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Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #25
I have yet to believe that a theoretical super high end system will break good lossy encodings , Or that human ear can tell differences between mid ~ good DAC in abx.

I said it before and I know its a touchy subject, but I feel that even on a Super Fi system one could 'archive' to Lame -V4 - 160 k with little to no loss. Even if there was an audiable difference it would probably be small and for a split second. The files are small enough to play anywhere without transcoding , burn cd's for your car and your friends will never know its an mp3.
wavpack 4.8 -b3x6c

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #26
I've already fooled people with 128kbps CBR encodings...

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #27
I agree with Spoon. The main reason I FLAC is for archiving - so that I don't have to rip again to take advantage of future codec improvements. Storage is cheap and secure ripping my music took a looooong time.
EAC secure | FLAC  --best -V -b 4096 | LAME 3.97 -V0 -q0 -b32

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #28
I have yet to believe that a theoretical super high end system will break good lossy encodings , Or that human ear can tell differences between mid ~ good DAC in abx.

I said it before and I know its a touchy subject, but I feel that even on a Super Fi system one could 'archive' to Lame -V4 - 160 k with little to no loss. Even if there was an audiable difference it would probably be small and for a split second. The files are small enough to play anywhere without transcoding , burn cd's for your car and your friends will never know its an mp3.



HI Shadow,

Well, I for one have abx'd 192 vbr (I think that is Lame -V2 right?) on my little headphone rig and once I get my main system set up I'll give 320 a shot.  160k I think would be pretty easy, and one could tell without much going back and forth.  Now, I haven't tried this, but the ABX I did was with headphones, but I think on the main rig it will be even easier because I'll be able to hear differences in imaging that I don't get on headphones.  I'll let you know if I ever get set up ( I have had this damn thing in boxes for a year now, and I just unboxed them this weekend! and will get them wired tommorrow....long story) and try 320.

Also, along those lines, is there a way to abx flac?  Foobar does this, but it cheats by turning the flac into a .wav.  Any programs that will compare flac to .wav without the conversion?

I have posted the results, and will gladly post the files I used.  Just no one has told me how to cut the mp3 down to the 30 second length needed to post. 

DUH, I just thought about it.  I bet I could load that mp3 into wave lab and cut it, just like I would the .wav file.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #29
I was merely referring to HQ non offensive encodes rather than total transparency which is much harder to achieve. You gotta make sure you can regularly pull these abx tricks and its not some limited problem tracks. IMO the party stops once you get to around -V3..You shouldn't be able to abx even V4 that easily on normal music. But  I am interested if you have really good abx results on many tracks on your good rig.

PS - Don't waste time abxing flac.
wavpack 4.8 -b3x6c

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #30
I have yet to believe that a theoretical super high end system will break good lossy encodings , Or that human ear can tell differences between mid ~ good DAC in abx.


Don't believe it! It's fault reasoning. Today's hi-fi audio systems are generally way above the boundarys of anyone's perception. So, if you already have a decent system, you won't be able to hear a drop in quality on any possible future system. However, particulary so-called audiophile equipment often introduces distortion (as tube-amps generally do), which often is subjectively considered as "better" quality and advertised with all those audiophile blabber. These distortion may add to the marginal artefacts introduced by the lossy enconding and thus makes them audible. Yet this would mean you got audible artifecats because of the actually worse quality of your enquipment, even if it you spend €10.000 in it...

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #31
I also encode lossless for preservation, but for me it is also psycological. Whenever I recieve or listen to an mp3, it doesn't satisfy me as much as lossless format. I feel like I am not getting the whole product.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #32
[quote author=Dawnrazor-age link=msg=549577 date=1204007700]Well, I for one have abx'd 192 vbr (I think that is Lame -V2 right?) on my little headphone rig and once I get my main system set up I'll give 320 a shot.  160k I think would be pretty easy, and one could tell without much going back and forth.  Now, I haven't tried this, but the ABX I did was with headphones, but I think on the main rig it will be even easier because I'll be able to hear differences in imaging that I don't get on headphones.  I'll let you know if I ever get set up ( I have had this damn thing in boxes for a year now, and I just unboxed them this weekend! and will get them wired tommorrow....long story) and try 320.[/quote]
As has been mentioned here many, many times, it is generally easier to hear problems with lossy encoding using headphones than with speakers. Also, very often cheap/low quality stereo equipment may make artifacts audible which are inaudible on good equipment. We will all want to hear about your ABX results on your good system.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #33
I use lossless purely because disc space isn't an issue and it means I can convert to any lossy format I want again and again without losing any quality.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #34
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.


So when you get a high quality DAC, you will want to re-rip everything?


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?


If you distrust soundcard DACs, then buy an external one and connect it to both your CD player and your sound card's digital output.

Save HD space? A 500 GiB disc should give you capacity for *quick'n'dirty calculations*  say, 1500 CDs lossless. If you have 1500 discs,
- you do not want to rip more than once
- you will need more physical devices for back-up, so you need to count discs, not bytes
- a 500 GiB disc isn't that much more expensive than a 200 GiB (assuming they still sell the latter ...)
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Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #35
[quote author=Dawnrazor-age link=msg=549577 date=1204007700]Also, along those lines, is there a way to abx flac?  Foobar does this, but it cheats by turning the flac into a .wav.  Any programs that will compare flac to .wav without the conversion?[/quote]

Asking for a way to ABX FLAC and WAV is like asking for a way to ABX WAV and WAV. One reason foobar2000 decodes to WAV first is to remove decoder-related delays.
What you ask like asking for a way to find the difference between a ZIP file and the original uncompressed material. It really makes no sense.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #36
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 wasn't.      It's so convenient to carry almost half of my audio collection with me wherever I go.  Any time I want to share a particularly good piece of music with a friend I just dial it up and hand them my iPod.  I don't even want to think about driving home, digging through the CDs, pulling it out, taking it to them, and then... not getting it back.    That's what it was back in 1985.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #37
I currently rip lossless (.wav + .cue) because I have the disk space available to do so and because it should eliminate the need to future reripping. Sure, I could save some disk space and compress them with Wavpack or Flac, but I just don't feel like dealing with it. I can use Foobar2000 to play them and, when needed, convert them to MP3 for use in my iPod Shuffle.

One can go insane with the choices we have. I say just go with what makes you the happiest.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #38
What you ask like asking for a way to find the difference between a ZIP file and the original uncompressed material. It really makes no sense.


Yeah, I get that. 

What I would like to hear is whether the extra computing needed to "unzip" the flac files and its effect on the electrical environment in the pc and therefore the sound...would be audible.

On my 2 pcs, Flac files do behave differently.  In a few configurations, flacs stutter like crazy and .wavs don't.

There is about 7% more processing needed on flacs on my pc.  I want to see if this extra processing can be audible.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE FLAC DATA IS DIFFERENT.

Everyone will cite how bad and terrible the pc's electrical environment is for a dac, but freak out at the mention that that very environment could lead to a condition where the additional flac processing could affect the sound.  At minimum we should be consistent...if the pc electrical environment with its emi and rfi and horrible powersupplies is bad for sound, then MAYBE extra processing will make a bad situtation worse and be audible.

I merely want a way to test this to find out either way.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #39
I currently rip lossless (.wav + .cue) because I have the disk space available to do so and because it should eliminate the need to future reripping. Sure, I could save some disk space and compress them with Wavpack or Flac, but I just don't feel like dealing with it. I can use Foobar2000 to play them and, when needed, convert them to MP3 for use in my iPod Shuffle.

One can go insane with the choices we have. I say just go with what makes you the happiest.

I'd say there are two - not one - main advantages of lossless-compression over WAV:

1. lower filesize
2. metadata

The second one is significant, if one plans to transcode from lossless to lossy - i wouldn't want to do all the tagging over and over. Yes, cuesheets have some limited tagging support - emphasis on the word "limited".
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #40
Who says you can't add metadata to a wave file?
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #41
Who says you can't add metadata to a wave file?
You may be able to, but how you go about it would be all important, remembering to stay within the WAV standard.
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 #42
dBpoweramp doesn't seem to have any trouble.  It uses LIST chunks, I believe, and I doubt it breaks the standard.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #43
Cuesheets support all the metadata I need. Obviously, everyone has different needs.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #44
The only reason I have ripped all my cd's to lossless is in case anything should break mp3's dominance. Maybe a crazy law that rules they are illegal due to file sharing. You never know nowadays.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #45
I'd say there are two - not one - main advantages of lossless-compression over WAV:

Another advantage is that, in the event of corruption, lossless files will tell you something is corrupt on decoding (playback, testing).  Wav files won't.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #46
Replaygain is another.

EDIT: Well it can be stored in a cue sheet for wave files, so never mind.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #47
I don't agree that lossless is unworthy for listening purposes for two reasons:

1. Sometimes, ugly problems come up with lossy codecs (see e.g. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=60655 ) even at pretty high bitrates. With lossless you're always on the safe side.
2. Lossless (FLAC at least, never tried anything else) usually decodes faster than lossy codecs, which means it saves CPU runtime (especially important on portables where cpu usage equals to power usage).

EDIT: Forgot about the topic: In the end, you'll SAVE time encoding to lossless right away because:
1. You never have to abx (very time-consuming, actually!) and eventually rerip anything to a higher bitrate because it sounds ugly (see 1. above)
2. Lossless usually encodes faster than lossy too, but that was already given by someone else.
flac 1.2.1 -8 (archive) | aoTuVb5.7 -q 4 (pc, s1mp3)

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #48
I think that lossless is only for peace of mind. If you always listen & question... "Oops was that an artifact?" then you just need lossless for the peace of mind's sake. I think lossless is cool, and being able to play it, it's even more. For the perfectionist it's better if he keep his lossless rips secure on DVD-Rs and listen to his songs on CDs.

Why i think lossless is a waste of time

Reply #49
2. Lossless (FLAC at least, never tried anything else) usually decodes faster than lossy codecs, which means it saves CPU runtime (especially important on portables where cpu usage equals to power usage).

For flash-based portables that may be the case. But for hard drive portables, the hd would have to spin more often which would decrease battery life.

 
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