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Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Unless you have a sound card with a high quality DAC, playing back a lossless file with a low quality DAC on cheap sound card or receiver will mean that a lossless format will not gain much.

I personnally think it would be better to save your HD space and buy a dedicated pro audio CD player what has dual high quality DACs, use the analogue outputs of it to connect to your amp. Unless of course you buy a sound card with has real high quality DACs? Do they exist?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #1
You mean "A waste of space" right? Cause lossless codec usually encode faster than lossy. 

Too answer your topic.. well.. I think I better don't, cause it's "a waste of time".

 

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #2
I think a low end crappy dac aka - $5 system is more risky than high end for lossy encoding. The freq response is weird, the sound is harsh and brittle. Its hard to setup an abx test in my car but I have my suspicion..

As for lossless sound gain, I'd have to agree for the majority of listeners and music there is little to no gain - can't get better than transparent and the old relic mp3 is giving them trouble even at 130 k vbr. I currently encode to lame 3.97 V3 for use in all equipment. If tomorrow my original cd's were gone , I wouldn't care much.

For a finished product lossy is fine. for multi transcoding lossless is the better option.
wavpack 4.8 -b3x6c

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #3
What a useless topic? I think that's an oppinion of each individual!

After using lossy for years, I think that's a waste of time. Why? - Because I start listening for artefacts when I know it's mp3! Now I know that something I might hear CANNOT be an artefact caused by encoding. Sure lossless takes up a lot of space, but contrary to the money I spend on CD's it's not really an issue.

I don't give much for the crappy DAC statement. I use bitperfect digital out all the way to my reciever, and let it do the conversion. Also, why spend a lot of money on a "quality" CD player, when any cheap CD player with digital out does the exact same? It's a common misunderstanding among audiofools that expensive CD players are actually worth the buck - only on scratched discs they might do a slightly better job correcting jitter.
Can't wait for a HD-AAC encoder :P

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #4
> a dedicated pro audio CD player what has dual high quality DACs

The idea behind archiving (to lossless) is to rip once and rip without error, that is a computer with a secure ripping program can try 10's of times to recover errors that the pro audio CD player would not (it is time based and has to give out audio at a certain time).

I also think a 500GB Hard drive and decent sound card will cost less than a pro audio CD player.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #5
"DustyBin" - does your name reflect where you hope your topics will be moved to?

Cheers,
David.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #6
Quote
What a useless topic? I think that's an oppinion of each individual!


I agree, a blanket statement like that is pretty useless. However, i can't resist the temptation to list the reasons why i think lossless is useless FOR ME:

1. I tried abxing and i failed to abx even MP3 V5 VBRs

2. I have an ipod classic, so my only choice would be to use Apple Lossless (yuck).

3. When a compelling reason to transcode comes (for me, this would mean a lossy that is transparent at much lower bitrates AND have good hardware support, or a lossless that uses some revolutionary technique to compress 2X better- both of which won't happen anytime soon), I'll just rerip my collection.

3. My collection is now at ~5200 albums:
a. Reripping simply to have lossless would not make the songs "sound better", but would take a lot of TIME and SPACE.


So, lossless FOR ME, in its present FORM, is useless.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #7
I agree and my main reason is that the recording quality of 90% of recordings isn't that great and sacred to be perfectly preserved and the loss of quality is so marginal in real listening situations that is not worth the size difference. And yes is a waste of time if you have the originals as backup and make lossy your main source to enjoy music and not to sound examination.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #8
Im begining to understand now! I might encode all my CD collection into the lossless FLAC format, then do some more re-encoding for my ipod (car use only), 256kbps MP3/CBR using lame. Because I'm linux based, i dont want to boot into windows just to do some encoding using itunes, and as AAC and MP3 at 256 kbps / CBR using the best encoders available are transparent i may as well stick with mp3.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #9
The point/advantage of lossless is not in "listening", but in something else. I dont do anything with my music except of listening, so i dont use lossless. For someone else, the needs may be different.

As for the topic asking a stupid question - quite a few of the answers are just as stupid as the question, so perhaps the question wasn't all that unjustified, KTNXBYE
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #10
Yes, DustyBin.  As you'll find out here at HydrogenAudio, the "Lossless sounds better" is a tenuous statement, and one that will get the speaker in trouble unless s/he backs it up with ABX tests.  Very few people have good enough ears to tell the difference between a lossless file and a lossy file from a good psychoacoustic encoder.

The entirely more popular reason for lossless encoding is for archiving purposes:  e.g. I have everything I own in FLAC, and can transcode to Vorbis for my DAP, or to mp3 if another device requires it.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #11
i think this is something everyone has to ask themselves. for me, lossless was the right choice, because as technology advances there's no way to "go back" on your choice unless you want to rebuy everything, which would be impossible for some of the things in my collection.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #12
i think this is something everyone has to ask themselves. for me, lossless was the right choice, because as technology advances there's no way to "go back" on your choice unless you want to rebuy everything, which would be impossible for some of the things in my collection.


Aye thats a good point, archive in lossless, and encode for other devices, in the future there might be different versions of encoders what do better jobs, if you have all your files stored as lossless there isnt a problem.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #13
Aye thats a good point, archive in lossless, and encode for other devices, in the future there might be different versions of encoders what do better jobs, if you have all your files stored as lossless there isnt a problem.
Exactly. As a classical listener and for my portable needs, e.g. in car, I need to apply a DSP which pushes the low levels up (vlevel dsp/with fb2k) because of the noise in the car. Without a lossless source I'd need to transcode.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #14
it's hard these days...

If I burn 20 albums onto a CD/mp3, when I will put it in the tray, I don't know even where to start from...

If I burn an album onto a single CD with 12 tracks, it will bore me, because I will have to pile discs and swap CDs...

Used to be fun with those vinyl and cassette tapes....

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #15
If I burn 20 albums onto a CD/mp3, when I will put it in the tray, I don't know even where to start from...

If I burn an album onto a single CD with 12 tracks, it will bore me, because I will have to pile discs and swap CDs...
...but with all the choice (i.e. multiple discs), how do you decide which disc (1 or 20 albums on it, makes no difference really) to put in the tray?
lossyWAV -q X -a 4 -s h -A --feedback 2 --limit 15848| FLAC -5 -e -p -b 512 -P=4096 -S-

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #16
If time stopped today, you might be right.

But who is to say that some new audio technology that makes the difference between lossy and lossless compression more obvious isn't going to come in the next 3 months or even 3 years?

I'm happy to keep all my audio in the highest quality format possible (lossless) just in case.  And given that it takes even less time to compress, and hard drive prices are rock bottom right now such that storage costs are not an issue...why not just go lossless and forget about compromising quality in the name of space (something that was important 10 years ago when MP3 was first becoming popular)?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #17
But who is to say that some new audio technology that makes the difference between lossy and lossless compression more obvious isn't going to come in the next 3 months or even 3 years?

The only way to make the difference more obvious is either for lossless to become better (not possible) or lossy to become worse. And why would anyone choose to use a lossy compression that is worse than what is available today?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #18

But who is to say that some new audio technology that makes the difference between lossy and lossless compression more obvious isn't going to come in the next 3 months or even 3 years?

The only way to make the difference more obvious is either for lossless to become better (not possible) or lossy to become worse. And why would anyone choose to use a lossy compression that is worse than what is available today?


Perhaps he means further down the chain from the music file.  I read it as his meaning that if manufacturers were to, say, squeeze better electronics for playback in a portable player (which is where the bulk of many people's music-file listening is done) then one might be better able to hear a difference that always had been there.

EDIT: FWIW, I'm also an "archive in lossless, and encode for other devices" type of person.  There's no way I'd put lossless files on a portable with the current size of their storage.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #19
For a finished product lossy is fine. for multi transcoding lossless is the better option.


The above statement pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #20
Quote
...but with all the choice (i.e. multiple discs), how do you decide which disc (1 or 20 albums on it, makes no difference really) to put in the tray?


Yes, I have gone that through as well... Hard to pick up a CD in the middle of 100. LOL

I think we were happier when we didn't have to deal with tags, album art, consistency, directories and perfect ripping...

I just did an experiment here...
I chose Jarre's "Teo & Tea 4.00 AM" as a critical track to encode, and I have split this track in about 7 WAV tracks. But 4 of this selection are 128 kbps CBR fresh encodings converted to WAV. Then I merged all the files putting back the song again. So we have now 4 lossy parts and 3 lossless parts in one song.
I can't tell for the life of me which part of the song is lossy or lossless...
I tested this on a powerful amplifier at the living room & headphones too...
I chose 128kbps CBR because I wanted something "really crap"...
I think there is a reason why no one is really interested in lossless... (on contrast to us, who are interested...)
You guys should try this...

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #21
I think there is a reason why no one is really interested in lossless... (on contrast to us, who are interested...)
You guys should try this...
Reread the many posts discussing lossless purely as an archive/transcoding source.

I too use lossless solely as an archive; I'm amazed that people see the need to listen to it, but then I don't have golden ears.  As well as being a safe transcoding source it also fulfils my anal nature, which forces me to want the best quality for those things that I really want to "own".  I'm the same with video, which is why I have a PVR that will let me dump the raw transport stream to the PC.
I'm on a horse.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #22
Can we lock the thread already? Either that or I'll start my own "Why I think lossy encoding is useless because of increasing storage capabilities" troll thread...

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #23
Unless you have a sound card with a high quality DAC, playing back a lossless file with a low quality DAC on cheap sound card or receiver will mean that a lossless format will not gain much.

I personnally think it would be better to save your HD space and buy a dedicated pro audio CD player what has dual high quality DACs, use the analogue outputs of it to connect to your amp. Unless of course you buy a sound card with has real high quality DACs? Do they exist?




Why does everyone assume that lossy = low-fi? Artifacts are just as easy to spot on low-end and high-end equipment. lossy files sound just as "good" (at least at reasonable bitrates) as lossless files. It's just that, once in a while, artifacts may be audible.



Equipment quality and music bitrates are almost always completely independent subjects.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #24
Unless of course you buy a sound card with has real high quality DACs? Do they exist?


Well, if you do have one, and yes they do exist, then you aren't going to mess with lossy. 

Get the best quality rip you can the first time.

To Scriths point I would agree but change it a bit.  Most of the people I see here are running some sort of midfi setup...pc to a receiver...blah blah blah.  No doubt it woud be hard to hear much difference on such a set up.  But think of the future.  Perhaps one day a better system awaits and then you may be sorry that you ripped to lossy and can on the better system hear the difference.

 
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