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  • eahm
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #25
What a waste of time testing lossless codecs, but they are fun to read: flac vs wav on google gives gold results, for example from https://serato.com/forum/discussion/1541194
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To my amazement the WAVs sounded noticeably better! the stereo separation was better, the dynamics was better and the music just sounded better all round and not so dull sounding.
and
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After further investigation I can confirm you can now tag WAVs and add cover art too !

Problem solved... for the highest sound quality don't use FLACS

WAV files definitely have the edge, period.....
  • Last Edit: 16 October, 2017, 04:46:22 PM by eahm

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #26
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I've heard the benefits of Uncompressed FLAC with my own ears...
Yeah! He heard it straight from the voices on his head. :D
Listen to the music, not the media.

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #27
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Play the two [compressed/uncompressed FLAC files] back to back, blind, however you want...you'll see what I'm going in about!
or:

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I am happy to read about your experience as they parallel my own more or less.

An audiophool's empiricism is really something to tell the folks back home about. :o

Edit: missing '/quote' tag



  • Last Edit: 16 October, 2017, 05:37:55 PM by includemeout
Listen to the music, not the media.

  • eahm
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #28
Ahah sorry for posting another one but this is gold: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/20131-flac-vs-wav/

...and this: http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/flac-vs-wav-audio-quality, I love when they talk about cables and dynamics and fullness etc. lol
  • Last Edit: 17 October, 2017, 03:05:30 AM by eahm

  • ThaCrip
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #29
I did say thank you for the lesson  :)  :) and this is what i have learnt

FLAC is *always* lossless. The encoding level simply sets how hard the encoder works to save bytes. The default is I think 5 or 6 usually, and is optimal for almost all tasks. Settings it very high (e.g. 8) will increase the encoding times for very minimal games (<1% typically). Conversely, very low settings will result in files 2-5% larger but faster encodes. That said, a middle number is super fast on today's monster CPUs so there is really no reason to go lower (or higher) than 5-6. ::)  ::)  ::)  ;D

Like mentioned... just use FLAC 8 as any computers likely to still be in use you might as well save as much hard drive space as possible as it only takes 1min or less (on my i3-2120 CPU, which is decent but nothing special) to convert a entire album (even if that album is 80min or close to it) from FLAC 8 to your typical Apple AAC or LAME MP3 etc in Foobar2000. even when converting from WAV to FLAC is very fast (clearly faster than lossy conversion) when the WAV files are already on your hard drive.

with that said, from what i have noticed... FLAC 5 vs FLAC 8, there is roughly a 3-5MB difference in file size between the two for full audio CD's. but considering how fast computers have been for quite some time now you might as well just use FLAC 8 and be done with it as if there are any speed differences it won't really matter since when you convert from FLAC to AAC/MP3 etc your limited by the lossy encoding speed and not the FLAC decoding speed anyways and even with that we are still only looking at about 1min tops to encode a entire audio CD from FLAC to AAC/MP3 etc and i don't even have a monster CPU either even though it's decent (i.e. i3-2120. basically dual core but windows see it's as a quad core due to it's hyper-threading technology). but those who have quad or six core CPU's (or more) will probably be around 30seconds or less for a entire 80min audio CD i suspect which once you start getting into that kind of speed your basically more limited by how fast you can move you hands to create folders within Windows Explorer than by the actual encoding times of the audio files.

also, i don't how how true this is (someone correct me if i am wrong) but... one random site i read online said, "There is no decoding hit by using the most compressed value of 8. For a little processing time up front (encoding) you get a smaller file with no extra time needed to decode." ; so assuming that's accurate... decoding times are the same regardless of compression level of FLAC as it's only the initial encoding that slows down a little. but given the speed of modern computers it's a non-issue and you might as well save the disc space and use FLAC 8. come to think of it, even if that's strictly not accurate (like with the speed the computers CPU decodes the FLAC files) it won't really matter (maybe very little) because when converting any FLAC file (like FLAC 5 or 8 etc) to a lossy format, the lossy encoder speed is the limiting factor on things anyways. even if there is a difference in real world time to make your lossy files, from FLAC 5 or FLAC 8 etc, i would have to assume it's negligible(basically a non-factor) on a modern computer simply because it's going to be less than 1min on a lot of semi-modern/modern computers with a lot of audio CD's anyways, even with FLAC 8.

but as far as general learning... i recently made a account here even though i have been browsing here on and off for years now as it seems like this place is a step above a lot of sites (it's pretty much THE standard for what this site is about which is audio related with encoding lossy files and the sound quality of them etc) as you see a lot of 'claims' on random websites over the years that you know are BS given what i have learned here. a little side note... it's funny how many people still seem insist on 320kbps MP3 (or other really high bit rates) which to me is a waste of storage space, especially the 320kbps, as LAME v0 (245kbps average), which is LAME's highest VBR setting, basically gives you the same thing but with a more efficient use of storage space and it seems even those with 'golden ears' tend to praise LAME v0 (outside maybe a rare occasion). but in my opinion... Apple AAC @ 128kbps is the sweet spot between sound quality/storage space for AAC-LC, and has been for years now, as i can't see using roughly double the storage space (which seems to be what iTunes Plus does with it's 256kbps setting) for a minimal increase in sound quality as it sorta defeats the purpose of using lossy encoding as if someone is THAT concerned with sound quality they might as well just use FLAC. with that said, it seems like even for the 'golden ear' type of people that AAC @ 256kbps (i.e. iTunes Plus setting) seems to be transparent on everything(?(or very close)). so i guess for those who care very little about storage space, and want to use a lossy encoder, then it's hard to say anything negative towards the 256kbps AAC listener.

p.s. that quote above was from here... http://www.forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/if-flac-is-lossless-why-does-encoding-level-matter.140499/#post-3249182 ; which is from Feb 2008.

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

@eahm ; funny little posts there you linked to above ;) ; but at the same time, all of the time they wasted and what's even worse they believe it beyond a shadow of a doubt :( ...

... "Well I am absolutely certain I can tell [the difference between FLAC and WAV]." & "Flac is a bit drier, a little sweeter perhaps and I think details better resolved. Wav seems fuller, richer and perhaps a bit more dynamic." ; guaranteed they never heard of a ABX test which removes bias and cuts through the BS real quick like.

it's sorta like those who pay extra $$$ for HDMI cables that claim to give better picture etc. it's a waste of $$$. it's like those who pay say $100 for a HDMI 'gold' cable etc and suddenly think there HD is much better vs one of the cheaper/typical HDMI cables.

p.s. your second link does not work when clicked because it's got the "," tied to the link. just space it next time and it will be fine as once i remove that "," your second link works.
  • Last Edit: 17 October, 2017, 05:01:53 AM by ThaCrip
Sweet spot for sound quality/file size (in my opinion) = Apple AAC @ 128kbps (q63 TVBR) ; [FLAC to Apple AAC using Foobar2000]

  • eahm
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #30
Isn't placebo amazing? It's one of my favorite fields to study. Sorry about the link, it happened many times with this new forum, maybe they'll fix it so it becomes something automatic.

  • Porcus
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #31
(@eahm: If placebo is so amazing, why do we try to ruin it all the time? :-D )

Archiving in wav? That is also a nice way to give "bit rot" a free pass to your sound data without noticing it at first.
Flac uses checksums to ensure data is OK, and it has tagging and embedding functionality. It also mutes when a bad block is fed into the decoder.
I have had a USB drive with a defective USB controller on the motherboard.  It would lose the disk while it was writing, corrupting the files. That happened in a tag update on ... what file? I could check the FLAC files. And restore from backup. Of course, this happened to my "live working" set, as I was tagging, not to the backup set.

PS. FLAC is always lossless. Not to make things more complicated, but there does exist a way to losslessly archive into FLAC, that is lossywav as a preprocessor
A typo: there should be "lossy", not "losslessly". But that is, as you say, lossless-compression of a signal that first is processed into lossy.
And for the nitpickery: one cannot use FLAC to compress 32-bit floating-point PCM. There are such .WAV files around, some artists upload them. WavPack can contain 32-bit floating-point, FLAC cannot.



  • eahm
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #32
A new thread just started on reddit, this is going to be fun, the first comment already is cringe stuff: https://www.reddit.com/r/audioengineering/comments/78ll40/compressed_lossless_vs_uncompressed_lossless/

...remember that is "/r/AudioEngineering".
  • Last Edit: 25 October, 2017, 02:02:23 AM by eahm

  • bennetng
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #33
A new thread just started on reddit, this is going to be fun, the first comment already is cringe stuff: https://www.reddit.com/r/audioengineering/comments/78ll40/compressed_lossless_vs_uncompressed_lossless/

...remember that is "/r/AudioEngineering".
Not as good as some seemingly scientific papers from AudioEnginnering Society :))
BTW, what is "a container for WAV data"? WAV itself is a container and you can even put mp3 into it.
http://www.rarewares.org/mp3-lame-dshow-acm.php

  • eahm
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #34
Oh it just started, it'll be fun, check tomorrow.

  • Fairy
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #35
(@eahm: If placebo is so amazing, why do we try to ruin it all the time? :-D )

Archiving in wav? That is also a nice way to give "bit rot" a free pass to your sound data without noticing it at first.
Flac uses checksums to ensure data is OK, and it has tagging and embedding functionality. It also mutes when a bad block is fed into the decoder.
I have had a USB drive with a defective USB controller on the motherboard.  It would lose the disk while it was writing, corrupting the files. That happened in a tag update on ... what file? I could check the FLAC files. And restore from backup. Of course, this happened to my "live working" set, as I was tagging, not to the backup set.

PS. FLAC is always lossless. Not to make things more complicated, but there does exist a way to losslessly archive into FLAC, that is lossywav as a preprocessor
A typo: there should be "lossy", not "losslessly". But that is, as you say, lossless-compression of a signal that first is processed into lossy.
And for the nitpickery: one cannot use FLAC to compress 32-bit floating-point PCM. There are such .WAV files around, some artists upload them. WavPack can contain 32-bit floating-point, FLAC cannot.


1. Both files can get corrupted, also the FLAC. But with the flac file you can check if that really happened.

2. Indeed a typo, LossyWav is Lossy and not "Losslessly" ;-)
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2017, 05:32:06 AM by Fairy

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #36
1. Both files can get corrupted, also the FLAC. But with the flac file you can check if that really happened.

Yet neither lets you check if the tags become corrupted without hashing the files externally and making sure nothing changes those tags to cause a mismatch.

FLAC is little further ahead than WAV in the fact that at least you can check the audio stream is okay without having to externally hash the file.

  • pdq
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #37
It's a lot easier to find and fix corruption in the tags than in the audio data. Also, tags are a tiny fraction of the file, so it is far more likely that corruption would affect the audio data than the tags.

  • Porcus
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #38
Yet neither lets you check if the tags become corrupted without hashing the files externally and making sure nothing changes those tags to cause a mismatch.

"become corrupted" as in file corruption that by chance only hits the metadata blocks, or as in "WTF did I just hit OK to?"
Come to think of it: is there any practical manner to protect cue files that way? Seems to be no way to put only the .cue in a .7z and use www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_unpack_7z , is it?

I have one kind of protection against accidentally deleting tags: CDs with pre-emphasis are stored in a different file format.

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #39
I have tried all the FLAC levels. Since its lossless compression there is ZERO difference in audio quality. The only difference is the amount of number crunching the encoder does to squash those bytes as much as possible.... even then the size difference between FLAC5 and FLAC8 for example is minimal.

I have my entire CD collection in FLAC5. Rip using something good like EAC using burst mode with accurip + test+copy. Job done, as good as its ever going to get.

  • allhifi
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #40
Archiving in wav? That is also a nice way to give "bit rot" a free pass to your sound data without noticing it at first.
Flac uses checksums to ensure data is OK, and it has tagging and embedding functionality. It also mutes when a bad block is fed into the decoder.
Throwing that away without any gain, even giving up space for really no reason whatsoever.

Flac compression-decompression is many times faster than realtime, even on very slow pc's. With a slow harddrive you can even GAIN speed when using compression.

I would settle for nothing other than Flac -8 when using a computer that is younger than 15 years old :)

About: https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=18382

That is just utter bullshit. There is NO audible difference between FLAC -8 and Uncompressed because exactly the same data is fed to the soundcard.
If there is, you have a really bad computer where calculations by the CPU and traffic through the North- and Southbridge are audible. Then Uncompressed VS FLAC is the last thing you should worry about. Or a very shitty implementation of FLAC, but I cannot mention any, maybe because they do not yet exist.
A computer (even a dedicated one) is litterally doing millions of things at the time you play music. Adding FLAC decoding will not make a difference. If it does, toss away that player, because it's junk! If that Linn player on that forum has audible artifacts during flac playback it's a player fault, not the file format.
People claiming audible difference because the computer has to decode the file have no clue about how a computer works. Data is fed into a large buffer (uncompressed). This is the same for wav as for FLAC, because the signal from wav also has to pass through the software that controls the sound card. Timing errors, jitter etc. plain nonsense.

Sorry for the language. I hate it when people without knowledge (not the TopicStarter, but that site) claim things that are just really not true.
I have even heard people saying that music from a SSD sounded more analytical and from a HDD it was more analog, and even the price of the SATA cables did matter. Gimme a break!

PS. FLAC is always lossless. Not to make things more complicated, but there does exist a way to losslessly archive into FLAC, that is lossywav as a preprocessor, but the FLAC part is always lossless. If you put a MP3 into the FLAC encoder it will create a lossless FLAC file, but the MP3 already has a lot removed so it does not make sense. It's the same as saving a JPG to 10% quality, creating a small file and then convert it to PNG. The PNG could theoretically be as big or even bigger than the original, but all the details in the original photo is gone forever.

Do you realize that people are simply claiming/stating audible distinctions ?
Would there be no basis in authenticity if it was found/verified that sound quality distinctions (of enough merit) were indeed not only discernible but selected "pick-out" repeatedly -as clearly distinctive (from the other) ?

I need not know the science/mathematics (or even care necessarily) would I/one ?

Impressing upon with learned (incomplete) knowledge is quite different from/than that of being a trail-blazer opening doors to new understandings.

Early hi-fi buffoons that eschewed premium equipment/cables were soon made the laughing stock of their own making. How appropriate.             

Be careful to blurt out that which one has very little insight/expertise -for plausible explanations.

pj

  • saratoga
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #41
Archiving in wav? That is also a nice way to give "bit rot" a free pass to your sound data without noticing it at first.
Flac uses checksums to ensure data is OK, and it has tagging and embedding functionality. It also mutes when a bad block is fed into the decoder.
Throwing that away without any gain, even giving up space for really no reason whatsoever.

Flac compression-decompression is many times faster than realtime, even on very slow pc's. With a slow harddrive you can even GAIN speed when using compression.

I would settle for nothing other than Flac -8 when using a computer that is younger than 15 years old :)

About: https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=18382

That is just utter bullshit. There is NO audible difference between FLAC -8 and Uncompressed because exactly the same data is fed to the soundcard.
If there is, you have a really bad computer where calculations by the CPU and traffic through the North- and Southbridge are audible. Then Uncompressed VS FLAC is the last thing you should worry about. Or a very shitty implementation of FLAC, but I cannot mention any, maybe because they do not yet exist.
A computer (even a dedicated one) is litterally doing millions of things at the time you play music. Adding FLAC decoding will not make a difference. If it does, toss away that player, because it's junk! If that Linn player on that forum has audible artifacts during flac playback it's a player fault, not the file format.
People claiming audible difference because the computer has to decode the file have no clue about how a computer works. Data is fed into a large buffer (uncompressed). This is the same for wav as for FLAC, because the signal from wav also has to pass through the software that controls the sound card. Timing errors, jitter etc. plain nonsense.

Sorry for the language. I hate it when people without knowledge (not the TopicStarter, but that site) claim things that are just really not true.
I have even heard people saying that music from a SSD sounded more analytical and from a HDD it was more analog, and even the price of the SATA cables did matter. Gimme a break!

PS. FLAC is always lossless. Not to make things more complicated, but there does exist a way to losslessly archive into FLAC, that is lossywav as a preprocessor, but the FLAC part is always lossless. If you put a MP3 into the FLAC encoder it will create a lossless FLAC file, but the MP3 already has a lot removed so it does not make sense. It's the same as saving a JPG to 10% quality, creating a small file and then convert it to PNG. The PNG could theoretically be as big or even bigger than the original, but all the details in the original photo is gone forever.

Do you realize that people are simply claiming/stating audible distinctions ?
Would there be no basis in authenticity if it was found/verified that sound quality distinctions (of enough merit) were indeed not only discernible but selected "pick-out" repeatedly -as clearly distinctive (



If people are claiming audible differences between lossless files, then they are likely wrong and/or badly confused about what lossless means.

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #42

OR, in good old Occam's Razor's fashion - where the simplest explanation is usually the most adequate, they're just plain bullshitting.
  • Last Edit: 30 October, 2017, 11:21:24 AM by includemeout
Listen to the music, not the media.

  • Porcus
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #43
Razor talk? What about Hanlon?

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #44
Or something like that.
Listen to the music, not the media.

Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #45
Or something like that.
By which I meant: your point being...
Listen to the music, not the media.

  • polemon
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Re: LEVEL 5 TO UNCOMPRESSED
Reply #46
How you guys are able to read through this without voluntarily ripping out your frontal lobes, is beyond me.

From a post in: http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/flac-vs-wav-audio-quality:
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I recently converted everything from wav to flac and fixed/added all the missing metadata. Even on my UnitiQute i can hear a difference. Flac is quieter and more smooth, just as you have reported. I still have some wav albums in parallel with their newer flac cousins.
...you gotta be shitting me!

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I rip to flac but convert, in my server software, to wav on the fly. To me this sounded more 'musical' than flac straight into Naim.
That mental cancer must be out of this world.

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FLAC uses the same system as mp3, WAV does not.  WAV files can be produced that do not allow many changes to tags and in fact...
...

Some of the guys in there tried to provide reason, but they were shouted down, but geezers thinking whatever they feel must be the gold standard. incredible, but also kinda sad.

The Reddit thread is kinda OK, it's average levels of uncertainty are kinda present, but they're usually overlapping with reason.

  • eahm
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Re: Level 5 to uncompressed
Reply #47
I'm so proud of the reddit post, I expected much much worse. About proving reason on these forums... why? Just agree with them and let them live in their bubble, it's beautiful.

  • polemon
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Re: Level 5 to uncompressed
Reply #48
I'm so proud of the reddit post, I expected much much worse. About proving reason on these forums... why? Just agree with them and let them live in their bubble, it's beautiful.

Oh hell no! I don't agree or disagree, I don't interact with them at all!

But I don't think it's beautiful at all. It's spreading lies and bullshit information. Instead of teaching novices actual data, they claim their opinion is more valuable than scientific data. It's disgusting.
You know, when someone asks: "Should I use FLAC?", they quickly go with "it's worse trust me". It's turning something rather easily quantifiable into a religion. It's infuriating to me. This quickly turns to flame wars of who's got the bigger d better ear and more expensive equipment, leaving the person asking the original question doubting their own sanity, and leaving them utterly confused.

  • eahm
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Re: Level 5 to uncompressed
Reply #49
You're right, sometimes my English... with agree I meant just let them be as far as you can, sometimes it's too much and I have to interact and with it's beautiful I meant it's too fun to read.