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  • spoon
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The Future of FLAC
Quote
From January 2012 FLAC is being maintained by Erik de Castro Lopo under the auspices of the Xiph.org Foundation.


Taken from

https://github.com/crrodriguez/flac

...but I guess this guy does not have the access to flac.soureforge.net

From an Email I sent off to Eric,

Quote
Mr Spoon wrote:

> We have been trying to find what has happened to Josh for quite a while

He's fine, just not working on FLAC anymore.

> now, we came across https://github.com/crrodriguez/flac which suggests =
> you have taken over FLAC management? is this correct?

Yes it is.

> have you taken over flac.sf.net also?

We are in the process of moving the web pages to:

    http://xiph.rog/flac/

Once that is done, we will ask Josh to set up a HTTP redirect on the
flac.sf.net web site.

Cheers,
Erik


So it seems Josh is no longer working on FLAC, I am concerned that merging into xiph might not be best for FLACs future...(it is nothing personal against xiph), FLAC has a window of opportunity to become the defacto lossless codec, but without strong management it will not (and in 4 years everything will be in Apple lossless, or some such)

I propose that a team from HA is put together and then propose to xiph that such a team take over FLACs stewardship. If you are interested put your name forward, and if the team is strong, we can propose.
  • Last Edit: 31 August, 2012, 04:50:51 PM by spoon

  • yourlord
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #1
Is there a reason to question Eric's stewardship?

FLAC has been under the Xiph umbrella for quite some time. All that is changing is the lead maintainer and the site hosting the FLAC pages and code.

As long as the code remains open for bug fixes and enhancements I don't see a need for people on HA to take over. Those same people are free to work on or promote FLAC without taking control from Xiph.

  • spoon
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #2
If it has been under Xiph umbrella for some time, from the outside it seems that FLAC is dead...I propose not more of the same rather something different,

  • xTobix
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #3
Quote
From January 2012 FLAC is being maintained by Erik de Castro Lopo under the auspices of the Xiph.org Foundation.


So it seems Josh is no longer working on FLAC, I am concerned that merging into xiph might not be best for FLACs future...(it is nothing personal against xiph), FLAC has a window of opportunity to become the defacto lossless codec, but without strong management it will not (and in 4 years everything will be in Apple lossless, or some such)

I propose that a team from HA is put together and then propose to xiph that such a team take over FLACs stewardship. If you are interested put your name forward, and if the team is strong, we can propose.


Just as Spoon, I am very concerned that FLAC will miss the opportunity to become the lossless codec standard. I am not an experienced programmer (I am in the progress of transforming from Matlab to Python...)
However, I promise that I will contribute $40 on the first day to fund raise for a free/open source developer team with the 'clear' target to develop FLAC into become the lossless codec standard for any device and OS on the market for free!

I will do/contribute what it takes to avoid an Apple or Microsoft ruled digital audio world (which we are right in the middle of)!

GOOD LUCK my dear FLAC!
xTobix

PS: I am sure there will be more people out there willing to put a few bugs into this since I am certainly not the only person using FLAC as (almost) sole audio container!

PS2: one practical feature I am missing in flac is something like WinRAR offers, a recovery volume creation option with about 3-5%...(don’t if this is patent/license restricted though)

  • Kohlrabi
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  • Global Moderator
The Future of FLAC
Reply #4
https://github.com/crrodriguez/flac
As far as I know, xiph's git with the latest code can be found at http://git.xiph.org/?p=flac.git;a=summary.

I am not an experienced programmer (I am in the progress of transforming from Matlab to Python...)
Some experienced programmers already did it, and they offer some migration tips.
  • Last Edit: 31 August, 2012, 02:40:26 PM by Kohlrabi
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

  • greynol
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #5
I am sure there will be more people out there willing to put a few bugs into this

Let's hope not!
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • xTobix
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #6
Thanks Kohlrabi,

https://github.com/crrodriguez/flac
As far as I know, xiph's git with the latest code can be found at http://git.xiph.org/?p=flac.git;a=summary.

I am not an experienced programmer (I am in the progress of transforming from Matlab to Python...)
Some experienced programmers already did it, and they offer some migration tips.


I am aware of these two sources.  In fact I am using EPD Free/EPD Academic from here:
http://www.enthought.com/products/epd_sublevels.php

I think this is prity solid to start with and get some experience with it.

@greynol: I understand your concerns - I am just not sure if it will work the other way... we will see

  • yourlord
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #7
From a code base perspective I'm not sure what else needs to be addressed beyond adding 32-bit support to the reference software, not that 32-bit makes any difference in audio. But, the spec supports it and the reference software should implement what the spec supports. Other than that what else needs to be addressed in the reference implementation?

I think what is really needed is a marketing advocate. Someone willing to spend obscene amounts of time persuading device manufacturers to implement FLAC support in their devices. This is also working on being a moot point since so many media devices being released use Android and starting with 3.1 or so FLAC support is native there.

It would be a nice addition to engage an international standards body to have FLAC ratified as a lossless audio standard (Opus is a great example where Xiph stepped up to the plate on this with the IETF). That would make it much easier to engage manufacturers when you can walk in and ask them to implement a ratified standard instead of a spec some open source foundation supports.

  • spoon
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #8
Got it in one yourlord (I think what is really needed is a marketing advocate) - FLAC has battles to fight if it want to become the standard, it will not happen unless it is pushed.

FLAC also needs standards defining in the ID Tags.

I do not see developers being the limiting factor for FLAC.

  • sshd
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #9
FLAC needs >2G support

  • IgorC
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #10
AFAIK the future Xiph's format Ghost will support lossless. But it won't be ready any time soon.

  • westgroveg
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #11
I'm curious as to how you 'push' a audio codec without being a big player, big funding and industry contacts?

It's there, it's free, if people want to use it they can, isn't that the point of free and open software?

  • spoon
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #12
Everybody knows somebody...contacts can be found - I wish I had of put more effort in getting FLAC into Windows some 8 years ago, MS were betting on Plays For Sure back then and WMAL so was an uphill battle, even though I had the right contacts. Times have changed, MS no longer have anything, Apple need isolating, so any company which is not Apple needs to convinced to adopt FLAC, they need convincing that it is in their long term interest to do so. Windows once again will be an area of focus.

  • db1989
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #13
@greynol: I understand your concerns - I am just not sure if it will work the other way... we will see
greynol was just joking about the irony of your having said “bug”, a problem in software, where you presumably meant buck, a unit of money.

  • Wombat
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #14
Strangely the flac development stopped around the same time it became widely supported in hardware mediaplayers like the Squeezebox line.
I wonder if it simply needed to much effort with these already and Mr. Coalson simply felt he spends to much time.

There are several other minor things that come to my mind.
Much flac is sold as hires music while there isn´t even a Replaygain implementation for the higher sampling rates included in metaflac.
Also over time i often did read problems with the way flac integrates into the Windows OS. People have problems with metadata in
Explorer or the standard flac frontend doesn´t work at all.
Over time there also were some efforts to optimize the use of modern resources like a very impressing Open-CL implementation or a multi-threaded built.

It would really be nice to get all these things together somehow and make a simple to use package.

Me as Hydrogen pinhead has no problem to make all these features usable to me but for some average user it is most likely already to annoying.

ALAC is in itunes, needs no additional effort if someone uses it and its TAGs are already recognized in every OS AFAIK.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

  • yourlord
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #15
AFAIK the future Xiph's format Ghost will support lossless. But it won't be ready any time soon.



I'm honestly not really interested in formats that support both lossy and lossless mode. It's purely my opinion, but I like knowing that if I have a FLAC file that I have an exact copy of the audio that was encoded. If I want audio in a form where I don't mind loss, then there are plenty of choices out there. Mixing lossy and lossless audio in the same codec does nothing but confuse the issue and introduce too much chance of mistaking a lossy version as lossless and introducing loss into a signal chain that was intended to be lossless.

Imagine if mp3 had a lossless mode and you had the hordes of noobs out there mangling their encodes because they don't understand the difference. You'd have people loading sansa clips with lossless mp3 files then complaining because they can only get 5 or 6 albums on it. Then you'd have "CD backups" loaded with 128Kbps CBR files. You know it would happen, A LOT.

Keep it simple.
  • Last Edit: 31 August, 2012, 05:17:54 PM by yourlord

  • xTobix
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #16
@greynol: I understand your concerns - I am just not sure if it will work the other way... we will see
greynol was just joking about the irony of your having said “bug”, a problem in software, where you presumably meant buck, a unit of money.

thanks for getting me up to speed - I am plagued with dyslexia and even worth my ears are made of flesh and blood, not gold – what the hell... ??? 

  • krafty
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #17
I was also wondering what happened to the FLAC project as a whole, since the official page isn't update in ages. It would be good some pushing forward. (Strangely WavPack is also stuck for quite a while now as well).

  • Dario
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #18
(Strangely WavPack is also stuck for quite a while now as well).

So is every other lossless codec, which, alas, includes TAK. I never understood why nobody realized TAK's potential, but take this as a rhetorical question, as to not derail the topic.

  • kwanbis
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #19
More or less, they reached a point of maturity. But they still need to do improvements (2gb limit for example).

  • godrick
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #20
It seems impossible to tell what xiph's goals and plans are for FLAC based on what is publically available.  Spoon, you've probably thought of this already, but I would not assume that your goals and concerns related to FLAC are shared by xiph without direct discussion, and until such discussion occurs, the speculation could be endless on what they are planning and what we should do.  I suggest you call Chris Montgomery or someone else at xiph you know with policy-setting knowledge and influence.

I don't think it's unreasonable for xiph to share quite a bit more on their goals and plans for FLAC, and I would be concerned if and until they do.  Certainly any marketing effort, regardless of who does it, will be ineffective at best without such information.

No doubt xiph's funding model might mean FLAC does not develop as fast as users and developers want, but there is no way Apple and other competitors will agree to slow down to accomodate, so some urgency and recognition of a window of opportunity by xiph seems prudent.  If you find that some collective expression beyond the few sympathetic posts here is needed to prompt a substantive response from xiph, I'm sure many of us would be glad to add numbers to a more formal request for more information.

  • jensend
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #21
Most of this thread is extremely bizarre. Reading it, I have a hard time believing I'm at HA.

FLAC reached maturity years ago. There are few gains to be made on the compression level without breaking compatibility and going for a new format. Nobody has discovered any lossless audio compression technique which can improve on flac's compression level by more than 5%, and everything besides TAK which improves on its compression at all is significantly slower esp. on decode. FLAC has good software and hardware support. What exactly do you guys want?

Complaining about FLAC "merging into xiph" is really bizarre. Xiph is not some sort of shadowy corporation, it's a loose collection of programmers- to some extent, it's whoever shows up to get work done on free codecs. FLAC has been "under the Xiph.Org banner" for almost ten years now.

FLAC is developed in a public repository. It has two active public mailing lists. Development was pretty much stalled for a few years. In the ~9 months since Erik became the primary maintainer it's seen a lot of activity again; take a look at commit messages, etc if you want an idea of the direction development is going. It's mostly build fixes and optimizations for a variety of platforms and compilers. Josh Coalson finally reappeared and has been involved a little bit from time to time too, but he's glad to have Erik filling that role.

Spoon's advocating a hostile takeover of FLAC by some kind of "team from HA" is laughable. People who visit HA are quite welcome to contribute to FLAC if they have the programming mojo to do so. If you want to develop FLAC, you show up with patches, not with ultimatums.

godrick, you say FLAC "doesn't develop as fast as users and developers want, but there is no way Apple and other competitors will agree to slow down to accommodate." The main sign I've seen that FLAC isn't developing "as fast as users want" is that it hasn't become a magical rainbow unicorn format that compresses all of your CD images to one byte each. Apple hasn't done anything of note with ALAC in the eight years since its introduction except for finally opening the source last year. ALAC still- as it has done for eight years- gives marginally worse compression than FLAC while being noticeably slower. I don't think anybody needs to be worried about Apple and some mysterious "other competitors" speeding past FLAC at some tremendous pace of development.

Sure, some kind of major marketing breakthrough would be nice, and in a perfect world MS and Apple would get on board. But that doesn't mean there's any reason to complain about Erik and others.

The technical suggestions people are making are at least better than whining about developers without cause. But some of the suggestions really don't make sense, and for most of the rest, the use cases are obscure enough that it's hard to see why those should be priorities. You're of course welcome to code an improvement yourself, hire somebody to do so, or establish a bounty if a particular obscure use case matters a lot to you.

  • spoon
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #22
@Jensend - flac does not hugely need massive development, it has strong open source roots, so what exactly can xiph offer flac now? FLAC needs industry contacts and marketing right now, exactly what xiph is not doing.

Look at the main FLAC page - flac.sf.net    it has been dead for 3 years (I am not talking about compiler tweaks on github...)

  • kjoonlee
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #23
So volunteer for work. Not that hard, I should think...

  • mudlord
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The Future of FLAC
Reply #24
Is there a reason to question Eric's stewardship?


Yes.

Knowing Fidel Castro Loco's attitude towards Windows and anything MS in particular, Microsoft and Apple won't be nudged towards supporting FLAC anytime soon.
That must change if FLAC is to remain competitive.

Which means fixes like Wave64 won't happen since Fidel is against any MS creation, including any extended PCM formats devised by MS.
  • Last Edit: 01 September, 2012, 04:33:56 AM by mudlord