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Topic: Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file? (Read 2381 times) previous topic - next topic

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Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Since I have in the past years amassed more than 463 GiB of .flac files, I'm running out of space on my dedicated 500 GB hard drive. That is why I am thinking of writing a simple Python script that would flag out the files that for some reason weren't compressed using the maximum compression (level 8) settings and then recompress them properly. But is this even possible? I know you can somehow find out the encoder that was used and its version (foobar lists this as 'Tool').

Thanks for any answers, hints, suggestions; I'll work out the script myself, I just need to know if this information stored or can in some other way be deduced with an analysis.
  • Last Edit: 20 July, 2012, 04:46:16 PM by kidamnesiac

  • mjb2006
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Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Reply #1
Probably not, unless you went to the trouble of saving the settings in a tag. Take a look at http://flac.sourceforge.net/documentation_tools_flac.html
and note the compression levels are actually shorthand for various combinations of settings, most of which result in adjustments to the algorithms used during encoding, not so much anything you can deduce by looking at the file. Maybe you can look at block size, but that doesn't narrow it down much.

If you have your files in small batches encoded at once (e.g., albums), you can have your script just do a test re-encode of the smallest file in each folder, and if it comes out X% smaller, go ahead and re-encode the whole album. With 463 GB, even a 1% improvement is worthwhile.
  • Last Edit: 20 July, 2012, 05:39:55 PM by mjb2006

  • AliceWonder
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Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Reply #2
You probably won't gain much space. I would suggest if any way possible, look into getting a 1TB dedicated drive.
I don't know what your money is like, but best buy has 1TB USB2/3 drives for about $100

Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Reply #3
No, I even have an extra drive lying around, it's just that this one feels perfect for FLAC storage and I have no other real use for it (5400 RPM, IDE). But thanks anyway, as I just realised it must be five or six years old and considering it is a Seagate, it is getting a little risky keeping my collection on it, so I will probably be moving the files somewhere else in any case (Murphy: The new drive will fail completely in two weeks.)

Thanks for the idea mjb2006, I'll try your script and maybe post the results ... I just like the idea of having everything optimised and I'm really interested on how much space can be saved.

  • Porcus
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Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Reply #4
You should of course have backup in any case, right?

  • mjb2006
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Is is possible to find out encoder settings from a .flac file?
Reply #5
You should of course have backup in any case, right?

One of the best investments I ever made for my digital audio/video/document collection was buy a pair of high-capacity hard drives and just mirror one to the other on occasion. Even with a sporadic backup schedule, it has meant much more than peace-of-mind. I've recovered multiple accidental deletions already, and am prepared to go pick up a replacement drive the moment either of them dies. They've both lived long enough that for the same price, I can get double the capacity now.
  • Last Edit: 22 July, 2012, 02:45:15 AM by mjb2006