Hydrogenaudio Forums

Lossless Audio Compression => Lossless / Other Codecs => Topic started by: kotrtim on 25 November, 2004, 11:40:40 PM

Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kotrtim on 25 November, 2004, 11:40:40 PM
1. LOWER COMPRESSION BUT HIGHER CPU USAGE
2. NO COMPRESSION MODE TO SELECT

EDIT : But compared with Monkey's Audio, WMA still use more power.

WMA = 34.0MB = ~13% CPU Usage
Monkey's Audio - High = 33.7MB = ~7% CPU Usage
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 25 November, 2004, 11:50:19 PM
Thanks. I added "unefficient" to WMA's cons.

I'm not sure unability to select compression mode is necessarily a bad thing. It surely makes up for it in ease of use.

So, I don't think it's a factor worth taking into consideration. For the same reason, one could put "too many compression modes" in FLAC's cons.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kotrtim on 26 November, 2004, 12:04:52 AM
roberto , i'm so sorry
wma compression is a bit better than flac-8, but not much

I've encoded a sample 5:39
and this is what i get
original size = 57.1 MB
wma lossless = 34.0 MB
Monkey's Audio - High = 33.7 MB
FLAC-8 = 34.8 MB
FLAC-5 = 34.9 MB
REAL Lossless = 35.2 MB
Apple Lossless = 35.1 MB

but when I playback with foobar2000
WMA = 932kbps
FLAC = 860kbps
?????is this a bug?

this is the first time i test REAL,no kidding, REAL Lossless encodes very fast, comparable to FLAC-5, deocoding use less than 2% CPU usage with real player (P4 1.4GHz)

Quote
besides pro and cons list, i think this topic
should also have a comparison list, so that the reader can compare
and pick their desired codec

this is my proporsal

1 = Excellent/Superb
2 = Very Good/Very Fast
3 = Medium
4 = Slow/Poor
5 = Very bad/Very Slow

A Codec
Encoding Speed = 2
Decoding Speed = 1

Average Compression ratio = 55%

Error Handling = 3
Seeking = 1
Tagging = 1

Hardware Support = 3
Software Support = 1

ID Tag = Vorbis Comment

Container = OGG

Recommended Usage = Playback/archieve

Hybrid = Yes
Streaming = No
Open Source = Yes
Multichannel = No
High Resolution = No
OS Support = Windows Only
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: sshd on 26 November, 2004, 12:09:59 AM
1. inefficient not unefficient

2. Neither FLAC nor Monkey (MAC) are error robust. A single bit error in a MAC file will render the file undecodeable. A broken FLAC file will be playable but probably cause error in player. FLAC and MAC have built-in error checking not tolerance. Error checking has nothing to do with "robustness" IMHO.

3. Missing items on pro/cons list: Tagging system
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: BoraBora on 26 November, 2004, 03:30:05 AM
Another lossless comparison (in french, but the table is clear enough whatever the reader's language):

Guruboolez tests (http://foobar2000.net/lossless/)

Maybe add an item "Still in development/Not developed anymore" ?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 26 November, 2004, 07:12:43 AM
Quote
I've encoded a sample 5:39
but when I playback with foobar2000
WMA = 932kbps
FLAC = 860kbps
?????is this a bug?


Guess so...

Quote
this is the first time i test REAL,no kidding, REAL Lossless encodes very fast, comparable to FLAC-5, deocoding use less than 2% CPU usage with real player (P4 1.4GHz)


That's interesting. Thanks for mentioning that.
I just added an entry for Real Audio.

Quote
besides pro and cons list, i think this topic
should also have a comparison list, so that the reader can compare
and pick their desired codec

this is my proporsal

1 = Excellent/Superb
2 = Very Good/Very Fast
3 = Medium
4 = Slow/Poor
5 = Very bad/Very Slow

A Codec
Encoding Speed = 2
Decoding Speed = 1

Average Compression ratio = 55%

Error Handling = 3
Seeking = 1
Tagging = 1

Hardware Support = 3
Software Support = 1

ID Tag = Vorbis Comment

Container = OGG

Recommended Usage = Playback/archieve

Hybrid = Yes
Streaming = No
Open Source = Yes
Multichannel = No
High Resolution = No
OS Support = Windows Only
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=256219")


Interesting idea. I'll try to come up with a table comparing them.

Quote
1. inefficient not unefficient


Oops. Thanks for correcting.

Quote
2. Neither FLAC nor Monkey (MAC) are error robust. A single bit error in a MAC file will render the file undecodeable. A broken FLAC file will be playable but probably cause error in player. FLAC and MAC have built-in error checking not tolerance. Error checking has nothing to do with "robustness" IMHO.


Well, I think I remember someone once reporting that new versions of Monkey's Audio would skip errors. Won't be able to find that post though...

And my idea was precisely to mention formats that would skip errors, opposed to formats that would break the playback from the error onward completely, like WavPack3, LPAC and so on.

Maybe I should change the wording?

Quote
3. Missing items on pro/cons list: Tagging system
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256220"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Added, thanks.

Quote
Another lossless comparison (in french, but the table is clear enough whatever the reader's language):

[a href="http://foobar2000.net/lossless/]Guruboolez tests[/url]


Nice, just added the URL.

Quote
Maybe add an item "Still in development/Not developed anymore" ?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256233"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hrm... I think it's kinda hard to draw the line there. Where does a format stops being developed? Shorten, as a format, stopped being developed years ago. But given its popularity tools for the format and playback plugins are still being developed, so I wouldn't say the format is really dead.

I guess that would only really apply to RKau (which I probably won't even add to this list) and, maybe, LPAC.

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Garf on 26 November, 2004, 07:39:40 AM
<zealot>

I see no reason to put very fast decoding with FLAC and fast decoding with Wavpack when Wavpack actually decodes faster in the modes with the same compression.

Wavpack supports floats, which AFAIK FLAC does not. Optimfrog also supports floats, dont know about the others.

Also, Wavpack is supported in Nero.

</zealot>
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 26 November, 2004, 07:53:30 AM
Quote
<zealot>I see no reason to put very fast decoding with FLAC and fast decoding with Wavpack when Wavpack actually decodes faster in the modes with the same compression.


Good point. I changed that.

Quote
Wavpack supports floats, which AFAIK FLAC does not. Optimfrog also supports floats, dont know about the others.


Well, I think that falls into high resolution audio support. I don't think that is a popular enough feature to justify being mentioned, but I wouldn't know...

Quote
Also, Wavpack is supported in Nero.</zealot>
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256254"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ah, indeed. Thanks for reminding me.



I just added a color-coded table with features and whatnot.

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 26 November, 2004, 08:40:52 AM
Quote
2. Neither FLAC nor Monkey (MAC) are error robust. A single bit error in a MAC file will render the file undecodeable.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256220"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I've tested recently with MAC 3.99 (artificial corruption through hex. editor): files are perfectly playable with foobar2000. A small part was missing, the console poped-up in order to inform me about a CRC error. No player crash, no abrupt sound or ending.
~Three years ago, I was able to do the same thing with Winamp MAC plug-in.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kurtnoise on 26 November, 2004, 08:44:23 AM
Some notes about RALF :

I made some quick tests with Helix Producer to see the behaviours of this lossless codec with some others...Why Helix Producer : because there are 3 encoding modes whereas in RealPlayer it's only one. So, according to my results I'll be much less enthousiast like kotrtim...

The method that I used is the same as Speek (http://members.home.nl/w.speek/comparison.htm). For the Real Audio Lossless, I extracted my wave files with EAC and then encoding with Helix Producer. Decoding has made by RealPlayer 10.

I created some tables to observe different results (it's in French, but I think it's readable.) BTW, some Hints : vitesse d'encodage == Encoding Speed ; vitesse de décodage == Decoding Speed ; Ratio de Compression == Compression Ratio ; Taille == Size. 


Global Results:

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=6dd3f818024196645e2fde3187882538" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://kurtnoise.free.fr/misc/Final_results.gif)


Sample 1: (En Quarantaine_Miossec (extract of "1964" album) / Duration = 2''29 ) // Hint : french pop rock

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=c0e69ceef9b01385ea9e784b9fc172ee" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://kurtnoise.free.fr/misc/Results_miossec.gif)


Sample 2:[/u] (Sample 2 : Rock el Casbah_Rachid Taha (extract of "Tékitoi ?" album) / Duration = 4''33.) // Hint : rock.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=d40f5131b1fdd161279aaccc0bc066ff" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://kurtnoise.free.fr/misc/Results_taha.gif)


Sample 3:[/u] (Mouth's Cradle_Björk (extract of "Medúlla" album) / Duration = 4''01.) Hint : electro.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=32cf1501666f96e5fa48e008573ca039" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://kurtnoise.free.fr/misc/Results_bjork.gif)


Sample 4:[/u] (Symphony n°4 (Sehr Behäglich)_Gustave Malher / Duration = 1''52.) // Hint : classic.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=5671ee3553dd8f871f198878d68ef866" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://kurtnoise.free.fr/misc/Results_malher.gif)


Tests made on Pentium 3 800 Mhz & 512 Mo RAM.  I hope that help somebody.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 26 November, 2004, 08:44:45 AM
I forgot: nice initiative Roberto.
Two comments:
- LA is missing. Deliberate choice?
- I suggest an additional line, with "extra-future" including all things "that is a popular enough feature to justify being mentioned" like:
high-resolution audio, md5 hash, self-extract module, various containers compatibility, etc...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kotrtim on 26 November, 2004, 09:28:59 AM
according to the player itself (Itunes n Real)
Apple Lossless encode at ~18X
Real Lossless encode at ~12X

If Real is "VERY FAST" Apple shouldn't be "AVERAGE"

To be more accurate, someone has to use a stop watch? and encode the same uncompressed file to measure the speed........ That needs lot of time
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 26 November, 2004, 12:36:07 PM
Quote
I've tested recently with MAC 3.99 (artificial corruption through hex. editor): files are perfectly playable with foobar2000. A small part was missing, the console poped-up in order to inform me about a CRC error. No player crash, no abrupt sound or ending.
~Three years ago, I was able to do the same thing with Winamp MAC plug-in.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=256261")


Hrm... the plot deepens

OK then, I put Monkey's as error robust again.

Quote
Some notes about RALF :

I made some quick tests with Helix Producer to see the behaviours of this lossless codec with some others...Why Helix Producer : because there are 3 encoding modes whereas in RealPlayer it's only one. So, according to my results I'll be much less enthousiast like kotrtim...

The method that I used is the same as [a href="http://members.home.nl/w.speek/comparison.htm]Speek[/url]. For the Real Audio Lossless, I extracted my wave files with EAC and then encoding with Helix Producer. Decoding has made by RealPlayer 10.

I created some tables to observe different results (it's in French, but I think it's readable.) BTW, some Hints : vitesse d'encodage == Encoding Speed ; vitesse de décodage == Decoding Speed ; Ratio de Compression == Compression Ratio ; Taille == Size. 
Tests made on Pentium 3 800 Mhz & 512 Mo RAM.  I hope that help somebody.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256263"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


It will be very useful for me, thanks. And no worries about french, je peut comprendre un petit peu

Quote
I forgot: nice initiative Roberto.


Thanks

Quote
Two comments:
- LA is missing. Deliberate choice?


No. As I wrote near the end of the comparision:
"Formats I need help from forum members about pros and cons: TTA, LPAC, LA..."

I didn't add LA because of lack of information on it. But I guess i'll add it now with whatever I know about it, and count on users to help me fill the gaps.

Quote
- I suggest an additional line, with "extra-future" including all things "that is a popular enough feature to justify being mentioned" like:
high-resolution audio, md5 hash, self-extract module, various containers compatibility, etc...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256264"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Good idea. Maybe something that doesn't really justify as pros and cons, like container support, but still might be interesting to some people. I'll work on it.


Quote
according to the player itself (Itunes n Real)
Apple Lossless encode at ~18X
Real Lossless encode at ~12X

If Real is "VERY FAST" Apple shouldn't be "AVERAGE"

To be more accurate, someone has to use a stop watch? and encode the same uncompressed file to measure the speed........ That needs lot of time
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256272"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Haha, dude, you said yourself Real is very fast

Quote
this is the first time i test REAL,no kidding, REAL Lossless encodes very fast


Since Hans never got around to testing Real on his comparision, I couldn't rely on him to provide speed values. So I relied on your data :B
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 26 November, 2004, 12:52:39 PM
Another suggestion: what about "adaptability" of each format? In other word, the possibility for the user to choose a better (for himself) compromise between ration/encoding-decoding time. Some people are not interested by the defaut setting of their favorite lossless encoder, but are using different profile : in order to reach an ultra-fast decoding, or to obtain the very best encoding ratios. Monkey Audio for exemple allow impressive ratio, with still acceptable decoding/encoding speed. WavPack allows very-fast decoding process, acceptable ratio but very slow encoding speed (asymetrical mode).

Some format are very malleable, and therefore very different for different users (MAC, OptimFROG, WavPack). Some other format are very restrictive: you must accept the choice made by the developer (TTA, WMA, ALAC). This flexibility is in my opinion something very precious. The current table is a bit simplifying, and it masks some of possible features of these flexible audio formats.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 26 November, 2004, 01:13:02 PM
Quote
Some format are very malleable, and therefore very different for different users (MAC, OptimFROG, WavPack). Some other format are very restrictive: you must accept the choice made by the developer (TTA, WMA, ALAC). This flexibility is in my opinion something very precious. The current table is a bit simplifying, and it masks some of possible features of these flexible audio formats.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256296"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


OK, that makes sense. I added a "Flexibility" entry in the table. Codecs with 4 or more different settings (which actually make some difference, unlike FLAC which outputs pretty much the same results after -4) are ranked very good. LA only has two modes, so it's ranked average. The formats with only one mode are ranked bad.

I ranked Real Audio bad since you can't reach two of the three settings on Real Player, you need Producer for that...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 26 November, 2004, 01:17:03 PM
I would say "none" rather than "bad" flexibility. The lack of flexibility is not necessary a bad thing, and sometimes makes sense (alac for exemple: hardware decoding/battery life as main target).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: HansHeijden on 26 November, 2004, 02:17:17 PM
Quote
Since Hans never got around to testing Real on his comparision, I couldn't rely on him to provide speed values. So I relied on your data :B
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256294"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed back in May I wanted to test Real as well, and initally had several problems getting the software to function correctly. With the help of Karl that was solved ultimately. But then it appeared decoding required the "plus" version of RealPlayer 10. Only free solution for decoding was the Helix software. All these complications made me decide to put Real lossless on hold, so it can mature and become free. (See edit below)

FWIW, I do however still have the 7-album ("all") result, for compression only:
high mode: 56.94% at 3.2x speed
medium mode: 56.98% at 4.2 speed
low mode: 59.36% at 10.5 speed

Great to see that all the other important properties of lossless compressors are becoming gathered here, that's too much, and too changeable for me to deal with!

Edit: After reading again some emails with Karl, I recall some more things. In the end I used the Helix software for both compress and decompress. It was free and only required registration. But the files produced some audible skips during playback in RealPlayer, and certain error messages during decompression with Helix.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kotrtim on 26 November, 2004, 10:48:41 PM
Quote
Haha, dude, you said yourself Real is very fast w00t.gif


for me its very fast man, LAME 3.96 mp3 preset stansdard only encode at ~4X
MPC at ~6X, Monkey's Normal at ~8X, that's why 12X to me is considered very fast

EDIT: Mplayer Linux, Xine Player Linux can play both WMA pro and Lossless
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 27 November, 2004, 03:33:29 PM
Quote
Edit: After reading again some emails with Karl, I recall some more things. In the end I used the Helix software for both compress and decompress. It was free and only required registration. But the files produced some audible skips during playback in RealPlayer, and certain error messages during decompression with Helix.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256314"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I see...

Your results will be valuable neverthless. Thank-you for them.

Quote
EDIT: Mplayer Linux, Xine Player Linux can play both WMA pro and Lossless
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256357"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I know, but I would rather list only official support, and not hackish windows emulation that will only work on x86 Linux.


I'm travelling right now, and depending on cybercoffees without MS Excel, so I probably won't update the table until I return, around December 10th.

Thank-you for all your support so far.

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 28 November, 2004, 05:51:50 AM
this table is nice, good to finally have a sticky topic, hopefully it will cut down on the redundant questions.

for the 'hardware support', 'good' for ALAC seems like a stretch as it is only supported in one device (ipod); FLAC devices are in the teens or maybe 20s now

http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware)

Quote
2. Neither FLAC nor Monkey (MAC) are error robust. A single bit error in a MAC file will render the file undecodeable. A broken FLAC file will be playable but probably cause error in player. FLAC and MAC have built-in error checking not tolerance. Error checking has nothing to do with "robustness" IMHO.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256220"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

FLAC is error tolerant; damage is limited to corrupted frames.  whether any particular player chooses to recover from errors or stop with with a warning is an implementation detail.  I believe it's the same with wavpack.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: sshd on 28 November, 2004, 10:16:30 AM
Quote
Quote
2. Neither FLAC nor Monkey (MAC) are error robust. A single bit error in a MAC file will render the file undecodeable. A broken FLAC file will be playable but probably cause error in player. FLAC and MAC have built-in error checking not tolerance. Error checking has nothing to do with "robustness" IMHO.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256220"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

FLAC is error tolerant; damage is limited to corrupted frames.  whether any particular player chooses to recover from errors or stop with with a warning is an implementation detail.  I believe it's the same with wavpack.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256520"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Error tolerance usually means you can damage some bits and recover them later - i.e. RAID1, RAID5, par2, ...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: sehested on 28 November, 2004, 11:13:46 AM
Quote
for the 'hardware support', 'good' for ALAC seems like a stretch as it is only supported in one device (ipod); FLAC devices are in the teens or maybe 20s now
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256520"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


ALAC is also used by Airport Extreme with AirTunes. Furthermore iPods comes in different models, even different manufacturers (HP).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Zurman on 28 November, 2004, 02:56:05 PM
How about an overall notation system?
3 points for very good/fast
2 for good/yes/fast
1 for average
0 for bad/no/slow
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: BoraBora on 28 November, 2004, 05:50:56 PM
About OS support: I understand what it means, but newbies could misinterpret this as "I can play this format on my OS" which is not exactly the same thing. Correct me if I'm wrong but WavPack can't yet be read on Linux. And probably not yet on MacOS either, I suppose.

About hardware support: from a mass-market point of view, I think no lossless codec can earn a "good" score. Players bought in millions in the whole world are portable players, car players and standalone DVD players. Everything else is still a niche market (home streaming etc.). ALAC and Flac have somewhat good support when you compare them to other lossless codecs (which have none  ) but from a consumer point of view are a very limiting factor in hardware choice. Including all codecs, lossy and lossless  would go like this:

MP3 = Very Good
Ogg Vorbis = Good
ALAC and Flac = Average or bad (I'd say "bad" myself)

Of course, this is only valid from a mass-market point of view. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: WaldoMonster on 28 November, 2004, 05:52:48 PM
Nice work.

I'm missing native ReplayGain in the table.
I know that FLAC support this feature.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 November, 2004, 06:26:28 PM
Quote
for the 'hardware support', 'good' for ALAC seems like a stretch as it is only supported in one device (ipod); FLAC devices are in the teens or maybe 20s now


10% of the iPod units probably sums to more than all sold units supporting flac :B

So, while FLAC indeed does have a bigger amount of options in the player market, it's much more probable that you run into an ALAC-playing device when searching on the wild.


Quote
Error tolerance usually means you can damage some bits and recover them later - i.e. RAID1, RAID5, par2, ...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256550"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, in that case, no codec is error tolerant.

As I said earlier, I was just trying to differentiate codecs that will completely break at an error from those that can ignore it.

Quote
ALAC is also used by Airport Extreme with AirTunes. Furthermore iPods comes in different models, even different manufacturers (HP).[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256562"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


That too.

Quote
How about an overall notation system?
3 points for very good/fast
2 for good/yes/fast
1 for average
0 for bad/no/slow
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256588"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why?

Quote
Correct me if I'm wrong but WavPack can't yet be read on Linux.


It can.

Quote
And probably not yet on MacOS either, I suppose.


It can.

For linux, you are supposed to be able to compile the sources yourself. If you can't, it's your fault for choosing this overcomplex OS.

Quote
from a mass-market point of view, I think no lossless codec can earn a "good" score. Players bought in millions in the whole world are portable players, car players and standalone DVD players


iPods represent more than 50% of the DAP sales. Enough said...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 November, 2004, 06:34:40 PM
Quote
I'm missing native ReplayGain in the table.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256622"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Good point. I'll add it when I return home.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Zurman on 28 November, 2004, 07:53:35 PM
Quote
Quote
How about an overall notation system?
3 points for very good/fast
2 for good/yes/fast
1 for average
0 for bad/no/slow
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256588"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why?

Just to sum up a bit. You're multiplying the table entries, but that could be nice to see which one is the best, according to those entries.

For example, Someone who just wants a fast decoding codec would pick, among those which have "very fast decoding", the best rated.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: dev0 on 29 November, 2004, 12:33:13 AM
Quote
Just to sum up a bit. You're multiplying the table entries, but that could be nice to see which one is the best, according to those entries.

For example, Someone who just wants a fast decoding codec would pick, among those which have "very fast decoding", the best rated.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256648"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I don't think it should be the purpose of this table to somehow rate the different lossless codecs according to some weird point-system. Different people have different needs and this table is merely a help for comparing the offerings in the lossless codec world.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Tang on 29 November, 2004, 01:20:54 AM
Hi,
Very nice THREAD thanks to Amorim and every contributors... However I'm wondering about something... Recently I heard (from Guru) about the interesting "asymetrical" feature of some lossless codecs... Curiously I haven't seen this point mentioned in the thread, did i missed it?...
If not I thought this option should appear as "PRO" or at least as "OTHER FEATURE" (somewhat valuable)...
Regards,
Tang
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: music_man_mpc on 29 November, 2004, 02:57:31 AM
Quote
Recently I heard (from Guru) about the interesting "asymetrical" feature of some lossless codecs... Curiously I haven't seen this point mentioned in the thread, did i missed it?...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256674"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The asymetrical "feature" you are referring to is WavPack with the -x option enabled from the command line.  All it does is allow better compression at the cost of encoding speed only, instead of both encoding and decoding speeds.  Most other codecs are natively asymerical, but it is neat that the user gets to choose if they want to use this "feature" or not.  This feature falls under the flexibilty category in the table.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: BoraBora on 29 November, 2004, 03:20:10 AM
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For linux, you are supposed to be able to compile the sources yourself.
That's what I meant: I remembered reading there wasn't yet a plug-in for popular Linux players (or any Linux player, BTW). Is there one on MacOS?
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If you can't, it's your fault for choosing this overcomplex OS.
I don't use Linux. Wavpack in Windows is good enough for me! 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 29 November, 2004, 04:18:29 AM
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How about an overall notation system?
3 points for very good/fast
2 for good/yes/fast
1 for average
0 for bad/no/slow
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Nonsense. flac is probably excellent for someone looking for a very fast decoding format, but completely bad for someone looking for very strong ratios. A bad lossless encoder would be something bad on every point (encoding, decoding, seeking, ratio...). Most of current encoders have at least one strong advantage: LA and Frog are strong; alac, flac, shorten and wavpack are potentially very fast on decoding, MAC is very flexible, WMA offers good ratios, etc....
In other words, there are no "good" or "bad" lossless formats. Some are better for one specific usage, and worse for other purpose.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 29 November, 2004, 04:40:38 AM
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(...) Most other codecs are natively asymerical (...)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256681"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure about this?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 November, 2004, 07:23:09 AM
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I don't think it should be the purpose of this table to somehow rate the different lossless codecs according to some weird point-system. Different people have different needs and this table is merely a help for comparing the offerings in the lossless codec world.
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Right. Oversimplifying the table wouldn't really help users. After all, this thread isn't a competition to decide the best lossless codec in the world. It's just feeding information to the users so that they can judge for themselves, based on their needs.

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That's what I meant: I remembered reading there wasn't yet a plug-in for popular Linux players (or any Linux player, BTW). Is there one on MacOS


Well, you asked if it could be read on these OSes. By read, I understand decoding, so yes, it can be read.

And no, it can't be played back yet.

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(...) Most other codecs are natively asymerical (...)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256681"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure about this?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256691"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed, some codecs are symmetrical (Monkey's, OptimFROG, LA, WMA), others are assymetrical (FLAC, ALAC, RKau, LPAC). WavPack is the only codec I know of that can be both.

I mentioned this feature at the Other Features section.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 29 November, 2004, 08:22:33 AM
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Indeed, some codecs are symmetrical (Monkey's, OptimFROG, LA, WMA), others are assymetrical (FLAC, ALAC, RKau, LPAC). WavPack is the only codec I know of that can be both.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256704"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is ALAC asymetrical? In iTunes?
Anyway, we're far from "most formats". Rkau is totally outdated, Lpac is dead. Most living formats (Monkey, WMA9, Real, ALAC, OptimFrog, LA, TTA) are not asymetrical (no options at least in the executable).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 November, 2004, 08:29:29 AM
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Is ALAC asymetrical? In iTunes?


It seems to be the case.

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(no options at least in the executable).
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Assymmetrical means encoding and decoding take different amounts of CPU load. Symmetrical means both take about the same amount of CPU.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 29 November, 2004, 08:34:40 AM
You're right. I had in might asymetrical with different settings (like flac or wavpack -xn).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Tang on 29 November, 2004, 10:35:57 PM
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Quote
(...) Most other codecs are natively asymerical (...)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256681"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure about this?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256691"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Okay thanks Roberto this point looked relevant to me but others deserve credit for this...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 30 November, 2004, 12:20:48 AM
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Quote
for the 'hardware support', 'good' for ALAC seems like a stretch as it is only supported in one device (ipod); FLAC devices are in the teens or maybe 20s now


10% of the iPod units probably sums to more than all sold units supporting flac :B

So, while FLAC indeed does have a bigger amount of options in the player market, it's much more probable that you run into an ALAC-playing device when searching on the wild.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=256629"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

well, if I were evaluating a codec w.r.t. hardware support, the number of units sold is irrelevant, what I care about is how much choice I am going to have.

right now, that goes like this: do I choose ALAC (supported on 1 device, a portable) or FLAC, supported on several, including portables, home stereo, car stereo components, OEM devices (roll your own).  the # of ipods sold makes no difference.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: GeSomeone on 02 December, 2004, 07:42:12 AM
RJAmorim,
I think it would be a good idea to add version numbers. The things said about speed and options are tied to certain versions.
Example: wavpack was not so fast before the recent beta versions, some other codec might add hybrid/lossy from a future version on.

I understand that this would mean updating    once in a while, but at least one could see from the version numbers when this would become necessary.

Another thing, I personally don't think not having hybrid/lossy capabilities is a negative point for a lossless codec. As these features are meant for lossy use. On the other hand it is a pro for the codecs that have it    (see what I mean?)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Faelix on 02 December, 2004, 08:12:01 AM
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Another thing, I personally don't think not having hybrid/lossy capabilities is a negative point for a lossless codec. As these features are meant for lossy use. On the other hand it is a pro for the codecs that have it    (see what I mean?)
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Certainly people who don't care about hybrid encoding will not take this feature into account when evaluating lossless codecs, so I don't think it is necessary to diminish its place on the comparison table.

(To me, for instance, hybrid encoding is a great selling point, and I think the table would be less helpful if it ignored this capability.)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 09 December, 2004, 12:43:12 PM
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I think it would be a good idea to add version numbers. The things said about speed and options are tied to certain versions.
Example: wavpack was not so fast before the recent beta versions, some other codec might add hybrid/lossy from a future version on.


The table is meant to always reflect the latest version available.

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I understand that this would mean updating    once in a while, but at least one could see from the version numbers when this would become necessary.


OK, but still, sometimes there's a version upgrade without any meaningful change that would justify updating the table.

I would prefer that, when somebody notices there is something outdated in the table, post here and then I'll upload a new version.

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Certainly people who don't care about hybrid encoding will not take this feature into account when evaluating lossless codecs, so I don't think it is necessary to diminish its place on the comparison table.

(To me, for instance, hybrid encoding is a great selling point, and I think the table would be less helpful if it ignored this capability.)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257356"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes. The table's purpose is precisely to allow people to compare codecs based only on the features that matter to them.



So, nobody here willing to help me with TTA features and filling the blanks in the table? :B

Just uploaded a new table with ReplayGain information, BTW.

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kurtnoise on 09 December, 2004, 01:21:24 PM
For TTA :

Encoding Speed : fast
Decoding Speed : fast
Compression : ~55%
Flexibility : bad
Error Handling : I don't think so
Seeking : yes
Tagging : yes
Hardware Support : yes ~~> available in standalone player (http://tta.corecodec.org/?menu=hardware)
Software Support : good
Hybrid/Lossy : no
ReplayGain : yes
Streaming : no
OpenSource : yes
Multichannel : yes
High Resolution : yes
OS Support : All
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 09 December, 2004, 01:45:01 PM
Excellent. Thank-you for the info. I just updates the table and the post.

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Compression : ~55%
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Actually, according to Hans Heijden's comparision, it's closer to 57%.

Unless you take into consideration their own highly biased (and badly outdated) comparisions

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Hardware Support : yes ~~> available in standalone player


Hrm... OK, if people consider DVD player support as "hardware support"

(I don't think it's much different than claiming WMA Lossless has hardware support because it can be played on the XBox)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: buzzy on 09 December, 2004, 02:56:25 PM
Nice work.

As some of the comments here suggest, the point of this is for a given person to decide best not in some theoretical sense, but best for a specific use they have in mind.  So, for example, the best format for file sharing (like etree) is clearly flac.  But someone in search of the best format for archiving their CDs might decide that the absolute best file compression is the only criterion that matters.

So some intro / comment to that that effect - that best depends on how you weight the factors you've listed - will probably help the thousands of newbies who will read this thread.

Also, the table might need a bit of a key or explanation of what some of the items mean, rather than expecting people to read the whole thread.

As for hardware support, it's much more about whether the codec lends itself to that application - which will matter much more over time than it does now.  Even with faster / cheaper hardware, the codecs with high complexity decoding don't look like good bets.

Ease of use / interface is a little different than what you might have in mind for "software support" - but has always been a strong point of Monkey's and should be for ALAC.  And is a relative weakness of flac, for widespread (as opposed to "technology enthusiast") use.

But "software support" is a bit unclear - people would keep using shn forever for music sharing if someone was maintaining GUI tools for it on Windows.  But that's not the case.  mkwACT, for example.  In practice, the lack of easy to use software tools for shn are what's going to kill it.  And if the tools were better for flac, the shift tfrom shn to flac would happen a lot faster.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 09 December, 2004, 03:08:56 PM
LA has both seeking and tagging functionality. I can't answer for multichannel/high resolution.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mindaxiz on 09 December, 2004, 04:44:09 PM
EDIT:  --post deleted--

Looks like TTA has been taken care of.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mindaxiz on 09 December, 2004, 05:52:10 PM
 Rjamorim, you either edited the table super fast or i need to refresh the window more then once a day.  Wonder which is it
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: witt on 09 December, 2004, 06:33:45 PM
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Monkey's Audio (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/)
- No multichannel or high resolution audio support

Monkey's Audio supoports 24bit/192KHz. No multichannel support.

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WavPack (http://www.wavpack.com/)
- Fits the Matroska container

What app can it mux?
mkvtoolnix (still) doesn't support WavPack.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kurtnoise on 09 December, 2004, 09:07:06 PM
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WavPack (http://www.wavpack.com/)
- Fits the Matroska container

Wavpack isn't support by Matroska container yet......but it's on todo list.

I noticed also a mistake for TTA (in the PROS & CONS part) :no streaming support.  And TTA supports ID3v2 tags system.


Some notes about LPAC : http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/wer/liebchen/lpac.html (http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/wer/liebchen/lpac.html)

lossless format developped by Tilman Liebchen. LPAC is derived to LTAC (http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/wer/liebchen/ltac.html) format (Lossless Transform Audio Codec). Liebchen has modified the algorithm scheme to increase performances of this one in order to create LPAC. The first versions are released at the end of 90's. Today, the last version available on official web site is dated from 2002. No updates since nowadays because LPAC has been retained as reference for the MPEG-4 ALS (http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/forschung/projekte/lossless/mpeg4als.html) by the MPEG Comittee. So, Liebchen has stopped the development now. Once standardization will be operational, he'll create some tools for  the conversions (LPAC files to MPEG-4 ALS files).

Features :
- OS supports : Windows, Linux and Solaris.
-  mono and/or stereo Wav files compression with 8 to 24 bits depth.
- No limitation for the Sampling Rate.
- 6 different modes for the compression : fastest to most compressible.
- "Random Access" and Joint-Stereo options.
- Ratios Compression seem to be reasonable, but rather high in general.
- Speed Encoding : more slower than WavPack or TTA.
- Speed Decoding : fast.
- For the playback : only plugins for WA and fb2k.
- software support : good
- Tagging : ID3v2
- Replaygain : no
- Hardware support : no
- Error handling : no
- Flexibility : bad
- Seeking : yes but very bad
- Hybrid/Lossy : no
- Streaming : no
- OpenSource : no
- Multichannel : no
- High Resolution : yes



PS : i can translate some parts of my sticky (http://atlas2.tgv.net/~media-video/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=5412) concerning theses different lossless formats if someone it's interested...(yes, it's in french...)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 09 December, 2004, 10:01:16 PM
Thank-you very much for all the new info. I'll update the table and the post again tomorrow.

Quote
PS : i can translate some parts of my sticky (http://atlas2.tgv.net/~media-video/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=5412) concerning theses different lossless formats if someone it's interested...(yes, it's in french...)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258818"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Merci beaucoup, mais je peut comprendre français

I get a 403 error on that link, BTW.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kurtnoise on 10 December, 2004, 03:56:40 AM
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I get a 403 error on that link, BTW.

Sorry...brazilians users cannot access to this forum.  It's much more for security. 

But I can send you the doc by mail or anything else as you want...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 December, 2004, 09:08:17 AM
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Sorry...brazilians users cannot access to this forum.  It's much more for security.   [a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258864"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Awww, come on dude. We're a nice people :B

En tout cas, I managed to get to it through a proxy. Merci.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: evereux on 10 December, 2004, 09:36:51 AM
This spreadsheet is an excellent reference, thanks rjamorim!
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: SebastianG on 10 December, 2004, 09:38:08 AM
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LPAC

Features :
- <...>
- "Random Access" and Joint-Stereo options.
- <...>
- Seeking : yes but very bad
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258818"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


What's your definition of "seeking: very bad" ?
Since the format supports "random access" ... seeking should not be that bad.
You just have to enable the "random access" feature.


SebastianG

edit: shortened quotation
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 10 December, 2004, 09:48:02 AM
very slow seeking could be highly irritating. I never achieved good seeking performances with lpac: it was always very long before the music started again, whatever the encoding options I choose.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 December, 2004, 10:14:58 AM
Hello. I just added a new table design, and would like your opinions on it.

I personally preferred the old version, but it was becoming difficult to read on 1024x728, let alone 800x600.

I'll now start working on the post...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 December, 2004, 10:32:57 AM
I just edited the main post. Here are some comments:

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LA has both seeking and tagging functionality. I can't answer for multichannel/high resolution.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258763"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the info. I just added it to the table.

Edit: I tried LA on my multichannel test stream, and it choked ("Warning: wav file contains more than 2 channels - only mono or stereo currently supported!"). So, no multichannel support for it...

Edit2: Tried LA on my 24bit test stream. "Error - La currently only supports 16-bit files!". Meh...


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Monkey's Audio supoports 24bit/192KHz. No multichannel support.

What app can it mux?
mkvtoolnix (still) doesn't support WavPack.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258796"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Fixed both, thanks.

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I noticed also a mistake for TTA (in the PROS & CONS part) :no streaming support.  And TTA supports ID3v2 tags system.


Fixed, merci.

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- 6 different modes for the compression : fastest to most compressible.
...
- Flexibility : bad
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258818"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed, it's funny. It features several compression modes, but all of them have nearly the same speed and output a similar compression ratio.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 December, 2004, 11:06:29 AM
Since I was already playing with my test streams, I decided to check other lossless formats.

RealPlayer hanged on both test streams.

iTunes and QuickTime didn't even bother importing them.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 December, 2004, 03:13:32 PM
Quote
As some of the comments here suggest, the point of this is for a given person to decide best not in some theoretical sense, but best for a specific use they have in mind.  So, for example, the best format for file sharing (like etree) is clearly flac.  But someone in search of the best format for archiving their CDs might decide that the absolute best file compression is the only criterion that matters.

So some intro / comment to that that effect - that best depends on how you weight the factors you've listed - will probably help the thousands of newbies who will read this thread.


Good point, I'll work on an introduction.

Quote
Also, the table might need a bit of a key or explanation of what some of the items mean, rather than expecting people to read the whole thread.


Well, I would expect people to know at least a little about lossless codecs before coming to this thread. And I think most features are pretty self-explaining: open source, multichannel, hardware support, streaming, seeking, tagging...

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As for hardware support, it's much more about whether the codec lends itself to that application - which will matter much more over time than it does now.  Even with faster / cheaper hardware, the codecs with high complexity decoding don't look like good bets.


That would then becoming mostly speculation about wether a codec is probably going to become supported in hardware or not. I think the current format - where only codecs that already have hardware support are mentioned - is more clear.

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Ease of use / interface is a little different than what you might have in mind for "software support" - but has always been a strong point of Monkey's and should be for ALAC.  And is a relative weakness of flac, for widespread (as opposed to "technology enthusiast") use.


"software support" means how many software apps are able to deal with that format -be them players, encoders, frontends, replaygain calculators, splitters... It's not supposed to mean ease of use.

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But "software support" is a bit unclear - people would keep using shn forever for music sharing if someone was maintaining GUI tools for it on Windows. 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=258760"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I disagree. People are leaving SHN because it's featureless, compresses bad and is overall badly designed. It's not because people aren't maintaining GUI tools, IMO.



Edit: Shit, 6000 posts and I didn't even notice it.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: buzzy on 13 December, 2004, 02:33:17 PM
Sorry, the comment about hardware support was a response to comments in the thread and as discussion for anyone who might read the thread - not feedback on the table.  Speculation about what might be done is of course not meaningful - it's about what can be done now.

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"software support" means how many software apps are able to deal with that format -be them players, encoders, frontends, replaygain calculators, splitters... It's not supposed to mean ease of use.
There's something that might be worth a footnote of some sort in the table.

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I disagree. People are leaving SHN because it's featureless, compresses bad and is overall badly designed. It's not because people aren't maintaining GUI tools, IMO.
Well ... whether this is on-topic or not depends on whether this thread is meant to be of use primarily to the HA/enthusiast group, or to compare codecs for broad use by mainstream users, too.

I only know what I see among thousands of actual users at various lossless live music sharing sites, and many of them have barely learned about shn, and never heard of flac.  Go to any of the bittorrent sites, etree, etc. and the technical support forums, and you'll see.  Partly it's the huge inertia factor.  Partly it's the reality of all the shows already encoded into shn - they are still being circulated, partly due to inertia and partly as a way to verify the source of the recording (see db.etree.org). 

But it's not just that - to the mainstream user, the benefit of a codec change really is not that compelling in the short term.  It's a lot easier to buy a slightly bigger hard drive, or a few more discs, than find new tools, install them, and learn to use them.  And shn is very fast, after all.  Hardly anyone besides the core enthusiasts (like people here) used flac until Mike Wren wrote the installer to get all the codecs, runtimes and frontend installed on people's systems in a usable way. 

A good interface did a lot for getting people to use Monkey's, too.

In fact - the big story in lossless right now is the way the Apple is rapidly gaining share among lossless codecs with ALAC for one simple reason - ease of use (despite the lack of customization and flexibility).  iTunes is one solution for hardware (iPod as portable/car/DJ player; hard drive at home; lots of media server options developing) and software (multiple codecs, reasonably modern ones, and a way to manage a big music library). 

A similar example of how to approach this is what Peter Clement did with par2.  par2 is fairly brilliant, technically.  But he also put together a good GUI, right away and steadily worked to improve it.  The result was an amazingly rapid adoption of par2.

Maybe developing a great codec is enough for a developer, and it really doesn't matter to the developers whether people use it, or not.  That's an entirely reasonable approach, if that's their goal.  That's probably the fun part, and by the time it catches on they'll think of things they could improve (in ways that aren't backward compatible, no doubt  ). 

But if they also want more mainstream users to use the codec, it seems like a missed opportunity to just put a codec out there and assume that tools are someone else's problem.

And back to the point of the thread - whether any of that matters for this discussion depends on who this thread is for.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: roweezy on 31 December, 2004, 10:23:15 PM
WMAL / WMA Lossless 9.1

DOES support 24bit / 24-bit / 24 bit for 44khz , 48khz , 88.2khz / 882khz / 88khz , and 96khz ONLY

iTunes has option to convert / transcode by drag and drop from WMAL 9.1 to Apple Lossless AND preserve the metadata / tag info.

Apple Lossless / ALAC

does NOT support 24bit / 24-bit / 24 bit for ANY sample rate / resolution
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Zurman on 03 January, 2005, 01:37:54 PM
I think there's a mistak in the table : Monkey's Audio does have Replaygain support, I think
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 03 January, 2005, 01:48:14 PM
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I think there's a mistak in the table : Monkey's Audio does have Replaygain support, I think
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=262880"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Only in foobar2000, AFAIK, which is hardly a format feature and more of a player feature.


I'm on a trip right now, and will reply to other posts when I return home, soon.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Zurman on 03 January, 2005, 02:08:45 PM
Quote
Quote
I think there's a mistak in the table : Monkey's Audio does have Replaygain support, I think
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=262880"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Only in foobar2000, AFAIK, which is hardly a format feature and more of a player feature.


I'm on a trip right now, and will reply to other posts when I return home, soon.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=262881"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That's right
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Erich w/ an h on 10 January, 2005, 04:22:44 AM
are the percentages in the original post based on comparisons of stereo files? LA offeres the best encoding of stereo files, but I dont think it offers encoding comparible to OFR, APE, PAC, and even RKA (rkau from http://www.msoftware.co.nz/) (http://www.msoftware.co.nz/)) for mono files. Obviously I cant make that generalization based soley on compressing one mono file in 9 formats, but the difference between LA and OFR, both set for best, was a good 3%
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 21 January, 2005, 10:36:22 PM
Here is another suggestion and test... As you know WAV files can store not only audio data inside but also non-audio data like Standard RIFF text field names (Display Title, Original Artist, Name, Genre, Key Words, Digitization Source, Original Medium, Engineers, Digitizer, Source Supplier, Copyright, Software Package, Creation Date, Comments, Subject), Cue points and ranges, Loop infos, Sampler Infos, Bitmaps, EBU Extensions and some others.
Of course in most cases it's useless but in case of samples or some audio projects where you need to store for example CUE points or some notes it becomes usefull.
So lets see how compressors listed here friend with non-audio data. I just generated 10 seconds brown noise using Adobe Audition and puted cues, ranges, sampler info, bitmap and some text fields inside and resulting file is 1771654 bytes long.  And now its time for the show...

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']ALAC[/span]
I have no software to test it.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']FLAC[/span]
Surprise !
Code: [Select]
c:\Shifter\Software\MUSIC\Packers\Lossless\Flac v1.1.1>flac -8 Test.wav

flac 1.1.1, Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004 Josh Coalson
flac comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.  This is free software, and you are
welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions.  Type `flac' for details.

options: -P 4096 -b 4608 -m -l 12 -e -q 0 -r 0,6
Test.wav: 85% complete, ratio=0,617Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'LIST'
Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'cue '
Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'LIST'
Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'DISP'
Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'DISP'
Test.wav: WARNING: skipping unknown sub-chunk 'smpl'
Test.wav: wrote 1087112 bytes, ratio=0,616

FLAC doesn't support. Resulting decompressed files is 7610 bytes smaller !

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']Monkey[/span]
GUI supports and those files (decompressed with GUI or CLI are identical to original). Good boy !
CLI doesn't support.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']OptimFROG[/span]
Well done !

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']Real Lossless[/span]
No software to test with.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']Shorten[/span]
Yes !

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']Wavpack[/span]
Perfect !

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']WMA Lossless[/span]
No, no and no. 7610 bytes smaller.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']LA[/span]
Without problems !

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']TTA[/span]
Same problem. 7610 bytes smaller.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']LPAC[/span]
Yeeeh !


Well maybe for most people its not important but somehow my two cents 
P.S. There are import/export filters for Adobe Audition for FLAC, Monkey and Wavpack but only wonderful Wavpack's filter supports non-audio data. Super !
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 22 January, 2005, 12:04:16 AM
even better would be if a codec could store all AIFF metadata too since so much audio work is done on the mac.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 22 January, 2005, 12:34:40 AM
Quite agree but I'm pretty sure that formats which handled non-audio data in WAV will do the same with AIFF just because they don't recognize this data as METADATA but some information appended to audio part and just copy it to the end of compressed file. I will do some interesting test bright now - take a clear WAV and append peace of absolute hexadecimal junk to end using WinHEX.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 22 January, 2005, 01:22:15 AM
OK. Again 10 seconds brown noise but without any metadata. Original size is 1764044 bytes. Using WinHEX i've added 777 bytes of random bytes in range from 00 to FF. So lets see how compressors behave - dumb or smart.
The results are the same but with 2 exceptions:

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']OptimFROG[/span]
Seems that froggy realy recognize metadata and wipes out junk so decompressed file is identical to original without 777 bytes of dirt.

[span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%']LPAC[/span]
Although LPAC indicated 'DECODING ERROR: CRC failed!' during decompression the output file is same as original without 777 bytes of junk.

Congratulations !
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 23 January, 2005, 12:56:14 PM
Quote
Quite agree but I'm pretty sure that formats which handled non-audio data in WAV will do the same with AIFF just because they don't recognize this data as METADATA but some information appended to audio part and just copy it to the end of compressed file. I will do some interesting test bright now - take a clear WAV and append peace of absolute hexadecimal junk to end using WinHEX.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=267194")

no, it doesn't work like that.  adding noise to the end of a wave file just creates an invalid wave file.

anyway, non-audio chunks can appear anywhere in the file, before audio chunks or in between two audio chunks.  a wave file can have multiple audio chunks; how do wavpack/MAC/optimfrog handle that?

see also [a href="http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/tech/wave.htm]http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/tech/wave.htm[/url]

aiff is similar to riff wave in structure but differs enough to be a pain: numbers are big-endian, not little endian, chunk names are different, different chunk types, different ways of padding and aligning, etc.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 23 January, 2005, 01:53:26 PM
Quote
anyway, non-audio chunks can appear anywhere in the file, before audio chunks or in between two audio chunks.  a wave file can have multiple audio chunks; how do wavpack/MAC/optimfrog handle that?


Interesting how FLAC handles it.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 23 January, 2005, 06:05:22 PM
Thanks for that test you did. I am considering adding "RIFF data support" to the table and the summaries. It tends to be a sought-after feature among people dealing professionally with Audio.

Quote
P.S. There are import/export filters for Adobe Audition for FLAC, Monkey and Wavpack but only wonderful Wavpack's filter supports non-audio data. Super !
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267170"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed, David worked closely with some audio engineer that was after these features, so he managed to get it well supported inside WavPack.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 23 January, 2005, 07:13:16 PM
Quote
Quote
anyway, non-audio chunks can appear anywhere in the file, before audio chunks or in between two audio chunks.  a wave file can have multiple audio chunks; how do wavpack/MAC/optimfrog handle that?


Interesting how FLAC handles it.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267479"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think you are still not understanding the WAVE spec.

there is a difference between the questions "1. how will FLAC the format handle it?" and "2. how will flac the command-line encoder/decoder handle it?"

1. FLAC-the-format is not a WAVE file compressor on purpose.  RIFF WAVE is a container format, and it is not practical for a general-purpose lossless audio codec to try and store and recreate a container format, especially when it can only compress one of the many types of contained sub-chunks.

my comment about AIFF was tongue-in-cheek to try and lead you to this conclusion but failed.  if a format completely supports RIFF WAVE then it must be able to store and recreate any RIFF WAVE file regardless of what it contains.  but then why not then also support AIFF?  and matroska?  and soundforge files with audio and cakewalk .bun files?  they are all containers used for audio, and different enough that they have to be hard coded into the lossless format.

so what will FLAC-the-format do with multiple linear PCM 'data' sub-chunks?  merge them into one audio stream or treat them as separate chained streams.

2. what will flac-the-commandline do with multiple linear PCM 'data' sub-chunks?  currently it will only encode the first one and tell you so.  I've never gotten any complaints about that.

so what will wavpack/mac/optimfrog do, both as codecs and as tools?  you didn't answer that.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 23 January, 2005, 07:28:34 PM
Quote
my comment about AIFF was tongue-in-cheek to try and lead you to this conclusion but failed.  if a format completely supports RIFF WAVE then it must be able to store and recreate any RIFF WAVE file regardless of what it contains.  but then why not then also support AIFF?  and matroska?  and soundforge files with audio and cakewalk .bun files?  they are all containers used for audio, and different enough that they have to be hard coded into the lossless format.

so what will FLAC-the-format do with multiple linear PCM 'data' sub-chunks?  merge them into one audio stream or treat them as separate chained streams.


Well, the day flac-the-format starts supporting Matroska, Cakewalk .bun and so on, it means that the understanding of those containers has been gathered, and therefore one can do the decision about storing chunks or discarding them.


What about AIFF? The day one of the mentioned formats starts supporting aiff, it means that the developer has researched how AIFF works. And then why not go ahead and add data chunk support?


also:  "if a format completely supports RIFF WAVE then it must be able to store and recreate any RIFF WAVE file regardless of what it contains.  but then why not then also support AIFF?"

Maybe because WAV is, by far, the most popular audio container?

I think the decision about supporting this and that container's extra data should be the same as precisely supporting this and that container's audio data: container popularity.

Also, if a lossless format like WavPack provides a way of storing these extraneous data chunks for one format (wav), someone wanting to support another format (AIFF, Matroska, .bun or whatever suits your fancy) can take the sources, adapt them to his format of choice and store the data chunks in a similar way, in that fashion guaranteeing compatibility (for the audio part) with standard decoders. IMO that's a great advantage of Wavpack 4, since it was coded with so much extensibility in mind.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 23 January, 2005, 08:11:58 PM
Quote
Thanks for that test you did. I am considering adding "RIFF data support" to the table and the summaries. It tends to be a sought-after feature among people dealing professionally with Audio.


You're welcome.

Quote
so what will wavpack/mac/optimfrog do, both as codecs and as tools?  you didn't answer that.

Josh

Yes I didn't and will not but I see how FLAC, WMA and TTA failed in this simple test and realy don't like it just because I want lossless compressor to pack my audio and return me in that form as it was before compression not wiping out anything it can't compress.
Trifle but hole in FLAC, WMA and TTA functionality. Nothing more.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: adlai on 23 January, 2005, 08:35:31 PM
my take as a dumb end-user.

MAC is the best. Best encoding speeds, best compression, easiest to use. and, it's integrated into EAC pretty well.

FLAC is good enough so that I don't convert them to MAC files. But it's clearly inferior, with the exception of seeking (it seeks alot faster than MAC) and portable support (which really is pretty much useless).

SHN is horrible. bad compression, and no tagging!
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 23 January, 2005, 08:57:42 PM
Quote
MAC is the best. Best encoding speeds, best compression, easiest to use. and, it's integrated into EAC pretty well.

You're wrong. MAC is not the fastest and doesn't provide best ratios like LA and OptimFROG but it reaches good (I could say third after LA and OFR) ratio while running quite fast. The golden mean in short.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kjoonlee on 23 January, 2005, 09:01:03 PM
Quote
2. what will flac-the-commandline do with multiple linear PCM 'data' sub-chunks?  currently it will only encode the first one and tell you so.  I've never gotten any complaints about that.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267535"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Warn that you need to make Ogg FLACs, and encode the first one as native FLAC. Optionally encode them separately as Ogg FLACs and concatenate them when they're all done.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 24 January, 2005, 02:57:41 AM
Quote
Quote
so what will wavpack/mac/optimfrog do, both as codecs and as tools?  you didn't answer that.

Yes I didn't and will not but I see how FLAC, WMA and TTA failed in this simple test and realy don't like it just because I want lossless compressor to pack my audio and return me in that form as it was before compression not wiping out anything it can't compress.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267547"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

will not?  if it were me I would want to know if the format I was using really did support the storing and reconstruction of every kind of WAVE format I would throw at it before using it for that.

Quote
FLAC is good enough so that I don't convert them to MAC files. But it's clearly inferior, with the exception of seeking (it seeks alot faster than MAC) and portable support (which really is pretty much useless).[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267551"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

yes, clearly.

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 24 January, 2005, 03:38:13 AM
Quote
Quote
FLAC is good enough so that I don't convert them to MAC files. But it's clearly inferior, with the exception of seeking (it seeks alot faster than MAC) and portable support (which really is pretty much useless).[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=267551")
yes, clearly.

Josh
So clearly inferior, in fact, that 54% of the (voting) idiots that frequent this forum use it as their [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=12050]lossless codec of choice[/url] 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: m0rbidini on 24 January, 2005, 04:23:41 AM
Is it difficult to guarantee full reconstruction of these "metadata chunks" that may exist in a valid WAV file (supposing there's a proper standardization of these metadata fields)?

I only asked this because jcoalson hinted that it may not be a trivial thing to do (or at least that's the impression I got).

I understand perfectly that developers may think that storing this kind of information isn't the job of a lossless audio encoder and I respect their opinion. It's also true that a big part of lossless users don't care about this. However, my personal opinion is that having the option of storing this information in the encoded file is good, guaranteeing a full reconstruction of the original file and not just the audio information. And if I had to choose (not having the option in the encoder) between 1) never store this data and 2) always store this data, I'd choose the latter.

Cya
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 24 January, 2005, 08:52:50 AM
Quote
Quote
Quote
FLAC is good enough so that I don't convert them to MAC files. But it's clearly inferior, with the exception of seeking (it seeks alot faster than MAC) and portable support (which really is pretty much useless).[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=267551")
yes, clearly.

Josh
So clearly inferior, in fact, that 54% of the (voting) idiots that frequent this forum use it as their [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=12050]lossless codec of choice[/url] 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267617"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


No flamewars in this thread, please 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 24 January, 2005, 02:43:54 PM
Quote
No flamewars in this thread, please 
I'm not sure if this was a joke, but I don't think it was, so I thought I best clarify:

My statement was meant to clarify Josh's enigmatic response, in an equally sardonic way.

I thought, by pointing out that the members of this forum voted FLAC as their collective favourite codec (in two major polls now I believe), I may go some way to disprove adlai's statement that it is "clearly inferior" to MAC.

I use MAC, but would never agree that FLAC was "clearly inferior".  They each have their pros and cons.  FLAC is clearly superior in some areas.

Apologies if my statement seemed offensive.

Obviously the fact that it is so popular doesn't discount it from being a pile of shite, but I have some faith in the choices made by the members of this forum (in such matters).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mindaxiz on 24 January, 2005, 03:11:04 PM
Quote
Quote
No flamewars in this thread, please 
I'm not sure if this was a joke, but I don't think it was, so I thought I best clarify:

My statement was meant to clarify Josh's enigmatic response, in an equally sardonic way.

I thought, by pointing out that the members of this forum voted FLAC as their collective favourite codec (in two major polls now I believe), I may go some way to disprove adlai's statement that it is "clearly inferior" to MAC.

I use MAC, but would never agree that FLAC was "clearly inferior".  They each have their pros and cons.  FLAC is clearly superior in some areas.

Apologies if my statement seemed offensive.

Obviously the fact that it is so popular doesn't discount it from being a pile of shite, but I have some faith in the choices made by the members of this forum (in such matters).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267740"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I am sure he understood you right as i did by reading your post.  He just quoted the last post related to adlai and wanted to keep the tread productive.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 24 January, 2005, 05:33:56 PM
Quote
I am sure he understood you right as i did by reading your post.  He just quoted the last post related to adlai and wanted to keep the tread productive.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=267742"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Right, I'm not complaining about Synthetic Soul or anyone else in particular, I would just like to keep this thread clean from zealotry towards or against this or that format.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 01 February, 2005, 10:54:00 PM
Quote
are the percentages in the original post based on comparisons of stereo files? LA offeres the best encoding of stereo files, but I dont think it offers encoding comparible to OFR, APE, PAC, and even RKA (rkau from http://www.msoftware.co.nz/) (http://www.msoftware.co.nz/)) for mono files. Obviously I cant make that generalization based soley on compressing one mono file in 9 formats, but the difference between LA and OFR, both set for best, was a good 3%
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=264172"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


That's interesting information. The table indeed refers to compression of stereo files, since that is by far the widely used mode. But I will add a note on LA's cons about it being reportedly not so efficient on mono files.

Quote
Here is another suggestion and test...


Thanks for your findings, just added them to the table and the post
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 03 February, 2005, 02:19:24 AM
I've selected one mono album for my classical music comparion (ORFF - Carmina Burana):
http://foobar2000.net/lossless/details.htm (http://foobar2000.net/lossless/details.htm)

nothing wrong with LA on this mono album.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: p0wder on 03 February, 2005, 04:10:40 AM
I recently converted from FLAC to Wavpack in order to save a little bit more disk space.  I'm not worried about any lost data that FLAC may or may not have thrown away, but I did decode a FLAC file to Wav, encoded the same FLAC file to Wavpack, and then decoded the Wavpack file to Wav and compared the two (Wav files).  Also, I ripped the track straight from CD and compared and all were bit identical in foobar2000 and had the same md5 hashes.  I only tested one song, but I don't think you will find many Wav files with extra non-audio data from a music album.

Edit: forgot to mention something important. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Polar on 03 February, 2005, 06:39:09 AM
Quote
I'm not worried about any lost data that FLAC may or may not have thrown away, but I did decode a FLAC file to Wav, encoded the same FLAC file to Wavpack, and then decoded the Wavpack file to Wav and compared the two (Wav files). Also, I ripped the track straight from CD and compared and all were bit identical in foobar2000 and had the same md5 hashes.
Hence the term lossless compression. It's a good attitude not to take just anything for granted, but did you expect anything else?

Any codec not decoding to WAVs that are bit-identical to the original ones, be it because of a bug or not, does not deserve the predicate lossless, if you ask me. I'm referring to reports about ALAC acknowledging this: 1 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21139&view=findpost&p=206874), 2 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21139&view=findpost&p=207216) and 3 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=21139&view=findpost&p=207272).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 03 February, 2005, 09:30:36 AM
Quote
I've selected one mono album for my classical music comparion (ORFF - Carmina Burana):
http://foobar2000.net/lossless/details.htm (http://foobar2000.net/lossless/details.htm)

nothing wrong with LA on this mono album.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=270527"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hrm... interesting.

Erich w/ an h: Could you please post the results of the test you performed where LA had issues with mono streams?

Quote
I only tested one song, but I don't think you will find many Wav files with extra non-audio data from a music album.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=270542"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Right, that's not the kind of information a ripper would write. I think I only saw one CD ripper that would optionally write RIFF chunks to a WAV file with CDDB information, and I don't even remember what it was :B

This kind of data is mostly used on audio editors. Anyway, if you ran a file with this extra information through FLAC, it would discard it. That's the point of Skymmer's test.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rutra80 on 08 February, 2005, 02:35:57 PM
How about adding to the "Tagging" row the type of tags that given format supports (APE, ID3, etc.)?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: WaldoMonster on 11 February, 2005, 09:46:40 AM
Adding "PIPE support" to the table would make it complete 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 11 February, 2005, 01:31:08 PM
Quote
How about adding to the "Tagging" row the type of tags that given format supports (APE, ID3, etc.)?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=271898"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Great idea. I will do so.

Any idea about the types of tags supported in LA and LPAC (if LPAC even supports tags natively, I don't know...)?

Quote
Adding "PIPE support" to the table would make it complete 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272591"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, I would gladly add this information if someone did the testing himself, like Skymmer did about the RIFF chunks...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: WaldoMonster on 11 February, 2005, 04:43:12 PM
Quote
Well, I would gladly add this information if someone did the testing himself, like Skymmer did about the RIFF chunks...


Here are my results so far for stdin/stdout support:

FLAC 1.1.0, 1.1.1 & 1.1.2
stdin: Yes
stdout: Yes

Monkey Audio 3.99u4
stdin: Yes (only special compile from http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/) (http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/))
stdout: Yes (only special compile from http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/) (http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/))

Shorten 3.6.0
stdin: Yes
stdout: Yes

WavePack 4.1
stdin: Yes
stdout: Yes

TTA (all versions until now)
stdin: No
stdout: No
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: buzzy on 12 February, 2005, 12:27:01 PM
Quote
MAC is the best  .... [etc]
This is not a flamewar, just underscoring what is all-too-often missed: The whole point is, best for what uses and users? 

For example, as a music sharing format across OS platforms, shn is still a widely used format because it's well understood.  flac is rapidly replacing it. 

And think a bit harder about what you care about - you might think you don't care about hardware playback or streamability - but lots of people will soon enough.  That's definitely where a large part of the lossless users are moving.

Anyway:
Quote
Given the sheer amount of lossless audio compressor choices available, it is a very difficult task to choose the one most suited for each person's needs.

Several people only take into consideration compression performance when choosing a codec. But as the following table and post shows, there are several other features worth taking into consideration when making that choice.
An example or two might help the users understand that, especially newer users.

Also, in the Pros for alac - by far what's driving the rapid growth of this otherwise somewhat lackluster format is the integration - iTunes/iPod provides a total solution for users:  ripping, database lookup, tagging, playback, portable / hardware, transcoding to lossy.  All in a pretty usable interface (as long as you don't need control or need to know what's going on).  So it might be worth adding "integration with software and hardware" or something.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: johnsonlam on 12 February, 2005, 12:48:13 PM
To be short: Everyone who create a free loseless codec is hero.

But too many free codec floating around, only confuse the users and creating too much standards. Problem is some of their development already slow down or even stopped, some of the codec design lack expandability, some of them even not popular ...

User always equal to a loser because the codec creator surrendered under to the human nature (ants don't compete), instead of joining force to make a better codec, they compete and try to make a better codec, scattered the effort.

I'm sorry if anyone really having this kind of idea, and sorry if you're upset by me. But I've waited too long for a good codec, this is my honest words.

Best codec didn't exist until some of the inferior retired and concentrate on one codec that's fit both hardware and software.

(sorry for bad english)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 12 February, 2005, 05:17:52 PM
Quote
An example or two might help the users understand that, especially newer users.


I don't understand what exactly you want examplified. Could you give me one... example? :B

Quote
Also, in the Pros for alac - by far what's driving the rapid growth of this otherwise somewhat lackluster format is the integration - iTunes/iPod provides a total solution for users:  ripping, database lookup, tagging, playback, portable / hardware, transcoding to lossy.  All in a pretty usable interface (as long as you don't need control or need to know what's going on).  So it might be worth adding "integration with software and hardware" or something.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272884"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Excellent point. I will do so.

Quote
To be short: Everyone who create a free loseless codec is hero.

But too many free codec floating around, only confuse the users and creating too much standards. Problem is some of their development already slow down or even stopped, some of the codec design lack expandability, some of them even not popular ...

User always equal to a loser because the codec creator surrendered under to the human nature (ants don't compete), instead of joining force to make a better codec, they compete and try to make a better codec, scattered the effort.

I'm sorry if anyone really having this kind of idea, and sorry if you're upset by me. But I've waited too long for a good codec, this is my honest words.

Best codec didn't exist until some of the inferior retired and concentrate on one codec that's fit both hardware and software.

(sorry for bad english)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272889"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


One sentence: competition is good.

Also, I'm pretty confident a lossless codec done by a group would suck. Josh would want slow encoding and fast decoding for hardware support. Matt would want symmetrical encoding/decoding for efficiency. Bryant would want lossy and hybrid, others wouldn't. Ghido would want the very highest compression ans screw speed. They would quarrel endlessly and noone would ever see the result of their work.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: johnsonlam on 13 February, 2005, 11:32:23 AM
Quote
One sentence: competition is good.


I agree.
But it'll become Linux, a hundred different codec floating around ...

Quote
Also, I'm pretty confident a lossless codec done by a group would suck. Josh would want slow encoding and fast decoding for hardware support. Matt would want symmetrical encoding/decoding for efficiency. Bryant would want lossy and hybrid, others wouldn't. Ghido would want the very highest compression ans screw speed. They would quarrel endlessly and noone would ever see the result of their work.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272954"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Maybe I'm wrong about joint-force, my idea is someone take care of the interface, others the core, different platform's binary, and also optimization.

I can see some of the codec creator keep doing their job well (all of them you talked about) but feel they're working alone, if each of them can have some help then they can concentrate on the codec core.

Here I want to thank all those who helped them such as John33 for front-end, many other help tuning and adjust, too bad I'm still learning how to ABX so can't help.

Many people STILL use WMA, I consider this is: we're losing the battle over M$, maybe we're not GOOD enough, easy to use, hardware support ...

Good to hear FLAC have some hardware  support, looking forward to some DVD players such as Philips or Samsung support them, great!
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 February, 2005, 01:08:22 PM
Quote
I agree.
But it'll become Linux, a hundred different codec floating around ...


Linux is actually quite solid, and there's ongoing efforts to make interoperability among distros a reality.

If you want to talk about branching gone retarded, think eMule

Quote
Maybe I'm wrong about joint-force, my idea is someone take care of the interface, others the core, different platform's binary, and also optimization.


But that doesn't help the fact that a single codec would never be able to meet everyone's requirements.

Quote
I can see some of the codec creator keep doing their job well (all of them you talked about) but feel they're working alone, if each of them can have some help then they can concentrate on the codec core.


Some of them actually help each other a lot. Matt (Monkey's Audio) was inspired by David's paper on lossless compression to create his encoder. But he wanted very highest compression, David wanted efficiency, so they went their separate paths - but still sharing findings and ideas. Then Matt implemented joint stereo, and others (Malcoln Taylor, David) followed shortly...

It's not like they are completely uncommunicable, or they are too fond of their ideas not to share with anyone.

Quote
Many people STILL use WMA, I consider this is: we're losing the battle over M$, maybe we're not GOOD enough, easy to use, hardware support ...[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=273139"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The people has the final word. No matter how much the self-proclamied enlightened audiophiles at HA whine, if people choose WMA in the end, it'll be the winner. The codec might suck, but it's very tightly integrated to the, by far, most popular operating system. Maybe people are more concerned about usability than quality, hm?


Anyway, please let's not drag this thread into another WMA flamewar. First because we already had several of such flamewars recently, second because this topic is about lossless codecs only :B
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: sidewalking on 13 February, 2005, 03:01:15 PM
Quote
Matt (Monkey's Audio) was inspired by David's paper on lossless compression to create his encoder.


Is this paper published anywhere online that we can read it?  I am intrigued...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 February, 2005, 03:38:01 PM
Quote
Quote
Matt (Monkey's Audio) was inspired by David's paper on lossless compression to create his encoder.


Is this paper published anywhere online that we can read it?  I am intrigued...
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
(http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=273206")


[a href="http://www.wavpack.com/397/technical.htm]http://www.wavpack.com/397/technical.htm[/url]
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: sidewalking on 14 February, 2005, 03:58:26 AM
Quote
http://www.wavpack.com/397/technical.htm (http://www.wavpack.com/397/technical.htm)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=273222"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Right on, thanks. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 16 February, 2005, 11:12:15 AM
Quote
Erich w/ an h: Could you please post the results of the test you performed where LA had issues with mono streams?


Since Erich didn't post any proof to back his claims and Guruboolez' (limited) test shows no issues with LA on mono streams, I have removed that remark from the start post.

Quote
How about adding to the "Tagging" row the type of tags that given format supports (APE, ID3, etc.)?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=271898"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Done, but as you can see, some formats are missing it. If someone knows the tagging schemes used by these formats, please shout.

Quote
Adding "PIPE support" to the table would make it complete 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272591"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Added, but I need info on some more formats..

Quote
Also, in the Pros for alac - by far what's driving the rapid growth of this otherwise somewhat lackluster format is the integration - iTunes/iPod provides a total solution for users:  ripping, database lookup, tagging, playback, portable / hardware, transcoding to lossy.  All in a pretty usable interface (as long as you don't need control or need to know what's going on).  So it might be worth adding "integration with software and hardware" or something.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=272884"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Added, thanks.

Please keep suggestions coming, people. And thanks for the suggestions already submitted.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 21 February, 2005, 11:00:04 AM
Mentioned hability to create self extracting files on WavPack's pros. I wonder how I didn't think about it earlier...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: smack on 22 February, 2005, 06:57:21 AM
Just want to add some details about LA to your great comparison table:

-tagging is possible  (I'm using Tag.exe to add APE2 tags, the Winamp plugin can display them, the command line decoder ignores them)

-PIPE is supported  (I'm using it in my small "la2mp3.bat" script - la.exe pipes decoded data to lame.exe)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 22 February, 2005, 08:01:02 AM
Monkey's audio pipe support are only with special patched versions from here (http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/) or here (http://www.rarewares.org/ogg.html), isn't it? Didn't think offical build supported that..... 

Great initiative, this thread, BTW. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 22 February, 2005, 08:36:23 AM
Quote
Just want to add some details about LA to your great comparison table:

-tagging is possible  (I'm using Tag.exe to add APE2 tags, the Winamp plugin can display them, the command line decoder ignores them)

-PIPE is supported  (I'm using it in my small "la2mp3.bat" script - la.exe pipes decoded data to lame.exe)
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=275955")


Excellent. Thank-you very much for this contribution.

Quote
Monkey's audio pipe support are only with special patched versions from [a href="http://www.etree.org/shnutils/shntool/]here[/url] or here (http://www.rarewares.org/ogg.html), isn't it? Didn't think offical build supported that..... 


Indeed, it doesn't. But it is doable, and there's a readily available solution for that, so I considered it to be a good idea to mention as a feature.

It's different than, E.G, tagging or replaygain, IMO, because these features need to be supported everywhere that format is supported. No use if foobar supports replaygain with Monkey's Audio and Shorten. All other tools won't support it. With pipes, one implementation is enough.

Do you agree?

Quote
Great initiative, this thread, BTW.  [a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=275966"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: buzzy on 23 February, 2005, 11:54:02 AM
Quote
Quote
An example or two might help the users understand that, especially newer users.

I don't understand what exactly you want examplified. Could you give me one... example? :B
It might read something like:

For example, an individual making backup archival copies might emphasize compression.  Another individual intending to play the audio with a portable, auto or network setup might look for hardware support or streamability.  Other individuals might seek ease of use above all.  And groups of individuals sharing live recordings might value broad OS support, free open source software and format robustness.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 06 March, 2005, 10:10:32 AM
Quote
It might read something like:
[...]
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=276339"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Very good idea indeed. I added it to the post introduction.


Also, I changed the table and the ALAC entry to reflect the recently released reverse-engineered decoder.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 06 March, 2005, 10:14:40 AM
Roberto,
on your table, ALAC appears as stereo only (no multichannel) and not compatible with higher definition as CD.

But according to David Hammerton:
Quote
ALAC allows up to 8 channels. It should be trivial to finish the implementation once I find files that I can test it with. Likewise the decoder only supports 16bit sample sizes. Again, it should be trivial to fix.

source: http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html (http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html)

Apparently, ALAC supports both multichannel and high bit depth. But I don't now if the current ALAC encoder bundled with iTunes supports both features.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 06 March, 2005, 10:20:04 AM
Quote
Roberto,
on your table, ALAC appears as stereo only (no multichannel) and not compatible with higher definition as CD.

But according to David Hammerton:
Quote
ALAC allows up to 8 channels. It should be trivial to finish the implementation once I find files that I can test it with. Likewise the decoder only supports 16bit sample sizes. Again, it should be trivial to fix.

source: http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html (http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html)

Apparently, ALAC supports both multichannel and high bit depth. But I don't now if the current ALAC encoder bundled with iTunes supports both features.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279731"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ah, very interesting. I tried feeding a multichannel stream to my iTunes and my QuickTime, as well as a high-frequency stream, and both programs choked on both streams.

I wonder if the MacOS versions of these programs don't show these limitations.

I just updated the table and the ALAC entry to mention these capabilities. Thanks for pointing them out.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: moozooh on 06 March, 2005, 06:53:38 PM
Seems like Wavpack and FLAC are the most “green” out there.
Too bad they're not very good at compression ratio…
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mono on 06 March, 2005, 06:59:27 PM
Quote
Ah, very interesting. I tried feeding a multichannel stream to my iTunes and my QuickTime, as well as a high-frequency stream, and both programs choked on both streams.

I wonder if the MacOS versions of these programs don't show these limitations.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279732"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've got samples on my Win desktop. I'll transfer them to my iBook tomorrow and test it out.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 06 March, 2005, 07:18:06 PM
Quote
Ah, very interesting. I tried feeding a multichannel stream to my iTunes and my QuickTime, as well as a high-frequency stream, and both programs choked on both streams.

I wonder if the MacOS versions of these programs don't show these limitations.

I just updated the table and the ALAC entry to mention these capabilities. Thanks for pointing them out.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279732"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I haven't tried it yet with QT 6.5.2, but it is an (still unimplemented) option to encode into ALAC multichannel & HF in the QT 7 betas.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Radetzky on 06 March, 2005, 08:51:18 PM
Quote
Roberto,
on your table, ALAC appears as stereo only (no multichannel) and not compatible with higher definition as CD.

But according to David Hammerton:
Quote
ALAC allows up to 8 channels. It should be trivial to finish the implementation once I find files that I can test it with. Likewise the decoder only supports 16bit sample sizes. Again, it should be trivial to fix.

source: http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html (http://craz.net/programs/itunes/alac.html)

Apparently, ALAC supports both multichannel and high bit depth. But I don't now if the current ALAC encoder bundled with iTunes supports both features.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279731"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Hmmm... the way it's written, ALAC CAN support multichannel (tha author says it should be trivial to implement) but CURRENTLY does NOT.  Am I wrong?

If I am right, I believe the table should represent what the codec can do now, not what the codec could do.

Radetz
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 06 March, 2005, 09:40:32 PM
Quote
If I am right, I believe the table should represent what the codec can do now, not what the codec could do.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279926"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You are correct.

I'm waiting for input from the MacOS users. If the MacOS apps can encode to ALAC multichannel, then it's something the codec can do now (albeit in an OS-limited fashion). If it has the same limitations in Windows and MacOS, I'll set it back to no multichannel/no high resolution until a version with those features is released.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: music_man_mpc on 06 March, 2005, 11:20:00 PM
I think you should use either light green or white for the background of the cell for ALAC's opensourceness as it isn't "as opensource" as FLAC or WavPack, if you get my drift.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Cygnus X1 on 06 March, 2005, 11:29:05 PM
Quote
Quote
If I am right, I believe the table should represent what the codec can do now, not what the codec could do.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279926"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You are correct.

I'm waiting for input from the MacOS users. If the MacOS apps can encode to ALAC multichannel, then it's something the codec can do now (albeit in an OS-limited fashion). If it has the same limitations in Windows and MacOS, I'll set it back to no multichannel/no high resolution until a version with those features is released.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279936"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


While I cannot comment on ALAC's multichannel capabilities (as I don't have any multichannel material to begin with), I can say with reasonable certainty that one is still limited to 16-bit encoding and decoding. Case in point: when attempting to squash down some 24-bit, 48kHz AIFF recordings I had made from my vinyl LP's, QT spit out 48kHz, 16-bit ALAC files.

I'm on 10.3.8 and using QT 6.5.2, BTW.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: spoon on 07 March, 2005, 04:49:40 AM
Quote
ALAC - Apple Lossless Audio Codec
...
PROS
- Open source


It is no more open source than WMA (which was reverse engineered and the decoder source released, I wouldn't call WMA open source). It will remain to be seen if Apple don't try to mess with the bit stream to 'upset the Apple cart' as was recently seen with m4p / real - in the long run iMS will perhaps move over to Apple Lossless.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 07 March, 2005, 04:53:52 AM
Are WMA9 Lossless source available? IIRC, only WMA standard was reverse engineered. The table isn't wrong.
Open source could be considered as a simple fact (open source), or as something like an ideology (could be called Open Source). Fact is that ALAC's sources are now available to everyone. In other words, open.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 07 March, 2005, 04:57:04 AM
Quote
I think you should use either light green or white for the background of the cell for ALAC's opensourceness as it isn't "as opensource" as FLAC or WavPack, if you get my drift.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279951"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Good idea, I will change that later.

Quote
Quote
ALAC - Apple Lossless Audio Codec
...
PROS
- Open source


It is no more open source than WMA (which was reverse engineered and the decoder source released, I wouldn't call WMA open source).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280021"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Only WMA Standard has been reverse engineered, not WMA Lossless. The day WMA Lossless is reverse engineered, I'll comment on it.

Quote
It will remain to be seen if Apple don't try to mess with the bit stream to 'upset the Apple cart' as was recently seen with m4p / real


Indeed, remains to be seen. If they do that, it'll be mentioned at the comparision.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: spoon on 07 March, 2005, 04:58:53 AM
That sort of proves my point - when the 'open source' wma decoder was released WMA Lossless  / Pro / Voice did not exist, they have since been added to WMA - so wma was open source and has moved back to closed source? IMHO something is only open source if it is controlled by those who release the open source code - FLAC is.

In the context of this thread - Lossless decoders, it is a nit pick - I am sorry for that, but to many Open source is a religion.

PS Feel free to split this closed / open source discussion.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 07 March, 2005, 05:00:36 AM
Quote
Open source could be considered as a simple fact (open source), or as something like an ideology (could be called Open Source).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280027"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Oh, no ideologies please. That makes me sick like the discussion about whether Monkey's Audio is open source or not.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 07 March, 2005, 05:02:19 AM
Quote
IMHO something is only open source if it is controlled by those who release the open source code - FLAC is.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280035"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


From an ideological point of view, you are correct. But from a practical - I.E, the end user's - point of view, it makes no difference who is releasing the sources, as long as they can decode the bitstreams.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 07 March, 2005, 07:13:11 PM
Quote
Seems like Wavpack and FLAC are the most “green” out there.
Too bad they're not very good at compression ratio…
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=279898")

Well, that depends.... If you use the x [a href="http://www.wavpack.com/wavpack_doc.htm]switch[/url] with Wavpack you can achive some mighty good compression, but it's mighty slow too....
I recently compressed some improv disks with wavpack -hxmt and got results in the range of 30-40% of original wavs. Now I guess that's much due to the music; like much classical, improv is music with much "air" in it, as opposed to e.g. contemporay pop or metal, but still I found this quite impressive. It was veeeery slow, though, unlike wavpack at default settings, which is what's used for rjamorim's table.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mono on 07 March, 2005, 10:04:01 PM
Quote
Quote
Ah, very interesting. I tried feeding a multichannel stream to my iTunes and my QuickTime, as well as a high-frequency stream, and both programs choked on both streams.

I wonder if the MacOS versions of these programs don't show these limitations.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279732"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've got samples on my Win desktop. I'll transfer them to my iBook tomorrow and test it out.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279901"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The multichannel file choked iTunes and QuickTime, which I didn't expect. I know that lots of users work with multichannel files on Macs. The hi res file played fine, encoded fine, but the decoder output a 44.1 kHz stream (the original was 96 kHz).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: shadowking on 08 March, 2005, 07:35:14 AM
Quote
Quote
Seems like Wavpack and FLAC are the most “green” out there.
Too bad they're not very good at compression ratio…
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=279898")

Well, that depends.... If you use the x [a href="http://www.wavpack.com/wavpack_doc.htm]switch[/url] with Wavpack you can achive some mighty good compression, but it's mighty slow too....
I recently compressed some improv disks with wavpack -hxmt and got results in the range of 30-40% of original wavs.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280230"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



-h by itself is comparable to Monkeys audio normal mode.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: moozooh on 08 March, 2005, 08:30:43 AM
Quote
Well, that depends.... If you use the x switch (http://www.wavpack.com/wavpack_doc.htm) with Wavpack you can achive some mighty good compression, but it's mighty slow too....
I recently compressed some improv disks with wavpack -hxmt and got results in the range of 30-40% of original wavs.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280230"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Quote
-h by itself is comparable to Monkeys audio normal mode.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280342"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are these swithes enabled by default?  AFAIK, this comparison table is based on every encoder's default settings…
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 08 March, 2005, 07:52:36 PM
Quote
Are these swithes enabled by default?  AFAIK, this comparison table is based on every encoder's default settings…
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280353"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If i understood this right, and rjamorim has used it without specifying switches, then Wavpack just uses it's default settings. AFAIK neither -h nor -x are turned on by default. In Wavpacks pure lossless mode -h and -x are switches you can play with for that extra compression, at the cost of speed. The -h switch makes both encoding and decoding about twice as slow, the -x switch turns on asymmetrical mode and makes encoding very, very, veeery much slower, but don't hurt decoding speed. So -hx gives you Wavpacks best compression and slowest encoding.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Ariakis on 08 March, 2005, 08:28:12 PM
Quote
So -hx gives you Wavpacks best compression and slowest encoding.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280479"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually, -hx6 would give you the best compression, as the -x switch alone will give you different parameters depending on the compression level.

Quote
This option accepts an optional numberic parameter from 1 to 6 that overrides the default amount of "extra" processing done. The defaults were choosen to provide the greatest "bang for the buck" and are -x6 for "fast" mode, -x4 for the normal mode and -x3 for the "high" mode.

That's straight from the WavPack manual. =)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 08 March, 2005, 09:06:09 PM
Quote
Actually, -hx6 would give you the best compression, as the -x switch alone will give you different parameters depending on the compression level.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=280487"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, I know that, but -hx was slow enough for me.... 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 09 March, 2005, 09:57:46 AM
Quote
Seems like Wavpack and FLAC are the most “green” out there.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=279898"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed. If the RockBox guys release their unofficial iRiver firmware with WavPack support, and if Kuniklo finishes the XMMS plugin, WavPack will be the only all-green format in the table.



I just edited the table. ALAC's open-sourceness becomes light green and it's not featuring multichannel and high resolution anymore since no implementation supports them. If QuickTime 7 adds these features, I'll change the table back.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rutra80 on 15 March, 2005, 06:57:49 PM
Few concerns about OptimFROG column:
1. Why ReplayGain row says "no"? I have all my OFR files replaygained by fb2k, values are stored inside the file's APEv2 tags, and they get gained on replay, isn't it ReplayGain support?
2. Pipe support row is blank, while "ofr.exe - --output %d" in fb2k's DiskWriter works, so I guess it supports pipes?
3. Why Encoding & Decoding speed rows say "slow"? As Flexibility row says, it's very flexible. With default settings it's at least average, and surely can be fast with proper settings.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 15 March, 2005, 07:27:29 PM
Quote
1. Why ReplayGain row says "no"? I have all my OFR files replaygained by fb2k, values are stored inside the file's APEv2 tags, and they get gained on replay, isn't it ReplayGain support?


That only means Foobar supports replaygain, not that Optimfrog supports replaygain.

It's the same situation with Monkey's. If features require that the format user is locked to a third party software, then it's not a format feature, but a third party software feature.

Quote
2. Pipe support row is blank, while "ofr.exe - --output %d" in fb2k's DiskWriter works, so I guess it supports pipes?


Yes, it does. I'll add that to the table. Thanks for looking into that.

A blank cell means I don't know about that feature, so any information is welcome.

Quote
3. Why Encoding & Decoding speed rows say "slow"? As Flexibility row says, it's very flexible. With default settings it's at least average, and surely can be fast with proper settings.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=282562"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I always use Hans Heijden's lossless comparision to evaluate speed vs. efficiency, etc. By "slow", I consider codecs that encode at less than 10X real time in the default setting. Even in the fast setting, OptimFrog encodes slower than 10X...

And I chose to represent only the default setting because the table would become a mess if I tried to evaluate the efficiency of every setting. It's also the developer duty to make the default setting output the best "bang for the buck" for users.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rutra80 on 17 March, 2005, 09:36:24 PM
Another idea - how about adding a "Size limit" row? I read that even WAV has a 2GB limit (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=32422) and I know that some lossless encoders have internal limits too (not related with file-system or other things).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 17 March, 2005, 09:59:54 PM
Quote
Another idea - how about adding a "Size limit" row? I read that even WAV has a 2GB limit (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=32422) and I know that some lossless encoders have internal limits too (not related with file-system or other things).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=283170"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, if someone is willing to test each codec's limits...

Problem is, most of them read from wavs. So, you would have to make a wav several gigabytes big in order to test them, and such wav would be corrupt because of that same limitation.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Cyaneyes on 17 March, 2005, 10:11:36 PM
Quote
Well, if someone is willing to test each codec's limits...

Problem is, most of them read from wavs. So, you would have to make a wav several gigabytes big in order to test them, and such wav would be corrupt because of that same limitation.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=283172")


See my last post in [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=31326&hl=]this thread from last month[/url].  The wav I was encoding was 5.5 hours, 44.1/16, size about 3.5 GB
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kjoonlee on 17 March, 2005, 10:31:25 PM
Quote
Quote
Another idea - how about adding a "Size limit" row? I read that even WAV has a 2GB limit (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=32422) and I know that some lossless encoders have internal limits too (not related with file-system or other things).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=283170"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, if someone is willing to test each codec's limits...

Problem is, most of them read from wavs. So, you would have to make a wav several gigabytes big in order to test them, and such wav would be corrupt because of that same limitation.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=283172"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is only a partial solution, but here goes..

If they support pipes, and if they support raw PCM, they could be fed raw gigabytes from standard input. You could just feed the encoder repeated pieces of small audio files this way.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 10 April, 2005, 04:55:11 PM
Small change: WavPack software support goes from average to good, thanks to the recent release of Kuniklo's beta XMMS plugin and Toff's alpha directshow filters.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 12 April, 2005, 03:53:45 PM
Quote
Just want to add some details about LA to your great comparison table:

-tagging is possible  (I'm using Tag.exe to add APE2 tags, the Winamp plugin can display them, the command line decoder ignores them)

-PIPE is supported  (I'm using it in my small "la2mp3.bat" script - la.exe pipes decoded data to lame.exe)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=275955"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well I don't want to say that you lie but probably you're just little bit confused. I've tried MultiFrontend and LA Frontend with APEv1/APEv2 tags and also Foobar's Diskwriter Commandline Encoder with selected APEv2 tag and found that Winamp doesn't support APEv2 tags. Tried both 0.4 and 0.4b. Foobar does but it's more native Foobar functionality than support from format. Furthermore official documentation of LA says: ID3 v1.1 tagging support
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 12 April, 2005, 10:03:36 PM
Thanks for spotting it. I just updated the table and post.


Edit: I wonder if ID3v1-only support shouldn't be in "cons" instead of "pros" :B
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 13 April, 2005, 09:04:02 AM
I've just noticed the blank cell for "pipe support" and WMA lossless. Pipe seems to be OK: I can transcode directly a WMA LSL file to another formats (lossy and lossless) with foobar2000.

EDIT: iTunes is also able to import WMA LSL file without needing a temporary decoding file.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 April, 2005, 11:27:32 AM
Quote
I've just noticed the blank cell for "pipe support" and WMA lossless. Pipe seems to be OK: I can transcode directly a WMA LSL file to another formats (lossy and lossless) with foobar2000.

EDIT: iTunes is also able to import WMA LSL file without needing a temporary decoding file.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=290245"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks, I just amended the table and the post.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 April, 2005, 11:30:48 AM
Also, I suggest you guys check out the Wiki entry that is a copy of the first post in this thread:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...ess_comparision (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparision)

I think Jan S. will eventually redirect this thread to the wiki. It's a better solution, since in that case everyone can change and correct the article, and not only me.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Digga on 13 April, 2005, 12:00:19 PM
Quote
FLAC
CONS
- Compression efficiency not on par with other lossless codecs

------------------------

WavPack
PROS
- Good efficiency (not as good as Monkey's or OptimFrog, but not as bad as SHN or ALAC)
hmm, did you decide on a point where you call a codec not on par that lead to WavPack not falling into that category (i.e. everything above 58.0%)?
considering the difference btw FLAC and WavPack is only 0.70% in default mode and FLAC and ALAC are also very close, the quoted statements look a bit irritating.
I would suggest to change WavPack also to 'Compression efficiency not on par with other lossless codecs' or at least to remove the 'good efficiency' part.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 April, 2005, 12:08:55 PM
Quote
hmm, did you decide on a point where you call a codec not on par that lead to WavPack not falling into that category (i.e. everything above 58.0%)?
considering the difference btw FLAC and WavPack is only 0.70% in default mode and FLAC and ALAC are also very close, the quoted statements look a bit irritating.
I would suggest to change WavPack also to 'Compression efficiency not on par with other lossless codecs' or at least to remove the 'good efficiency' part.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=290281"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Good point. I based that mostly on a Garf's statement that is hidden in some other thread (JanS is working on the redirection)

BTW: It's important to mention that efficiency is not compression ratio. Efficiency is a relation between compression ratio and encoding speed.

I'll look into that issue further, based on Hans Heijden's findings, and edit the wiki if appropriate. The first post in this thread will soon be deleted in favour of the wiki article, so no point working on it any more.

Also: Yes, 58% is the line I drew to separate green compression to light green compression.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Digga on 13 April, 2005, 12:12:14 PM
Quote
BTW: It's important to mention that efficiency is not compression ratio. Efficiency is a relation between compression ratio and encoding speed.
ah yes, you're right, I totally forgot about that.
Quote
Also: Yes, 58% is the line I drew to separate green compression to light green compression.
what about TTA and LPAC vs. FLAC and ALAC? both are either above or below the 58% mark and both are light green...
Quote
The first post in this thread will soon be deleted in favour of the wiki article, so no point working on it any more
o.k. fair enough.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 April, 2005, 12:27:20 PM
Quote
what about TTA and LPAC vs. FLAC and ALAC? both are either above or below the 58% mark and both are light green...
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=290283"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Oops, sorry about that. Actually 57% is the line.

I considering making 58% the line once, but that would result in too many dark green cells, so it wouldn't be useful for comparision purposes.

This way, it is more or less equilibrated: 4 dark green and 4 light green.

In the comparision, I replaced "Compression efficiency not on par with other lossless codecs" with "Relatively slow encoding" (that is, comparing to other codecs that compress much more at same speed). I think it's fairer towards FLAC. Do you agree?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Digga on 13 April, 2005, 12:45:36 PM
Quote
Oops, sorry about that. Actually 57% is the line.
^^
Quote
In the comparision, I replaced "Compression efficiency not on par with other lossless codecs" with "Relatively slow encoding" (that is, comparing to other codecs that compress much more at same speed). I think it's fairer towards FLAC. Do you agree?
that's one (nice) possibility. however, it seems that compression efficiency is really not on par, so I would have just added this to WavPack also 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: smack on 13 April, 2005, 12:47:07 PM
Quote
Well I don't want to say that you lie but probably you're just little bit confused. I've tried MultiFrontend and LA Frontend with APEv1/APEv2 tags and also Foobar's Diskwriter Commandline Encoder with selected APEv2 tag and found that Winamp doesn't support APEv2 tags. Tried both 0.4 and 0.4b. Foobar does but it's more native Foobar functionality than support from format. Furthermore official documentation of LA says: ID3 v1.1 tagging support
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=290086"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Uhm, you are right. LA's Winamp plugin does NOT recognize the APE2 tags. Sorry, I didn't intend to spread false information...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 13 April, 2005, 05:27:27 PM
Quote
that's one (nice) possibility. however, it seems that compression efficiency is really not on par, so I would have just added this to WavPack also 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=290286"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, feel free to edit the Wiki article. That's another reason I moved there - that is, so that it doesn't stay in one man's hands and therefore is subject to his bias.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Jan S. on 13 April, 2005, 05:38:40 PM
Wiki page is here now: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)

comparison was misspelled before.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: jcoalson on 13 April, 2005, 05:43:30 PM
Quote
BTW: It's important to mention that efficiency is not compression ratio. Efficiency is a relation between compression ratio and encoding speed.

efficiency is not defined in the doc, it might clear things up.  more helpful I think would be rating "encoding efficiency" and "decoding efficiency".

Josh
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Digga on 14 April, 2005, 01:35:31 AM
Quote
Quote
BTW: It's important to mention that efficiency is not compression ratio. Efficiency is a relation between compression ratio and encoding speed.
efficiency is not defined in the doc, it might clear things up.  more helpful I think would be rating "encoding efficiency" and "decoding efficiency".
decoding efficiency = fast decoding / decoding complexity (system resources usage)?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 15 April, 2005, 05:45:02 PM
Hello. I'd like to inform you that I replaced the PNG table with a Wiki table, with lots of help from Jan S.

Check it out here:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...omparison_Table (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table)

So, no more need for the Excel spreadsheet and the PNG image. People can edit the table directly (but be very careful when doing so, as it is easy to break everything with a misplaced |).


The only modification from the recent PNG table is that now TTA has "average" software support. I changed that after it came to my attention that no audio editor supports it.

So, clarifying how each codec gets the software support ranking:

"Bad" is when only a handful of players support this format, or even worse, only the player provided by the manufacturer (E.G, Real Lossless and, until recently, ALAC)

"Average" is just average support. A few players, no editors, etc.

"Good" ranking requires that a) the format can be played on more than one platform, preferably with several players and b) it can be imported and exported by an audio editing application.

"Very good" is not really quantifiable. You just know that format has that ranking, from the amount of applications supporting it in several different platforms.


Questions? Comments?

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: saverio on 02 May, 2005, 05:18:23 AM
Hi, Roberto. Great guide. I'm starting a lossless conversion (in the sense that I'm starting to encode new things in lossless, almost like a religious conversion). As I'm on a mac, I'll stick with ALAC.

Just a pair of comments and a question:

1) ALAC is supported in linux (and maybe in gnu/hurd) there is a debian package called "la" that decodes apple lossless. Oh, well it is decoding. Said nothing.

2) ALAC is very fast on encoding. For me (G5@1,8GHz) it is 16x minimum when I'm not encoding H.264 video.

Now the question:

What is ALS? I could not get sensitive info using the search function. Is this a new format? (I thnk not, because it is not on the table) or just a cuesheet-like thingie for some other format?


Wish-list: ALAC/MP4 (and AAC/MP4) supporting internal cuesheet, as to have one file in the hard disk, but the whole album in the library (implementing also gapless automatically).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 02 May, 2005, 05:33:43 AM
ALS is a new lossless format that is developed for the MPEG 4 group to be a new ISO standard. Too bad it hasn't been standardized yet, as all major companies have made their own codecs by now.

Perhaps more interesting is the other effort by the MPEG4 group, the SLS codec. It is a hybrid codec based on AAC, so it can be played back on anything that plays AAC.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 08 May, 2005, 01:05:12 PM
I see you added an "Oddball Formats" section to the Lossless comparison Wiki page. But not even there did Bonk (http://www.logarithmic.net/pfh/bonk) or RKAU (http://www.msoftware.co.nz/downloads_page.php) make it.... Poooor things! 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 08 May, 2005, 01:07:34 PM
ALAC should be updated to reflect the changes made in QT7. This has to go at least:
Quote
Doesn't support multichannel audio and high resolutions
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 08 May, 2005, 01:55:57 PM
Quote
I see you added an "Oddball Formats" section to the Lossless comparison Wiki page. But not even there did Bonk (http://www.logarithmic.net/pfh/bonk) or RKAU (http://www.msoftware.co.nz/downloads_page.php) make it.... Poooor things! 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=296101"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Haha. That just shows it's about time I add those formats to ReallyRareWares

Thanks, I just added them to the lists.

Quote
ALAC should be updated to reflect the changes made in QT7. This has to go at least:
Quote
Doesn't support multichannel audio and high resolutions

[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=296102"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ah, that's very interesting indeed. You tested it on multichannel and high resolution (96kHz/24bit) streams?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 08 May, 2005, 02:28:39 PM
Quote
You tested it on multichannel and high resolution (96kHz/24bit) streams?


I tried a 96kHz stereo stream from archive.org, but it lists up to 192kHz and 5.0/5.1 in the settings window. If anyone know where to find multichannel files I'd be glad to test
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 08 May, 2005, 02:34:36 PM
Quote
I tried a 96kHz stereo stream from archive.org, but it lists up to 192kHz and 5.0/5.1 in the settings window. If anyone know where to find multichannel files I'd be glad to test
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=296129")


Well, there's this multichannel stream I created to verify speaker positioning:
[a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/upload/test.m4a]http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/upload/test.m4a[/url]

It can also help test QuickTime decoding multichannel AAC
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 08 May, 2005, 02:55:58 PM
Ok, the file plays back fine and it reports it as "AAC, 6 Channels, 48,000 kHz". But for some reason, QT freezes when pressing the "settings.." button in the export pane, so I can't convert it..
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 08 May, 2005, 03:00:21 PM
Meh. Buggy.

Try this then: It's a wavpack of that same multichannel stream
http://www.rarewares.org/rja/test.wv (http://www.rarewares.org/rja/test.wv)

You can decode it with the MacOS binary:
http://www.rarewares.org/files/lossless/wa...k-4.2-MacOS.zip (http://www.rarewares.org/files/lossless/wavpack-4.2-MacOS.zip)


Edit: actually bzip compressed it nearly as well as WavPack, so you can use this if wavpack won't work for you:
http://www.rarewares.org/rja/test.wav.bz2 (http://www.rarewares.org/rja/test.wav.bz2)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 08 May, 2005, 03:29:25 PM
That did the trick!

I converted it to both AAC & ALAC as .mov's, but it doesn't seem to passthrough multichannel to the mpeg4 container  The alac file ended up as 174KB.

Should I upload the two .mov files?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 08 May, 2005, 04:00:41 PM
Quote
I converted it to both AAC & ALAC as .mov's, but it doesn't seem to passthrough multichannel to the mpeg4 container   The alac file ended up as 174KB.


Thanks for testing!

Quote
Should I upload the two .mov files?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=296140"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes, please. I'm curious about how my QuickTime 6 will behave with a multichannel ALAC.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Busemann on 08 May, 2005, 04:59:41 PM
Quote
Yes, please. I'm curious about how my QuickTime 6 will behave with a multichannel ALAC.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=296144")


Posted them [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33897]here.[/url] I bet QT 6 will choke on both, but it's worth a try anyway.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 08 May, 2005, 05:21:39 PM
Heh, it's interesting. It loads both files and recognize both as multichannel. But no sound comes out when playing them back.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Skymmer on 16 May, 2005, 09:27:03 PM
I have updated WIKI page with this info:

- LA's error state changed from white to red just because
Code: [Select]
c:\Shifter\Software\MUSIC\Packers\Lossless\La v0.4\tools>la test1.la

Lossless Audio Compressor
Version 0.4b, copyright Michael Bevin 2002-2004

Decoding test1.la [**********..............]
This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.
Please contact the application's support team for more information.


- TTA's error state changed from red to green because
Code: [Select]
c:\Shifter\Software\MUSIC\Packers\Lossless\TTAEnc v3.3>ttaenc -d test1.tta
TTA1 lossless audio encoder/decoder, release 3.3
Copyright (c) 2005 Alexander Djourik. All rights reserved.
For more information see http://tta.sourceforge.net
------------------------------------------------------------
File:    [Test1.tta]
Decode:  checksum error, 46080 samples wiped
Decode:  wrote 1408192 bytes, done, ratio: 0,74, time: 0
------------------------------------------------------------
Total:   [1/1, 1,3/1,0 Mb], ratio: 1,377, time: 0'00
------------------------------------------------------------


I also added a note about error robustness in TTA's pros
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 16 May, 2005, 09:38:16 PM
Very good. Thanks

Edit: I added "Fits the Matroska container" to WavPack.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 17 May, 2005, 10:44:51 AM
I added streaming support to MAC since the changelog for the latest release seems to indicate streaming is supported.
Quote
Changed: Decoding engine better at handling corrupt streams / loss of internet connection while playing

http://www.monkeysaudio.com/versionhistory.html (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/versionhistory.html)

Edit: I just noticed that the wiki indicates Monkey's Audio doesn't support ReplayGain. I've edited that as well.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=b6af7fa5e1e843431bfa2fc6c29d2793" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.crapshack.com/ape_replaygain.png)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 29 May, 2005, 06:48:13 AM
Jan S. has since informed me "Some programs support replaygain thru tags but that is not the same as it being supported by the format.". I'd like to know what constitutes ReplayGain support.

Granted MAC doesn't conform to the ReplayGain standard (8 bit field in the header file), using APEv2 tags instead. FLAC also uses tags (vorbis comment) for ReplayGain and is listed as ReplayGain supported. So, are we defining ReplayGain support as standard compliant or tag support? If the former FLAC should be changed to "no", if the latter MAC should be changed to "yes".
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: dobz on 29 May, 2005, 07:20:00 AM
When you encode with FLAC you can use "--replay-gain" option, so i guess that this is the reason for FLAC's support.

I had a quick look to see if Monkey Audio can do this but couldnt find the info and gave up looking.
Just because foobar can replaygain an audio file doesnt mean it nativly supports it?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 29 May, 2005, 07:27:07 AM
Quote
When you encode with FLAC you can use "--replay-gain" option, so i guess that this is the reason for FLAC's support.
That was what I originally thought, that a "yes" indicated the encoder itself supported ReplayGain. Then I downloaded the latest WavPack binary and couldn't find any ReplayGain switches (there's no mention of ReplayGain in the documentation at all as far as I can tell), so in that case WavPack shouldn't be listed as supported. I also examined an output file I created using WavPack and was unable to find any ReplayGain data in the header or in tags.

Quote
I had a quick look to see if Monkey Audio can do this but couldnt find the info and gave up looking.
It can't.

Quote
Just because foobar can replaygain an audio file doesnt mean it nativly supports it?
What do you define as "native support"?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Ariakis on 29 May, 2005, 07:42:58 AM
I'm not particularly familiar with the inclusion of ReplayGain in WavPack's specs, or the lack thereof in MAC's specs, but what I'm led to believe by the chart and what I've read around the forums is that "native support" for ReplayGain has to do with the format standard.  If the official documentation or specifications include information on how specifically ReplayGain should be handled within the file and by a compliant encoder/decoder/whatever, then any "fully compliant" tool would have to support all the natively-defined operations for that format.  If this is the case, then - for WavPack's example - the input plugins are more fully "compliant" than the CLI decoder with what's been said about the format specs, because they support ReplayGain for the format for whatever program in which they function.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 29 May, 2005, 07:50:37 AM
Quote
If the official documentation or specifications include information on how specifically ReplayGain should be handled within the file and by a compliant encoder/decoder/whatever, then any "fully compliant" tool would have to support all the natively-defined operations for that format.

As I said, the standard dictates an 8 bit field in the file's header. As far as I can tell, this is not present in WavPack, the documentation does not mention ReplayGain anywhere and there is no switches to either enable (if it's disabled by default) or disable (if it's enabled by default) ReplayGain in the encoder itself.

Edit: It is possible that ReplayGain is enabled by default and can not be disabled, but it's odd the documentation does not mention it.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Ariakis on 29 May, 2005, 07:55:29 AM
Quote
As I said, the standard dictates an 8 bit field in the file's header. As far as I can tell, this is not present in WavPack, the documentation does not mention ReplayGain anywhere and there is no switches to either enable (if it's disabled by default) or disable (if it's enabled by default) ReplayGain in the encoder itself.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=301408"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed, sorry for missing your comment earlier about the 8-bit field in the header.  It would seem that the table, WavPack's docs, and/or the information discussed so far are all in need of some revision.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 29 May, 2005, 08:02:11 AM
TTA, also listed as ReplayGain supported has a handy overview of it's header structure here (http://www.true-audio.com/codec.format), ReplayGain is not mentioned. Searching their site for "ReplayGain" and "Replay Gain" yields no results.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kjoonlee on 29 May, 2005, 08:05:42 AM
Everything in this post (except for factual information) is my not-so-humble opinion.

The Replay Gain standard (on the website) is outdated. Ignore anything about the header.

The real 'de facto' RG standard, at the core, is an algorithm for calculating the gain values and peaks, and a method for making use of those values. How to implement the standard is up to software developers.

The only format (lossless or lossy) that really supports the RG standard through fileformat specs is Musepack. (edit: AFAIK. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.)

Except for MP3 and AAC, where the RG info may be used to alter the physical volume, other formats just use tagging to store RG info.

Just because flac.exe and metaflac.exe support reading and writing of RG info doesn't mean FLAC supports it natively and that support for RG is mandated.

---

If you define RG support as "supported through specs", FLAC should be mentioned as not supporting RG.

If you define RG support as "supported in reference implementation of tools", then FLAC should be mentioned as supporting RG. (edit: to a degree, at least.)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 May, 2005, 10:45:15 AM
Yawn. This is becoming tiresome...

As you all know by now, I'm probably one of the least anal guys in this forum. I'm not inclined to worry about strict compliance to RG's original specs.

So where do I draw the line?

Here: if the developer himself coded replaygain support in the tools he releases with his format, that means the developer acknowledges it, so format supports replaygain. If only Peter Pawlovski cared to support replaygain for that format in his player, then the format doesn't support it.

It doesn't matter if the RG data is stored in a tag, a header, or the Windows registry!

So, for instance, Coalson released metaflac, and Bryant released player plugins supporting RG. Bryant also mentioned his plans to create a command line RG scanner for WV. OTOH, Ashland and Ghido never bothered to support it in any official or semi-official tools for their formats.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Defsac on 31 May, 2005, 02:18:42 AM
Quote
Yawn. This is becoming tiresome...

As you all know by now, I'm probably one of the least anal guys in this forum. I'm not inclined to worry about strict compliance to RG's original specs.

So where do I draw the line?

Here: if the developer himself coded replaygain support in the tools he releases with his format, that means the developer acknowledges it, so format supports replaygain. If only Peter Pawlovski cared to support replaygain for that format in his player, then the format doesn't support it.

It doesn't matter if the RG data is stored in a tag, a header, or the Windows registry!

So, for instance, Coalson released metaflac, and Bryant released player plugins supporting RG. Bryant also mentioned his plans to create a command line RG scanner for WV. OTOH, Ashland and Ghido never bothered to support it in any official or semi-official tools for their formats.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=301459"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree that ReplayGain tools released with the codec should constitute replaygain support, through any tagging method. The only reason I mentioned tags vs. header fields is because Jan S. said supporting ReplayGain through tags was not the same as being supported by the format. I don't think releasing plugins with RG support should constitute RG support, or perhaps should be listed as "Partial" support like ALAC.

I also can't find any evidence of RG support in WavPack or TTA. There's no RG related switches and no mention of RG support in the documentation (the WavPack plugins support RG so by your definition it has RG support, but TTA doesn't mention RG at all).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 July, 2005, 05:32:01 PM
Quote
I added streaming support to MAC since the changelog for the latest release seems to indicate streaming is supported.
Quote
Changed: Decoding engine better at handling corrupt streams / loss of internet connection while playing

http://www.monkeysaudio.com/versionhistory.html (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/versionhistory.html)[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=298349"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Shameless lie.

I decided to test the lossless codecs WRT stream corruption.

My methodology: Encode a stream in each codec's default settings. Then take the encoded stream, open it in a Hex editor and replace a few bytes. Try to decode. If it decodes to the end (that is, skipping the corruption, and not exitting with an error when it reaches the corrupt frame), go to the next step, that is open the encoded stream in a hex editor again, and this time delete a handful of (5-6) bytes. Try to decode again.

The findings are very interesting.

Monkey's Audio
Replaced bytes: exits with error
Deleted bytes: didn't even try

OptimFrog
Replaced bytes: continues decoding and reports error at the end. Corrupt part was replaced with some seconds of silence
Deleted bytes: exits with error

WavPack
Replaced bytes: continues decoding and reports error at the end. Only sign of corruption was a tiny hiccup.
Deleted bytes: continues decoding and reports error at the end. Slightly larger hiccup.

FLAC
Replaced bytes: continues decoding when used the -F switch and reports error while decoding and at the end. Only sign of corruption was a hiccup.
Deleted bytes: continues decoding when used the -F switch and reports error while decoding and at the end. Only sign of corruption was a hiccup.

LPAC
Replaced bytes: continues decoding and reports error at the end. Only sign of corruption was a tiny hiccup.
Deleted bytes: Crashes rather ugly.


I plan to test other codecs soon. I'm putting "error handling" and "streaming" as "no" for Monkey's audio. What do you think about OFR and LPAC? Should they receive a "no" too, or bytes being deleted is just unlikely to happen?

Regards;

Roberto.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: snookerdoodle on 28 July, 2005, 05:46:41 PM
Quote
I plan to test other codecs soon. I'm putting "error handling" and "streaming" as "no" for Monkey's audio. What do you think about OFR and LPAC? Should they receive a "no" too, or bytes being deleted is just unlikely to happen?

Man, I never read this thread, thinking, "sheesh. how can you improve on lossless?" A lot of things here I hadn't thought of. So much for my omniscience award...

It certainly is possible for broadcast/multicast streaming methods to lose or corrupt data, even if you found that none currently in use do so.

It's nice of a decoder to not only handle the conditions, but to give a choice in how they're handled.

Mark
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Shade[ST] on 28 July, 2005, 06:00:51 PM
Quote
I plan to test other codecs soon. I'm putting "error handling" and "streaming" as "no" for Monkey's audio. What do you think about OFR and LPAC? Should they receive a "no" too, or bytes being deleted is just unlikely to happen?

Regards;

Roberto.

Personally, I think that lost packets due to CPU saturation is much more likely to happen than a stream being corrupt -- it's the most frequent problem I've had while streaming music (both server and client -- on a small DSL connection).  Therefore, I consider it a greater issue.. maybe "streams with errors" should be a criterion?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 28 July, 2005, 08:32:56 PM
Quote
(...) open it in a Hex editor and replace a few bytes. Try to decode. (...)
Monkey's Audio
Replaced bytes: exits with error
Deleted bytes: didn't even try


Could you also try with foobar2000 or maybe Winamp? I did this test once, and the playback went to the end, with only a little missing part and probably (I can't remember) a message error (fb2k console).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 July, 2005, 02:53:44 PM
Quote
Could you also try with foobar2000 or maybe Winamp? I did this test once, and the playback went to the end, with only a little missing part and probably (I can't remember) a message error (fb2k console).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=316523"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


On Winamp: It's random. Sometimes, after the error till the end of the stream, there's only horrible white noise. On other occasions, just a small amount of silence and then it manages to resync.

On foobar2000 0.9beta, I get:
Code: [Select]
Decode error at 1:46.138 (Unsupported format or corrupted file):
D:\Figuras\Tests\Temp\Chariots.ape
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: davechapman on 23 September, 2005, 02:54:14 AM
Not sure if this is the right place to announce this, but I've just added ALAC support to Rockbox.  So the iriver H120/H140 (and other players in the future when new ports of Rockbox are finished) can also decode ALAC - it's not just the iPod any more.

And like all Rockbox codecs, it's gapless. .

Dave.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: user on 23 September, 2005, 04:13:43 AM
So, Flac and Wavpack are the most error robust codecs
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Caroliano on 23 December, 2005, 08:12:20 AM
Some people think that an higher percentage means higher compression. So it would be interesting to add in someplace that "lower is better" for compression ratio. But I don't know where...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: earphiler on 24 December, 2005, 03:05:24 PM
FLAC is my favorite, because I can convert it to anything with dbpoweramp.

ALAC is pretty good, but its a proprietary Apple-only lock in format

APE has a bad name, and I hate the logo so I'm not really a fan.

WAV is good (not sure if this is considered lossless or just raw uncompressed) but the inability to store tags bothers me, of course it must be given some credit.

...And that's it what I've tried before.

FLAC is KING! and it encodes quickly
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Destroid on 25 December, 2005, 01:09:50 PM
About ReplayGain-

When dealing with lossless RG should be used in players and conversion tools. I think it is a bad idea to have lossless formats support RG natively, but it's not a entirely a banal feature.

While it is good to have RG I think that when dealing with lossless that it should be truly lossless. Although I am aware that the lossless audio data remains intact and native RG is stored for scale, there are no strict standards whether a player/tool enables RG by default or disables it by default.

From my perspective, which is using studio tracks losslessly encoded, I will stick with a format that does not upset the lossless scheme of things.

Thanks and happy holidays
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Martin H on 25 December, 2005, 10:28:21 PM
Quote
About ReplayGain-

When dealing with lossless RG should be used in players and conversion tools. I think it is a bad idea to have lossless formats support RG natively, but it's not a entirely a banal feature.

While it is good to have RG I think that when dealing with lossless that it should be truly lossless. Although I am aware that the lossless audio data remains intact and native RG is stored for scale, there are no strict standards whether a player/tool enables RG by default or disables it by default.

From my perspective, which is using studio tracks losslessly encoded, I will stick with a format that does not upset the lossless scheme of things.

Thanks and happy holidays
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352315"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, but i really don't get your point... What exactly is bad with formats supporting replaygain natively in your oppenion ? And what do you mean with "I will stick with a format that does not upset the lossless scheme of things" ??? Formats like WavPack and FLAC which supports replaygain natively, dosen't have it enabled by default... I don't consider native replaygain as a bad thing at all, since it means that people wanting replaygain can use it natively without having to use external tools, but people who don't want to use it can just leave it alone... It's simply an added selectable feature, nothing more and nothing less... I could understand your point if it where the audio data itself that was changed, but since it's just a couple of tags added to the files with the gain values, which you are entirely free to enable or disable in players/tools, then i really don't see the problem... Native replaygain just means that the format itself contains code for analyzing the files for their respective replaygain values and for applaing the values as simple tags in the files, but it dosen't mean that it is enabled by default...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Lyx on 25 December, 2005, 11:17:34 PM
I could write an unnecessarily long post, or make it short: the member which said that native RG-support would be against the principle of being lossless, doesn't know what he's talking about.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Triza on 25 December, 2005, 11:43:06 PM
Quote
I could write an unnecessarily long post, or make it short: the member which said that native RG-support would be against the principle of being lossless, doesn't know what he's talking about.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352389"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed.

I go further. Formats that do not support replaygain are pretty useless. After all I do not want to calculate the replaygain all the time. I want to do it only once and then I apply it or not as I like. If I do not apply it it will be truely lossless.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: d-b on 26 December, 2005, 05:06:41 AM
In many of the postings in this thread I see referals to a page (?) with the conclusions of the thread...but where is that posting/web page?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Sebastian Mares on 26 December, 2005, 06:20:20 AM
This: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: unfortunateson on 31 January, 2006, 04:58:02 PM
could somebody post the lossless comparison chart here?  Ever since HA added the extra security measures to the wiki, it doesn't allow me to connect to it anymore.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: DARcode on 01 February, 2006, 08:09:56 AM
Quote
could somebody post the lossless comparison chart here?  Ever since HA added the extra security measures to the wiki, it doesn't allow me to connect to it anymore.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=361074")

You really can't access this page via this link?
[a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table]http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...omparison_Table[/url]
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: unfortunateson on 01 February, 2006, 02:36:38 PM
Quote
Quote
could somebody post the lossless comparison chart here?  Ever since HA added the extra security measures to the wiki, it doesn't allow me to connect to it anymore.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=361074")

You really can't access this page via this link?
[a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table]http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...omparison_Table[/url]
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=361227"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Not from home.  It gives a "Precondition failed" page.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rutra80 on 02 February, 2006, 12:29:25 AM
Quote
Quote
Quote
could somebody post the lossless comparison chart here?  Ever since HA added the extra security measures to the wiki, it doesn't allow me to connect to it anymore.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=361074")

You really can't access this page via this link?
[a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table]http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...omparison_Table[/url]
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
(http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=361227")


Not from home.  It gives a "Precondition failed" page.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=361307"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Report [a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=39873]here[/url].
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kanak on 04 March, 2006, 12:34:30 PM
RE: Monkey's Audio Entry in the Lossless Comparison Wiki


Under OptimFrog's "Other Features", it is mentioned that:

Quote
Includes MD5 hashes for quick integrity checking


This feature is also supported by Monkey's Audio. It stores MD5 hashes within the file, and uses it to "verify" the file.

I have posted a picture of a Monkey's audio file that i have which has MD5 hash stored in it:

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=95e2b63dc504638aaf8a9c939508641d" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/7774/macmd53nf.jpg)


I think the "includes MD5 hashes" entry should be added for Monkey's Audio as well.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 04 March, 2006, 07:04:51 PM
Quote
I think the "includes MD5 hashes" entry should be added for Monkey's Audio as well.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369087"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Can be surely done. But do you have an idea of what tool added that MD5 to the APE file? I was under the impression the official tools don't offer that functionality. Maybe it was shntool or foobar?


Still on the Monkey's Audio topic: @Skimmer: I see you changed some of the details on Monkey's Audio at the list, namely the error robustness entries. Did you actually test on damaged streams if the latest version of Monkey's Audio got better on that aspect? I know Matt mentions that in his changelog, but so did he in the past, and as it turned out, it was still borking on streams with deleted bytes.


Also, on the pros section, you added "Simple and user friendly. Official GUI provided". I don't think I agree with that entry. For starters, you should have then added "Official GUI provided" to ALAC, Real Lossless, WMA Lossless, LPAC and even LA.

Also, "simple and user friendly" is hardly a feature depending on what you want to do. Some users just want raw power (to run batch jobs, pipe from stdin to stdout, or even run cronjobs!), and in that case, "simple" is not a feature.

Besides I believe "simple" applies more to codecs like ALAC, WMAL and TTA, since they don't even ask the user to choose compression level - just encode losslessly to the only compression setting and that's it.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Launfal on 04 March, 2006, 08:15:53 PM
Quote
Quote
I think the "includes MD5 hashes" entry should be added for Monkey's Audio as well.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369087"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Can be surely done. But do you have an idea of what tool added that MD5 to the APE file? I was under the impression the official tools don't offer that functionality. Maybe it was shntool or foobar?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369172"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Monkey adds the MD5 on its own now.  You can even choose through the new GUI to verify using it or by doing a complete decompression of the file.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Garf on 05 March, 2006, 04:43:41 AM
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...omparison_Table (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table)

How on earth is MPEG4 ALS slow to encode and decode?

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=40451 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40451)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kanak on 05 March, 2006, 03:03:24 PM
Quote
Quote
Quote
I think the "includes MD5 hashes" entry should be added for Monkey's Audio as well.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369087"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Can be surely done. But do you have an idea of what tool added that MD5 to the APE file? I was under the impression the official tools don't offer that functionality. Maybe it was shntool or foobar?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369172"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Monkey adds the MD5 on its own now.  You can even choose through the new GUI to verify using it or by doing a complete decompression of the file.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369183"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yup the GUI allows that... no need for 3rd party tools
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: spoon on 05 March, 2006, 03:32:24 PM
Tagging:

MPEG4 ALS:  MP4 tags
ALAC: QT tags

These two are the same?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 05 March, 2006, 04:19:44 PM
Quote
Monkey adds the MD5 on its own now.  You can even choose through the new GUI to verify using it or by doing a complete decompression of the file.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369183"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ah, thank-you very much. I just added it.

Quote
How on earth is MPEG4 ALS slow to encode and decode?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=369239"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The comparison was moved to the wiki for a reason! If you have more up-to-date information than me, feel free to correct the entries. I was still basing the comparison table on Liebchen's binaries - that were indeed way too slow.

Besides, I would much rather see a comparison among several codecs. Comparing different compiles of the same codec, as presented in the thread you pointed out here, doesn't help finding out how it compares against everything else.


Anyway, I just tested Monkey's Audio 4.01b2 on corrupted streams (3 streams, and at least three times on each stream), and it still borks, so I'm rolling back Skimmer's modifications on that aspect. And I'm still wondering about the merit of adding "Simple and user friendly. Official GUI provided." to the Pros list.

Regards;

R.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Cosmo on 27 April, 2006, 12:18:41 PM
re: wiki - lossless comparison

1) suggestion: Put the most popular / most used codecs side-by-side in the top row. Would make comparison of the most likely candidates easier (especially for those who have to scroll the page).

2) FLAC's encoding speed is noted as "fast" in the table. Not "slow", nor even "average". Then it's called "relatively slow" in FLAC CONS. That is confusing in the least, and perhaps unfair advertisement one way or the other.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Synthetic Soul on 27 April, 2006, 12:45:31 PM
1) Excellent suggestion. NB: Any registered wiki editor could do this!

2) I would say that Fast is correct for default settings.  It could be called relatively slow when encoding with -8.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: DARcode on 27 April, 2006, 02:11:11 PM
I subscribe to Cosmo's first point too.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: pepoluan on 27 April, 2006, 02:14:46 PM
2) I would say that Fast is correct for default settings.  It could be called relatively slow when encoding with -8.
I guess that means we'll have to be more specific...

Perhaps, having 2 judgments: one based on recommended setting (e.g. flac -5) and one based on maximum-compression setting (e.g. flac --super-secret-blah-blah-blah or flac -8)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 April, 2006, 07:12:37 AM
1) suggestion: Put the most popular / most used codecs side-by-side in the top row. Would make comparison of the most likely candidates easier (especially for those who have to scroll the page).


Good suggestion, I'll work on it.

If only editing wiki tables wasn't so painful. >_<

What formats go to the top row? FLAC and WavPack obviously, then Monkey's, Frog, ALAC and...?

YALAC bothers me somewhat. I'll have to make the table bigger because of it :-B

Quote
2) FLAC's encoding speed is noted as "fast" in the table. Not "slow", nor even "average". Then it's called "relatively slow" in FLAC CONS. That is confusing in the least, and perhaps unfair advertisement one way or the other.


That was indeed an error. I will fix it when I update the table.

2) I would say that Fast is correct for default settings.  It could be called relatively slow when encoding with -8.
I guess that means we'll have to be more specific...

Perhaps, having 2 judgments: one based on recommended setting (e.g. flac -5) and one based on maximum-compression setting (e.g. flac --super-secret-blah-blah-blah or flac -8)


Just under the table:
"Encoding speed, Decoding speed and Compression ratio are based on each encoder's default settings."
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 April, 2006, 07:34:41 AM
I just went ahead and fixed FLAC. Also took the opportunity to change Frog's OS support to Win/Mac/Linux

So, what codecs should go to the top row? I think the ones that must be there are WavPack, Flac, Monkey's and ALAC. Anything else is negotiable. Please post your opinions soon, so that I can work on it this weekend.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kwanbis on 28 April, 2006, 08:26:30 AM
What formats go to the top row? FLAC and WavPack obviously, then Monkey's, Frog, ALAC and...?

you could use the last lossless poll as a guide.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 28 April, 2006, 08:40:25 AM

What formats go to the top row? FLAC and WavPack obviously, then Monkey's, Frog, ALAC and...?

you could use the last lossless poll as a guide.


I'm using it as a guide

But other than the four most voted codecs, there are too few votes. Fifth place is Frog, with whooping 3 votes!!
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Cosmo on 28 April, 2006, 11:50:35 PM
For now, I would either
replace Real and Shorten with WavPack and WMA,
or just replace Real with WavPack.

If/when YALAC is added, I would favor it over Shorten and WMA.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 April, 2006, 12:55:07 AM
If/when YALAC is added, I would favor it over Shorten and WMA.


I want to see it pick up popularity first :B

I would still bet more on ALS than YALAC for widespread support.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Cosmo on 29 April, 2006, 01:54:36 AM
I agree. And I think it's fair to wait before adding YALAC at all, until it at least reaches the release phase.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 April, 2006, 11:28:10 AM
I agree. And I think it's fair to wait before adding YALAC at all, until it at least reaches the release phase.


Sure, sure. Specially because, as it is now, we know nothing at all about it, other that it runs on windows and is able to compress audio data
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: boombaard on 29 April, 2006, 11:53:46 AM
I agree. And I think it's fair to wait before adding YALAC at all, until it at least reaches the release phase.


Sure, sure. Specially because, as it is now, we know nothing at all about it, other that it runs on windows and is able to compress audio data


and that it does so more quickly and better than both wavpack&flac
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 April, 2006, 12:50:48 PM
and that it does so more quickly and better than both wavpack&flac


I'll only believe that after I see it in Heijden's graph
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 April, 2006, 05:37:58 PM
OK, I reworked the table somewhat. WavPack went up, Real lossless went down. I didn't touch Shorten yet because I'm waiting to see if it should be replaced with WMA, or if YALAC will really become wildly popular and should rather take Shorten's place.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mr_Rabid_Teddybear on 01 June, 2006, 10:35:45 PM
Not that I think there's too much good to be said for the Shorten format, but in the naime of fairness, setting "hardware support" to "yes" for WavPack and "no" for Shorten in the table isn't (quite fair).
The difference are one device called "Roku PhotoBridge HD" in favour of WavPack. Apart from that, they both share the same hardware support, and it's called RockBox....

Lossless codecs currently supported by RockBox are ALAC, FLAC, WavPack and Shorten.

Infact, I'm right now listening to a Henry Kaiser gig in Shorten format downloaded from Archive.org on my iRiver H340.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 01 June, 2006, 10:50:35 PM
Not that I think there's too much good to be said for the Shorten format, but in the naime of fairness, setting "hardware support" to "yes" for WavPack and "no" for Shorten in the table isn't (quite fair).


Go ahead and fix it then! I didn't even know Shorten was supported in Rockbox.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: kanak on 26 September, 2006, 04:03:37 PM
It'd be great if the table mentions whether the format supports Embedded Cue Sheet.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 26 September, 2006, 06:57:07 PM
It'd be great if the table mentions whether the format supports Embedded Cue Sheet.


I don't think that feature is meaningful enough. How many players support embedded cue sheet in lossless codecs?

That feature is mentioned in the individual comparisons though.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: audiomonkeyboy on 29 October, 2006, 10:40:53 AM
I just started backing up my cd collection with FLAC.  From what I gather, FLAC is the best format for compatiblity and long term storage.  Im not worried to much about filesize, as long as its close to other formats.  Anyone have a different opinion?  I would be curious to know since I just started using FLAC.

Thanks.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 29 October, 2006, 11:03:04 AM
... FLAC is the best format for compatiblity and long term storage...  Anyone have a different opinion? ...

FLAC is certainly a good format, but if it's only about archiving you don't have to worry much about compatibility. When I did lossless archiving some time ago I used Monkey extra high (-c4000) cause compression ratio is a bit better while encoding speed is still good. There was a discussion about Monkey here a few weeks ago and the discussion went for a while that error recovery isn't good with monkey. While this is true if you care a lot about your archive (do a second backup for instance because you do want to avoid a broken archive) there is nothing to be afraid of.

That's why I personnally would still prefer Monkey, but this isn't an essential preference: compression ratio among all the well-used encoders like FLAC, wavPack or Monkey doesn't differ very much.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Fandango on 29 October, 2006, 11:21:24 AM
I wonder what's the point of good error robustness anyway... I mean if the lossless audio file was damaged, then it's not lossless anymore.

The only practical way to make archiving really error robust is to use external error recovery systems like PAR2 or similar.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 29 October, 2006, 11:34:38 AM
I shouldn't have written about error recovery but about error robustness as Fandango did, cause errors aren't recovered with FLAC. The effect of an error is just more local using FLAC.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: audiomonkeyboy on 29 October, 2006, 12:40:15 PM
I shouldn't have written about error recovery but about error robustness as Fandango did, cause errors aren't recovered with FLAC. The effect of an error is just more local using FLAC.


Are errors recovered by any lossless format? 

When you say use PAR, are their any settings or # of files that you recommend to use?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 29 October, 2006, 12:55:07 PM
My method of choice (for my meanwhile lossy archive) is to backup to a second HD, to backup moreover to DVD from time to time, (and with my lossy productive archive I have another copy on my DAP). I keep these archives fairly well synchronized (not exactly true for the DVD archive).

As for PAR Fandango may be able to give an answer.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 October, 2006, 02:05:38 PM
I wonder what's the point of good error robustness anyway... I mean if the lossless audio file was damaged, then it's not lossless anymore.

The only practical way to make archiving really error robust is to use external error recovery systems like PAR2 or similar.


The point is that, if the codec is robust, you can at least recover most of the damaged file. That's the point of archiving: protecting your precious data so that you can recover as much as possible should a catastrophe happen.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 29 October, 2006, 02:12:29 PM
... That's the point of archiving: protecting your precious data so that you can recover as much as possible should a catastrophe happen. ...

Right, but in the catastrophy case (broken backup medium or so) you must expect to get into more serious trouble than just one file corrupted at one place. So thinking about a robust backup strategy is the better way to go IMO.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 October, 2006, 02:14:52 PM
Right, but in the catastrophy case (broken backup medium or so)


Catastrophy could also be a CD scratch, specially when you use Monkey's... :B
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 29 October, 2006, 02:44:41 PM
[Catastrophy could also be a CD scratch, specially when you use Monkey's... :B

As always, everything depends on what you expect. If your only concern is a tiny DVD scratch you are right.
But if you are thinking about a scratch all over a DVD things are different similar to the case when the DVD isn't readable at all.

A broken medium doesn't make the archiver happy, no matter whether using Monkey or FLAC. Moreover even if only one file is affected (but I can only be sure with further testing) I don't like the idea of using the corrupted file even if the corruptness effect is kept local. If it's just one file I'd rather rerip in case I had no backup.

Anyway to me it's essential to use a robust backup strategy.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 29 October, 2006, 07:15:20 PM
As always, everything depends on what you expect. If your only concern is a tiny DVD scratch you are right.
But if you are thinking about a scratch all over a DVD things are different similar to the case when the DVD isn't readable at all.

A broken medium doesn't make the archiver happy, no matter whether using Monkey or FLAC.


yada yada. I don't know about you, but I never managed to accidentaly break a CD or DVD in two. Scratching, OTOH, is pretty much trivial.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: halb27 on 30 October, 2006, 02:12:48 AM
yada yada. I don't know about you, but I never managed to accidentaly break a CD or DVD in two. Scratching, OTOH, is pretty much trivial.

It's been more than once that I was not able to read an old data CD/DVD at all.
Because of that I don't totally rely on DVD backups. My primary backup media are my second HD in my PC as well as the HD on my DAP, and from time to time I do an additional backup to DVD-RWs.

But we shouldn't continue this forever. Sure it's an advantage that FLAC is more error robust. But whether or not this is considered to be of practical importance is up to everybody and his personal considerations what kind of errors he wants to protect against, what kind of corrupted files are acceptible to him, and how he thinks about a backup strategy.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Egor on 30 October, 2006, 06:03:04 AM
Many people here (incl. me) use lossless archives not only as a backup, but also for transcoding-for-a-portable purposes. In such case decoding speed should be considered as a more important factor for codec comparisons than compression ratio.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 12:34:55 PM
I use MAC -c3000 which, like flac, can decode through errors (though how important is this really when you legally own the rights to your music?).

I think the decoding speed at this setting is just fine and am more than happy to give a little for it's superior compression over flac.

And for those who feel that one should consider both compression and  speed, MAC -c3000 encodes *much* faster than flac when it is set to encode at a compression ratio that is competitive.  Unless you plan on decoding more than a couple of times and are using -c3000, speed considerations should also include encoding time.

When using -c2000, the compression ratios are usually still better than anything flac can deliver AND the decoding speed is more comprable.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 30 October, 2006, 02:02:47 PM
I use MAC -c3000 which, like flac, can decode through errors (though how important is this really when you legally own the rights to your music?).

What does that mean?  (emphasis is mine)

Quote
And for those who feel that one should consider both compression and  speed, MAC -c3000 encodes *much* faster than flac when it is set to encode at a compression ratio that is competitive.

Wrong: flac can't even compete with monkey's -c3000 on encoding ratio (and even with -c1000, at least with flac <1.1.2). The comparison is therefore pointless. flac works asymetrically (encoding speed is disconnected from the decoding one and the extra computation can't therefore be very 'ratio-efficient') whereas monkey is symetrical (you can expect much better ratios with complex encoding but the decoding speed will necessary drop).

Quote
When using -c2000, the compression ratios are usually still better than anything flac can deliver AND the decoding speed is more comprable.

Certainly not. Decoding speed on my computer:
flac -8 = x60 [x42 with foobar2000 0.8]
MAC -c2000 = x16

then speek comparison (http://members.home.nl/w.speek/comparison.htm):
flac -8 = x44
MAC -c2000 = x16

and hans heiden (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/All.htm)
flac -8 = ~x50
mac -c2000 = ~x18

=> MAC -c2000 is between three and four time slower than flac.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 02:20:34 PM
I forget that in some places it is ok to have a lossles copy of a disc that you never purchased.

But I don't feel like getting into it with you today guruboolez.  Forget I even said anything.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 October, 2006, 02:54:51 PM
But I don't feel like getting into it with you today guruboolez.


How magnanimous. I would probably say the same after such a through beating :B
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 30 October, 2006, 03:01:44 PM
I forget that in some places it is ok to have a lossles copy of a disc that you never purchased.

You mostly forgot the point of a backup: it's to get substitutes of the original discs in case you lost some of them. Being legal doesn't mean being indestructible and unstealable. Otherwise people wouldn't spent hundred and hundred dollars in DVD-R, HDD and in addition spend a good part of their free time to make perfect copies and build a robust archiving strategy.
The legal aspect doesn't change the problem - that's why I'm asking for a clarification of your comment: it sounds senseless to me.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 03:20:53 PM
I thought you were above playing the troll, Roberto.  I hope you still don't think that MAC can't decode through errors as your table suggests.   

@guruboolez:
A good archiving strategy involves redundancy.  If you don't have a copy to re-rip, then you better make sure you still have a backup.

PS:  As much as I loath the concept, in the US, if your disc is lost, broken or stolen, I'm pretty sure you no longer have the right to a digital copy unless you purchased it separately.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 October, 2006, 03:27:52 PM
I thought you were above playing the troll, Roberto.


haha, look who's speaking!

Quote
I hope you still don't think that MAC can't decode through errors as your table suggests. 


I did several tests, documented them and released the results. Where are your tests?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 03:31:08 PM
haha, look who's speaking!
The rubber/glue argument.  How cute!

I did several tests, documented them and released the results. Where are your tests?
I suppose you didn't try a file compressed using the High setting using Winamp's Disc Writer?

I guess your test wasn't that thorough. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 October, 2006, 03:33:45 PM
I suppose you didn't try a file compressed using the High setting using Winamp's Disc Writer?


I used the default setting, on Winamp, foobar and mac.exe

While it indeed worked fine when I just swapped bits, it borked on every case when I deleted bits: winamp crashed, mac.exe exited with an error, and foobar spit an error at the console.


So, where are your tests?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 03:40:05 PM
You're right, when you delete some bytes the output from that point forward is pretty much toast.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 October, 2006, 03:46:45 PM
You're right, when you delete some bytes the output from that point forward is pretty much toast.


Right. And, for instance, in network transfers, it's much more likely to lose some bits (lose a packet) than get those bits replaced by something else. So, I guess (?) that kind of error is more common.

FLAC and WavPack, on the other hand, somehow manage to resync after missing some bits. I think that's because WavPack and FLAC are packet based. I suspect Monkey's isn't packet based, like WavPack3.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 03:51:30 PM
I thought about what type of corruption would cause missing bits and came up with the same conclusion.

Of course this brings us back to the issue of legal ownership.

I wish your chart had a better ranking/explanation for error handling.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 30 October, 2006, 03:53:15 PM
So, where are your tests?

Last time (here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=48642&view=findpost&p=434547)) I had to bring myself the proof that Greynol's claim was wrong.
A bit like God integrists, Greynol is by defaut right... unless you can prove the opposite.

As I already said in a past topic, I encountered a -c2000 encoded files which was completely unreadable after the error even with Winamp. But as I can't submit it, I'm surely wrong...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 03:58:38 PM
This was a good discussion and I learned something from it.  It would have been nicer (for me) that the missing bytes issue was addressed in the other thread so that we wouldn't have to go a second round.

You weren't surely wrong, guruboolez, you just never bothered to tell me why, or else I would have found it out myself as I did with Roberto's help.  I tried to find your claim about -c2000 encoded files being completely unreadable, sadly I couldn't.  I'm not saying that you didn't say that, just that I'd like to read it since it sounds like I offended you by holding you to some sort of standard.  (this is reminding me of trumpets )
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: guruboolez on 30 October, 2006, 04:08:17 PM
Tell you what? (it's clearer after your edit)
Quote
I tried to find your claim about -c2000 encoded files being completely unreadable, sadly I couldn't
I can't myself. I thought I precised it but obviously I didn't.
But what I don't understand now is why you challenged Roberto to decode a corrupted -c3000 encoding? The previous discussion didn't conclude on the possibility (or impossibility) to decode corrupted ape file according to the profile.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rjamorim on 30 October, 2006, 04:14:15 PM
Of course this brings us back to the issue of legal ownership.


Oh, come on... I can have the APE files on my computer and stream them over wi-fi to the media center in my living room. No legal issues whatsoever there.

As for the better explanation on error ranking: sure, as long as someone takes his time to throughtly test all involved codecs.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 30 October, 2006, 04:25:56 PM
Sorry, I was thinking p2p transfers.

@guruboolez:
What do you mean "tell you what?"?
I've found no past topic where you stated -c2000 couldn't decode.  Perhaps you can give me a link.  My point being was that Roberto was able to explain how a -c2000 file can get corrupted beyond the ability to decode.  This was quite a bit more helpful than opting to compare me with a God integrist.

@Roberto: Thanks for acknowledging my comment about the chart.  This is all I really ever wanted from you regarding this subject.

EDIT: Would it be too difficult to simply describe the criteria of the test to determine "error handling" in a footnote?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Alex B on 30 October, 2006, 05:35:54 PM
Right. And, for instance, in network transfers, it's much more likely to lose some bits (lose a packet) than get those bits replaced by something else. So, I guess (?) that kind of error is more common.

TCP/IP and for example NetBeui are error correcting protocols. You cannot lose a packet because of network errors. Your LAN would be generally unusable before you start losing packets. Naturally you can have faulty hardware like bad memory sticks or broken network adapters that cause errors or your network connection can be too slow for real time playback, but these are different issues.

Even on WAN it is unlikely that a direct file transfer would not be perfect. TCP adjusts its error correction parameters automaticallly when the connection is less than perfect. It just gets slow. Streaming for real time playback is a different story, but this applies only to those lossless formats that can be streamed.

Edit: typo
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Fifoxtasy on 25 May, 2007, 11:41:10 PM
i wish there was an up to date graph like this one (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm) on the wiki's comparison page
i think this is by far the best way to present differences in codec performance.
codecs just have too many modes to just put one comression ratio and speed.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Allan Gabston-Howell on 31 May, 2007, 02:36:29 PM
I have to find myself questioning the validity of "Doesn't support RIFF chunks" as a 'CON' for any lossless format.  The obsolete RIFF structure has not been adopted by any new multimedia formats since the early 90's; and, even microsoft has abandoned it in favor of the DRM-crippled ASF container format.

Comparing ASFs other features against the cadre of other container formats out there, there is nothing compelling about the format which would otherwise foster its adoption.  Matroska or NUT are far more worthy container format choices, IMHO.

I am also somewhat confused with regard to defining the lack of hybrid/lossy modes, for any lossless format,  as a 'CON'.  My perspective is that my choice of a lossless audio format precludes any interest in lossy audio compression scheme, thus rendering any hybrid format as irrelevant.  For my needs, that is the exact case.

It seems reasonable to anticipate that, were I to desire a lossy compression storage scheme, I would select a lossy compression format; not a lossless compression format that is trying to be all things to all people; and, in all likelihood, not accomplishing either task very well at all.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Domenic on 13 September, 2009, 08:46:56 PM
I'm sorry if it's bad to bump this topic, but FFmpeg now supports ALAC encoding, therefore ALAC has Linux support.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Dewey, Cheathem and Howe on 27 October, 2009, 09:52:18 PM
1. LOWER COMPRESSION BUT HIGHER CPU USAGE
2. NO COMPRESSION MODE TO SELECT

EDIT : But compared with Monkey's Audio, WMA still use more power.

WMA = 34.0MB = ~13% CPU Usage
Monkey's Audio - High = 33.7MB = ~7% CPU Usage


I've heard this term used throughout this discussion, but what is "pipe support"?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: bryant on 27 October, 2009, 11:39:00 PM
Pipe support means that the codec command-line encoder/decoder can accept input from stdin and/or send output to stdout.

Many tools (like foobar) have provisions to use encoders that support stdin to encode without intermediate files, and other programs (like Logitech's SqueezeCenter) can use decoders with stdout support to play otherwise unsupported formats.

And, of course, on Linux everything uses pipes! 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Mach-X on 23 December, 2012, 01:52:04 AM
This is a ham-fisted reply, but can't we just stick with FLAC for all our lossless archiving needs? Having all these different codecs is confusing. I'm fine with different lossy codecs but for archiving purposes hasn't FLAC been established de facto yet? Its open source, supported natively by sansa's and cowon's excellent daps, as well as android. Am I missing something here? Wouldn't it be better suited for all these different developers to try and improve the FLAC format itself, thereby providing a single universal lossless codec?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Destroid on 23 December, 2012, 05:58:29 AM
This thread is ancient, but I'll bite...

Yes, there is no inherit downside to FLAC. But people want more. I feel any lossless codec that 'delivers' (input = output) is still worthy and useful. Since lossless compression (in digital data) is visible all over the place (ZIP/RAR/7z/PNG and et cetera) it seems taken for granted. Then there is the issues of support (platform/licensing/third-party software) and versatility.

Nowadays I am much more hippie about lossless audio codecs since I joined HA and I have come to embrace all of the formats  But I also understand the confusion of the lack of standard lossless audio format. Despite MPEG-4 using the LPAC derivative I have yet to witness its adoption in regards across all areas of consumer audio (I expect parts of its technology might exist in Dolby TrueHD).

The "best" lossless codec? It would appear to be the same as asking, "What is the best formal designer clothing?" It depends on the person and what their expectations are. I guess try them them all out and decide which is most comfortable. Personally, I decided that fixating on a single brand may hinder myself in the long run since all of them are useful and better than going naked (meaning error correction and tagging and so on  ).

edit: grammar
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 30 December, 2012, 10:40:14 AM
Hi guys,

I know this is an ancient thread, but I would like to say something about the wikipage this thread relates to, instead of 'just' editing the wiki without telling why. I did some tests for the lossless comparison I'm currently working on, and I found some results that are quite different from the data in the Wiki.

First, WMA Lossless has, according to the Wiki, compression ratio's surpassing TAK, FLAC and WavPack. This recent comparison (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=97310) shows that's really wrong, and my own comparison tells me the same. I suppose the table states compression ratios associated with the default setting of each encoder, so WMA Lossless should have a ratio higher than FLAC probably. According to my tests, it should be 1.5 percentage point higher.

Second, WMA Lossless is actually pretty fast according to my tests. Could it be they sped up the encoder or changed the preset in the past 8 years?

I'll add some graphs of the Windows-part of the tests. First the encoding part: (note this was compared to FLAC -6)
(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=44892dd06c91c2b1e361be5ec4fc5804" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/windows-enc.png)

Last the decoding part:
(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=7fcc0e1337c5c2a71c5d6f66a6750479" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/windows-dec.png)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 30 December, 2012, 11:35:16 AM
Quote
According to my tests, it should be 1.5 percentage point higher.
Second, WMA Lossless is actually pretty fast according to my tests. Could it be they sped up the encoder or changed the preset in the past 8 years?


Yes, I noticed this too.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 18 June, 2013, 04:47:20 AM
First, WMA Lossless has, according to the Wiki, compression ratio's surpassing TAK, FLAC and WavPack. This recent comparison (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=97310) shows that's really wrong, and my own comparison tells me the same. I suppose the table states compression ratios associated with the default setting of each encoder, so WMA Lossless should have a ratio higher than FLAC probably. According to my tests, it should be 1.5 percentage point higher.

This is getting really weird.

I got the results from my previous post on an updated Windows 7 computer. I did the conversion through dBpowerAMP with the Windows Media Player 10 Pro release. However, I am migrating my test setup to an old computer running Windows XP (using software mentioned here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=98665&view=findpost&p=828149)) and I got some preliminary results that are completely different. It is a different set of samples, but the results shouldn't have this much of a gap really.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=5a94b24f0c1da561f84e84a67e0f9bbb" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/new-results-WMA-lossless.png)

Does anyone have any idea why this big difference? These results on Windows XP were with Windows Media Player 11 installed and indicate a pretty slow codec with fairly nice compression ratios, but the results on the Windows 7 computer show a much faster codec, but with less compression. Or could it have to do something with dBpowerAMP?

What should I do with this?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: TBeck on 18 June, 2013, 05:07:53 AM
Probably the explaination is a lot simplier, but one quick hypothesis:

1) Maybe the codec is using different filter implementations depending on the available instruction set extensions and/or the cpu speed.
2) Possibly those implementations are not equally accurate mathematically.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: BECHA on 11 July, 2013, 07:38:18 PM
Best lossless for what?
I stick currently with
1. wavpack
2. FLAC
3. ALAC
4. APE

I use
wavpack for
  CD image rips 16/44100
  Vinyl image rips 24/96000

FLAC
  Vinyl image and tracks rips 24/192000

ALAC
  CD tracks rips 16/44100

APE
  Vinyl image and tracks rips 24/192000

I listen to my audio collection rips in or at
car
  Mostly wavpack and flac using Kamerton Android application and stream to car's HU

work
  Mostly wavpack and flac using Kamerton Android application direct Grado headphones connection

Home
  wavpack, FLAC, APE, ALAC from laptop USB connected headphone amplifier to Shure headphones, application MediaChest
  wavpack, FLAC, APE, ALAC from Raspberry Pi HDMI connected to Denon receiver, application Music Barrel

So far I found wavpack as my best choice, reasons are
1. versitile format but suitable more for keeping images
2. Flexibility in packaging as single .wv or ISO packaged
3. Suitable for bit rates up to 24/192000
4. Allows seek without additional navigation table as FLAC or APE require
5. Reasonable CPU consumption, you can observe that my playing devices either Android phones or Raspberry Pi

So verdict is
WAVPACk is the winner!

Second place is shared by FLAC and ALAC, and 3rd place goes to APE.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 12 July, 2013, 03:54:48 PM
Vinyl image rips 24/96000
[...]
  Vinyl image and tracks rips 24/192000


... well ... ehm ... I should know better than asking, but ... why?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: boombaard on 19 August, 2013, 09:45:37 AM
Vinyl image rips 24/96000
[...]
  Vinyl image and tracks rips 24/192000


... well ... ehm ... I should know better than asking, but ... why?

to inflate the file size, of course! Or perhaps because of the overtones being 'preserved'. Or perhaps it's because we will shortly be able to GM our ears so that we will be able to hear everything up to 40kHz?
There's a few vinyl digitization efforts going on on various classical blogs that believe strongly in the value of digitizing at 96k/24 or 192k/24; I don't mind because foobar can dither, but it seems a bit of a waste of disk space..
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: bennetng on 04 January, 2014, 01:58:18 PM
flac
+ high compatibility over different hard/software, ultra-fast encoder (flaccl)
- no floating point support

wavpack
+ floating point support to archive DAW exports without worrying about dithering/clipping/normalizing.
- not as popluar as flac

Other formats are pretty useless for me, don't really care about slight file size variations among different formats as they are already much smaller than uncompressed formats.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuxman on 29 January, 2014, 01:40:28 PM
Hmm,

when I started compressing my CDs as lossless audio files, FLAC was the most widely spread format which also worked on my mobile "MP3" player, so there was no choice.

These days, as I find myself mainly listening to music on my laptop and my smartphone (with headphones), I'm not sure if I should try TAK instead. (Admittedly, TAK support for my music playing app is still "planned".) How's the common conception for this?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 29 January, 2014, 02:00:20 PM
These days, as I find myself mainly listening to music on my laptop and my smartphone (with headphones), I'm not sure if I should try TAK instead. (Admittedly, TAK support for my music playing app is still "planned".) How's the common conception for this?

I think it's an awesome idea, switch to a codec your player doesn't support.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuxman on 29 January, 2014, 02:06:18 PM
It's planned. 

So if it comes, will TAK have any notable advantages to FLAC? I have indeed read about its (great) speed, but...?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 29 January, 2014, 02:09:28 PM
It's planned. 

So if it comes, will TAK have any notable advantages to FLAC? I have indeed read about its (great) speed, but...?

It is much smaller and decoding/encoding speed are similar. It's awesome yes.

Here one of the latest tests: http://www.icer.nl/losslesstest/ (http://www.icer.nl/losslesstest/)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuxman on 29 January, 2014, 02:11:19 PM
Good to know, thanks. 
Time for some reading.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 29 January, 2014, 04:14:03 PM
Much smaller?
I encoded several CD albums to FLAC and TAK (max. compression settings) and the average difference in file size is ~3.5%.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 29 January, 2014, 04:45:41 PM
Much smaller?
I encoded several CD albums to FLAC and TAK (max. compression settings) and the average difference in file size is ~3.5%.

3.5% of 1TB is ~36GB. I use ALAC for what I care but that can be considered a lot by some.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: pdq on 29 January, 2014, 05:41:35 PM
At $50 per TB that is $1.75. You pay several times that for one CD.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 29 January, 2014, 06:08:59 PM
On portable equipment, better compression could mean that you don't have to buy a new unit.
(Why use lossless on your "mp3 player"? If your entire collection fits, then you have another backup.)

But honestly ... even at this forum, where the interest in comparing lossless formats is arguably way above consumer average, what are we using TAK for? I'd say "getting impressed" would be way more common "use" than storing music.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuxman on 29 January, 2014, 06:12:02 PM
(Why use lossless on your "mp3 player"?)


Because my laptop doesn't fit in my pocket.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 01 April, 2014, 05:06:58 PM
Hi all,

Because of some recent discussion around this post (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188&view=findpost&p=862021) I thought it would be a good idea to find out how error resistent ALAC/Apple Lossless is. I did this by encoding files with both iTunes 11.1.5.5 and avconv 0.8.10 (fork of ffmpeg supplied with Ubuntu 13.10), corrupting them in various ways and then trying to decode them with both iTunes and avconv.

With some light corruption, most files played well in both iTunes and ffmpeg, however the sections with the corruptions are transformed to noise of a short duration, about 50ms. As I introduced more corruption (or placed them closer together) iTunes stopped decoding with an error at some point, while avconv threw some errors but continued decoding. If there is a corruption in the metadata, both ffmpeg and iTunes do not decode anything and return an error, where this is no problem with FLAC, as such metadata is repeated every frame. Things are worse with deleted bytes (but then again, I don't know how often a single byte gets deleted?), no matter where I delete a byte, from that point on, the file cannot be decoded anymore by both iTunes and avconv. A small corruption (one byte) give a typical decoded waveform like the one shown below:

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=7e2b41f64a048907aea6e1bf402f1ad9" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/alac-corruption.png)

Finally, I skimmed through the ffmpeg source relevant to ALAC, and there is no mention of CRC-checks or MD5summing, so I suppose it hasn't got any. If I compare the results to this post (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=316496), I can conclude that ALAC is probably the worst lossless codec with respect to error handling, as it doesn't detect corruption, while most other decoders at least crash or warn you that the file is corrupt. In case of light corruption in non-critical parts however, files can be still be decoded and the affected parts are very short. With more corruption, iTunes simply refuses to play or convert the file.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 01 April, 2014, 05:17:54 PM
First of all thank you very much for this!

Now, I am a normal non expert user, why would I want to decode a corrupted file anyway? I kinda like that it doesn't so I know right away which one I have to replace? Does foobar2000 give the same decoding error as iTunes?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 01 April, 2014, 05:26:53 PM
The problem with ALAC is that you won't know that a file is corrupt until you hear it. Both ffmpeg and iTunes just didn't know the files were corrupt until there was a corruption in the metadata, apparently. The only give you an error if the corruption is in a certain spot so to say.

For me, being able to decode through errors is a possible feature. I save all my recordings in FLAC, and having a small corruption 'destroying' the whole file would be a problem. Now I can just decode the file and fix the ~100ms with problems or work around it. For a user with only files sourced from a CD or downloaded, that is perhaps not a feature indeed.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: d125q on 01 April, 2014, 05:30:35 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with ktf. If you're anal about having 'perfect' CD-rips (and most importantly, verifiable by AccurateRip / CTDB), then error detection is a must. foobar2000, for example, has an option to inform you about errors on playback start, which is quite amazing, as it allows you do locate erroneous files as soon as you attempt to play them back. However, this will likely not work with ALAC as it stores no MD5 check-sums.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: yourlord on 01 April, 2014, 06:06:52 PM
For me, being able to decode through errors is a possible feature. I save all my recordings in FLAC, and having a small corruption 'destroying' the whole file would be a problem.


Store your files on a redundant system with block level checksumming and stop worrying about it. My archive lives on a ZFS striped mirror set. ZFS calculates and stores a checksum for each block and verifies it every time it's read. If a file is corrupted it will silently correct and rewrite it using the available redundant data. My server scrubs my entire archive every week which validates every block on every mirror. Combined with automated snapshots and periodic differentials, even corruption caused by software writing errantly can be caught and corrected, though I export my archives to the network as read-only so no clients can corrupt them.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 01 April, 2014, 06:09:37 PM
The problem with ALAC is that you won't know that a file is corrupt until you hear it.

Sorry I thought I understood it doesn't even play if it's corrupted?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: nu774 on 02 April, 2014, 01:47:35 AM
I'd agree on ALAC's lack of checksum, but for other tests (byte deletion or something) I'd say it's not a codec design but rather container property (I assume MP4 is being used) that is typical to non redundant, structured general purpose container format.

MPEG-TS is designed for unstable transport in mind (DVB or something), with error correction and synchronization features for robustness. It is robust and redundant, but lacking support on indexed seeking etc.

On the other hand, MP4 is not designed for robustness at all (despite of being also used on network streaming). Indeed, merely one byte of deletion will break the whole structure on MP4. However, not being redundant means smaller file size. It also supports sample accurate, indexed seeking and other rich feature sets that MPEG-TS does not provide. In short, it is more efficient and easy to treat on the local environment.

These two formats have different purposes, requirements, and feature sets. One cannot conclude that one is superior than other.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 02 April, 2014, 03:55:35 AM
The problem with ALAC is that you won't know that a file is corrupt until you hear it.

Sorry I thought I understood it doesn't even play if it's corrupted?

No, it will play the file until there is either a byte deleted (but most codecs don't handle that) or there is a byte corrupted in the wrong place. I know, I should post a few example files to prove my point. Luckily I have some CDs from Magnatune in my collection, so that music is licensed under Creative Commons by-nc-sa (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/1.0/). This particular track is Amnesia from Ehren Starks on the album Lines Build Walls.

The original file, encoded by iTunes 11.1.5.5: http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/0...ia-Original.m4a (http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/02Amnesia-Original.m4a)
File still decoded by iTunes, even with errors: http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/0...InRightSpot.m4a (http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/02Amnesia-CorruptedBytesInRightSpot.m4a)
File not decoded by iTunes: http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/0...InWrongSpot.m4a (http://www.icer.nl/misc_stuff/ALAC-tests/02Amnesia-CorruptedByteInWrongSpot.m4a)

You can listen what happens. FWIW, some errors in the file that is still decodable are recognized by different players, for example, mplayer know there's something wrong at 15.8 seconds but doesn't recognize the corruption at 7.6 seconds.

I'd agree on ALAC's lack of checksum, but for other tests (byte deletion or something) I'd say it's not a codec design but rather container property (I assume MP4 is being used) that is typical to non redundant, structured general purpose container format.

That's very true indeed, but for audio purposes, using a certain container is implied. FLAC can be used with it's native format, stored in OGG, Matroska of AVI, but most audio players will only accept it's native format AFAIK. If there is a 'safer' container format that is widely supported the table should be changed, but for now, ALAC is usually packed in MP4.

edit: okay, I just fixed the downloading issue.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 02 April, 2014, 04:02:08 AM
On [A|F]LAC:

However, not being redundant means smaller file size. It also supports sample accurate, indexed seeking and other rich feature sets that MPEG-TS does not provide. In short, it is more efficient and easy to treat on the local environment.

These two formats have different purposes, requirements, and feature sets. One cannot conclude that one is superior than other.


Is there any support for the claim that ALAC is any more efficient than the competition? True, it can be argued that it likely is more efficient when compared to a hypothetical redundancy/robustness-enhanced version of ALAC, but that is no argument to choose either ALAC nor hypothetical-nonexistent-ALAC.

As far as I can see, FLAC -5 compresses better, encodes quicker and decodes quicker than any ALAC setting. From the parameters mentioned in the knowledgebase article, I find none of technical nature that gives any reason to prefer ALAC. Of "non-technical" reasons I can only think of support in the Apple ecosystem - is there any other reason whatsoever to use ALAC?


These two formats have different purposes, requirements, and feature sets. One cannot conclude that one is superior than other.


If one format is still weaker than the other on every parameter, despite targetting a different purpose and feature set, then it is worse, isn't it?


I'd say it's not a codec design but rather container property (I assume MP4 is being used)


What other containers are there? Matroska can contain ALAC, but is it checksummed?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 02 April, 2014, 04:27:07 AM
I find none of technical nature that gives any reason to prefer ALAC. Of "non-technical" reasons I can only think of support in the Apple ecosystem - is there any other reason whatsoever to use ALAC? [...] If one format is still weaker than the other on every parameter, despite targetting a different purpose and feature set, then it is worse, isn't it?


In the most updated (August 2013) comparison test linked to at http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison) , there seems to me that there is a single TAK setting that improves over ALAC on every single parameter on every single sample.
It is nearly so for FLAC over ALAC: FLAC -4 to -6 improves on encoding speed AND decoding speed AND file size over BOTH ALAC settings except for a few files, where the fastest ALAC setting encodes only slightly quicker than FLAC -4 and possibly -5, at the cost of file size. That means you have to cherry-pick a very few samples, disregard filesize AND assume the FLAC users will not change their settings while the ALAC user will consistently do so in order to beat the FLAC user on that single parameter.

Comparing ALAC to WMAL, then on the wasted bit hi-rez signal Microsoft improves over ALAC on filesize, at the cost of decoding speed, but otherwise Microsoft has to force the ALAC user to stick to one setting to improve on one parameter. ALAC is not so much a clear-cut improvement over WMAL as FLAC is over ALAC, but you would have to be very stubborn to call WMAL any better.  Heck, even Shorten beats WMAL and ALAC on decoding speed on certain signals! If you think this means that Shorten is tied to WMAL/ALAC, then still it doesn't mean that ALAC is tied to FLAC.

I'd say that someone has to come up with a genius feature of ALAC to save it from "worse than FLAC in every respect" in my book, not to mention worse than TAK - as long as we are talking technical measurements and not support.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: nu774 on 02 April, 2014, 04:33:27 AM
Porcus:
My comparison is about MPEG-TS and MP4. Not about FLAC and ALAC.
I wanted the argument to be more strict. Codec and container are different things, and "issue" introduced by byte removal or breaking "metadata" (that is, MP4 box structure) is in fact a property of MP4 container.

As I've written, I agree on ALAC is very weak on error detection due to lack of checksum.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: detmek on 02 April, 2014, 05:53:04 AM
It seams that there isn't any lossless codec for archiving purposes. Even FLAC offers error detection only but not error correction.
So, if one wants to store his music collection for future, he needs to have at least 2 backups (if one gets corrupted) or use 3rd party solutions like ZFS, RAR archives with recovery record or PAR2. In which case any lossless codec is good.
For every day use and working CDs backup FLAC with error detection is probably best option.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 02 April, 2014, 06:05:24 AM
It seams that there isn't any lossless codec for archiving purposes.

The question is: what does a format need to be fit for archiving purposes? Is redundancy a matter of the format, or of the medium? To give an example, the tar format has no redundancy, but it is generally regarded as an archiving format pur sang. It doesn't even have checksumming for the file, only for the header. Finally, adding redundancy doesn't diminish the need for backup, it just helps making a faulty medium more robust.

This is perhaps outside the scope of a lossless codec. Still, error handling and being able to detect errors easily is a feature IMO.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 02 April, 2014, 09:41:24 AM
Error recovery is of course not a bad thing, and I do have experienced FLAC corruption, but error recovery does not help against the two major reasons for data loss, namely dead drive and "WTF did I just do?". As they say, RAID is not for backup but for uptime.

A couple of percents PAR2-type recovery data would however be marvellous for one purpose, namely 99 percent availability among your p2p peers ...


The question is: what does a format need to be fit for archiving purposes?


That depends on what you want to archive.

A format for archiving a music CD should IMHO offer support for full TOC, of imaged mirror of any data section (not merely file contents, but bit-for-bit the exact data in the exact order) the CIRC and error pointers and full subchannel including pre-emphasis flag, be it consistent with the one in the TOC or not.

I don't know any such format. Too bad.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 03 April, 2014, 11:33:05 AM
First, to any moderator listening: I think it's a good idea to rename this thread and move it to the Wiki Discussion forum, as this thread is the discussion thread for this wiki item (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison), as it says on the bottom of that page. The first post and the title might be a bit confusing.

Second, there's something about the table on that wiki item (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison) I'd like to ask. Last week, I've been updating it with the error robustness tests of ALAC, added TAK to the list (it was in the table, I really don't know why it wasn't on the list yet), and I found something rather weird.

In the table, under TAK -> Tagging, there is APEv2, which is light green, which would mean it is not as good as ID3 and Vorbis. Furthermore, it says WavPack uses APE-tags, but according to the website, it uses APEv2. So, what's the matter with APEv2? Why would it be 'less' than for example Vorbis? Was it less supported when the table was made? Is that still the case? Should I change that? Something else: Both OptimFrog, Monkey's Audio and WavPack state ID3/APE. Does that mean that they have two sets of tags? That's a downside right, two sets of tags might create ambiguity. edit: wow, OptimFrog even supports three tagging modes, ID3v1.1, APEv2 and ID3v2 

Next, is it time to remove a few codecs from the list? La hasn't had any updates in 10 years, and it's not listed in any recent polls. What about TTA, nobody seems to use that around here? MP4 SLS, as there is still no player available anywhere (apparently?). Shorten is dead, but still used quite a lot in certain circles. Cleaning up might improve readability. Maybe I could explain a bit about them in a seperate section (like the oddball format section now), as to why they are not featured in the table and the list?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: includemeout on 04 April, 2014, 09:25:24 AM
Speaking of tags, if totally baffles me that regardless of WavPack using ID3, APEv2 or what have you, no one seems to have mentioned along all the years this thread has been on, a more than-welcome side effect of using its ad hoc hybrid encoding:

That you only have to worry about tagging the files in a supposed lossless/lossy library once, not a second time, as it would be the case with one consisting of say,  FLAC and MP3.

And most importantly: you can afford changing your mind later on and rest assured you will only have to update a single song title in your library as programs like MP3Tag take care of the rest as long as the correction file is in the same directory where the lossy file is.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: includemeout on 04 April, 2014, 09:38:00 AM
(And to avoid further edition of the previous post)

Hence my considering WavPack as the best of both worlds when it comes to lossless encoding (and just to stick to the now-ancient OP).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: marc2003 on 04 April, 2014, 09:43:38 AM
That you only have to worry about tagging the files in a supposed lossless/lossy library once, not a second time, as it would be the case with one consisting of say,  FLAC and MP3.


it's actually very easy to manage tags across a lossless/lossy collection using foobar2000. you can copy/paste from one set of files to another with ease. obviously it's imperative that each set are in the exact same order. i'm pretty sure only it only updates files where differences have been found, even if you do you whole collection at once.

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti..._sets_of_tracks (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Foobar2000:How_to_transfer_tags_between_two_sets_of_tracks)

Hence my considering WavPack as the best of both worlds when it comes to lossless encoding (and just to stick to the now-ancient OP).


yep, but i suspect a large chunk of people won't have that choice because of the portable device they use.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: includemeout on 04 April, 2014, 09:53:33 AM
obviously it's imperative that each set are in the exact same order.

IMO, that alone, deems this solution less practical than WP's.

i'm pretty sure only it only updates files where differences have been found, even if you do you whole collection at once.

That I didn't know. Thanks.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: eahm on 11 April, 2014, 03:29:20 AM
Now that the table (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table) is updated, why ID3/APEv2 is worst than APEv2 or Vorbis tags?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 11 April, 2014, 05:07:16 AM
why ID3/APEv2 is worst than APEv2 or Vorbis tags?

Please read this post (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=862168) in this topic a few weeks back.

Having two allowed (by which I mean the official software and plugins support it) tagging schemes means that you can have two sets at once. Different versions of ID3 alone can give problems, see this topic (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=105033), especially post #6. I think it's quite a downside to have two possibly conflicting versions of tags in one file.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 10 November, 2014, 11:11:53 AM
For anyone wondering, as a reminder this thread accompanies this wiki article: http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)

I've noticed some editing which I do not find reasonable, so I'd like to discuss it. A while ago, I removed TTA from the main section of the mentioned wiki page because it doesn't seem to attract much attention (at least not at HA). The edit summary:  Stripped table from and shortened text about Shorten, LA, TTA, ALS, SLS and Real Lossless

Recently, a TTA dev (Ald (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showuser=10478)) has added it to the table again, but added an extra row with the feature "Password protection". I subsequently removed this, because it is only a minor feature that is supported by only one codec. There are other features much more noteworthy like cuesheet embedding and having an MD5 hash for security. Furthermore, I sorted the table on popularity.

Apparently the TTA dev didn't agree, because the changes were undone. Furthermore, the flexibility of TTA was named 'adaptive', which is just an eufemism for not having any options, which is what the flexibility means.

What do you think? Should I go ahead and undo Ald's undo-edits? It starts to look like edit-warring
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 10 November, 2014, 11:36:20 AM
Furthermore, the flexibility of TTA was named 'adaptive'


Yes, this surprised me when I saw it several days ago.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuffy on 11 November, 2014, 08:47:01 AM
Apparently the TTA dev didn't agree, because the changes were undone. Furthermore, the flexibility of TTA was named 'adaptive', which is just an eufemism for not having any options, which is what the flexibility means.

I'm not sure I'd rate "flexibility" on a good or bad scale the same way that decoding speed or compression ratio are.  FLAC encoding has a lot of tunable parameters whereas ALAC has nearly no tunable parameters and TTA has none at all.  But I wouldn't consider the presence of lots of possible encoding knobs to necessarily be a virtue or the lack of them to be a fault.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 11 November, 2014, 10:34:24 AM
But I wouldn't consider the presence of lots of possible encoding knobs to necessarily be a virtue or the lack of them to be a fault.

Why?

If you don't like buttons, you can use all codecs without them. FLAC will default to compression level 5. So I wonder, how do you think having more options, and thus more flexibility, can be a bad thing? Just because it might frighten people to do something wrong?

I agree, that a codec like OptimFROG has so many options and combinations of them (if I set mode, should I set optimize as well? Which combination is best? etc.) but most codecs have a relatively simple system for this.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: tuffy on 11 November, 2014, 11:16:35 AM
Why?

If you don't like buttons, you can use all codecs without them. FLAC will default to compression level 5. So I wonder, how do you think having more options, and thus more flexibility, can be a bad thing? Just because it might frighten people to do something wrong?

I agree, that a codec like OptimFROG has so many options and combinations of them (if I set mode, should I set optimize as well? Which combination is best? etc.) but most codecs have a relatively simple system for this.

I just think that the effects of flexibility are more important than the presence of flexibility.  Like it's noteworthy that FLAC offers a tradeoff between encoding speed and compression ratio, but I wouldn't hold a lack of options against some hypothetical codec that doesn't offer any tune-able parameters but compresses very well.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 11 November, 2014, 11:44:08 AM
What if a codec is faster at both encoding and decoding and compresses better, but has no options?

Some codecs have so many options, to the point that it's far more confusing than effective, especially when some new codec comes along and blows it out of the water in terms of performance.

IMO, that row should either be reworked or removed. That it requires a note to explain what the title means is ridiculous.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 11 November, 2014, 11:52:27 AM
I just think that the effects of flexibility are more important than the presence of flexibility.

Those possible effects are already mentioned in the table: compression and speed are mentioned at the top. TTA chose to be inflexible, and I might compress better/faster because of this tradeoff (less development time needed tuning, less format header for different modes etc.) So, yes, not being flexible might be a advantage for a codec, but that advantage is already clearly visible someplace else in the table.

Quote
but I wouldn't hold a lack of options against some hypothetical codec that doesn't offer any tune-able parameters but compresses very well.

In that case, just ignore that row in the table. That is no reason not to leave it in for others to take into account, right?

edit:
What if a codec is faster at both encoding and decoding and compresses better, but has no options?

In that case, those benefits are already mentioned in the table.

Quote
IMO, that row should either be reworked or removed. That it requires a note to explain what the title means is ridiculous.

What about naming it presets and mentioning the number of presets that are available (for FLAC that would be 9, WavPack 4 or 4*6 if you count the x options, Monkey's 5, TTA 1 etc)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 11 November, 2014, 12:55:17 PM
With no color coding, yes, I think that would be an improvement.

I agree that the password row should be removed. I had similar reservations about 1-off features added to the secure ripper comparison page.

I often wonder:
What good are rows where there is no variation between participants?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 13 November, 2014, 07:22:16 AM
I often wonder:
What good are rows where there is no variation between participants?


Depends on whether everybody knows already, that they need not spend time digging up that piece of information.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: rosbifmark on 04 January, 2015, 06:11:59 PM
Following on from this discussion, in particular regarding error detection:

If I first rip a CD (with errors) to an ALAC file, I understand:

-there is no checksum error detection.
-with errors, the ALAC file may stop playing.

If I then convert the ALAC file to a FLAC file:

-will the new FLAC file have the checksum data present (or have I lost this capability since the file was once ALAC)?
-will the new FLAC file be able to play through the errors  (or again since it was once ALAC, will this capability be lost)?

This will help me decide if I can encode in ALAC and then at a later date, convert to FLAC (and re-gain error detection capabilities).

Cheers
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Octocontrabass on 04 January, 2015, 07:44:08 PM
If I first rip a CD (with errors) to an ALAC file, I understand:
You mean if the ALAC file is corrupted somehow, right? Your statements fit that scenario, so I'll assume that's what you are referring to.

If I then convert the ALAC file to a FLAC file:

-will the new FLAC file have the checksum data present (or have I lost this capability since the file was once ALAC)?
-will the new FLAC file be able to play through the errors  (or again since it was once ALAC, will this capability be lost)?
The new FLAC file will have a checksum, but the checksum will match the corrupt audio and not the original CD. You will be able to detect if any further corruption affects the FLAC file, but not corruption from before it was encoded to FLAC.

The new FLAC file won't have any errors to play through. It will contain a perfect copy of whatever audio you are able to get out of the ALAC file. If the ALAC file cuts short due to an error, the FLAC file will simply end there.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 05 January, 2015, 07:26:25 AM
Furthermore, the flexibility of TTA was named 'adaptive'

Yes, this surprised me when I saw it several days ago.

Also very interesting TTA property is its "High linearity". 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 06 January, 2015, 02:11:23 AM
If I first rip a CD (with errors) to an ALAC file, I understand:

-there is no checksum error detection.
-with errors, the ALAC file may stop playing.


You mean, the CD has errors making the ripping process stop midway in a track? Then no matter what format you choose, you will get a technically valid signal which is whatever the ripper managed to get out of the CD (with all those errors).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 11 February, 2015, 07:22:28 AM
A while ago, I removed TTA from the main section of the mentioned wiki page because it doesn't seem to attract much attention (at least not at HA). The edit summary:  Stripped table from and shortened text about Shorten, LA, TTA, ALS, SLS and Real Lossless


Hi, KTF! Why are you trying to remove TTA project? If you don't like it? Why?
You wrote: "Sorted table on popularity", but it's not true. I have no such statistics.
The codec have a good download statistics at Sourceforge. TTA codec still popular in Russia and Japan. You can easily found TTA files on russian torrents, but there is no files in TAK or OptimFROG formats for example.
Where did you get information about the popularity of codecs?

Recently, a TTA dev (Ald (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showuser=10478)) has added it to the table again, but added an extra row with the feature "Password protection". I subsequently removed this, because it is only a minor feature that is supported by only one codec.


Again, you have removed the "Password protection" feature from table without discussing here, why? Please be patient.
TTA codec has three significant features:

- Password protection;
- Highest encoding speed;
- Ultra low latency.

The current version of the table does not contain any of this.
You have explained it by this way: "it's only a minor feature". Please note, that this is just your opinion. Many people in the world think otherwise.
And yes, you are right, "Password protection" feature that is supported by only one codec.
This information should be in the Lossless comparison table if you want to compare codecs correctly.

Anyway, thanks for your work!
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 11 February, 2015, 08:11:12 AM
Again, you have removed the "Password protection" feature from table without discussing here, why? Please be patient.


Until such a feature has been discussed and there is some kind of consensus that it is important enough to signify a separate line in such a table, I think one should refrain from adding it. And if someone just adds it without discussion, I think the appropriate thing would be to revert the change, then discuss, and then if agreed upon, enter it.

And especially I would say this applies when a developer of one of the formats throws in a feature-line that is unique to their own product, based on their own assessment of the significance of the features of their own products. You are not by any means neutral, hm? ;-)

Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 11 February, 2015, 10:39:40 AM
- Highest encoding speed;

According to the lossless codecs comparison by ktf (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=107990), TTA encoding speed is 150x realtime, FLAC -4 is 300x, TAK -p0 is 400x. So, high but not the highest.

- Ultra low latency.

How did you measure it? 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 11 February, 2015, 12:17:08 PM
Hi, KTF! Why are you trying to remove TTA project? If you don't like it? Why?

Because there is next to no discussion about it here at HydrogenAudio, and because I haven't seen a TTA file it in the wild, ever.

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Where did you get information about the popularity of codecs?

Here: http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188)

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Again, you have removed the "Password protection" feature from table without discussing here, why?

Because it is a minor feature. Other (in my opinion more important) features, like MD5 checksumming, cuesheet support, having multiple encoding/decoding implementations, supporting 32-bit floats aren't listed either, because the table would become to large and therefore harder to read.

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TTA codec has three significant features:

- Password protection;
- Highest encoding speed;
- Ultra low latency

As said, I don't consider password protection a major feature, TTA hasn't got the highest encoding speed and for that low latency, I'd like to see some numbers in context, as I don't think it is unique in that sense.

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Many people in the world think otherwise.

No one reading this thread has agreed with you yet.

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This information should be in the Lossless comparison table if you want to compare codecs correctly.

If we include all information on features, the table gets too big. A line has to be drawn somewhere.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 11 February, 2015, 05:39:34 PM
I think that password protection is a neat feature. Just because I think it is "neat" it doesn't mean it is significant enough.

Let me just for illustration point out that the zip format - PKWare's version, that is - has since 2007 supported WavPack as its Compression Method 97. There you go, password protection. If anyone cares.

And if anyone cares, .zip as audio format isn't that hard to implement. I do not know whether it is implemented in practice - those compression methods are not universally compatible, and I do not bother to check whether VLC (or fb2k for that matter) supports Compression Method 97.

And if anyone cares, WavPack-in-zip could even be mentioned in the text in the wiki. (WavPack in .zip container isn't that unlike whatever-in-Matroska, is it?)

Now is there anyone who thinks this is worth a line in an overview table?


Other (in my opinion more important) features, like MD5 checksumming, cuesheet support, having multiple encoding/decoding implementations, supporting 32-bit floats aren't listed either, because the table would become to large and therefore harder to read.


... piping ... unicode ...
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 05:41:07 AM
- Highest encoding speed;

According to the lossless codecs comparison by ktf (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=107990), TTA encoding speed is 150x realtime, FLAC -4 is 300x, TAK -p0 is 400x. So, high but not the highest.


Please compare codecs test results with similar compression ratio:
http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html (http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html)

- Ultra low latency.

How did you measure it? 


Lower latency of the compressor is achieved by fully adaptive coding algorithm, without buffering stage, which is required in many codecs for the preliminary analysis of the encoded block of input data. The size of the buffer completely determines the delay. The TTA codec algorithm uses a single buffer of 32 bits for the formation of entire bytes from a bit sequence of variable length codes at the codec output. The buffer of this size means nearly zero delay in the encoding process. The latency of the codec was measured by my colleagues and it's value is about 0.1 ms. Note, that this value is not for console version of the codec, because the console version has a big buffers for read-write operations.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 05:47:40 AM
Until such a feature has been discussed and there is some kind of consensus that it is important enough to signify a separate line in such a table, I think one should refrain from adding it.


Sorry, I did not know about this topic before.
No problem. I will wait for results of discussion :-)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 06:08:48 AM
Hi, KTF! Why are you trying to remove TTA project? If you don't like it? Why?

Because there is next to no discussion about it here at HydrogenAudio, and because I haven't seen a TTA file it in the wild, ever.


Ok. But.. as I know the HydrogenAudio and it's Knowledge Base has been made not only for it's users.. am I right?

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Where did you get information about the popularity of codecs?

Here: http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188)


Again, This is a local poll in one topic at one site. Can you use Google, download statistics from projects pages, Page Rank of the sites e.t.c.?
Yes, the TTA codec project was frozen for a long time, but the codec still shows a good results in comparisons.
I think, that your comparison would be meaningless If you remove all of the codecs which is not popular at this time at this site. Each codec has an unique technology.
I think that you must keep the information about all codecs for future, even if the some projects will be closed.
But this is of course just my opinion.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 12 February, 2015, 06:34:35 AM
Please compare codecs test results with similar compression ratio:
http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html (http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html)

That compression chart takes one preset (the highest compression) per codec, which I don't think is fair. Please see the chart below: the TAK -p2 setting (that's the fourth point, starting with the leftmost one) is almost twice as fast as TTA, and it compresses about 1% better. TAK -p3, the seventh datapoint, is still faster but compresses almost 3% better! FLAC -6, is about as fast as TTA, and it's compression is only slightly worse. So, TTA is in no way the fastest codec around in any sane comparison, it only is when you test the slowest settings of any codec. That's comparing apples with oranges.
(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=9ff1d2d955ed4674212db6a0ab0152ae" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.audiograaf.nl/misc_stuff/rev4-encodep.png)

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Lower latency of the compressor is achieved by fully adaptive coding algorithm, without buffering stage, [...]

That seems like a valid point.

Ok. But.. as I know the HydrogenAudio and it's Knowledge Base has been made not only for it's users.. am I right?

I'm not planning on removing it from the table again now that you have brought it back. I was just under the impression that development had stalled, you have proved me wrong.

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Again, This is a local poll in one topic at one site. Can you use Google, download statistics from projects pages, Page Rank of the sites e.t.c.?

None of these methods is really going to work. Seeing that this Wiki belongs to Hydrogenaudio, I thought that using the HA poll would be the most relevant. Of course, you can discuss which of OptimFROG or TTA is more popular, but one of the debated (and reversed) edits placed TTA right behind FLAC and WavPack. ALAC is surely more popular, as I can name a few online stores that sell ALAC. Except if you can name several stores that sell TTA, I would consider ALAC more important/popular. For WavPack, Monkey's Audio, WMA and TAK, new discussion topics are created on this forum regularly, which again, makes me think they are next in this order. OptimFROG and TTA are not often discussed here, so I would consider them last in this order.

I hope this explains the rationale for this order sufficiently.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 12 February, 2015, 11:33:29 AM
Just because I am curious:

You can easily found TTA files on russian torrents, but there is no files in TAK or OptimFROG formats for example.


I googled as follows; used Chrome, entered the string in the address field WITH all the quotation marks (they matter!) but not the colon.
I got the following number of hits, which of course includes software applications that support the formats blah blah blah. But FWIW:

".tak" "lossless" "torrent": 2.1k
".mka" "lossless" "torrent": 8.0k (but a helluvalot for .mkv, some of these could be audio-only)
".shn" "lossless" "torrent": 9.7k
".ofr" "lossless" "torrent": 10.1k
".wv" "lossless" "torrent": 12.5k
".tta" "lossless" "torrent": 12.8k
".wma" "lossless" "torrent": 16.7k
".ape" "lossless" "torrent": 52k
".wav" "lossless" "torrent": 161k
"ALAC" "lossless" "torrent": 235k
".m4a" "lossless" "torrent": 320k
".m4a" OR ".mp4" "lossless" "torrent": 389k
".flac" "lossless" "torrent": 429k
"FLAC" "lossless" "torrent": 933k

Since Russian sites are mentioned, I also checked:
".tta" "???????" -"torrent": 3.5k
".tta" "torrent" -"???????": 9.5k
".tta" "torrent" "???????": 3.6k
".tta" "torrent" OR "???????": 12.6k

Google isn't really reliable if you compare apples to androids/oranges, as ".tta" "torrent" yields fewer than if you also require "lossless", but ... you get the picture. There is not much doubt which two rule the ground I think.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 11:53:35 AM
Please compare codecs test results with similar compression ratio:
http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html (http://www.squeezechart.com/audio.html)

That compression chart takes one preset (the highest compression) per codec, which I don't think is fair. Please see the chart below: the TAK -p2 setting (that's the fourth point, starting with the leftmost one) is almost twice as fast as TTA, and it compresses about 1% better. TAK -p3, the seventh datapoint, is still faster but compresses almost 3% better! FLAC -6, is about as fast as TTA, and it's compression is only slightly worse. So, TTA is in no way the fastest codec around in any sane comparison, it only is when you test the slowest settings of any codec. That's comparing apples with oranges.
........
I hope this explains the rationale for this order sufficiently.


Thanks for your explanation. I understand you. I still not agree with your methods of comparisons, especially in case of popularity of the codecs, but as I wrote above it's just my opinion )

About compression speed. I think that the Squeezechart's comparison method is more correct. Anyway, FLAC is slowly than TTA with same compression ratio. Thus, only TAK is faster, am I right?
Sorry, I didn't found the comparisons of encoding speed in your test results. Can I show your results in a table form?

I have tested the TAK and my results little bit different than yours, but very close to this comparison for example:
http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/index.asp (http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/index.asp)
Please correct the link to this page in Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase.
As you can see,
TTA encoding speed 72x with compression 65.209%.  // about 65%
TAK -p2 encoding speed 66x with compression 64.077%  // about 64%, and yes, it's 1% better, and slowly!
TAK -p3 encoding speed 38x with compression 63.763%  // still about 64%, 1% better in compression, and again slowly!
Where I can find the configuration of the computer which you have used for your tests?

PS: I prefer to compare codec with open source analogs, because such comparison would be more correct if you can see the code and you can compile all codecs by yourself.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 12:12:58 PM
Google isn't really reliable if you compare apples to androids/oranges, as ".tta" "torrent" yields fewer than if you also require "lossless", but ... you get the picture. There is not much doubt which two rule the ground I think.


Yes. I think you are right.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 12 February, 2015, 12:26:03 PM
Thanks for your explanation. I understand you. I still not agree with your methods of comparisons, especially in case of popularity of the codecs, but as I wrote above it's just my opinion )

Well, Procus' results do indeed put TTA in quite a different place! I only thought to do what is best anyway.

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I think that the Squeezechart's comparison method is more correct.

How is it correct that you conclude that TTA is the fastest on a chart that only shows the slowest setting?

Quote
Thus, only TAK is faster, am I right?

No, only TAK is encoding faster and has a better compression ratio at the same time. Other codecs are encoding faster by sacrificing compression. I think you should pick your words more selectively.

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Sorry, I didn't found the comparisons of encoding speed in your test results. Can I show your results in a table form?


Sure, here you go
Code: [Select]
Codec, preset         , compr , enc , dec
flac, -8              , 56.663, 91.4,  512.0
flac, -7              , 56.716, 136.4, 509.2
flac, -6              , 56.852, 154.0, 558.4
flac, -5              , 57.057, 231.6, 556.1
flac, -4              , 57.216, 298.8, 552.7
flac, -3              , 59.380, 355.2, 589.2
flac, -2              , 60.184, 292.0, 614.4
flac, -1              , 60.389, 373.5, 604.0
flac, -0              , 62.384, 394.3, 629.3
tak , -p4m            , 54.320, 23.5,  284.9
tak , -p4e            , 54.355, 47.7,  285.3
tak , -p4             , 54.422, 56.2,  285.1
tak , -p3m            , 54.536, 37.6,  316.4
tak , -p3e            , 54.585, 72.2,  316.8
tak , -p3             , 54.664, 89.1,  316.9
tak , -p2m            , 54.878, 60.0,  338.6
tak , -p2e            , 54.977, 105.5, 339.5
tak , -p2             , 55.157, 189.4, 340.8
tak , -p1m            , 55.721, 113.6, 425.2
tak , -p1e            , 55.809, 170.4, 425.0
tak , -p1             , 55.966, 286.6, 424.0
tak , -p0m            , 56.511, 167.1, 423.6
tak , -p0e            , 56.610, 275.0, 422.2
tak , -p0             , 56.904, 407.0, 420.3
la  , -high           , 53.145, 6.9,   8.2
la  ,                 , 53.346, 9.2,   11.7
tta ,                 , 56.634, 151.5, 143.1
wv  , -hh -x          , 55.832, 45.7,  104.6
wv  , -hh             , 55.985, 87.4,  104.7
wv  , -h -x           , 56.145, 59.4,  130.0
wv  , -h              , 56.314, 107.5, 127.9
wv  ,                 , 57.079, 142.4, 162.9
wv  , -f              , 58.536, 167.1, 194.4
ape , -c5000          , 53.876, 15.9,  14.8
ape , -c4000          , 54.081, 41.0,  36.1
ape , -c3000          , 54.683, 70.8,  58.0
ape , -c2000          , 55.072, 81.9,  63.9
ape , -c1000          , 56.186, 111.6, 82.9
ofr , --mode bestnew  , 53.106, 2.5,   4.0
ofr , --mode highnew  , 53.416, 5.7,   8.3
ofr , --mode best     , 54.124, 7.5,   9.7
ofr , --mode high     , 54.391, 19.5,  25.1
ofr , --mode normal   , 54.627, 29.1,  36.9
ofr , --mode fast     , 55.305, 41.4,  52.0
refalac,              , 57.783, 93.8,  201.5
refalac, --fast       , 60.073, 150.3, 158.9
shn ,                 , 62.266, 149.9, 280.0
als ,                 , 56.475, 59.8,  157.3
wma ,                 , 58.427, 102.5, 122.7
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 12 February, 2015, 01:33:49 PM
results of google queries are somewhat strange...

".wv" "lossless" "torrent": 12.5k
"wv" "lossless" "torrent": 126k
"wavpack" "lossless" "torrent": 276k

".ofr" "lossless" "torrent": 10.1k
"ofr" "lossless" "torrent": 50.9k
"optimfrog" "lossless" "torrent": 76.8k
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 12 February, 2015, 03:36:32 PM
results of google queries are somewhat strange...


Yes they are, but yours at least make sense - restricting the search reduces the number of hits. The weirdnesses I pointed out are worse to explain.

".tta" "torrent": 11300
".tta" "torrent" AND lossless: 12800. Should be fewer.

Quotation marks matter:

".tta" AND torrent AND lossless: 13200



Anyway, it is FLAC and ALAC ... and then the small ones.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 12 February, 2015, 07:30:26 PM
Quote
I think that the Squeezechart's comparison method is more correct.

How is it correct that you conclude that TTA is the fastest on a chart that only shows the slowest setting?

It because his test seems to show the efficiency of the algorithms more accurately and his results generally coincide with mine.

Quote
Thus, only TAK is faster, am I right?

No, only TAK is encoding faster and has a better compression ratio at the same time. Other codecs are encoding faster by sacrificing compression. I think you should pick your words more selectively.

Ok. I will. Yes, I know that the TAK has a little bit better compression ratio. I talk about comparison of encoding speed with same or higher compression rate. I have looked your results, but how about the results of codec comparison by Synthetic Soul, is it wrong too?

http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/index.asp (http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/index.asp)

As you can see,
TTA encoding speed 72x with compression 65.209%. // about 65%
TAK -p2 encoding speed 66x with compression 64.077% // about 64%, and yes, it's 1% better, and slowly!
TAK -p3 encoding speed 38x with compression 63.763% // still about 64%, 1% better in compression, and again slowly!

Again, can you write about configuration of the computer which you have used for your tests?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Wombat on 12 February, 2015, 07:49:32 PM
Don't forget flacCL when it comes to "fastest" on capable hardware.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: TBeck on 12 February, 2015, 08:02:24 PM
Quote
I think that the Squeezechart's comparison method is more correct.

How is it correct that you conclude that TTA is the fastest on a chart that only shows the slowest setting?

It because his test seems to show the efficiency of the algorithms more accurately and his results generally coincide with mine.

Hmm... If i would remove the stronger and also slower modes from TAK, it would look much better in this comparison. And then you would regard it's algorithm's as mor efficient? It's still the same algorithm, but with some possibly as insane regarded settings removed. They are there to give the users more choices.

Ok. I will. Yes, I know that the TAK has a little bit better compression ratio. I talk about comparison of encoding speed with same or higher compression rate. I have looked your results, but how about the results of codec comparison by Synthetic Soul, is it wrong too?
...
Again, can you write about configuration of the computer which you have used for your tests?

Is this really necessary? Could you first think a bit about this:

The test is from 2008. Why do you want to compare TTA with a more than 6 year old version of TAK. This must have been V 1.0.4. Now we have 2.3.0. And each version in between has improved on speed and some on compression.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 13 February, 2015, 12:28:10 AM
I'm happy to see a good discussion weighing the merits in an open matter. These types of discussions are hard, especially when they are titled with exclusive words like "best".

Furthermore, it is difficult to give all the contenders a fair shake when the authors have their little darlings that they use for reasons x, y or z. This is exacerbated when there are choices that make things appear to be on the most equal footing but really don't. Let's say we pick this option because it makes he compression between two contenders more equal. Forget that the option crippled the encoding speed in favor for decoding speed or vice-versa, my preferred codec wins.

Is Monkey's Audio still being accused of being intolerant of errors as a blanket statement?  I raised the issue many years ago and was treated like a pariah.  Turned out the codec was tested in Insane Mode, yet it doesn't break with less strong modes. It was bullshit ("Insane" mode??? hello?!?).  Then the goalposts got moved: you lose more samples with MAC then others, yeah, so how was *that* reflected in the chart that didn't bother to address test conditions?

So anyway, efficiency is a sticky one. Depending on where you are willing to draw the arbitrary line it was either wavpack or MAC. Then along came TAK which beat wavpack no matter how you sliced it; MAC as well except at the extreme end.

Regarding the recent question, I think we'll only arrive at the truth if the data is presented honestly.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 13 February, 2015, 02:36:01 AM
It because his test seems to show the efficiency of the algorithms more accurately and his results generally coincide with mine.

No, it doesn't show the effiency of the codecs, it shows the efficiency of the slowest setting of that codec. I don't think that is fair. Furthermore, you seem to forget the word 'encoding' every time: you're talking about encoding efficiency. However, there's decoding efficiency as well, and for that FLAC and TAK clearly beat TTA. So, once more, please use a more specific wording.

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Ok. I will. Yes, I know that the TAK has a little bit better compression ratio. I talk about comparison of encoding speed with same or higher compression rate. I have looked your results, but how about the results of codec comparison by Synthetic Soul, is it wrong too?

As said by TBeck already, those results are *ancient*. A lot of development has happened in the meantime

Quote
Again, can you write about configuration of the computer which you have used for your tests?

They are very well documented in the test PDFs (http://www.audiograaf.nl/downloads.html). In short, AMD A4-3400, Windows 7, tested from RAMdisk, CPU-time measured instead of real time, MD5 checksumming disabled where possible, test material 43 full CD albums of different genres.

Is Monkey's Audio still being accused of being intolerant of errors as a blanket statement?  I raised the issue many years ago and was treated like a pariah.  Turned out the codec was tested in Insane Mode, yet it doesn't break with less strong modes. It was bullshit ("Insane" mode??? hello?!?).  Then the goalposts got moved: you lose more samples with MAC then others, yeah, so how was *that* reflected in the chart that didn't bother to address test conditions?

Have you ever checked this yourself? I just did: I changed three bytes at (to me) seemingly random places in the file, and it stopped decoding at the very first one. I did this again, changing only one bit at a random place somewhere halfway the file: it stopped decoding at about that place in the file. I tried a third time, with the same result. This was done with a -c2000 (normal mode) compression. So, I think saying that Monkey's audio is not error resistant is justified.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 13 February, 2015, 03:08:06 AM
Is Monkey's Audio still being accused of being intolerant of errors as a blanket statement?  I raised the issue many years ago and was treated like a pariah.  Turned out the codec was tested in Insane Mode, yet it doesn't break with less strong modes. It was bullshit ("Insane" mode??? hello?!?).  Then the goalposts got moved: you lose more samples with MAC then others, yeah, so how was *that* reflected in the chart that didn't bother to address test conditions?

Have you ever checked this yourself? I just did: I changed three bytes at (to me) seemingly random places in the file, and it stopped decoding at the very first one. I did this again, changing only one bit at a random place somewhere halfway the file: it stopped decoding at about that place in the file. I tried a third time, with the same result. This was done with a -c2000 (normal mode) compression. So, I think saying that Monkey's audio is not error resistant is justified.

Okay, I just tried to decode it with ffmpeg, and it just plays, albeit with a short piece (< 1s) missing. So, the problem is not with the format, but with the official decoder: there is no way to force the decoder to keep on decoding. It does not have an option like the FLAC decoder has for such things (-F or --decode-through-errors)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 13 February, 2015, 03:23:49 AM
Yes and that's old news. I'm now fairly apathetic about the entire thing, I just raised the issue to make a point.

I simply don't appreciate misleading information about anything. I also think a good article will add helpful information where appropriate. If I had a 300MB image that was corrupt, I'd like to know that it still might be possible to decode it all the way through, and if so with which tools.  Maybe the missing data could be replaced using CTDB.  Maybe I just wanted a track that was perfectly fine but happened after the corrupt portion. This would be better than deleting the whole thing because I read some article by HA geniuses that basically told me I was out of luck, no?

Now maybe this isn't the best place for the information, but if a "good" article is essentially telling me I'm fucked, a better article would point out the caveat and direct me to some other information. Conceptually it's pretty trivial; nothing harder than pointing out some slick feature like DRM that everyone pines for. If you don't believe me, then ask...but just not here.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 13 February, 2015, 06:55:09 AM
Yes and that's old news. I'm now fairly apathetic about the entire thing, I just raised the issue to make a point.

It's a wiki right, why not change it yourself?

Anyway, I just did. I think it is no more than fair to mention that is not actually a format issue, but merely a support issue.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 13 February, 2015, 07:12:54 AM
Yes and that's old news. I'm now fairly apathetic about the entire thing, I just raised the issue to make a point.

It's a wiki right, why not change it yourself?


Hah, I got that from greynol once. But I think that one should discuss factual matter first - and especially since the wiki was closed, and we (at least I) got used to it working as a moderated knowledgebase where one could not make changes unless discussed.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 13 February, 2015, 07:28:47 AM
I have looked your results, but how about the results of codec comparison by Synthetic Soul, is it wrong too?


Recall that here the question was whether a given format (call it "T") beats another format "F" on both compression and speed simultaneously. That is a partial-only ordering.
Then more ambiguous tests do not bring you any closer to claiming universal superiority. It gets you closer to a universal "no, one cannot claim that".


But as others have pointed out, that test is a few years and have been obsoleted by development. New TAK versions, new FLAC version, and for all that I know, new TTA version(s) too.
The test is certainly not worthless, it just does not say so much about current state as it did when that ... state was current.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 13 February, 2015, 07:45:01 AM
Like I said, I no longer care. Besides, I didn't feel it was within my extremely pedestrian capabilities to adjust entries in a chart at the time.

NB: the rules about editing the wiki were not created by me and are not enforced by me. I do have my pet articles which I will defend and have defended; this is simply not one or them.  So I guess that makes me even more of a hypocrite.

Thank you for your graciousness, ktf.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 09:08:53 AM

Again, can you write about configuration of the computer which you have used for your tests?

Is this really necessary?

Hi! ) Yes. It's necessary because it significantly defines the results of comparison.
Yes, your codec is pretty good, but TTA still good too in comparison tests.

Could you first think a bit about this:
The test is from 2008. Why do you want to compare TTA with a more than 6 year old version of TAK. This must have been V 1.0.4. Now we have 2.3.0. And each version in between has improved on speed and some on compression.


No problem. My colleague have tested our codecs today, I can show results little bit later.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 09:31:03 AM
Below is newest results of comparison of TTA codec and TAK (Note that I have mentioned before, that I prefer to comparison open source codecs only).
The album has been chosen randomly. I have found good hardware for this test: Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb. OS Windows 7, swap file is disabled. Here is shown three results of testing.
First without caching, two next shows the work of the codec with cached data. For this test I have wrote small C wrapper-program for measuring the encoding time more correctly. TTA compressor version 3.4.1 (compiled in 2007), TAK 2.3.0 Final.

Deep Purple, Machine Head. 2ch/16bit/44.1KHz
——————————————————————
01-Highway Star.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 6.56 sec 7.77 sec  6.21 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 7.74 sec 8.57 sec 5.90 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 8.06 sec 6.58 sec 6.70 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 12.54 sec 11.44 sec 10.88 sec

02-Maybe I'm A Leo.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 4.96 sec 5.23 sec  5.08 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 6.56 sec 7.97 sec 4.63 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 5.78 sec 5.97 sec 5.70 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 9.88 sec 9.28 sec 8.91 sec

03-Pictures Of Home.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 7.01 sec 6.06 sec  5.37 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 8.21 sec 5.14 sec 5.14 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 6.26 sec 6.24 sec 6.34 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 10.06 sec 9.79 sec 10.60 sec

04-Never Before.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 6.08 sec 4.28 sec  4.12 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 6.33 sec 3.69 sec 3.79 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 5.78 sec 4.44 sec 4.84 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 7.78 sec 7.35 sec 7.44 sec

05-Smoke On The Water.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 5.15 sec 5.72 sec  5.61 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 5.99 sec 7.88 sec 5.30 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 6.69 sec 7.59 sec 6.16 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 10.73 sec 10.30 sec 10.14 sec

06-Lazy.wav
ttaenc.exe          - 6.44 sec 6.33 sec  7.46 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 9.24 sec 6.47 sec 7.72 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 9.82 sec 9.21 sec 9.42 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 14.45 sec 13.70 sec 14.64 sec

07-Space Truckin
ttaenc.exe          - 4.85 sec 4.85 sec  4.69 sec
Takc.exe -e -p1 - 7.18 sec 4.31 sec 4.51 sec
Takc.exe -e -p2 - 5.34 sec 5.23 sec 5.17 sec
Takc.exe -e -p3 - 8.63 sec 8.51 sec 8.40 sec
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 10:08:24 AM
It's all is Ok, but can we close the first question. I did not see any objection about placing of "Password protection" line into comparison table. Can I restore this line?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 13 February, 2015, 11:14:37 AM
I went on record as objecting and ktf obviously objects.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Wombat on 13 February, 2015, 11:21:35 AM
Just to put in perspective what fast encoding is about.
NIN The Downward spiral CD1, i5-3570@4.4, GTX-970

453.066.564 Bytes ~3sec. flacCL (open source) -6
453.725.634 Bytes ~13sec. tta
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 12:02:11 PM
Just to put in perspective what fast encoding is about.
NIN The Downward spiral CD1, i5-3570@4.4, GTX-970

453.066.564 Bytes ~3sec. flacCL (open source) -6
453.725.634 Bytes ~13sec. tta


...as you wrote above, it can be true only "on capable hardware". I think is not relevant to codecs comparison.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Wombat on 13 February, 2015, 12:17:39 PM
Just to put in perspective what fast encoding is about.
NIN The Downward spiral CD1, i5-3570@4.4, GTX-970

453.066.564 Bytes ~3sec. flacCL (open source) -6
453.725.634 Bytes ~13sec. tta


...as you wrote above, it can be true only "on capable hardware". I think is not relevant to codecs comparison.

All modern CPU/GPU combinations support OpenCL meanwhile. Even my integrated HD4000 graphics does nicely with flacCL. I have no benchmarks though.
But you are right with flacCL there are many more factors to consider especially when going multicore.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 12:33:32 PM
I went on record as objecting and ktf obviously objects.


Please explain why?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 13 February, 2015, 12:38:15 PM
I went on record as objecting and ktf obviously objects.


Please explain why?

What player supports this feature?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 13 February, 2015, 03:20:44 PM
It more appropriate to list features that are only common to a very small number of subjects under the dedicated sections for those subjects.

If you want to make exclusive features stand out like the way products are often marketed, do it on your own site.

FWIW, I've held this position on other articles as well.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: TBeck on 13 February, 2015, 04:13:56 PM
Below is newest results of comparison of TTA codec and TAK (Note that I have mentioned before, that I prefer to comparison open source codecs only).
The album has been chosen randomly. I have found good hardware for this test: Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb. OS Windows 7, swap file is disabled. Here is shown three results of testing.

I still don't get it: Are you interested in the maximum encoding speed? Then why don't you test TAK's fastest preset -p0 ? Or are you looking for the best compression at a similar speed? Then the compression ratio is missing. Anyhow, results of a single album don't mean much.

And indeed: You have found good hardware for this test! Im sure the celeron is a Pentium-4-class-type. There have been several reports (here at hydrogen) that TAK's optimizations are counterproductive for this microarchitecture. A heavy speed penalty is the result. I never really cared because i always disliked the P4 microarchitecture and didn't want to modify TAK for a dying architecture Intel dropped because of it's inefficency. I don't kow -and never received reports- about another microarchitecture that at least supports the MMX-instruction set (1997) where TAK suffers that much.  Your results are only relevant for people using a P4-type-cpu.

...as you wrote above, it can be true only "on capable hardware". I think is not relevant to codecs comparison.

You yourself used hardware capable to slow down TAK for the comparison. Possibly unintentional. But somehow i have the feeling you are cherry-picking...


Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: SokilOff on 13 February, 2015, 06:53:57 PM
Album: Abba "The Visitors" (Deluxe Edition), 16 tracks, 783.392.206 bytes
CPU: i7 4770K @ 3.5GHz

TTA 3.4.1
443.763.826 bytes, ~16 sec, 56.64%

TAK 2.3.0

-p0  448.085.906 bytes,  5.73 sec, 57.20%
-p1  440.034.353 bytes,  7.08 sec, 56.17%
-p2  433.761.465 bytes,  9.75 sec, 55.37%
-p3  431.268.735 bytes, 19.50 sec, 55.05%
-p4  429.712.339 bytes, 32.03 sec, 54.85%
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 10:04:04 PM
Then why don't you test TAK's fastest preset -p0 ?


This is obvious. I have compared the codecs in modes, which gives same or better compression ratio.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ald on 13 February, 2015, 10:36:34 PM
Album: Abba "The Visitors" (Deluxe Edition), 16 tracks, 783.392.206 bytes
CPU: i7 4770K @ 3.5GHz
................

Yes. It can be true. But all details is significant. I have this album and I can reproduce your test on several different hardware platforms (in monday). The results will be very different.

...as you wrote above, it can be true only "on capable hardware". I think is not relevant to codecs comparison.

You yourself used hardware capable to slow down TAK for the comparison. Possibly unintentional. But somehow i have the feeling you are cherry-picking...


I have used old hardware for my tests (Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb) especially to avoid the effects of compilers optimization (sorry, I have no more neutral hardware). Otherwise you will compare the work of compilers and optimization for "capable hardware", but not the codec algorithms. All what I want to say, that the TAK compiler is more optimized for new processors. That's the reason why hardware and OS for codec comparison must be specially selected and the procedure must be documented in details to get independent results.
I'm not against the comparison of codecs optimization for selected hardware platform, but it's a different tests.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 14 February, 2015, 04:51:44 AM
What is the "most neutral software"? Pentium Pro without MMX/SSE support?

P.S. I think that in comparison tests we compare encoder performance anyway, and not codec algorithms (whatever it means).
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: [JAZ] on 14 February, 2015, 06:12:41 AM
I have used old hardware for my tests (Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb) especially to avoid the effects of compilers optimization (sorry, I have no more neutral hardware). Otherwise you will compare the work of compilers and optimization for "capable hardware", but not the codec algorithms.


As far as I know from following the development of the codec here at hydrogenaudio over the years, the codec does use lots of assembly code paths. So your "avoid the effects of compilers optimization" goes way beyond your expected outcome if the codec can't use the code that has been specifically written to use the better hardware. 
And why does that matter??? Because the development did imply decisions where an improvement in compression would cause a tradeoff with speed, so it prompted an optimization of the code path for speed.

What this really mean is that if you end in this road, you are comparing a codec (yours) optimized with a 10 years old compiler optimized for a 10 year old hardware, versus a codec (TAK) optimized (by writing code explicitely) with current compilers for current hardware.  There is no way to pretend a fully fair comparison if you go that route.  The only way would be to rewrite both in a common language , compile them with the same compiler and run them in the same hardware... Not feasible.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: SokilOff on 14 February, 2015, 06:53:32 AM
I have used old hardware for my tests (Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb) especially to avoid the effects of compilers optimization (sorry, I have no more neutral hardware). Otherwise you will compare the work of compilers and optimization for "capable hardware", but not the codec algorithms.

End-users don't use "algorithms", they use codecs. Codec = specific implementation of some algorithm. It may be efficient or not, it may have some optimisations for modern hardware or not have it. If it doesn't have ones, it's a "problem" of this codec and it's developer, who is unable or too lazy to implement it.

Quote
All what I want to say, that the TAK compiler is more optimized for new processors.

Ok, I re-tested TAK without MMX and SSSE3 optimisations (command line key -cpuNone). Just plain old Delphi code. The album and it's size are the same.

-p0 -cpuNone 448.085.906 bytes, 8.06 sec, 57.20%
-p1 -cpuNone 440.034.353 bytes, 13.13 sec, 56.17%
-p2 -cpuNone 433.761.465 bytes, 21.99 sec, 55.37%

Even with all "modern hardware" optimisations off TAK -p1 wins in speed and compression level. And again - common end-user usually uses default settings where all optimisations are switched on.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 14 February, 2015, 08:11:44 AM
I have used old hardware for my tests (Intel celeron 2.40Ghz RAM 1Gb) especially to avoid the effects of compilers optimization (sorry, I have no more neutral hardware)

Okay, sure. What about this, it's an old test (with an older version of TAK) I did on my AMD Turion 64 ML-34, which was introduced in March 2005, two years before the last release of TTA. That seems neutral (meaning: not giving TAK advantages through the instruction sets that were introduced after the last TTA release) to me. Tests were done from RAMdisk, and the CPU was clocked down to 800MHz to make sure caching and other hard disk stuff do have as little influence as possible.

(https://hydrogenaud.io/imgcache.php?id=f6f1f58e29fc09cf2b6a38287e360f29" rel="cached" data-warn="External image, click to view at original size" data-url="http://www.audiograaf.nl/misc_stuff/new-results-WMA-lossless.png)

This is neutral, still TAK is a clear winner here.


Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 17 February, 2015, 10:30:38 AM
once more, someone has been changing stuff in the Wiki without discussing. Changes

- Changed table: WavPack hardware support from limited to very good
- Changed table: WavPack encoding speed from fast to very fast
- Changed text according to changes in table

I really don't think that Wavpack hardware support can be classified as very good. Furthermore, Wavpack isn't classed as 'very fast' when checked with the criteria mentioned as comments in the table markup.
Quote
- Encoding speed is very fast if > 150x, fast if >75x, average if >40x, slow if >20x, very slow if <20x.
- For decoding speed thresholds are doubled, i.e., very fast if >300x, fast if >150x etc.
- Thresholds for compression are at 56% and 58%
- Speed and Compression are based on each encoder's default settings and are taken from the this comparison (http://www.audiograaf.nl/downloads.html)

Should I undo those changes?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 17 February, 2015, 11:04:57 AM
Yes.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 17 February, 2015, 03:31:09 PM
It's all is Ok, but can we close the first question. I did not see any objection about placing of "Password protection" line into comparison table. Can I restore this line?


If you seriously didn't see any objection  ... am I the only one who thinks this just underlines the argument that the dev is too biased to judge? 

Good that you asked, in the very least.  But let us wait for consensus instead I think.


I went on record as objecting and ktf obviously objects.


If explicitly going on record as objecting is what it takes, then count me in.


And I think it is safe to revert the changes regarding WavPack too.  Maybe we could discuss what should be the baseline for "very fast" encoding speed and so forth, but I do not see the point now when there will surely flow around accusations of moving goalposts.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 17 February, 2015, 03:41:08 PM
For me, there's only one level of compression (why should I care about ~5% difference) and only two levels of encoding speed: "fast enough" and "too slow".
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 17 February, 2015, 03:43:44 PM
The album has been chosen randomly.
[...]
Deep Purple, Machine Head. 2ch/16bit/44.1KHz


Randomly? I bet it has been chosen according to your (good!) taste :-)


Look, there is a good reason or three to let neutral people do the testing. Even when you and TBeck and Bryant are presenting completely honest tests, they are still likely to be greatly influenced by what you have developed your software for and optimized it on. I take it that TBeck doesn't listen much to Japanese noise music when you see results like http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...st&p=837834 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=101386&view=findpost&p=837834) . Letting the developer choose the material does lead to cherry picking of data.

That does not require any sorts of dishonesty. I do not need to accuse you of pulling a Microsoft (i.e. doing all sorts of tests in-house and then hiring someone "independent" (as if!) to do precisely the test for which Microsoft knows they will come out winning), I just need to "accuse" you of choosing what you think is relevant to test, and that having a positive correlation with what you think is relevant to actually compress.

Edit: quotation marks for ... uh, "clarity".
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 17 February, 2015, 03:47:11 PM
For me, there's only one level of compression (why should I care about ~5% difference) and only two levels of encoding speed: "fast enough" and "too slow".


For me, there are not only more than one level of compression, there is also more than one dimension of interest; like, "what do I need" and "what impresses me".

TAK impresses me. Really. But I am not using it, and I doubt if it gets a position where I will migrate to it.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Soap on 17 February, 2015, 05:11:08 PM
Maybe we could discuss what should be the baseline for "very fast" encoding speed and so forth, but I do not see the point now when there will surely flow around accusations of moving goalposts.


And also what the baseline for "hardware support" is.  Rockbox gave wavpak support to the overwhelming vast majority of all DAPs ever sold (at least in the western world (did "MP4" player numbers ever exceed iPods?)) and in today's era the overwhelming majority of music reproduction devices can, through apps, play the overwhelming majority of formats.

Are only stand-alone-no-third-party-software devices like to be counted?  Only stock OS/software capabilities to be counted?  Perhaps toss the whole column in this modern era?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 17 February, 2015, 05:27:39 PM
and in today's era the overwhelming majority of music reproduction devices can, through apps, play the overwhelming majority of formats.

What about HiFi components, do they too work with such apps these days? (That's a sincere question, I'm not really up to speed) See for example this list: http://xiph.org/flac/links.html (http://xiph.org/flac/links.html)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Soap on 17 February, 2015, 05:37:36 PM
What about HiFi components, do they too work with such apps these days? (That's a sincere question, I'm not really up to speed) See for example this list: http://xiph.org/flac/links.html (http://xiph.org/flac/links.html)


And that's a legitimate question I don't have the answer to.

It is along the line of what I was trying to get to, though.  Are we talking "hardware support" or "one specific class of hardware we probably should specify" support?  Because, outside an ever-shrinking niche of (at least) the home-audio world, there is no de facto or de jure hardware limitations when it comes to formats.

Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: saratoga on 17 February, 2015, 06:36:03 PM
and in today's era the overwhelming majority of music reproduction devices can, through apps, play the overwhelming majority of formats.

What about HiFi components, do they too work with such apps these days? (That's a sincere question, I'm not really up to speed) See for example this list: http://xiph.org/flac/links.html (http://xiph.org/flac/links.html)


Going forward, probably FLAC support ends up in almost everything, since its built into Android, and Android is essentially becoming the defacto embedded operating system for everything from audiophile audio players to televisions.  Even for devices that aren't android, they likely run SOCs designed for Android, and so often come with a flac codec in DSP firmware somewhere.  Of course, many of these chips and systems are rarely redesigned, so we may still be seeing products designed in the mid-2000s around WMA Standard and PlaysForSure DRM for a long time yet.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 17 February, 2015, 07:06:23 PM
I fixed the error handling entry for Monkey's Audio.

How was it determined that it doen't support replaygain?  So long as the format supports tagging, doesn't it boil down to the player?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 18 February, 2015, 02:41:44 AM
It is along the line of what I was trying to get to, though.  Are we talking "hardware support" or "one specific class of hardware we probably should specify" support?  Because, outside an ever-shrinking niche of (at least) the home-audio world, there is no de facto or de jure hardware limitations when it comes to formats.

Well, I think the issue is with the blurring line between hardware and software. I would consider something hardware support when it is embedded in the hard- of firmware. One could argue that vanilla Android is 'firmware' and all apps are 'software', which would make FLAC 'hardware' supported (as support is in the firmware) and other lossless formats 'software' supported. But that again, how 'firm' is the firmware of smartphones these days?

I'd say we see smartphone/tables support as purely software instead, as they are actually taking over many tasks that PCs were used for. Hardware then mainly consists of DAPs, home audio and car audio. There are of course other niches like DJ gear and recording devices.

Being the devil's advocate for the current status quo, one could argue that hardware support means whether a codec was made for low-power processors, i.e. decodes really fast. 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: Porcus on 18 February, 2015, 07:02:06 AM
I would hope for Potter Stewart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it) to guide me on the distinction between "hardware" support and "software" support.

From the end-user point of view, it is rather: what can I play without having to climb a learning curve? The answers are likely WAV, and then ALAC-in-MP4 or FLAC (depending on whether you want to touch fruity hardware or not), and then the other of the two latter; I suppose that what determines the goalpost for "very good" would be whether it is "very good for a lossless compressed audio format" or "very good for an audio format". That is not godgiven either, it depends on user base; if lossless audio compression is a niche thing, then lossless compression could be assessed relative to lossless compression. Once hi-rez is about to penetrate the average Joe market segment, then average Joe would think that "very good" means at least "at least not too far from MP3".
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: IgorC on 18 February, 2015, 11:14:24 AM
Quote
Where did you get information about the popularity of codecs?

Here: http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=105188)


There is a new 2015 format poll (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=108125) as well.
We have included all popular lossless formats as far as I can see.  Anyway any suggestion will be good.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 18 February, 2015, 12:15:01 PM
How was it determined that it doen't support replaygain?  So long as the format supports tagging, doesn't it boil down to the player?

Post #65 (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=262881)
Quote
I think there's a mistak in the table : Monkey's Audio does have Replaygain support, I think
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=262880")


Only in foobar2000, AFAIK, which is hardly a format feature and more of a player feature.

And [a href="http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=275971]post #109[/url]:
[Pipe support is] different than, E.G, tagging or replaygain, IMO, because these features need to be supported everywhere that format is supported. No use if foobar supports replaygain with Monkey's Audio and Shorten. All other tools won't support it. With pipes, one implementation is enough.


BTW: in the very first available revision (21:22, 10 April 2005? Rjamorim (Initial commit converted from the HA post.) (http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison&oldid=3299)) only FLAC, OFR, TTA and WavPack were described as "ReplayGain compatible". (One can ask kurtnoise why one format supports (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=258750) RG and the other doesn't (http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=258818))
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 18 February, 2015, 01:11:44 PM
One doesn't have to ask either of them.  The rational doesn't make sense today, and likely didn't then.

I removed the row.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 18 February, 2015, 02:15:18 PM
I removed the row.

But format pros/cons still have "ReplayGain compatible" / "Doesn't support ReplayGain" 
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 18 February, 2015, 02:26:14 PM
I whole-heartedly apologize for the grave oversight.

In case it wasn't clear, my earlier questions were rhetorical.  Replaygain support depends on the way in which a player chooses to retrieve the metadata.  While this is often achieved through tagging, this doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

Apple has chosen their own proprietary method of loudness equalization, though it has been demonstrated that this can be manipulated to accept 3rd-party gain adjustments.  Microsoft (AFAIK) doesn't employ loudness equalization in their media player.  These two are really the only exceptions and unless it is known that ASF absolutely cannot handle replaygain information, this issue of replaygain compatibility falls squarely on the two respective media players, not the formats themselves.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 18 February, 2015, 03:21:47 PM
Thanks for the fixes,...

...but I think there are some other inconsistencies there:

ALAC pros: "Open source (encoding and decoding via FFmpeg and CUETools, decoding only via a standalone decoder)". Reference (http://alac.macosforge.org/) open source codec isn't even mentioned, as well as refalac (https://github.com/nu774/qaac/releases) program that is based on its code.

Monkey's Audio: "Error handling = yes" in the table,  but "No error robustness" in APE cons.

TTA: "Password protection" in both TTA pros and TTA other features.

LA: "hasn't been updated for more than 10 years" but "backward compatibility is not guaranteed". A bit self-contradictory: what backward compatibility means if there are no new versions?
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: lvqcl on 18 February, 2015, 03:25:44 PM
and unless it is known that ASF absolutely cannot handle replaygain information


At least foobar2000, Winamp and AIMP write standart RG tags to WMA files.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 18 February, 2015, 03:28:07 PM
Why didn't you present those in your previous post?

I'll fix the MAC inconsistency.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: greynol on 18 February, 2015, 03:29:22 PM
At least foobar2000, Winamp and AIMP write standart RG tags to WMA files.

That only strengthens my point.
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: nu774 on 19 February, 2015, 05:49:42 AM
I was surprised to see in the "FLAC Other features":
Quote
Fits the Ogg, AVI[2] and Matroska containers

AVI! IIRC, AVI container doesn't support VBR audio very well.
So I tried. Yes, ffmpeg managed to remux a 20MB FLAC file into a 183MB AVI. Of course, this is much larger than 16bit uncompressed PCM stored in AVI. This is insane, and I don't think any use of it. Is it really worth mentioning?

BTW, ALAC also fits in Matroska container: http://www.matroska.org/technical/specs/codecid/index.html (http://www.matroska.org/technical/specs/codecid/index.html)
Title: Which is the best lossless codec?
Post by: ktf on 19 February, 2015, 06:11:49 AM
So I tried. Yes, ffmpeg managed to remux a 20MB FLAC file into a 183MB AVI. Of course, this is much larger than 16bit uncompressed PCM stored in AVI. This is insane, and I don't think any use of it. Is it really worth mentioning?

I read in the VLC changelog that VLC supported playing it, so I added it quite a while ago. I didn't know it was that useless. It should indeed probably be removed then.