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WAV background noise

Reply #25
Just to confirm that you should probably rip your CDs with iTunes, set to Apple Lossless if you need to save space. Be sure to check "Use error correction when reading Audio CDs" in the Advanced/Importing preferences.

If you need to convert the files afterwards, I highly recommend XLD. It's a simple drag and drop converting utility that features numerous output formats: AIFF, Wave, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, etc. The developer is about to release a new version that adds WavPack and Wave64.

XLD is optimized for multi-processors/cores, so be sure to specify the number of processors/cores your computer has in XLD's "Maximum #Threads" preference.

- Kewl

WAV background noise

Reply #26
I think you mean number of cores, but regardless, thank you very much for the tip and I look forward to using this tool. Now, what is WavPack and Wave64? Are they better encoders of the WAV audio file format?

WAV background noise

Reply #27
I think you mean number of cores, but regardless, thank you very much for the tip and I look forward to using this tool. Now, what is WavPack and Wave64? Are they better encoders of the WAV audio file format?


Once again, I'd like you to understand that it is not possible to have a "better encoder" for WAV.  WAV isn't even encoded, its just a bit by bit copy of the data stream stored on the CD stuck behind a header that identifies how the stream is stored.  Thats why its so gigantic.  The reason people use FLAC, ALAC, or whatever is because they actually compress the file to save space.

WAV background noise

Reply #28
Thank you for the elaboration and patience you've shown, I now understand the difference between WAV and ALAC.

I've stated the reason why I can't use ALAC and have resorted to WAV for my lossless music, however you've now told me that ALAC will actually save space (by how much I don't know). What alternative do I have for a compatible (iTunes, iPod, PS3) lossless file then? Is WAV the only one?


WAV background noise

Reply #30
Thank you very much. I've been in the slew of asking on this forum as replies have been very quick and helpful. In the future though I'll start looking for my own answers, I just have a few more questions.

Quote
Is WAV the only compatible lossless file I can use with the equipment I so desire?

 

WAV background noise

Reply #31
Here are the compatible music formats:

MP3
AAC
WAV
WMA

Looks that way.

Just to reiterate what Mike Giacomelli said, AFAIK the term lossless is used to refer to encodings, and since  WAV "isn't even encoded, its just a bit by bit copy of the data stream" it isn't normally referred to as lossless.

I still don't understand why you can't encode to ALAC (which is lossless) and then transcode to MP3 or AAC (which are compatible with your equipment) because at decent bitrates it's very unlikely that you'll perceive the difference between the lossy encoding and the original WAV.

C.

EDIT:
1) 1 min 16 bit WAV file = 10MB
2) Encoded to Lossless (like ALAC) = 4.85MB  *
3) Encoded to MP3 LAME 3.98 -V2 (Lossy) = 1.43 MB *

a) I can't hear the difference between 1, 2 and 3
b) Having both a lossless and lossy version (2 + 3) is still using a 2/3 the disk space of the WAV file.

* Note: filesizes will vary depending on the music, but the point is still the same.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

WAV background noise

Reply #32
I think you mean number of cores, but regardless, thank you very much for the tip and I look forward to using this tool.

Actually, both are right. There are computers with multi-processors (like my eight years old PowerMac G4) and there are computers with single processor that features multi-cores, like the ones found on recent iMacs, Mac Books and Mac Book Pros.

- Kewl

WAV background noise

Reply #33
Just to reiterate what Mike Giacomelli said, AFAIK the term lossless is used to refer to encodings, and since  WAV "isn't even encoded, its just a bit by bit copy of the data stream" it isn't normally referred to as lossless.

I still don't understand why you can't encode to ALAC (which is lossless) and then transcode to MP3 or AAC (which are compatible with your equipment) because at decent bitrates it's very unlikely that you'll perceive the difference between the lossy encoding and the original WAV.

C.

EDIT:
1) 1 min 16 bit WAV file = 10MB
2) Encoded to Lossless (like ALAC) = 4.85MB  *
3) Encoded to MP3 LAME 3.98 -V2 (Lossy) = 1.43 MB *

a) I can't hear the difference between 1, 2 and 3
b) Having both a lossless and lossy version (2 + 3) is still using a 2/3 the disk space of the WAV file.

* Note: filesizes will vary depending on the music, but the point is still the same.


This helps an enormous amount. Now, your reason in encoding to ALAC is so that it's a backup of the CD itself but in a version of data on my computer, so that if I want to listen to the exact music of the cd I can at any given time I assume? And that WAV itself is a spacewaster and is very close in detail (no difference perceivable) to LAME MP3?

I hope I'm understanding what you have stated because from what I see, if I have the CD and I want a digital copy of it that's compatible with virtually everything, MP3 Lame is the way to go?

WAV background noise

Reply #34
Yeah, precisely.

In addition if you backup to ALAC, and say sometime in the future you find you want to use a device that doesn't support MP3 (that's going to take a long time!) but instead does support AAC; you can just transcode once more from the lossless ALAC to AAC. Easy. Whereas if you only encoded to MP3 then you'd have to re-rip your CDs again to avoid transcoding from lossy (MP3) to lossy (AAC), which is NOT good, as this process degrades audio quality.

Hope that helps.

C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

WAV background noise

Reply #35
So WAV is the only compatible format across all spectrums for lossless if that's what I want to play, but due to the fact that there's not much perceivable difference between WAV and highly encoded MP3 (I'm set at 190, but I'm guessing an audiophile's standard is around 210 or so?) then there's no point in having a lossless file for playback, but only for backup?

WAV background noise

Reply #36
The only reason for using lossy would be that "not much perceivable" difference for a smaller file. With such large hard drives available today you could save your CD to WAV no problem. You could also use WAV on your portable digital music player with NO loss of quality. Depending on how many songs you want to carry around on the portable you may find you don't need compressed files.
If you do want compressed for the portable I would recommend mp3 at it's highest bit rate 320 or that Apple AAC at highest bit rate.
cheers

WAV background noise

Reply #37
I'd say a properly compressed lossless archive plus a lossy one for hardware compatibility (let's say WavPack plus AAC or MP3) can still beat the size of an uncompressed WAV equivalent.

Also, lossless files, like WavPack encoded ones, can be properly tagged with ReplayGain values and album art to boot.

Give lossless a try, dude ;-) !
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WAV background noise

Reply #38
The only reason for using lossless would be that "not much perceivable" difference for a smaller file. With such large hard drives available today you could save your CD to WAV no problem. You could also use WAV on your portable digital music player with NO loss of quality. Depending on how many songs you want to carry around on the portable you may find you don't need compressed files.
If you do want compressed for the portable I would recommend mp3 at it's highest bit rate 320 or that Apple AAC at highest bit rate.
cheers


What kind of advice are you giving? Do you need to read *this precise thread* again? or you wrote "lossless" when you wanted to write "lossy"?

Anyway, using .wav is not that much advisable, especially if you only want to listen to it, or have a backup. It simply doesn't have advantages in those scenarios.

WAV background noise

Reply #39
Quote
' date='May 26 2008, 12:22' post='567348']
Anyway, using .wav is not that much advisable, especially if you only want to listen to it, or have a backup. It simply doesn't have advantages in those scenarios.


Well, the thing is, again, the only lossless file that's compatible with the PS3 seems to be WAV and those are my restrictions. Why are so many people against WAV if it's lossless? I don't mind the fact that's it's not compressed because my CD collection isn't all that admirable either. Granted I do want to increase the size of it, I don't have any alternatives to get lossless files on my PS3. I guess I could just convert those to MP3 as needed.

If that's the case, I'll probably go with Apple Lossless (ALAC?) for my backup from CD then. What other lossless files are compatible with iTunes/iPod? (without Rockbox/Plug-ins, I don't feel like modding today).

WAV background noise

Reply #40
ALAC + MP3 sounds sensible.
The reason people choose Lossless encodes over WAV is:
a) because they are approx. half the size
b) they are identical in terms of sound quality
c) you can reconstruct (decode them and produce) a WAV file that is bit for bit identical to the source WAV file
d) they can be tagged - and this is a big deal, because if you properly tag your lossless archive you only ever have to tag your files once, since when you transcode from lossless to a lossy format like MP3 the tags should be transferred from the tagged lossless to the lossy (e.g. MP3) output (that's certainly the case with foobar2000, don't know about MAC alternatives, sorry).
That saves a lot of extra tagging. WAV files can't hold ID3 or APE tags or Vorbis Comments (the 3 main tagging formats).

[EDIT]
I should add that I don't agree with skizman that "mp3 at it's highest bit rate 320 or that Apple AAC at highest bit rate" is a good solution.
1) 320 kbps is unnecessary, overkill and wasteful.
2) At moderate to high bitrates AAC loses its advantage (AAC is better < 128 kbps).
3) MP3 is the most compatible audio format.
4) I'd recommend VBR LAME 3.98b8 MP3 at anywhere between -V4 and -V0 (highest). If you can hear any difference between these settings and the WAV I'd be surprised. Best thing to do is try it out.
[/EDIT]

C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Opus (130)

WAV background noise

Reply #41
I actually do have my LAME 3.97 settings @ -q2 VBR Target 245kbps (those are the highest settings in XLD). I know that I won't be able to tell a difference between ALAC and that LAME MP3, so I don't see any reason to bother storing lossless files other than to tell myself that I'm a starting audiophile. *begin rant*

The reason people have said to store them are so that I have a digital copy of a CD that's exact in quality, and that when I do need a lossy file to be compatible with all my media I should just create an MP3 from that. The thing is, I need that lossy file to be compatible with all my media. I have no reason for an ALAC file other than storage, and that storage is costly.

I have a Laptop with an external backup, so I have all the room in the world to store my music. I do only have a 4GB iPod however and thoroughly enjoy having a small size iPod, reason being it's much easier to search through what music I want to listen to on-the-go rather than search for ages of what I'd like to listen to in my own music. I will probably upgrade to an 8GB after another year's use (it's 1year old), but until that time my iPod is cramped as is. Why have a lossless file for storage when the difference is excruciatingly small? I have my CD's, and when I have a media player with the storage I may change - but my ears aren't trained enough yet.

Personally, it's a lot of work to tell myself that I have a exact copy of a song and another copy of that song with a minuscule amount of difference. I know that as I type this, I'm offending hoards of people on this board but I thought I might as well get my opinion out as it is.

On that note, how many of you think there's a extreme difference between 246kbps VBR LAME MP3 and an ALAC file? My headphones that I thoroughly enjoy are the Sony MDR-V6.

WAV background noise

Reply #42
In Constant Bit Rate mode (CBR), XLD can go as high as 320 kbps.

- Kewl

WAV background noise

Reply #43
In Constant Bit Rate mode (CBR), XLD can go as high as 320 kbps.

- Kewl


Isn't that potential overkill? And why CBR @ 320 over VBR? I know CBR may not have enough bits for the intensive parts or have too many for the quiet parts while VBR uses the appropriate amount for both.

WAV background noise

Reply #44
...and that storage is costly.


If you go with the suggestion of ripping your CD's to both ALAC and MP3 I'm pretty sure it'll actually take up less space than ripping to WAV files.
Dan

WAV background noise

Reply #45
I may be wrong but VBR probably doesn't go over 320 at intensive parts of music.

 
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