Hydrogenaudio Forums

Lossless Audio Compression => Lossless / Other Codecs => Topic started by: adlai on 2006-09-22 23:35:57

Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: adlai on 2006-09-22 23:35:57
I did a comparison between Flac, Wavpack, and Monkey's Audio. I'm a longtime MAC user, but I've been considering replacing it with something else.

Monkey's Audio still has the smallest file sizes, and the fastest compression. On a test sample, the FLAC file was around 53 MB, the Wavpack was 51, and the Monkey's Audio was 47. Additionally, the monkey's audio on a whole encoded at a faster rate.

Yes, I know that FLAC and Wavpack have features that MAC doesn't, most noticably lossy and better seeking. However, I use lossless only for archival purposes-- I rarely actually listen to the files, and so, I have to say that monkey's audio is still the best
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: pest on 2006-09-22 23:44:33
Quote
that monkey's audio is still the best


Me too 
It was the first codec i tried that worked with embedded cue-files in foobar2000.
Decoding speed is good enough even at Extra-High.
I really can't think of any good reason to use one of the others if hw-support is of little concern.

edit: the seeking issues you mentioned where in the old versions < 4.x for Modes > High
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: HbG on 2006-09-22 23:48:11
I'm not so sure about the fastest. Flake (http://sourceforge.net/projects/flake-enc) is a flac encoder that's three times faster and produces slightly better compression as well.

I went from ape to flac a while ago, i decided flac's decoding speed, support, features and robustness were worth the few extra megabytes.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Shade[ST] on 2006-09-23 01:01:48
And wait until you try out TAK (Yalac)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: kanak on 2006-09-23 04:07:19
Totally agree with shade. i'm so excited by this new codec. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Mangix on 2006-09-23 04:13:45
OptimFROG should be able to compress better than Monkey's Audio
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: LANjackal on 2006-09-23 06:48:18
Yes, I know that FLAC and Wavpack have features that MAC doesn't, most noticably lossy and better seeking. However, I use lossless only for archival purposes-- I rarely actually listen to the files, and so, I have to say that monkey's audio is still the best


I too use MAC lossless for archiving only, and so came to the same conclusion as yourself. Your premise is strongly seconded from this side of the world .

Granted, however, if I actually did use lossless for playback I'd opt for FLAC.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Duble0Syx on 2006-09-23 07:38:39
Yes, I know that FLAC and Wavpack have features that MAC doesn't, most noticably lossy and better seeking. However, I use lossless only for archival purposes-- I rarely actually listen to the files, and so, I have to say that monkey's audio is still the best


I too use MAC lossless for archiving only, and so came to the same conclusion as yourself. Your premise is strongly seconded from this side of the world .

Granted, however, if I actually did use lossless for playback I'd opt for FLAC.

If one only uses lossless for archiving, why is compression speed an issue?  OptimFrog most likely offers the best compression.  MAC is indeed a good codec, if I were archiving I'd still probably use FLAC or WavPack though.  I like the licensing on the source code.  Ensure's they'll still be around in the future.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: halb27 on 2006-09-23 09:43:39
When I did lossless archiving I was very happy with Monkey.
Good speed when encoding and decoding even in extra high mode, and a compression ratio better than FLAC or wavPack, and which I don't expect to be significantly outclassed even with highly compression-effective super-slow codecs.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: evereux on 2006-09-23 09:44:05
Here's some informative links on Lossless codecs, ya better beleive it.

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)

http://uclc.info/LossLess.pdf (http://uclc.info/LossLess.pdf)
http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm)
http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/ (http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 09:57:38
Monkey's Audio still has the smallest file sizes, and the fastest compression.

Indeed, Monkey's Audio is still excellent in this area. But it also has poorer performance on decoding speed (which makes hardware support harder), a bit like OptimFROG (even slower). Error handling (decoding after media corruption, bad transfert...) is also a weak point for this format; and since 3.99 and with -c4000/5000 profiles only files are usually suffering from a long starting time making gapless playback impossible.
Some other formats are performing better in different area than ratio & encoding speed.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: halb27 on 2006-09-23 10:03:41
Here's some informative links on Lossless codecs, ya better beleive it.

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)

http://uclc.info/LossLess.pdf (http://uclc.info/LossLess.pdf)
http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm)
http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/ (http://synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/)

Well, these results show up the quality of Monkey very well.
Only LA is really interesting when compression ratio has a very strong weight. But compression ratio is not a lot better than Monkey's but encoding and decoding speed is significantly lower.
Moreover while Monkey extra high means very good compression and good speed when speed is more of concern high and normal mode make Monkey pretty fast whereas compression ratio doesn't suffer a lot.

EDITED:
I should add that the application context is most of concern of course. A codec like Monkey is interesting only for archiving and/or for listening to on a pc. When going for other listeninig environments I think there is no alternative to FLAC or wavPack (which are good solutions anyway - cause among all the good lossless codecs there's no big difference in compression ratio).
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Leo 69 on 2006-09-23 10:09:12
Quote
Error handling (decoding after media corruption, bad transfert...) is also a weak point for this format;


guruboolez, is that in theory or in practice ? Any links to real problem reports regarding this ?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: seanyseansean on 2006-09-23 10:21:10
Quote
Error handling (decoding after media corruption, bad transfert...) is also a weak point for this format;


guruboolez, is that in theory or in practice ? Any links to real problem reports regarding this ?


When I used to use monkeys audio there were a lot of times files were corrupted, compared to the two corrupted flac files i've ever seen. No, I don't overclock, neither do I use beta drivers or otherwise tune the bejesus out of my machines. I never worked out whether these were encode/decode errors or hardware related as I never verified them after creation due to my own laziness.

I liked monkeys audio but it always seemed like an unfinished project to me.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 10:32:55
Quote
Error handling (decoding after media corruption, bad transfert...) is also a weak point for this format;


guruboolez, is that in theory or in practice ? Any links to real problem reports regarding this ?

In practice. There are old discussions on this board with samples showing how are reacting different decoders on corrupted streams. You can try yourself and simulate a data corruption with any hexadecimal editor.
I was myself a satisfied MAC's user, and I only obtained two corrupted files (on thousands):
- one appeared with no explanation
- the second one appeared after a partition lost and a data restauration (I was able to recover a proper file after a second restauration).

It's with DVD-R backups that the way different formats/decoders are handling corrupted stream started to become important to my eyes. Previously I didn't really care about it.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: spoon on 2006-09-23 11:05:59
>c4000/5000 profiles only files are usually suffering from a long starting time making gapless playback impossible

That is more down to the software trying to do gapless, rather than the format.

About corrupt files (I have also run tests with FLAC - changing a single byte in 30 different places, with pretty much the same results as Monkeys). The whole idea about lossless is either it is perfect or it is not, if it is not, recreate it - so the important factor of lossless is the ablity to error check the decoded data - as FLAC and Monkeys have md5 emdedded there are no issues there.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 11:23:34
I got completely different results with FLAC/WavPack than with Monkey's. Moreover, the amount of lost datas seems to depend on the encoding profile (the silent part which replaces music is longer with highest profile). I'm not completely sure about it (I experimented it, but I didn't bother to reproduce the same with several samples).
In other words, corruption may appear as less annoying with one format/profile than with one another.

For gapless: I also read once that file buffering should explain this issue. Are there players able to read these encodings without problems?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: askoff on 2006-09-23 13:06:50
MAC doesn't seem to be available for Linux or any other OS than Windows. It's not a problem for most people but not all people use Windows (only). I for one am trying to get away from Windows dependency.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 13:09:27
Monkey's code is avaible since 2003 or 2004. Linux and MacOS ports exist for a long time. Just google for it
example: http://sourceforge.net/projects/mac-port/ (http://sourceforge.net/projects/mac-port/)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: askoff on 2006-09-23 14:40:04
I see. I haven't seen that before. Well I haven't been realy looking for it since I stopped using MAC. There was no mention of Linux in monkeysaudio.com, so I assumed that it doesn't exist. It's good that it does.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: IgorC on 2006-09-23 14:44:45
Well. Monkey is 5% more efficient than FLAC SVN 2006. But is it really making sense this 5% compression gain ( approx 15 mb per cd) when DVDs blank cost cents? I.e. 300-450 mb per cd - 10-15 CD flacs per DVD. And with Monkey Highest Profile you will hardly get 16th cd.
While decoding FLAC (for future mp3 rip for player ) whole album is geting less than 1 minute!!!! Monkey goes for at least a few minutes.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: MedO on 2006-09-23 15:23:03
Well. Monkey is 5% more efficient than FLAC SVN 2006. But is it really making sense this 5% compression gain ( approx 15 mb per cd) when DVDs blank cost cents? I.e. 300-450 mb per cd - 10-15 CD flacs per DVD. And with Monkey Highest Profile you will hardly get 16th cd.
While decoding FLAC (for future mp3 rip for player ) whole album is geting less than 1 minute!!!! Monkey goes for at least a few minutes.


I found it easier to fit two compressed albums on one CD-R with Monkey's... some albums just remained so big that they accumulated dust on my HD waiting for a matching small album, so I could put them in my archive. Of course I could have just burned the single album, but that would have been a waste of space  .
I've just recently changed back to Flac, because of the faster encoding times and broader support of the format, which makes it more future-safe for my archive. The fit is now easier because I no longer put recovery information on the CD itself, but rather on a dedicated CD along with the recovery data for 5 others.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: LoFiYo on 2006-09-23 16:51:18
If you are worried about the filesize only, LA may be worth a try. Either last year or before that, I tried it and it compressed better than APE or FLAC or WV. But then, other codecs may beat it by now.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 17:27:23
In other words, corruption may appear as less annoying with one format/profile than with one another.

"Less annoying" is hardly grounds for saying one has robustness and the other doesn't, no?

This talk about robustness and error handling in the wiki is a bunch of BS!
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: rjamorim on 2006-09-23 17:35:24
The whole idea about lossless is either it is perfect or it is not


Nope, the idea is also about archival. And being able to recreate most of your music is better than not being able to recreate anything. That's the problem with Monkey's.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 18:00:10
Nope, the idea is also about archival. And being able to recreate most of your music is better than not being able to recreate anything. That's the problem with Monkey's.

Again, more FUD BS about MAC.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: shadowking on 2006-09-23 18:14:45
Yeah, way too paranoid - unless you sold your CD's or something and even then its a one in a million event.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 18:18:41
Some people are under the assumption that it is impossible to decode through errors with a file created using MAC.

This simply isn't true.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 18:41:55
Decoding is possible but the loss is more important than with WavPack or FLAC. That's why I said that error handling could be less annoying with other formats than MAC. Samples were posted on the board in the past to illustrate this issue. If the situation has changed, or if your experience is different, may I suggest you to enlight people with some facts others than "BS" and "FUD" expression? People would be happy to learn something.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 18:51:18
I know what you said, guruboolez; and in light of what you said, don't you think it's incorrect to claim that flac has robustness to errors and MAC does not?  Don't you think the graph in the wiki is at least misleading if not incorrect?

I very much stick to my comments about FUD BS and I provided the board with a simple fact:
Quote
Some people are under the assumption that it is impossible to decode through errors with a file created using MAC.

This simply isn't true.

If someone wants to know how, I'll gladly tell them.  As of yet, no one has asked.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 19:06:55
I know what you said, guruboolez; and in light of what you said, don't you think it's incorrect to claim that flac has robustness to errors and MAC does not?  Don't you think the graph in the wiki is at least misleading if not incorrect?

The WIKI mentions "error handling"; "NO" for MAC and "YES" for FLAC. I don't have that much experience with Monkey's. From my limited one, I achieved to decode corrupted .ape files but in my souvenirs I also get one file I wasn't able to fully recover. So I wouldn't answer to your question without further investigations. Anyway, corruption is doing more harm with APE format than with WavPack/FLAC. In my opinion, this count as advantage in error handling and robustness feature.

I also recall that the WIKI is a collective project - so if you notice some errors I suppose that you should correct it without any problem and differently than making noise with several "BS... and I'm ready to tell you why you're wrong but only if you ask me first". It's not a very constructive attitude
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 19:47:42
You are talking in shades of gray.  That portion of the table in the wiki is black and white.  Because flac is able to retain more data after corruption than MAC doesn't mean that it should get a different entry for error handling.  Both formats can decode through errors and both formats lose data in the process.

No matter what you think of my attitude, saying that you'll loose all of your data if there is corruption when using MAC is BS FUD.  I'm sorry that you don't like the way I addressed the issue.  I can only hope that you would also take exception to rjamorim's erroneous statement.

--> Anyway, to clear the air over how, Winamp will do it and I think dBpowerAMP will too. <--

Thanks for clueing me in on the WIKI and I would suggest that it be changed, but bashing Monkey's Audio is practically a sport on this forum and it has gotten quite tiresome for me.  In my mind your rationale for why flac gets a "Yes" and MAC gets a "No" is just a continuation of this bias.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-23 20:03:46
No matter what you think of my attitude, saying that you'll loose all of your data if there is corruption when using MAC is BS FUD.

Is "BS FUD" a simple synonymous of "mistake"? Or isn't this expression a bit more pejorative?
You have the power of correcting each mistake in the WIKI - so if you're not interested to improve it, why don't you just ignore it?

Quote
but bashing Monkey's Audio is practically a sport on this forum and it has gotten quite tiresome for me.

Ah, the good old conspiracy theory
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-23 20:24:09
Quote
Is "BS FUD" a simple synonymous of "mistake"?
No.

Quote
Or isn't this expression a bit more pejorative?
No.

We're talking about perpetual propagation of misinformation, not a simple mistake, but you can paint it any way you like.

Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Digisurfer on 2006-09-23 21:09:54
I've been using Monkey's Audio for close to two years now, and am up to almost 8,400 files. I've never had a file become corrupt on me in that time, and I do use them for playback on a regular basis, nearly every day in fact. I also transcode from them to lossy formats when needed, like OGG Vorbis for my Rio Karma (man I love foobar2000!). I use Monkey's Audio at the -c3000 setting mainly because I feel it's the best compromise between encode speed, decode speed, CPU usage, and especially file size. All my files at FLAC level 8 take up about 10 to 11 gigabytes more space, so clearly it does tend to add up quite quickly. If speed and CPU usage were the most important thing to me, then I would probably use FLAC, especially where wider support becomes important. I also think WavPack is probably the best compromize between those two formats, having some of the better aspects of each. So they're all good for their own individual reasons, but I've tended to stick with Monkey's primarily because of file sizes.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: sld on 2006-09-23 23:04:55
We're talking about perpetual propagation of misinformation, not a simple mistake, but you can paint it any way you like.

This is getting funny... if you are that hesitant in enlightening guruboolez (as well as the rest of us), then I guess I can paint it that you are as guilty as him in maintaining the state of misinformation.

"I can assure you Abe Lincoln wasn't assassinated, now please change the history books based on my oneliner assurance thankyouverymuch."

In the same painting, thanks, Digisurfer. 8400 files is quite a solid testimony
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-24 00:46:39
Do you honestly want me to start citing all the unfounded criticism about Monkey's Audio here?  You guys act as if you're asking for the impossible.

I seriously believe that MAC gets a bad wrap in this forum.  This is my opinion based on my own personal perception.  If you want to set up strawman arguments about aliens, Abe Lincoln and who knows what else, be my guest.

It isn't like I'm the only one who has ever used the terms BS and FUD on this forum; and I honestly think such terms are appropriate here.  But if you all think that I owe guruboolez and rjamorim apologies, they can each have one.  If you want me to roll over and allow the BS and FUD regarding MAC to continue or even (gasp) buy into it, forget about it.

Now, can anyone tell me why MAC gets a different rating than flac in the wiki when it comes to error handling?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Duble0Syx on 2006-09-24 01:17:38
I think the whole point of this topic is basically that MAC is "Still the best."  Which is of course arguably not true.  From the originally posters viewpoints and uses it may well be the best.  However I think overall plenty of other lossless compressors are better.  And about the error handling, I think when decoding a corrupted file you lose more frames with MAC on average than other codecs like FLAC or WavPack.  The only thing MAC is really good at is slightly higher compression ratio's.  The negatives are much more apparent, as already mentioned.  It gets a bit of bad rap for plenty of reasons.  I think plenty of people have overly high opinions of it as well.  That's why this is a discussion forum, and why there a tons of lossless codecs out there.  To each their own.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-24 01:55:12
Barring how one would subjectively weight certain aspects when considering the best overall lossless encoder, I totally agree.

I would stick up for any lossless codec that is being incorrectly and unfairly criticized.

EDIT: BTW, I'm dead serious about the question regarding error handling.  If MAC is no, flac should be no also; data loss is data loss.

EDIT #2:  In good faith, I apologize to rjamorim for appearing to have singled him out for his comments.  I apologize to rjamorim, guruboolez and the entire group for wasting your time arguing over a disagreement in opinion and appearing evasive instead of offering up constructive statements and proof to support my criticism which all the while was easily at my disposal.

I am interested in improving the wiki and feel that it should be changed, otherwise I would have never gotten involved in this discussion to the extent that I have.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Destroid on 2006-09-24 03:33:57
MAC is still the best lossless codec (that I can recommend).

Back when I started using it in 1999, it had extra's like a GUI frontend, Winamp plugin and Cooledit filter that no other package had at the time. It performed amazingly fast even on my AMD K6-2. I was hooked. Never went back but I also manitain a uniform archive, so I've been using that same outdated version of MAC at Normal compression ever since. Better things to do than worry about than the bleeding edge of lossless encoding when long-term archival is the goal. I can't say I'm unhappy with my choice of codec, although I found Yalac to be most interesting when it comes to its competitive ration and asymetrical encoding/decoding.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: jido on 2006-09-24 12:02:41
I am interested in improving the wiki and feel that it should be changed, otherwise I would have never gotten involved in this discussion to the extent that I have.

1. Click on Wiki on top of this page
2. Click "Log in / create account"
3. Click "Create account"
4. Enter user name and password and validate
5. Request and obtain editing rights from Jan S.
6. Click on "Lossless Comparison"
7. Click "Edit"
8. Change the appropriate value from "no" to "yes" and validate

Done!
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: beto on 2006-09-24 14:09:14
Now, can anyone tell me why MAC gets a different rating than flac in the wiki when it comes to error handling?


I believe that part of the rationale for that comes from this thread: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=316496 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33226&view=findpost&p=316496)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 14:20:48
I've just checked MAC 4.01 latest build error handling. I used a small sample (15 seconds) and I 'corrupted'  one string with UltraEdit.

String 00000800h original data:
BF 6B 76 4A DE 62 65 AC CO E4 5B 35 E4 16 04 7A
Now it's:
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

I did the same operation with a WavPack encoding (http://gurusamples.free.fr/samples/E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte.wv)

String 00000800h original data:
12 22 3B 1F B1 4E 74 CD 3C 7F 8C 31 5A 8D 64 CB
Now it's:
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

For conveniance, both versions (the clean and the corrupted files) are uploaded (see on bottom)




RESULTS:

foobar2000 0.94
WavPack: the beginning (~1 sec) is missing; the rest is fine
Monkey's Audio: the player report an error; no music at all

Winamp 5.25 (with latest plug-ins)
WavPack: the beginning (~1 sec) is missing; the rest is fine
Monkey's Audio: the player report an error and suggest to turn an option off in the settings. After this change, the playback doesn't stop but as music I only get 15 seconds of pure silence. From Mozart I switched to John Cage...
Same results with diskwriter.

Adobe Audition 1.5 (with latest plug-ins)
WavPack: the beginning (1 sec exactly ) is missing; the rest is fine. A CRC error was reported after full decoding.
Monkey's Audio: no decoding at all.

dBPowerAmp /!\ NOT THE LATEST VERSION[/color]
WavPack: the beginning (1 sec exactly ) is missing; the rest is fine.
Monkey's Audio: no decoding at all. Reports the following error and create a 1Kb .wav file : CODEC decompression error for 'C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.ape'



Could someone try on his side and tell me (us?) how to get some music back with this corrupted APE?



DOWNLOAD TEST FILE

http://rapidshare.de/files/34268010/APE_WA...UPTION.zip.html (http://rapidshare.de/files/34268010/APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION.zip.html)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: TBeck on 2006-09-24 14:48:19
RESULTS:

foobar2000 0.94

Winamp 5.25 (with latest plug-ins)

Adobe Audition 1.5 (with latest plug-ins)

dBPowerAmp /!\ NOT THE LATEST VERSION[/color]

I would suggest, to additonally try a decompression with the native (?) compressors. Otherweise you will not know, if bad implementations of the plugins are responsible for a worse error tolerance.

I don't want to say, that the quality of the plugins isn't important for the rating of a compressor. But for me it would be more important to know, if there is any way (native compressor) to restore audio data from a corrupted file, or if it is definitely lost.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 14:56:15
Hmmm... I forgot to mention that I tried with MAC.exe before any other app. With no success at all: mac.exe always reported an error (code 1009 or sthg like that) and official GUI didn't helped (the process stopped when it detected wrong CRC).

The limited ability of mac.exe for this purpose is well known IIRC. It's probably why greynol didn't mentioned this tool but rather Winamp and dBpowerAmp - which appeared in the past (Winamp for sure) to handle error handling with some success whereas officiel mac.exe couldn't. My little test seems to confirm that mac.exe v.4.01 isn't suitable as well.


EDIT: yes, it's "error 1009".
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: spoon on 2006-09-24 15:12:45
I would like to see the test with FLAC as well.

<edit> I have recently worked on Monkeys and put an option to pass decoding errors as information (which would give the same as Winamp - ie silence audio after the error).

From what I have seen of FLAC decoders, they all bug out if the reported error is not FLAC__STREAM_DECODER_ERROR_STATUS_LOST_SYNC, so the missmatch of a CRC on a frame will cause the decoder to stop.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 15:19:11
Just transcode one reference file into FLAC format


EDIT:  There are apparently padded datas at "00000800h". I tried to disable it (-P 0... is that right) but it doesn't work.

EDIT2: --no-padding doesn't give the expected result either... I should "corrupt" the file in another position.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Fandango on 2006-09-24 15:22:59
Interestingly this is what the "File Integrity Verifier" component says about your files gurubulez:

Code: [Select]
Item: "C:\Download\APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.ape"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\Download\APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.wv"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\Download\APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.ape"
Error: Unsupported format or corrupted file

Item: "C:\Download\APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.wv"
No problems found.


1 item could not be decoded.

List of undecodable items:
"C:\Download\APE_WAVPACK_CORRUPTION\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.ape"

foobar2000 v0.9.4 (EDIT: forgot to mention...  )
File Integrity Verifier - v1.0.1
Monkey's Audio decoding support - v2.1.1

The corrupted WavPack file isn't even detected as being corrupt...  which is a bad thing.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 15:45:01
I just tried with FLAC. Due to what seems to be a consequence of padding, I couldn't "corrupt" the data on the same string than before. I tried to locate the beginning of the FLAC audio stream and I modified the original data at a position which should be approximately the same than with WavPack or Monkey's (sorry if I'm not clear).

The playback is fine ; I used foobar2000 bit-to-bit comparator to see if something happened. Result: only less than 100 ms are missing (~90 ms).
Setting used:
- flac -8
- flake -12

Result is the same for flac and flake. With Audition, the flake file contains 100 ms of silence at the beginning; the flac encoding immediatly starts on the first valid sample.
Files are currently uploaded ; link will be available in a few minutes.


EDIT: exact position of my "corruption" process:
FLAC = 00006000h
FLAKE= 00001a10h

EDIT2: The archive is here:
http://rapidshare.de/files/34277364/FLAC_F...UPTION.zip.html (http://rapidshare.de/files/34277364/FLAC_FLAKE_CORRUPTION.zip.html)


EDIT3: fandango> I was completely ignorant about this interesting component  I had to recover 260 GB of lossless music this summer due to HDD corruption ; I was able to test the recovered FLAC files with the VUplayer app but I'm still looking for a way to check the integrity of the WavPack files. I dreamt about such foobar2000 components. I will look for it. Thanks !!!

EDIT4:
Code: [Select]
Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.ape"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.flac"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.flake.flac"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CLEAN.wv"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.ape"
Error: Unsupported format or corrupted file

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.flac"
Warning: Reported length is inaccurate : 0:14.384172 vs 0:14.279683 decoded

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.flake.flac"
No problems found.

Item: "C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.wv"
No problems found.


1 item could not be decoded.
1 item decoded with minor problems.

List of undecodable items:
"C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.ape"

List of decodable but problematic items:
"C:\temp audio\E37_PERIOD_CHAMBER_G_violin_pianoforte_CORRUPTED.flac"
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: haregoo on 2006-09-24 16:11:18
It seems that FB2K's wv decoder can't detect error in wv. wvunpack works properly for that purpose. (wv-verify (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=40299))
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Fandango on 2006-09-24 16:18:10
EDIT3: fandango> I was completely ignorant about this interesting component  I had to recover 260 GB of lossless music this summer due to HDD corruption ; I was able to test the recovered FLAC files with the VUplayer app but I'm still looking for a way to check the integrity of the WavPack files. I dreamt about such foobar2000 components. I will look for it. Thanks !!!


I think it only appeared recently on the official components page. It might have been around for some time now, but I only discovered it recently when I updated fb2k. Btw, I posted a bug report on the fb2k forum about this matter so hopefully this will be no problem anymore with fb2k v0.9.4.1 (more likely, I tend to agree with haregoo) or the next version of the integrity checker.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-24 19:16:55
I tried the MAC sample and verified the results.

I encoded the sample using the extra high compression setting, altered a few bytes and was able to get only a small portion of audio to decode.

I also encoded the sample using the high compression setting, altered a few bytes and was able to get quite a bit more audio to decode.

To me this suggests that the amount of recoverable data is dependent on the compression used.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: TBeck on 2006-09-24 19:31:51
To me this suggests that the amount of recoverable data is dependent on the compression used.

Most encoders partition the whole audio data into smaller frames. If the frames are independend from each other, an error within one frame will in the worst case make the samples of this frame undecodable.

I i remember it right, at least earlier versions (i didn't look at newer versions) of Monkey were using increasingly bigger frames for stronger presets, what would explain your findings.

Furthermore even faster presets of Monkey seem to use considerably bigger frames than for instance FLAC (Default 4608 samples = 104 ms for 44 KHz sampling rate). Therefore it isn't surprising, that Monkey will lose far more samples than FLAC, if a frame is damaged.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: pest on 2006-09-24 19:47:17
The reason why Monkey uses large frames (up to 4s at 44.1khz) relies on it's architecture.
OptimFROG suffers from the same problem. The adaptive predictors have to catch up some data...
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 19:53:08
To me this suggests that the amount of recoverable data is dependent on the compression used.

Yeah... It was already said it in a previous post (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=48642&st=0#)  Bullshit, isn't it?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Leo 69 on 2006-09-24 20:01:41
guruboolez, how would your experiment with manually corrupting the files apply to normal conditions (without modifiying them intentionally) ? What conditions are mandatory to make an .ape file non-playable ? I've never seen anyone reporting such problems in real life. Any links ?

Thank you
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 20:16:19
guruboolez, how would your experiment with manually corrupting the files apply to normal conditions (without modifiying them intentionally) ? What conditions are mandatory to make an .ape file non-playable ? I've never seen anyone reporting such problems in real life. Any links ?

Thank you

First of all, don't expect from me (or anyone sane) to take a hammer and to partially destroy my hard disks in order to get corrupted files corresponding to "real life" problems. Most of us don't have any other choice than simulating "real life" with artificial conditions - and their validity is in essence questionable. I don't have any answer to your question. It's still better than nothing I believe and I'm not the first one using such artificial way of corruption to test error handling of various audioformats. This experience is still teaching us valid elements (like the average amount of lost data or the way different tools are handling the error).

About corruptions, there were several reports in the past from HA.org users (especially with Monkey's Audio, apparently more sensitive to hardware issues). You can search for it. And as I said in a previous post, I got myself two cases of corruption, and for one I was unable to recover anything occuring after the corrupted part ; for the second, the loss was limited to a small fragment. Our simulation is apparently showing the same phenomenon: sometimes recovery is possible (see greynol experience); sometimes it isn't (see mine).

Note: corruptions are more likely to happen on optical media such as CD-R and DVD-R. I have a lot of .ape files burned into CD-R. Once they get corrupted, I will obtain real-life complient testing files - but I'm not too hurry for that
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: spoon on 2006-09-24 20:29:51
In real life if you get a bad hard drive you will loose more than a few bytes, what ever the sector size is - so perhaps multiples of 4KB to 32KB  missing / corrupted data - if could be all lossless encoders would barf on such a large corruption, not sure.

>(especially with Monkey's Audio, apparently more sensitive to hardware issues).

Which is why when encoding to lossless you should always verify the written file against the original source md5, this not only checks the encoder but also your hard disk.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 20:37:50
In real life if you get a bad hard drive you will loose more than a few bytes, what ever the sector size is

I know... I lost 20 full albums this summer due to hardware corruption on a *NEW* hard drive 

On an optical media I suppose that the corruption could be much smaller when the media just start to become unreadable on some part.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Leo 69 on 2006-09-24 21:38:25
Well, the reasons for avoiding Monkey's audio regarding corruption due to losing some few bytes seem to me pretty vague, since this is an extremely rare and irreproducable case. I'm sure if you have reliable media and robust burner, there's nothing to worry about, let alone keeping the files on a harddisk which I consider the safest way of keeping the media of all.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-24 21:49:31
Well, the reasons for avoiding Monkey's audio regarding corruption due to losing some few bytes seem to me pretty vague

I agree (EDIT: more or less though. The ability of playing music after a stream problem is important and such possibility is implemented in all efficient A/V containers for good reasons). But did someone talked about leaving this format for that reason? In this topic? I don't think so. BTW situation isn't really different for the ratio argument: who will seriously choose a format for the sole reason that it allows you to spare 1,5% of your diskspace? Isn't it a bit ridiculous? Could a few kbps pertinently make MAC as "the best" lossless format (to quote the title of this topic) or wouldn't it better to take into account several more reasons (as error handling in rare situation, and also features such seeking speed, hardware support, development, impact on decoding speed, etc...)?


2nd EDIT after bryant's message: minor clarification.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: bryant on 2006-09-24 22:58:41
There are a few things I'd like to add to this topic. First, thanks to Guru for doing these tests. I suspect that the authors of the various encoders have also done tests like these, but it's nice to have someone outside who doesn't already know the best (and worse) places to corrupt the file.

This brings me to a caveat, and that is that there is a certain amount of luck to this procedure. It's kind of like poking someone with a stick; most of the time you'd get them in the leg or the arm, but if you were really lucky you would get them in the eye and cause real trouble. Guru sent me a file some time about ago that had the first block corrupt. It played fine (minus the first block), but because I had the overall length encoded there, and didn't properly handle the case of it being missing, I reported an absurd runtime. I recently got a WavPack file that had a corruption that causes a GPF.

The only way a test like this could be truly fair is to introduce hundreds of random errors and see what percentage cause various levels of damage. Obviously a decoder should be written in such a way that no error can cause the whole file to be corrupt, but there can always be an unforeseen problem that trips the decoder up so badly (like my GPF above) that continuing is impossible. I agree with greynol that this entry in the wiki should probably not be a binary option.

As for WavPack, I am actually in the process of improving the robustness of the decoder, which is what has delayed version 4.4 somewhat. The decoding of hybrid lossless files is currently pretty fragile, and there are some problems with regular files like what Guru and I found.

Also, WavPack currently has a CRC in each block for the decoded audio data, but I have been considering adding a CRC to cover the entire block. This would improve the robustness because I could ignore bad blocks straight away rather than try to parse through them and possibly get tripped up, and it would also allow a "quick verify" option that Guru requested long ago.

Finally, in fairness to Matt, I believe that the Monkey's Audio format (and the decoder) were designed long before this hysteria with "error robustness" started. The WavPack format back then would not tolerate a single bit error, and would in fact sometimes play full volume white noise until the end of the track! This kind of back and forth competition and learning is why the lossless encoders are as good as they are today, and why we're not all still using Shorten... 
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: pest on 2006-09-24 23:28:10
Quote
Also, WavPack currently has a CRC in each block for the decoded audio data, but I have been considering adding a CRC to cover the entire block.


in my opinion the following is optimal. a crc32 for every entire block to check for io-errors
and a forced md5 on the whole file to evaluate possible decoding errors.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: TBeck on 2006-09-24 23:35:09
This brings me to a caveat, and that is that there is a certain amount of luck to this procedure. It's kind of like poking someone with a stick; most of the time you'd get them in the leg or the arm, but if you were really lucky you would get them in the eye and cause real trouble. Guru sent me a file some time about ago
...

I totally agree. While for example the (limited) error robustness test for Yalac could not bring it into trouble, i later found some cases, which the decoder could not handle. If someone had damaged the right part...

The only way a test like this could be truly fair is to introduce hundreds of random errors and see what percentage cause various levels of damage. Obviously a decoder should be written in such a way that no
..

*Promotion on* If someone would like to try my Damage (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=46222&view=findpost&p=409184)-tool for this, please tell me... *Promotion off*

Finally, in fairness to Matt, I believe that the Monkey's Audio format (and the decoder) were designed long before this hysteria with "error robustness" started. The WavPack format back then would not tolerate a single bit error, and would in fact sometimes play full volume white noise until the end of the track! This kind of back and forth competition and learning is why the lossless encoders are as good as they are today, and why we're not all still using Shorten... 

To be honest, without the requests from the hydrogen members, i myself would have paid very little attention to error robustness. And yes, the standards are much higher today, who would have known earlier? In 1997 (when i started with my work on audio compression) i never would have used CRC's, because my i486-25 MHz simply was too slow...
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: adlai on 2006-09-25 01:18:44
You know, now that you speak of it...


Last year, when 3.97 alpha was made the recommended version, I decided to do a complete reencode. At the time I had about 120 DVD-R's full of .APE files.

I ran into about 5 DVD-R's that were corrupted in some manner. I lost the audio data on them.

Now, in some cases there were actually holes in the metal skin, ie a manufacturing error. other cases it was I think from scratches on the disc.

I'm not sure if flac could have done better, but in most cases, I'd wager that a simple disc doctor could have solved it.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: CyberFoxx on 2006-09-25 02:31:13
Just thought I'd toss in my $0.02CDN.

Monkey's Audio, as a format, is great. Great compression, decent playback speed, etc.
Monkey's Audio, as a supported format IMHO, isn't so great. I would gladly convert all my Flacs to APEs, but not many, if any, media players for Linux actually support Monkey's Audio.

Then again, WavPack and OptimFROG suffer from the same problem as well. Just seems that OSS loves Ogg Vorbis and Flac for some reason...
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-09-25 06:55:39
one more note is that a thorough test should also include deletions, including big ones, like when you lose a bunch of sectors on a disk.  a decoder might survive errors contained within a frame but still fail on deletions because of inability to resync.

tbeck has a tool called damage that would be good for automating some of this.

this thread and the other one linked should be a footnote for the robustness part of the wiki table.

Josh
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-25 07:06:06
Bullshit, isn't it?
Touche?

So considering that MAC beats out flac when it comes to compression by well over 1.5% (try 5+% for my eclectic collection), how much data is lost when it comes to files with comparable compression?

I do appreciate your demonstration of one of MAC's shortcomings.  Will you be doing any tests comparing apples to apples when it comes to data corruption?  I mean you did prove a valid point, but I don't think it should serve as a basis for making truly comparative claims (not that I'm accusing you of making any such claims) regarding error tolerance.

flac has many many virtues.  One worth mentioning here is that it keeps a md5sum handy for the raw pcm data.  This has enabled me to verify all of the files I've transcoded to Monkey's Audio using the high profile.  I have converted well over 800 titles, but for each 100 that I transcode, 2GB of drive space is freed up.  Maybe this isn't worthwhile to some, but it has been for me.

Bryant, I'm glad that you commented about the wiki.  I made no mention of your codec earlier because I'm only vaguely familiar with it but have been very impressed from what little exposure I have had.

EDIT: Josh, thanks for taking the time to comment also.  You wrote it while I was drafting this.

A specific explanation and some sort of graded scale for the error entry in the wiki chart would hopefully make it more clear.  I know that it has been confusing for me!  I also think it is fair to give MAC a lower score than flac or include some sort of warning regarding what profile is used when it comes to this entry.

This has been very enlightening for me and I thank all of you for helping me better understand this issue that I wouldn't let go.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: spoon on 2006-09-25 08:16:14
>One worth mentioning here is that it keeps a md5sum handy for the raw pcm data

Monkeys Audio after 3.99 has an md5 (but it is upto the application to manually check it, not like flac which can check automatically at the end if asked).
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-25 17:02:20
I do appreciate your demonstration of one of MAC's shortcomings.  Will you be doing any tests comparing apples to apples when it comes to data corruption?  I mean you did prove a valid point, but I don't think it should serve as a basis for making truly comparative claims (not that I'm accusing you of making any such claims) regarding error tolerance.

The test I did was more an example than a real, complete or simply valid test. It's not meant to draw any definite conclusions, but rather to easily illustrate that Monkey's error handling could be more annoying than WavPack or FLAC's one. A very basic approach (corrupting 16 consecutive bytes) is apparently enough to provisionally refute some your past claims. I'm of course open to further experience even (and especially) if they could invalidate my own results. I'm not defending any particular position. My recent experience simply confirms what several people noticed and published in the board these last years.

Performing a full test would be much more time consuming: it should be based IMO on several samples with different length, different degree of corruptions, different way of corruption (example: destroying the header instead of a part of the audio stream), etc... TBeck's tool may help (I didn't tried it yet) anyone interested to achieve this big task.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-25 18:00:40
Yes, I made a blanket statement that MAC could be decoded despite errors, as did rjamorim that it couldn't. 

My point, however, is that at comprable levels of compression MAC doesn't fail like your example shows.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-25 18:52:00
My point, however, is that at comprable levels of compression MAC doesn't fail like your example shows.

I used the most powerful settings for WavPack (-hx6), FLAC (-8), flake (-12) and Monkey's (-c5000). There's some coherency with what I tested.

Don't forget that there's no comparable level of compression between FLAC and Monkey's Audio, because the latter compresses better than flac even with -c1000. Moreover, comparison could be done on different points like decoding speed (this time, MAC fastest setting is much slower than FLAC and WavPack). Therefore, any comparison would be partial.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-25 19:15:19
Quote
Don't forget that there's no comparable level of compression between FLAC and Monkey's Audio, because the latter compresses better than flac even with -c1000.
...both in compression level and encoding speed (when shooting at similar file sizes), though you still lose quite a bit more data upon corruption with MAC even at -c1000.

So it's apples and oranges no matter which way you look at it.

I guess it gets back to how one weights features when choosing a lossless codec.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-25 19:22:19
I guess it gets back to how one weights features when choosing a lossless codec.

Always
That's why this topic ("the best") didn't start very well.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2006-09-25 19:26:37
I remember looking at it when it first appeared and thinking, "Oh no, here we go again!"



EDIT: I must admit my conspiracy-mindedness did factor into my initial reaction to the topic.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Digisurfer on 2006-09-26 04:08:40
In the same painting, thanks, Digisurfer. 8400 files is quite a solid testimony

Here is how my collection currently pans out if anyone is curious:

Christmas: 16
Classical: 249
Comedy: 42
Country: 250
Easy Listening: 1679
Electronica: 655
Religious: 71
Rock/Pop: 3015
Showtunes: 229
Soundtracks: 1915
Video Game: 202

Total consecutive play time: 3 weeks, 2 days, 2 hours, 27 minutes, and 43 seconds.

That is a total of 8323 files in Monkey's Audio format, all using -c3000 compression. I recently converted these all to FLAC at level 8, and here are how the file sizes compare:

APE (-c3000 -v):
178 GB (191,406,413,329 bytes)

FLAC (-V -8):
188 GB (202,040,058,006 bytes)

It may not look like a big difference to some, but still it does slowly add up. To be honest, I'll bet that my collection is actually quite small compared to a lot of the real music freaks out there, and I am definitely not one of them lol. For example, if my collection were to double in size, that would be about a 20GB difference. Double again, a 40 GB difference. So yeah, for those who do care about space (because music isn't the only thing I store on my hard drives), Monkey's Audio is a good choice indeed as far at that goes. On top of that, it's also never given me a reason to switch... yet. Even though I like Monkey's Audio as a format, I'd also have no problem switching if I had to for some pressing reason. See, I feel all the lossless formats are good and have their place. Each have their own niches the depend on the individuals needs. There is no one right format for everybody obviously, so what point is there in getting all caught up over semantics? Loyalty? They're just a thing, a tool. Some of the arguments I've seen are like if Canada and the USA were to go over war over which is better, Coke or Pepsi lol.

I'm also having some trouble understanding where a lot of folks are coming from regarding error handling. Specifically, I don't get why the size of the error matters so much, or why it matters that one format will play through an error where another format won't and just skip over said error, perhaps continuing to play despite an audible gap in the faulty audio file. I guess my confusion stems from the reason most folks use a lossless format in the first place, which is for archival reasons primarily. From my point of view an error is bad no matter which format one uses, and when encountered should be erradicated immediately either by re-ripping the album in question, or by restoring from a clean backup copy. I played with the hex edit thing a long time ago because of some long forgotten discusion about error handling (probably that post that was quoted earlier in this thread) and it showed to me that a corrupt APE file would quit playing with an error message given. This was in foobar 0.8.3 back then IIRC, and to be honest I felt this was a good thing. After all, I want to know right away if there is something wrong, so that it can be fixed quickly. Basically what I'm trying to boil it down to is that an error is an error, and is bad regardless of which format you use. Hence my confusion as to why folks seem to be getting so caught up over that one point.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: guruboolez on 2006-09-26 06:36:34
From my point of view an error is bad no matter which format one uses, and when encountered should be erradicated immediately either by re-ripping the album in question, or by restoring from a clean backup copy.

It's not always possible. And people don't necessary have a second copy of their copies. So if your original is lost, or broken, and if you start to get some troubles with your lossless backup, the recovery performance would become dramatically important.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Maglor on 2007-03-24 13:31:51
Hi all! I've been reading a lot of posts lately about bad blocks or crc errors on wavpack files, and I can't find the solution to my problem, which is: recently I've bought a new external drive where I've passed all my rips still on folders, not rar's, and many of them have now been corrupted when they weren't before that.
So now what I want is to recover those files, because many of those CD's that I've ripped aren't with me anymore. So is there a little something like this that could recover those wavpack files?
I appreciate very much all the help! 
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Agrajag on 2007-03-28 06:33:56
Guys, glad to see this being discussed.

I have about 1600 songs I keep in lossless format mainly for both active use and archival purposes.

I started with them in WMA 9 Lossless format and found that to be the most widely supported format for the devices I had at the time. The one problem was that dbpowerAMP's various pieces had trouble working with the format reliably. I'd rip songs from CD and end up having to manually enter a slew of tag information anyway.

I finally took Spoon's (the author) advice and switched everything over to APE format.

A couple things have cropped up since that move.

While I find that the compression sizes are great, I also find that most products simply do not support APE or do so only via plug-ins and such and sometimes only partially support it. I now want to use a server applet on my PC to stream to my Xbox 360 and my DirecTV DVR. Twonky doesn't support APE and while TVersity claims to support it, like in other cases, it's hit and miss. TVersity will serve up the files but it can't read the v2 tags (even though the author claims he does). This is being troubleshot now by its author but I suspect it'll be a while before anything is resolved.

I'm wondering if I should just give FLAC a try as my current tools (TVersity, MediaMonkey and others) all support FLAC natively and solidly.

Do I give up anything really other than some space (which I can afford to give up)? What about tagging? Are the two basically the same? I've read that APE tagging is considered excellent.

At this point I don't want to convert everything to FLAC only to find I'm back in the same boat just going in another direction.

I even thought about just going back to WMA 9 Lossless but no one seems to like it (though it has a LOT of hardware support).

Thanks.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: halb27 on 2007-03-28 11:51:37
Practical considerations are the most of concern, and other than with lossy formats with a lossless format like ape, FLAC, wavPack, wma lossless, other considerations usually don't count much. file size is pretty much the same not counting peas.

As your situations seems to make ape unusable, why don't you just try a few FLAC or wma lossless files and see whether or not your tagging works throughout your chain?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-03-28 16:25:08
Do I give up anything really other than some space (which I can afford to give up)? What about tagging? Are the two basically the same? I've read that APE tagging is considered excellent.

the two are equally powerful in that neither really have any limits on what you can put in tags.

I even thought about just going back to WMA 9 Lossless but no one seems to like it (though it has a LOT of hardware support).

what makes you say that?  I've found very few things that support WMAL, a lot less than FLAC.

Josh
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Agrajag on 2007-03-28 19:22:50
what makes you say that?  I've found very few things that support WMAL, a lot less than FLAC.


Must be the things I've looked at. I just seem to find it here and there. Certainly more than APE though I do see FLAC from time-to-time.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-03-28 22:03:14
compare http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware) vs. http://www.google.com/notebook/public/1751...QiXSwoQ_ayZ_PAh (http://www.google.com/notebook/public/17512840281935853852/BDQiXSwoQ_ayZ_PAh) (reference (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=50346))

actually I think more things support even APE than WMAL due to the chinese portables.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Agrajag on 2007-03-29 23:36:06
compare http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware) vs. http://www.google.com/notebook/public/1751...QiXSwoQ_ayZ_PAh (http://www.google.com/notebook/public/17512840281935853852/BDQiXSwoQ_ayZ_PAh) (reference (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=50346))

actually I think more things support even APE than WMAL due to the chinese portables.


Uh, those lists are extremely lacking. The Zune, 360 and Xbox aren't even listed there. Sqeezebox and Roku also support WMAL and they're not there.

That's just off the top of my head. I wonder what else is missing for both of them?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-03-30 00:25:11
Uh, those lists are extremely lacking. The Zune, 360 and Xbox aren't even listed there. Sqeezebox and Roku also support WMAL and they're not there.

That's just off the top of my head. I wonder what else is missing for both of them?

the squeezebox and roku transcode on the server to a format the device can support (usually FLAC or WAV), which is not feasible for some servers and breaks things like FFWD/REW.

360 and xbox are basically PCs, which can play FLAC too, and they're not on either list probably for the same reason that 'windows PC' is not on either list, it's just assumed.

the zune should be on that list though, so +1 for WMAL.

Josh
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Øyvin Eikeland on 2007-04-12 09:04:19
Hi,
I'm one of the guys to blame for the lacking list of supported wma lossless players. Sorry to mess up this thread with off-topic stuff. If you wish to continue this discussion, please add postings here:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=50346 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=50346)

the zune should be on that list though, so +1 for WMAL.


It should be on the list, but for some reason microsoft decided not to support wma lossless. This is quite strange, as the zune is based on the Gigabeat S. The Gigabeat S does support wma lossless.

http://www.zunescene.com/comparison/ (http://www.zunescene.com/comparison/)
http://www.zunescene.com/forums/index.php?...07778#msg107778 (http://www.zunescene.com/forums/index.php?topic=8238.msg107778#msg107778)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabeat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigabeat)

Roku Soundbrigde:
The Roku seems unable to play wma lossless natively (please correct me if I am wrong):
http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t...ht=wma+lossless (http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t=12353&highlight=wma+lossless)

Squeezebox / slimserver:
I've got one of these myself. It supports apple lossless, flac and wma lossless right out of the box. I love it.  It should definetively be on the wma lossless list.

Xbox (360):
Does the Xbox support wma lossless right out of the box (without hacking it / installing software) ? I found this in the FAQ for the 360: "Windows Media DRM protected WMA Lossless is not supported" I guess that you can play back wma lossless if you encode it yourself? In that case, the 360 should be included on the list.

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/pcsetup/xboxmediafaq.htm (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/pcsetup/xboxmediafaq.htm)

regards,
Øyvin Eikeland
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: rt87 on 2007-04-25 09:05:29
Every codec have different adventages when comparing and I'll say Monkey's Audio fits me because Monkey's Audio have APL metafile helping me keeping compressed images and cue files clean and original.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: heiger on 2007-05-01 19:22:47
 the smaller the best ????
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: MisterMeow on 2007-05-02 13:36:53
Monkey Audio is great!  I love the *.ape extensions.  When I started using lossless, I believe Monkey Audio and FLAC were the only things around.  I liked the nice front end for Monkey Audio, and the funny *.ape extension at the time, so that is what I used.

Its really a matter of personal taste.  The only drawback originally to using Monkey Audio for me, was years ago, it only had Windows support, and I do have a fondess for Apples.  Now it seems there is Mac OS and Linux support.  Anyone who is uncertain of what lossless codec to use, I would certainly suggest Monkey Audio.

You can't beat the APE
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: shadowking on 2007-05-02 14:17:11
Well I've decided that the small gains in compression with all these encoders isn't worth the decoding penalty which means slower transcoding and limited or no hardware support. So my vote goes to FLAC for hardware / software compatibility, Wavpack for hardware friendly higher compression and TAK is great for fast high compression PC solution. Then Optimfrog high modes and LA when only compression counts.

MA is stuck in the middle for me.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2007-05-02 16:04:22
OptimFROG?  It ought to be called OptimTURTLE.

I transcode with pipes and find that MAC at the compression that I use decodes no slower than the speed at which my lossy encoder encodes.

MAC might be in the middle but not any more so than other codecs mentioned, as where you draw the line is pretty arbitrary.  Speaking of the middle, there's one fairly popular codec currently getting its clock cleaned when it comes to compression and speed (encoding AND decoding) and it isn't MAC.

Yes MAC isn't the fastest decoder but it is certainly faster than OptimFROG:
Code: [Select]
Encoder                    Comp      Enc    Dec
OptimFROG Mode Extranew    62.565%     3      4
Monkey's Audio Extra High  63.062%    21     21
OptimFROG Mode High        63.183%    11     15
OptimFROG                  63.386%    17     23
Monkey's Audio High        63.507%    36     34
TAK Extra Max              63.527%     7     87
TAK High                   63.684%    28     96
Monkey's Audio Normal      63.793%    41     38
TAK Normal Max             63.795%    25    110
TAK Normal                 63.875%    45    109
TAK Fast Extra             63.963%    50    113
OptimFROG Mode Fast        64.068%    23     32
TAK Fast                   64.145%    66    112
WavPack -hhx3              64.378%     4     54
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: pepoluan on 2007-05-02 17:31:10
I have been an OptimFROG lover... but yes I teeth at its veeeery slow decoding.

When TAK solidifies more, I think I'll switch over to TAK High.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: [JAZ] on 2007-05-02 18:48:33
I transcode with pipes and find that MAC at the compression that I use decodes no slower than the speed at which my lossy encoder encodes.


Isn't that enough to ring a bell? decompressing MAC as complex ( CPU-time wise ) as encoding of a lossy format.
Compare this to FLAC and TAK, which can be decompressed at 100x realtime with current PC's.
This implies that encoding from flac/tak to lossy, takes not much more than encoding directly a .wav, while for MAC/optimFrog/LA, the time actually doubles, or more.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: kanak on 2007-05-02 19:24:09
I have been an OptimFROG lover... but yes I teeth at its veeeery slow decoding.

When TAK solidifies more, I think I'll switch over to TAK High.


Once TAK is more "stable" and more feature rich, using Monkey's Audio would make very little sense; you can get approximately the same compression levels upto "high" without the decompression penalty. True, MAC is still better at compressing than TAK at levels like Extra High and Insane, but at those points, using OptimFrog at its most lax setting might make more sense.

One gripe about TAK though is the lack of support for piping... having to decompress to wave every time i want to "transcode" to TAK is just such a nuisance.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Steve J. on 2007-05-02 19:30:16
The whole idea about lossless is either it is perfect or it is not


Nope, the idea is also about archival. And being able to recreate most of your music is better than not being able to recreate anything. That's the problem with Monkey's.

\

Anyone know of a good way to convert Monkey's audio files to WavePack without going through .wav format?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: kanak on 2007-05-02 20:04:10

The whole idea about lossless is either it is perfect or it is not


Nope, the idea is also about archival. And being able to recreate most of your music is better than not being able to recreate anything. That's the problem with Monkey's.

\

Anyone know of a good way to convert Monkey's audio files to WavePack without going through .wav format?


foobar?
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: Keykey on 2007-05-02 21:24:00
Anyone know of a good way to convert Monkey's audio files to WavePack without going through .wav format?



dBpoweramp

http://www.dbpoweramp.com/ (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/)
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2007-05-03 02:35:43
Quote
' date='May 2 2007, 10:48' post='489678']
I transcode with pipes and find that MAC at the compression that I use decodes no slower than the speed at which my lossy encoder encodes.
Isn't that enough to ring a bell? decompressing MAC as complex ( CPU-time wise ) as encoding of a lossy format.
Compare this to FLAC and TAK, which can be decompressed at 100x realtime with current PC's.
This implies that encoding from flac/tak to lossy, takes not much more than encoding directly a .wav, while for MAC/optimFrog/LA, the time actually doubles, or more.

It's obvious you don't get it, but that's ok.

Once TAK is more "stable" and more feature rich, using Monkey's Audio would make very little sense; you can get approximately the same compression levels upto "high" without the decompression penalty. True, MAC is still better at compressing than TAK at levels like Extra High and Insane, but at those points, using OptimFrog at its most lax setting might make more sense.

One gripe about TAK though is the lack of support for piping... having to decompress to wave every time i want to "transcode" to TAK is just such a nuisance.

Not just Extra High and Insane, but High as well, at least according to Synthetic Soul's data.  This data also shows that MAC High encodes over five times faster than TAK's closest compression level (p4m) for as little as that may be worth to you.

What MAC has going for it that TAK still lacks is multi-platform support, otherwise I'd ditch MAC for TAK in a heartbeat.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: TBeck on 2007-05-03 02:43:49
Not just Extra High and Insane, but High as well, at least according to Synthetic Soul's data.  This data also shows that MAC High encodes over five times faster than TAK's closest compression level (p4m) for as little as that may be worth to you.

On some classical music or audiobooks (speech) TAK can even beat Monkey's Extra High. It always depends on your files. Synthetic Soul's selection is not very TAK friendly, but TAK likes for instance the FLAC comparisons' files. And nobody hast to use -p4m. -p4 is up to 3 times faster and usually compresses less than 0.05 percent worse. Possibly i should better remove the 'm'-option...
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: shadowking on 2007-05-03 07:59:53
Classical music comparison.

TAK P2e 'normal': 323 923 956 bytes
MAC normal :      327 401 528 bytes
WV -hx                333 323 282 bytes

CD: Pachelbel Canon & Others


TAK wins. MAC is looking unattractive even if it did compress a little better than TAK on some music. Differences between MAC normal and the new WV high mode are not great. This WV mode is hardware friendly too. So for these marginal compression differences we are loosing too many features by choosing MAC. MAC was great before TAK was born and only when fitting files on CD-R or DVD.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: halb27 on 2007-05-03 09:11:06
MAC sure isn't very attractive at normal or even high mode compared to other codecs.
IMO the advantage of MAC comes with extra high mode which usually provides for a superior compression ratio (not talking about LA) while still being fast enough for many users.

Anyway I agree that compression superiority of MAC's extra high mode isn't so impressive as to make it the overwhelming selection criterion. So chosing MAC, TAK, FLAC, wavPack, or other is more or less a matter of taste resp. the specific properties which are most of concern to the user.
Title: WOW, Monkey's Audio is still the best
Post by: greynol on 2007-05-03 17:53:21
MAC sure isn't very attractive at normal or even high mode compared to other codecs.

Rock music comparison (AC/DC - Back In Black):
MAC High: 319,106,036 bytes, 73.37 seconds
TAK Extra: 320,489,313 bytes, 117.06 seconds
WavPack -hx: 322,232,072 bytes, 90.16 seconds

I suppose this really depends on the type of music.  For the majority of stuff I listen to (rock and jazz) that isn't mono or near mono, MAC high compresses more and more quickly than any other codec I've tested including flac, WavPack and TAK, although my testing with the last two aren't terribly extensive.  My findings are pretty consistent with Synthetic Soul's data which I've already posted.

Halb27, maybe you have some data of your own to share?
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