Hydrogenaudio Forums

Hydrogenaudio Forum => General Audio => Topic started by: LimitBreaker15 on 29 August, 2012, 04:30:12 AM

Poll
Question: Uncompressed vs Lossless Compressed
Option 1: Uncompressed [.wav] votes: 3
Option 2: Lossless Compressed [.flac] votes: 74
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LimitBreaker15 on 29 August, 2012, 04:30:12 AM
I wanted to have a permanent back-up copy of my audio files so I wanted to hear others' opinions on this matter. I know there have been many threads of this kind, but let's tackle a BIT different topic...

I'm not really good with audio, but I did my research. Anyways...
I know majority of people will say, "You won't hear any difference, stick with flac" or the likes, but I wanted to get the most 'suitable' format for my back-ups. Suitable as in, closest to the original.
WAV PCM is an uncompressed audio. FLAC is a lossless compressed audio. Isn't it better to stick with WAV if I wanted to just convert it to flac or other formats later rather than convert it from flac? I mean, look, FLAC is already compressed...

and...

WAV > FLAC = √
FLAC > WAV = x  <<< less filesize than the original



'I know that nothing useful is lost...and the only thing that makes WAV files that large are excess bits and header size...'
                                                                          ^
                                                                          ^
                                                                          ^
                                                    Will this fact really solve my dilemma?


I wanna know your opinions...if it were in your case, would you stick with uncompressed or lossless compressed for your back-up copies...

Oh, and let's assume storage size isn't an issue.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: shadowking on 29 August, 2012, 04:45:09 AM
WAV for backup and burning for CD audio playback is fine but thats about it for me. Anything more I need proper tagging.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Kohlrabi on 29 August, 2012, 04:59:37 AM
I know majority of people will say, "You won't hear any difference, stick with flac" or the likes, but I wanted to get the most 'suitable' format for my back-ups. Suitable as in, closest to the original.
WAV PCM is an uncompressed audio. FLAC is a lossless compressed audio. Isn't it better to stick with WAV if I wanted to just convert it to flac or other formats later rather than convert it from flac? I mean, look, FLAC is already compressed...
[...]
'I know that nothing useful is lost...and the only thing that makes WAV files that large are excess bits and header size...'
That's not how lossless audio compression works. In layman's terms, FLAC compresses like ZIP, so nothing is lost due to compression. The resulting files are obviously smaller. You will save space of between 20% and 55% per album compared to WAV, based on the material. Another huge advantage of FLAC is that you can properly tag the files, as shadowking already remarked. There is no reason to use WAV/PCM.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LimitBreaker15 on 29 August, 2012, 05:15:14 AM
Oh so I was wrong with that...well, that statement atleast made me favor FLAC more  But I'll still wait for more opinions...
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 29 August, 2012, 05:44:32 AM
Opinions on what? I’ll really need quite a good answer to leave this thread open.

The only reason to leave your audio as WAV without compressing is if you don’t care about its taking up more space needlessly and the rarity of applications that can tag it, and/or you are not willing to spend the trivial quantity of time and CPU cycles necessary for lossless compression.

Quote
I'm not really good with audio, but I did my research.
I must question the latter claim.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LimitBreaker15 on 29 August, 2012, 06:28:56 AM
I don't really mind the filesize and CPU usage...but if FLAC can do EXACTLY the same thing with less CPU usage and size, then I'd rather stick to it. But does it?  <This is my question. And I want to hear their opinions on it. If someone answers with a pleasing statement, please close this thread.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: HansBKK on 29 August, 2012, 06:49:18 AM
Lossless means lossless. The only **possible** reason for wanting to waste the disc space on WAV is .

Damn in the time it took me to type that my mind went completely blank, can't think of one.

Oh yeah, you're frequently burning Audio CDs (really?) and don't want to have to wait for the intermediate (usually invisible) FLAC>WAV temp file conversion.

Didn't say it was a reasonable one did I?

Use FLAC.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: nastea on 29 August, 2012, 07:04:50 AM
Another thing to keep in mind is when the cd-r gets damaged. Even if 1 byte in a flac file isn't read out correctly, you can't decode it to wav because the CRC checksum is wrong. A damaged wav file will still play and you might be able to fix clicks or pops in a wave editor.
WAV would be my choice to back up important audio.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Kohlrabi on 29 August, 2012, 07:33:35 AM
I don't really mind the filesize and CPU usage...but if FLAC can do EXACTLY the same thing with less CPU usage and size, then I'd rather stick to it. But does it?  <This is my question. And I want to hear their opinions on it. If someone answers with a pleasing statement, please close this thread.
FLAC uses a negligible amount of additional CPU power during encoding and decoding to reduce file size considerably.

Another thing to keep in mind is when the cd-r gets damaged. Even if 1 byte in a flac file isn't read out correctly, you can't decode it to wav because the CRC checksum is wrong.
This is more a problem of bad backup plan/media than the format.

A damaged wav file will still play and you might be able to fix clicks or pops in a wave editor.
The result is very likely not bit-identical to the original file, so this is no longer a backup but merely an audible reproduction of the original file.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: pdq on 29 August, 2012, 08:09:43 AM
At one time I had a device that would only play mp3 and wav files. The difference was that wav files played gapless and mp3 didn't, so my music was stored as wav.

That device is long gone, so now my music is saved as flac files, which are vastly more convenient when it comes to tagging.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: extrabigmehdi on 29 August, 2012, 08:23:28 AM
Take a wav file.
Now  do  a copy and compress it as flac.
Now convert back that flac to wav.
It should be exactly the same file as the original wav,
you could do a binary comparison using tools like "beyond compare" if you still have any doubt.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: tuffy on 29 August, 2012, 09:30:06 AM
Another thing to keep in mind is when the cd-r gets damaged. Even if 1 byte in a flac file isn't read out correctly, you can't decode it to wav because the CRC checksum is wrong. A damaged wav file will still play and you might be able to fix clicks or pops in a wave editor.
WAV would be my choice to back up important audio.

FLAC can skip over a damaged section of file, losing about 1/10th of a second per frame in most cases.  But more importantly, one can run an automated test on the files to ensure whether they're still good or not.  With a WAV file, if some bits have been flipped in the stream, there's simply no way to know other than hoping some obvious defect stands out during listening or in a stream editor.  Storing some extra correction files (like .par2) can mitigate this problem, but they'd work just as well on FLAC so one might as well use FLAC.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: 2Bdecided on 29 August, 2012, 09:46:46 AM
People use FLAC because it's lossless (perfect copy of the WAV), smaller, and easier to tag.

Without tags, you're just trusting the filenames to hold all the information you need - and you're trusting that it's easy to extract it from the filenames in the future for whatever you want to use. (You could use WAV+CUE I suppose, putting the information in the CUE sheet file).

People use WAV if they want to drag the audio instantly into an audio editor or onto a CD (i.e. without decompressing a FLAC first).

Use FLAC.

Cheers,
David.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 29 August, 2012, 11:02:39 AM
Even if 1 byte in a flac file isn't read out correctly, you can't decode it to wav because the CRC checksum is wrong.

This is nonsense. It appears that you've never actually encountered a corrupt flac file or one that hasn't been read out correctly.

Quote
A damaged wav file will still play and you might be able to fix clicks or pops in a wave editor.

This depends on the nature of the damage. If data is lost, playback could be downright ugly. Attempting to salvage the file is no longer as trivial as loading it into an editor. Lost data in the audio stream in a flac file? You lose a small section of audio and everything else plays just fine, thanks.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: yourlord on 29 August, 2012, 11:33:56 AM
Use FLAC.

For quite some time now the only case where storing audio in a raw PCM format (WAV) makes any sense is in multitrack digital audio workstations (or similar applications). In that environment decoding potentially dozens to hundreds of compressed streams real time, in parallel, would be far too much overhead to be feasible. In that setting raw PCM makes sense.

For everything else lossless compression (FLAC, ALAC, etc) is the best option. You gain space efficiency, metadata(tags), and built in error detection.

If you want to burn an audio CD your CPU is likely fast enough to decode the FLAC file faster than your burner can write the data to the disk.

As a test I just decompressed a 23 minute 16 bit/44.1KHz FLAC file. The resulting WAV file size is roughly 245MB. it decoded in 4.33 seconds. I've never seen a CD burner that can write at 56MBps.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: nastea on 29 August, 2012, 11:44:07 AM
I just did a test, and flac gave an error message after 29% of the decoding process, and stopped the decoding.
Before that I had altered one byte in a flac file, using a hex editor.
( I'm using flac 1.2.1 by the way. )

I wasn't aware of the fact that FLAC can skip over a damaged section of file, like tuffy said, so I changed my mind now and agree that flac is the best choice for a back up of audio files. 
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 29 August, 2012, 11:53:50 AM
There is a switch that forces the decoder to continue through errors.

Next time instead of making stuff up, please do a little research.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: JJZolx on 29 August, 2012, 01:39:46 PM
I wanted to have a permanent back-up copy of my audio files


Tell me this.... Say you own 1000 CDs. You have a "backup" of those CDs in some lossless format like WAV or FLAC on a hard drive that you've stored off site. Your house burns down and all of the CDs are destroyed. Are you really going spend the time and effort to take those backup files and burn 1000 CDs? Or are you just going to switch from playing CDs to playing the files instead?

What I'm saying is ... forget about the notion of "backing up" or archiving your CD collection. Instead, concentrate on ripping your library to a lossless format, tagging it thoroughly and correctly. Find a playback system for those files that you like. Make sure you maintain backups of the files and keep a copy in a safe place. And enjoy the music.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: jayess on 29 August, 2012, 02:18:49 PM
.Wav is a Microsoft and IBM standard.

That's how I roll, listen, and archive...
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 29 August, 2012, 03:55:44 PM
If you wanna use .wav, put it in a .zip file, using a recent version of the format. Then it becomes WavPack'ed (http://web.archive.org/web/20070928174718/http://www.pkware.com/documents/casestudies/APPNOTE.TXT).
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 29 August, 2012, 04:09:52 PM
And less portable than FLAC. Plus, I really think that one would be better to cut out the unnecessary middle-man and go straight to a lossless format, but if the warm and fuzzy feeling of being able to check the archive and see a WAV file in it is that compelling, then whatever, I guess.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 29 August, 2012, 04:31:02 PM
Well, to those who insist that .wav is better because it is an uncompressed format ...

... shouldn't Microsoft's compressed folders feature for NTFS degrade the .wav much less than .zipping, since it is nowhere near the same efficiency? 
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: jayess on 29 August, 2012, 04:37:37 PM
Well, to those who insist that .wav is better because it is an uncompressed format ...

... shouldn't Microsoft's compressed folders feature for NTFS degrade the .wav much less than .zipping, since it is nowhere near the same efficiency? 


I try to stay out of these .flac discussions because it's like a Democrat showing up at the Republican Convention, but touting .flac for its compression is silly when you consider that storage is dirt cheap and virtually unlimited for anyone above the poverty level.

Until the big players adopt .flac it's still a fringe format.

Does Itunes (not that I would load that crap software on my system) play .flac file?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 29 August, 2012, 04:42:21 PM
lol someone said “Republican”

Quote
but touting .flac for its compression is silly when you consider that storage is dirt cheap and virtually unlimited for anyone above the poverty level.
So are CPU cycles, at least if one defines “the poverty level” as generously as you seem to. By this other side of the coin, it would be “silly” not to compress.

FLAC is not the most space-efficient lossless codec out there, but it does enough and can save a significant amount of space over an entire library.

Quote
Until the big players adopt .flac it's still a fringe format.
So a lack of awareness among the majority means that no one should use it. Now I understand.

Quote
Does Itunes (not that I would load that crap software on my system) play .flac file?
If this is not just a snarky rhetorical question, you can quite easily answer it with a bit of the most basic research, so have fun.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LithosZA on 29 August, 2012, 04:44:03 PM
I hate it when I extract my Word documents from a zip file and I find that they all have turned yellow and are torn a bit.



..
..
..
Just fooling around. Lossless compression won't affect the quality at all and FLACs can still be decoded if there are errors in the file. Only the affected frames won't be decoded correctly. I doubt that a corrupted zip/rar/7z etc file will still uncompress the WAV correctly...
So, I would say that FLACs are just as safe as WAVs for backup purposes and you save lots of space.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 29 August, 2012, 05:13:00 PM
I try to stay out of these .flac discussions because it's like a Democrat showing up at the Republican Convention, but touting .flac for its compression is silly when you consider that storage is dirt cheap and virtually unlimited for anyone above the poverty level.


Rather, it's like an alien showing up among a bunch of not-so-respectful heathens, listening to their jokes and not realizing that what they are mocking are dogma that someone actually believes in. You just missed the entire 'but FLAC has lower bitrate!' argument for going uncompressed.


By the way, with .wav, I would need one more hard drive. And two more for backups. That's $300 in drives. When I started ripping, drives were half the size, and I could easily have needed a new PSU too. FLAC has likely saved me some $700-ish in drives (and offered tagging support as bonus) -- for free. Now go to the Republican convention and call it 'silly', and there's certainly going to be someone mumbling 'yeah, Communism ...'. (Or 'nothing but pure, simple Communism' if you happen to bump into Buford T. Justice.)
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 29 August, 2012, 05:19:22 PM
lol someone said “Republican”

I think he called us a bunch of Republicans.  We have some Libertarians who appear to believe in science around here.  Does that count?

IBM + Microsoft = good idea

iTunes = crap

OK, whatever.

Does this imply that free and open source flac will somehow magically stop working in the future? 
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: jayess on 29 August, 2012, 05:49:16 PM
LOL, these comments are exactly what I was talking about. I could have said it would be like Brady showing up at the NRA in his wheelchair and still got the same results.

Ford vs. Chevy. Windows vs. Linux. Etc. Etc. To each their own.

A more relevant question is does flac improve the sound of music over wav?

If you need compression and more tagging capabilities, have at it.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: yourlord on 29 August, 2012, 06:13:20 PM
If someone feels the need to abuse themselves with itunes then by all means use ALAC.. I don't have any axe to grind about ALAC since it's an open and royalty free codec.
If such a person ever wants to experience the freedom outside the Apple prison walls then they can freely transcode from ALAC to FLAC if they want to use devices that support the latter and not the former. All it costs is CPU time. There are plenty of free utilities to do the transcode.

I earn well above the poverty level and have several TB of storage capacity in my home. I still don't see a point in wasting space just for the sake of wasting space. Hard drives still cost money and I'd rather spend that extra $50 on my wife, or save it, than to buy an extra hard drive or to purchase a larger than necessary hard drive because I insist on saving my music in an uncompressed form. My piddly music collection is only about 100GB, but the 30-40GB or so I save using FLAC will allow me to use the extra space for other things. It allows me to use smaller external drives to backup my collection, or save money by paying for less storage on an internet rsync mirror, not to mention making the initial backup quicker.

Multiply that by a much larger collection of say 1TB, then the space savings become very significant at 300-400GB.

Also, my cable internet connection would be stressing it's upstream bandwidth limit to stream uncompressed PCM audio where the usual peak of 1.1-1.2Mbps for FLAC gives more headroom to handle network fluctuations.  (not that I would stream in FLAC as even that is a shameful waste of bandwidth. I usually transcode on the fly to Vorbis -q2 for streaming)

A more relevant question is does flac improve the sound of music over wav?


Nope. Nor does WAV improve the sound quality over FLAC.. Lossless is lossless.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: ExUser on 29 August, 2012, 06:20:04 PM
A more relevant question is does flac improve the sound of music over wav?
The most relevant response is

DIE IN A FIRE
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 29 August, 2012, 06:30:18 PM
LOL, these comments are exactly what I was talking about. I could have said it would be like Brady showing up at the NRA in his wheelchair and still got the same results.
Would you like to actually respond to people’s replies to your post now, or do you just plan on continuing to do silly dances?

Quote
Ford vs. Chevy. Windows vs. Linux. Etc. Etc. To each their own.
If you’re saying this to shore up statements like the below, it’s even more irrelevant than your prior analogy; rudimentary aspects of data theory, like any other scientific fact, are not a matter of opinion.

Quote
A more relevant question is does flac improve the sound of music over wav?
Relevant to nothing. Perhaps you would benefit from some basic research about digital audio concepts and about the rules of this site. In case that helps, I’ll withhold for the moment my suggestion for what to do if it doesn’t.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 29 August, 2012, 06:30:23 PM
To each their own.

Didn't know that an each had a their.  Check my sig if you can't figure out what I'm trying to tell you.

Personally I like to base decisions on compelling reasons.  I don't see one from you as to why someone should choose an uncompressed format over a compressed one.  The latter is what the poll should have said, BTW.  AIFF is no less valid than wave just as ALAC is no less valid than FLAC (or any other varieties).

PS: Feel free to latch on to my first paragraph in order to avoid the second one.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LimitBreaker15 on 29 August, 2012, 06:45:18 PM
I'll stick with FLAC. Less filesize with no audible and significant bytes difference, tagging support, detects error.

Thanks guys  really...

Follow up question! Is it alright if I just convert my already ripped cds from .wav to .flac? or is it any better to rip it directly to .flac? Just making sure lol

Feel free to close this after someone answers the last question~
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: yourlord on 29 August, 2012, 06:52:19 PM
There is no difference from a quality perspective.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 29 August, 2012, 07:10:38 PM
no audible and significant bytes difference
Unless I’m just being naïvely literal in my interpretation of the written word, this suggests that we somehow haven’t been clear enough in our answers. If so, I don’t know how much more we can do! Audibility and significance do not enter into consideration at all. Decompressing a lossless format, which always occurs without active invocation during playback or transcoding, yields exactly the same audio. There is no chance of the result being audibly, inaudibly, significantly, insignificantly, or in any other way different.

Quote
Follow up question! Is it alright if I just convert my already ripped cds from .wav to .flac? or is it any better to rip it directly to .flac? Just making sure lol
For the same reason, it doesn’t matter, and re-ripping/-converting would simply represent an unnecessary consumption of time.

I’m glad that you’ve gotten the answers you were looking for, but they were already available in abundance elsewhere. I hope some future member with the same questions finds this thread or one of its many predecessors before backing people into assembling yet another, slightly different () copy of it.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Satellite_6 on 29 August, 2012, 08:44:05 PM
Well, to those who insist that .wav is better because it is an uncompressed format ...

... shouldn't Microsoft's compressed folders feature for NTFS degrade the .wav much less than .zipping, since it is nowhere near the same efficiency? 


I try to stay out of these .flac discussions because it's like a Democrat showing up at the Republican Convention, but touting .flac for its compression is silly when you consider that storage is dirt cheap and virtually unlimited for anyone above the poverty level.

Until the big players adopt .flac it's still a fringe format.

Does Itunes (not that I would load that crap software on my system) play .flac file?


Hardly anyone uses WAV, so why would it mater that FLAC isn't supported everywhere? 
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 29 August, 2012, 09:46:51 PM
Lossless is lossless is lossless is lossless.

Rip to wave then later convert wave to flac is no different than ripping to flac as far as the audio is concerned.

The difference is that if the waves do not have tag information and you want this information in your converted flacs then that information will have to be added later as a separate step.  This may be very time-consuming process unless the information you want is contained in the paths and file names of the wave files (as was already said).  In general when ripping to flac the files are also directly populated with tag information as part of the process.

I hope some future member with the same questions finds this thread or one of its many predecessors before backing people into assembling yet another, slightly different () copy of it.

Don't hold your breath.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: jayess on 29 August, 2012, 11:26:07 PM
To each their own.

Didn't know that an each had a their.  Check my sig if you can't figure out what I'm trying to tell you.

Personally I like to base decisions on compelling reasons.  I don't see one from you as to why someone should choose an uncompressed format over a compressed one.  The latter is what the poll should have said, BTW.  AIFF is no less valid than wave just as ALAC is no less valid than FLAC (or any other varieties).

PS: Feel free to latch on to my first paragraph in order to avoid the second one.



Well, I said "to each their own" rather than "to each his own" because it's more inclusive. You do realize that some women also choose .wav over .flac, right?

Anyway, I have to break in the two new amps that I had arrive today. Do you think I should use .flac files to do that, or use .wav and contribute the saved processor power to SETI?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 30 August, 2012, 12:08:13 AM
Pronoun agreement is your OT lesson for the day.  Each is singular.  Their is plural.  Proper English grammar dictates that you use the masculine "his" as the default when the subject of the gender is unknown.  If you wish to be grammatically and politically correct the proper phrase is, "to each his or her own."

Regarding your other question, I will point out that the concept of breaking-in is largely an placebophile myth, though I suppose it extends beyond placebophiles whether they may be men or women.  How you choose to spend the miniscule amount of processing power is your business.

Thank you for dodging the part where you provide a compelling reason why someone should use wave over flac.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: ExUser on 30 August, 2012, 01:11:01 AM
Haha, this is getting really off-topic, but singular they has a long history in English from as early as Shakespeare. Its acceptability is, at best, debatable: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they)
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 30 August, 2012, 01:31:57 AM
Well if Shakespeare said it...
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 30 August, 2012, 01:33:40 AM
Just let us keep the we (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_we).

– Porcus Rex
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 30 August, 2012, 01:38:59 AM
Don't you mean our?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Light-Fire on 30 August, 2012, 02:06:46 AM
.Wav is a Microsoft and IBM standard.

That's how I roll, listen, and archive...


Do you still use PC AT 286?!
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Kohlrabi on 30 August, 2012, 02:39:40 AM
I don't really approve of how the OP asked a for opinions and some users started to bash WAV users. Wasn't it enough that the poll itself was nearly unanimously in favour of FLAC? It's puzzling to me why moderators leave a topic like this open, but when a different opinion comes up bash the poster to the ground. If you have pre-decided the outcome of the discussion, why not just tell the OP your "correct" opinion and close the topic? If you really don't want this kind of discussion, set-up a wiki page, have some stickies on the forum, and close this kind of discussion before it takes off.

So that my post will not only be meta-discussion: The most compelling argument in favor of WAV has not really been stated, the ubiquitous support in every audio player on every platform.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Nessuno on 30 August, 2012, 03:16:30 AM
Do you think I should use .flac files to do that, or use .wav and contribute the saved processor power to SETI?


Just for the record: I didn't made the actual math, but in the whole process you'll likely end up wasting more power, stricto sensu, to spin, write and read a drive while using wav than to feed your CPU decoding FLAC...
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 30 August, 2012, 03:45:31 AM
The most compelling argument in favor of WAV has not really been stated, the ubiquitous support in every audio player on every platform.


Yep. There is/was a lot of players that .mp3 and .wav only (maybe also .wma lossy, but hardly lossless).

Now in case i would want to play .wav over my car stereo: Copying from FLAC (from my computer) to WAV is no slower than copying WAV to WAV, actually, as FLAC decodes faster than my hard drive reads. Not to mention, much faster than can be written to any USB 2-device.

BTW: .wav is a container format which can contain a few lossy codecs too, but I assume that “.wav support” in portable devices is largely limited to the good'ole PCM?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Porcus on 30 August, 2012, 04:00:08 AM
My piddly music collection is only about 100GB, but the 30-40GB or so I save using FLAC will allow me to use the extra space for other things. It allows me to use smaller external drives to backup my collection, or save money by paying for less storage on an internet rsync mirror, not to mention making the initial backup quicker.


I used to say that for collections in that order of magnitude, using lossless compression could mean that you got your entire collection on a portable player (in your case: the 80 gigabytes iPod available some years ago). Using lossless for portable use is maybe not well-justified, and using a portable (theft-prone) as your backup is maybe not advisable, but having that as an additional backup is certainly not stupid.

Well, nowadays 120 GB drives are given away, I guess.


(As for internet backup, you might consider AudioSafe by Spoon (the dBpoweramp / AccurateRip developer) -- it is supposed to be free-until-you-need-it.)
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: probedb on 30 August, 2012, 08:36:38 AM
Until the big players adopt .flac it's still a fringe format.


Hmmm, so Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, Sony etc are not big enough for you?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 30 August, 2012, 09:02:49 AM
why not just tell the OP your "correct" opinion and close the topic?

[...]

So that my post will not only be meta-discussion: The most compelling argument in favor of WAV has not really been stated, the ubiquitous support in every audio player on every platform.

If it had been closed then you would not have had the opportunity to present this reason.

I'll gladly field your moderation complaints via PM if you like, or alternatively you can create another topic. I don't feel obliged to engage in a serious discussion with you about it here, let alone attempt to seek your approval.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: jayess on 30 August, 2012, 09:23:11 AM
Pronoun agreement is your OT lesson for the day.  Each is singular.  Their is plural.  Proper English grammar dictates that you use the masculine "his" as the default when the subject of the gender is unknown.  If you wish to be grammatically and politically correct the proper phrase is, "to each his or her own."

Regarding your other question, I will point out that the concept of breaking-in is largely an placebophile myth, though I suppose it extends beyond placebophiles whether they may be men or women.  How you choose to spend the miniscule amount of processing power is your business.

Thank you for dodging the part where you provide a compelling reason why someone should use wave over flac.



Good morning, Greynol.

I thought I would share a delightful water-cooler discussion I just had. There's this office fellow that thinks his music is superior to mine and keeps trying to push it off on me. The stuff I listen to is mainstream, sold in stores, and is pretty much a defacto-standard with many people. His music on the the hand is more or less just a cult following type thing. So today, he tries to sell me on hearing a particular track and I oblige him and tell him "sure, just email it to me tonight in flac."

He was completely stumped apparently by what flac is. And boy was I glad!
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: greynol on 30 August, 2012, 09:32:48 AM
Will he be mailing it off to you in wave format instead?

Last time I wanted to share something with someone it was available on this forum but in TAK.  He graciously allowed me to tell him what TAK was and download the decoder to his compter.  I don't know what I would have done if his computer wasn't running Windows.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Nessuno on 30 August, 2012, 12:57:25 PM
Will he be mailing it off to you in wave format instead?

And, was not the topic about backup copies?

@jayess: where's the point in maling a lossless track "just to have a listen" anyway? Use mp3 and you're done with everyone and his dog!

(Edit: er... actually his dog could easily ABX what everyone cannot, but if it's "just to have a listen"...)
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: LimitBreaker15 on 31 August, 2012, 06:01:04 AM
Another question just for clarification.

Let's say I have 2 same maxi singles. One which is newly bought, and one is a bit worn-out. I ripped both to FLAC files. Will both still be exactly the same?
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: HansBKK on 31 August, 2012, 06:36:10 AM
Another question just for clarification.

Let's say I have 2 same maxi singles. One which is newly bought, and one is a bit worn-out. I ripped both to FLAC files. Will both still be exactly the same?


I smell a troll, or at least I think this horse is officially flogged to death.

Just in case you really are sincerely so clueless - digital is digital, not like vinyl where the signal degradation is continuous.

If digital media is damaged to the point where you can no longer extract the data, even with specialized tools, then you don't have the file intact.

None of which has anything to do with the file format - lossless is lossless.

Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 31 August, 2012, 06:58:28 AM
If digital media is damaged to the point where you can no longer extract the data, even with specialized tools, then you don't have the file intact.
This is worded imprecisely. If you use an insecure ripper that just takes whatever it thinks it sees on the CD without checking its accuracy in any way, it might extract inaccurate audio without realising anything is wrong, especially from a worn/damaged disc. So, it is perfectly possible to end up with a file that appears “intact”, if by that you mean seems to have the right length, etc.

Quote
None of which has anything to do with the file format
This, on the other hand, is perfectly correct. OP, the site has many resources related to CD audio, its vulnerabilities, and the consequent benefits of secure ripping; it will be better for you to research that than to post about it in this unrelated thread.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: DonP on 31 August, 2012, 07:18:29 AM
So that my post will not only be meta-discussion: The most compelling argument in favor of WAV has not really been stated, the ubiquitous support in every audio player on every platform.


Lots of players out there will only play files through a tag based database.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: krabapple on 31 August, 2012, 08:27:01 AM
A more relevant question is does flac improve the sound of music over wav?



Not relevant -- a non-sequitur, really.


Quote
If you need compression and more tagging capabilities, have at it.



I definitely need tagging, thanks.  I hazard to say most people who play audio files feel the same.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: db1989 on 31 August, 2012, 09:31:26 AM
Since you were last to post, I think that adds even more relevance to my quoting this statement of yours from elsewhere:
This just goes to make a point I've made in talks every since about 1990: "SNR is Mostly Harmless"
But when it gets too low in online threads,  I tend to bail.
What does the scanner say about this thread’s SNR level?

OP:
Feel free to close this after someone answers the last question~
Not that I want to silence you personally or anything, but are we there yet? I don’t know if the barrage of unrelated material into this thread makes it worthwhile to leave open and/or attempt a clean-up, assuming of course that you feel your questions have been answered satisfactorily. You might find it more useful to progress to reading about digital audio extraction and other topics, and perhaps create another thread later if you still have questions after some background research.
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: 4sure on 02 September, 2012, 01:24:51 AM
If not for other reasons, my pick is FLAC:

1. Compatible tagging
2. Compression
3. Low CPU usage (only if you prefer compression, especially on portable devices)
4. Error resistant
5. Seekable

These may be good points for adopting FLAC!
Title: Back-up Copy~ WAV vs FLAC
Post by: Venyos on 08 September, 2012, 06:20:14 PM
I wanted to have a permanent back-up copy of my audio files


Tell me this.... Say you own 1000 CDs. You have a "backup" of those CDs in some lossless format like WAV or FLAC on a hard drive that you've stored off site. Your house burns down and all of the CDs are destroyed. Are you really going spend the time and effort to take those backup files and burn 1000 CDs? Or are you just going to switch from playing CDs to playing the files instead?

What I'm saying is ... forget about the notion of "backing up" or archiving your CD collection. Instead, concentrate on ripping your library to a lossless format, tagging it thoroughly and correctly. Find a playback system for those files that you like. Make sure you maintain backups of the files and keep a copy in a safe place. And enjoy the music.


Excellent argument. Absolutely. this is what I did five years ago. And I'm totally satisfied. Use FLAC and buy a decent USB reader that reads FLAC.