incomplete" without its own tagging system. But it really shouldn't matter, should it? 

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #8
FLAC tagging proprietary?

It's a standard. It's Vorbis Comments.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #9
To become clearer, that is my true interest in starting this topic:
Quote
I'm wondering about are the chance to see the one or the other to become THE standard in lossless audio compression and in particular supported natively in commercial apps, such as audio editors etc...

FLAC and WavPack are clearly on par, both have particular advantages one over another, and that's how personal choices are made...
(I should have started a poll?  )

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #10
I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.


If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

EDIT: total edit, because I've overlooked the last part of the quote.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #11
If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

You're totally right!
That was a silly question after all. I already have the answers.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #12
FLAC inside.

 

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #13
FLAC is more widely supported due to it being more known just like mp3 rules the lossy world.  Though the advantages FLAC has is numerous, Wavpack has more.  WavPack's nature of great lossless compression and hybrid mode puts in a place to take over the future.  FLAC is lossless and nothing more.  Only takes one company to realize that they can do so much with WavPack and only need one decoder to decode both the lossy and lossless WavPack files.  For lossless though the standard right now is FLAC but that is due to the aforementioned reason that most people know more about it and less about WavPack. 

Though the WavPack user base has skyrocketed since the 4 series and looks to keep going up more and more.  I would be tempted to say FLAC but FLAC has reached its peak...WavPack has not.  Just watch one DAP company will pick up WavPack and than everybody will start throwing in WavPack support.  Expect to see this start in the Asian market first after all that is where FLAC got its DAP support to begin with.  Than again some DAP companies only like to stick to formats they can control (Apple) even if they have to create one to do so (ALAC).

Conclusion...WavPack is future.
Zune 80, Tak -p4 audio library, Lossless=Choice

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #14
I would be tempted to say FLAC but FLAC has reached its peak...

I don't know why you say that, FLAC adoption and usage are still accelerating almost any way you can measure.  you can look at stats or anecdotal evidence of software support, hardware support, artists distributing music in FLAC, etc.  I see all those things accelerating.

the question is about what will be a standard, and for a codec that is mostly about one thing, momentum.  yes, wavpack is a great codec, in some ways better than FLAC, but note that for lossy, mp3 is far from the best in terms of quality per bitrate but it is still dominant and will stay that way for a while because nothing is so much better as to outweight its 'usefulness' advantage.

Josh

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #15
I agree that "hybrid" is a very cool feature and stands to gain wavpack a lot of market share. Which is rather unfortunate, because in my opinion FLAC has it right. Time spent on developing hybrid is time waisted; in the future, when hardrives and bandwidth make the size difference between lossy and lossless irrelevant, everyone will switch over to lossless and they won't care about hybrid. When that happens, it will save headaches if theres only one standard, and FLAC seems the logical choice at this point due to the current state of hardware support.

Already you can get 80 gig iPods and whatnot. When we reach terabyte personal players, no one will care whether they can store half a million songs or fifty thousand. Either is more music than you'll ever listen to.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #16

I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.


If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

EDIT: total edit, because I've overlooked the last part of the quote.

Agree. Native Instruments has native support for flac in some of their apps, Audacity has as well, and Audition with a plugin. None of them has support for Wavepack.
EDIT: Oh, almost forgot Ableton Live, also with native support since 5.2 if I'm not mistaken.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #17
to be fair, there is a wavpack plugin for audition too...

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #18
When we reach terabyte personal players, no one will care whether they can store half a million songs or fifty thousand. Either is more music than you'll ever listen to.

If that's the case then why even bother with lossless compression?

FWIW, I use Monkey's Audio where I average about a 5% gain in compression over flac with the music that I have using the High setting.  The savings in disk space can be used for redundancy in case you're paranoid that your files may get corrupted.  Also, I have no problem loading an ape file in its native format in my wave editor.  For my DAP I use a lossy format configured for transparency, for my PC I listen to whatever format my music happens to be in without agonizing over the fact that they aren't all the same.

In the end it all depends on your reason for using a lossless format.  For me, it is to archive my music and MAC's decrease in decoding speed does not bother me one bit.  That said, I have nothing but immense respect for Josh and David and their formats which they've tirelessly worked on.

When will the arguing and speculation over the future of flac, WavPack and whatever else ever end?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #19
I'm with Greynol. I think FLAC's likely to become the playback standard, but archiving will still remain anyone's game. WavPack's still a bit too obtuse for me, but that's just a personal opinion.

I use lossless for archival purposes only. MAC's my favorite both for the increased compression (Extra-High gets done pretty fast anyway on my 2.66GHz P4 machine), plus the fact that the standard UI allows you to pause and resume jobs as well as toggle the priority of the process. This allows me to run MAC at idle priority so I can work while still getting the space savings that I like.
EAC>1)fb2k>LAME3.99 -V 0 --vbr-new>WMP12 2)MAC-Extra High

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #20
TAK will destroy 'em all!!!11!one!!this1goes211!
Wavpack watchout! FLAC watchout!

...hihi, couldn't resist.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #21
I archive with EAC/WavPack and listen over the LAN in any room that has a PC hooked to a sound system.

For portable players I don't see why lossless would sound better than HA recommended settings for LAME vbr  mp3 or Nero AAC lossy.  I just transcode what I need for fresh compilations from the lossless archives.

I think WavPack is getting more technically advanced than FLAC but it's six of one or a half dozen of the other as either one will sound exactly as good as the original tracks.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #22
see this start in the Asian market first after all that is where FLAC got its DAP support to begin with.  Than again some DAP companies only like to stick to formats they can control (Apple) even if they have to create one to do so (ALAC).

Conclusion...WavPack is future.


I recall reading someplace that Apple has plans to introduce FLAC support to iTunes (ability to import a FLAC file), and possibly iPod.  Has anybody else heard this?  Apple doesn't control mp3, but they support the format, so why not FLAC?

I agree that once a high-profile DAP company adopts a lossless format, it will gain support everywhere and become a "standard".  Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #23
Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Why is it necessary for one format to win and for the others to lose?

To me this is logic is totally absurd.  Last time I looked, choice was a good thing.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

FLAC or WavPack? Or?

Reply #24
Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Why is it necessary for one format to win and for the others to lose?

To me this is logic is totally absurd.  Last time I looked, choice was a good thing.


I wasn't even aware that it was a competition
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

 
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