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Lossless Audio Compression => Lossless / Other Codecs => Topic started by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-12 14:59:27

Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-12 14:59:27
Hi all,

Speculating, yes! 
But what I'm wondering about are the chance to see the one or the other to become THE standard in lossless audio compression and in particular supported natively in commercial apps, such as audio editors etc... and also audio devices (car or portable) in the future.

I've picked FLAC (at -5) and WavPack (at default). I think FLAC is on a good way for that.
Both codecs with these settings are on par on the aspects suiting my needs: speed and compression ratio, though I've got a little preference towards WavPack, regarding compression - and speed - at default setting.
Both codecs are cross-platform, widely supported. However FLAC seems advance compared to WavPack, regarding this aspect.
Thanks to the developpers and community, the formats are supported in most populars players and apps at the time being. Also, FLAC more often natively than WavPack.
But we've seen WavPack being implemented in WinZip recently...
I'd pick FLAC.

I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

Speculating too: Perhaps, this is a silly question as storage capacity is becoming cheaper and cheaper, we will certainly, in the future I'm thinking about, have no need of compressing audio (rather than video).

And, maybe I go wrong and commercial lossless codecs such as Apple's ALAC or Microsoft's WMA will never let the way for those two codecs to become "standard". And so should I go for ALAC instead of FLAC for instance?

Okay, this was just a (plenty of?) question. 

Alex.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Tropican on 2006-12-12 15:25:36
Beauty of lossless audio is if you pick one and the other becomes "the standard", you can always convert. Wavpack and FLAC are definitely the top two, with Wavpack offering Hybrid/lossy mode along with RIFF chuck support and FLAC offering better hardware support currently.

Chances are neither will go out of favor, at least in my opinion. If someone manages to compress stuff losslessly to the size of an mp3, ok, maybe then.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: PoisonDan on 2006-12-12 15:40:20
If someone manages to compress stuff losslessly to the size of an mp3, ok, maybe then.

This will never happen, because of the way lossless compression works. I.e. you could never guarantee that a certain codec will compress everything to <500kbps, for example, simply because the varying "randomness" (entropy?) of the input material. For example, try to losslessly compress some pure noise and see what kind of bitrates you get...

Other than that, I fully agree with your post.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-12 15:42:59
My guess too.
I'd pick FLAC for decoding time and wide support.
I'd pick Wavpack for its speed/compression ratio, because I've been using using it for long now
I'd pick ALAC for the chance to see it widely supported in commercials apps, but that's still speculating.

RIFF chunk support: it don't know what that represents and the adavntage of it. Can you explain?

BTW, actually, I'll go for FLAC.

Thanks for reading.
Alex.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Bruno Monteiro on 2006-12-12 16:28:33
Hi all.

I'd pick WavPack because of the lossy+correction feature which is very useful to share albums with other users. If one is only trying, it can download only the WV. If one wants the lossless version, then all he/she has to do is download the correction (WVC) file. Very nice indeed!
The differences in compression sizes are negligible to me.

Regards
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Firon on 2006-12-12 16:29:55
I like WavPack more than FLAC, but in all honesty, FLAC currently has more widespread support (in terms of usage and supported players).

However, WavPack has better compression (and is also pretty fast), and I really like the hybrid lossy mode it has.

But it doesn't matter which you choose, since it's lossless, you can always just convert between the two.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: DARcode on 2006-12-12 17:00:24
I'm eager to see how much the WinZip adoption of WavPack will do in terms of furthering its worldwide acceptance, anyway David's superb app is my choice thanks to the compression/speed ratio and the brilliant hybrid mode (it's definitely pretty convenient to store correction files separately).
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: ozmosis82 on 2006-12-12 17:46:43
I'd prefer to use FLAC, and I'm not sure my reasons are entirely logical. On top of that, Bryant's work is improving WavPack so much, I almost feel like it's wrong NOT to prefer WavPack. I am, however, using WavPack to archive all my music. I switched from FLAC for the encoding speed/compression ratio. I was excited to see the latest version of FLAC, but WavPack still beats it, although maybe not for decoding speed (using default settings).

Honestly, the only thing that irks me about WavPack is its use of APE tags. Call me crazy, but the fact that FLAC has its own proprietary tagging system just makes me feel... well... more comfortable about it. I guess it's consistency. Nothing to do with reliability. It just makes WavPack feel "incomplete" without its own tagging system. But it really shouldn't matter, should it? 
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: pepoluan on 2006-12-12 18:42:04
FLAC tagging proprietary?

It's a standard. It's Vorbis Comments.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-12 21:39:25
To become clearer, that is my true interest in starting this topic:
Quote
I'm wondering about are the chance to see the one or the other to become THE standard in lossless audio compression and in particular supported natively in commercial apps, such as audio editors etc...

FLAC and WavPack are clearly on par, both have particular advantages one over another, and that's how personal choices are made...
(I should have started a poll?  )
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Fandango on 2006-12-12 22:10:50
I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.


If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

EDIT: total edit, because I've overlooked the last part of the quote.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-12 22:22:58
If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

You're totally right!
That was a silly question after all. I already have the answers.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: PatchWorKs on 2006-12-12 22:53:52
FLAC inside.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Gow on 2006-12-12 23:12:21
FLAC is more widely supported due to it being more known just like mp3 rules the lossy world.  Though the advantages FLAC has is numerous, Wavpack has more.  WavPack's nature of great lossless compression and hybrid mode puts in a place to take over the future.  FLAC is lossless and nothing more.  Only takes one company to realize that they can do so much with WavPack and only need one decoder to decode both the lossy and lossless WavPack files.  For lossless though the standard right now is FLAC but that is due to the aforementioned reason that most people know more about it and less about WavPack. 

Though the WavPack user base has skyrocketed since the 4 series and looks to keep going up more and more.  I would be tempted to say FLAC but FLAC has reached its peak...WavPack has not.  Just watch one DAP company will pick up WavPack and than everybody will start throwing in WavPack support.  Expect to see this start in the Asian market first after all that is where FLAC got its DAP support to begin with.  Than again some DAP companies only like to stick to formats they can control (Apple) even if they have to create one to do so (ALAC).

Conclusion...WavPack is future.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-12-12 23:29:36
I would be tempted to say FLAC but FLAC has reached its peak...

I don't know why you say that, FLAC adoption and usage are still accelerating almost any way you can measure.  you can look at stats (http://sourceforge.net/project/stats/?group_id=13478&ugn=flac&type=&mode=alltime) or anecdotal evidence of software support (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#software), hardware support (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware), artists distributing music in FLAC (http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#music), etc.  I see all those things accelerating.

the question is about what will be a standard, and for a codec that is mostly about one thing, momentum.  yes, wavpack is a great codec, in some ways better than FLAC, but note that for lossy, mp3 is far from the best in terms of quality per bitrate but it is still dominant and will stay that way for a while because nothing is so much better as to outweight its 'usefulness' advantage.

Josh
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Qest on 2006-12-12 23:31:17
I agree that "hybrid" is a very cool feature and stands to gain wavpack a lot of market share. Which is rather unfortunate, because in my opinion FLAC has it right. Time spent on developing hybrid is time waisted; in the future, when hardrives and bandwidth make the size difference between lossy and lossless irrelevant, everyone will switch over to lossless and they won't care about hybrid. When that happens, it will save headaches if theres only one standard, and FLAC seems the logical choice at this point due to the current state of hardware support.

Already you can get 80 gig iPods and whatnot. When we reach terabyte personal players, no one will care whether they can store half a million songs or fifty thousand. Either is more music than you'll ever listen to.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Emanuel on 2006-12-12 23:39:42

I've got a huge collection of audio samples on audio CDs that I need to archive.
And I'm still hesitating which one to choose regarding this particular aspect: native support (I certainly mean: support as standard) that we can expect in the future and especially on Windows and Mac OS X platforms.


If you're asking for lossless codec support in audio editing and music production software then I think FLAC has a bigger chance of being supported. But I guess you better ask the developers of the music software you're using which one of the two (if at all) they're going to support in the future.

EDIT: total edit, because I've overlooked the last part of the quote.

Agree. Native Instruments has native support for flac in some of their apps, Audacity has as well, and Audition with a plugin. None of them has support for Wavepack.
EDIT: Oh, almost forgot Ableton Live, also with native support since 5.2 if I'm not mistaken.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-12-13 00:02:06
to be fair, there is a wavpack plugin for audition too...
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: greynol on 2006-12-13 00:05:53
When we reach terabyte personal players, no one will care whether they can store half a million songs or fifty thousand. Either is more music than you'll ever listen to.

If that's the case then why even bother with lossless compression?

FWIW, I use Monkey's Audio where I average about a 5% gain in compression over flac with the music that I have using the High setting.  The savings in disk space can be used for redundancy in case you're paranoid that your files may get corrupted.  Also, I have no problem loading an ape file in its native format in my wave editor.  For my DAP I use a lossy format configured for transparency, for my PC I listen to whatever format my music happens to be in without agonizing over the fact that they aren't all the same.

In the end it all depends on your reason for using a lossless format.  For me, it is to archive my music and MAC's decrease in decoding speed does not bother me one bit.  That said, I have nothing but immense respect for Josh and David and their formats which they've tirelessly worked on.

When will the arguing and speculation over the future of flac, WavPack and whatever else ever end?
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: LANjackal on 2006-12-13 00:28:43
I'm with Greynol. I think FLAC's likely to become the playback standard, but archiving will still remain anyone's game. WavPack's still a bit too obtuse for me, but that's just a personal opinion.

I use lossless for archival purposes only. MAC's my favorite both for the increased compression (Extra-High gets done pretty fast anyway on my 2.66GHz P4 machine), plus the fact that the standard UI allows you to pause and resume jobs as well as toggle the priority of the process. This allows me to run MAC at idle priority so I can work while still getting the space savings that I like.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Fandango on 2006-12-13 02:39:38
TAK will destroy 'em all!!!11!one!!this1goes211!
Wavpack watchout! FLAC watchout!

...hihi, couldn't resist.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: audioaficionado on 2006-12-13 02:48:03
I archive with EAC/WavPack and listen over the LAN in any room that has a PC hooked to a sound system.

For portable players I don't see why lossless would sound better than HA recommended settings for LAME vbr  mp3 or Nero AAC lossy.  I just transcode what I need for fresh compilations from the lossless archives.

I think WavPack is getting more technically advanced than FLAC but it's six of one or a half dozen of the other as either one will sound exactly as good as the original tracks.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: maggior on 2006-12-14 17:44:11
see this start in the Asian market first after all that is where FLAC got its DAP support to begin with.  Than again some DAP companies only like to stick to formats they can control (Apple) even if they have to create one to do so (ALAC).

Conclusion...WavPack is future.


I recall reading someplace that Apple has plans to introduce FLAC support to iTunes (ability to import a FLAC file), and possibly iPod.  Has anybody else heard this?  Apple doesn't control mp3, but they support the format, so why not FLAC?

I agree that once a high-profile DAP company adopts a lossless format, it will gain support everywhere and become a "standard".  Personally I hope FLAC wins out.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: greynol on 2006-12-14 17:59:14
Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Why is it necessary for one format to win and for the others to lose?

To me this is logic is totally absurd.  Last time I looked, choice was a good thing.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: indybrett on 2006-12-14 18:04:11
Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Why is it necessary for one format to win and for the others to lose?

To me this is logic is totally absurd.  Last time I looked, choice was a good thing.


I wasn't even aware that it was a competition
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Maurits on 2006-12-14 18:10:34
I recall reading someplace that Apple has plans to introduce FLAC support to iTunes (ability to import a FLAC file), and possibly iPod.  Has anybody else heard this?  Apple doesn't control mp3, but they support the format, so why not FLAC?

I agree that once a high-profile DAP company adopts a lossless format, it will gain support everywhere and become a "standard".  Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Yep, Leopard (the next version of Mac OS X to come out next spring) is said to have native FLAC support. If the OS supports it, iTunes-on-OS X will as well. Whether the iPod or iTunes-on-Windows will get support is a different matter.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: maggior on 2006-12-14 22:09:17
Personally I hope FLAC wins out.

Why is it necessary for one format to win and for the others to lose?

To me this is logic is totally absurd.  Last time I looked, choice was a good thing.


My wording was a little extreme.  What I meant by "wins out" was that I hope FLAC becomes supported on a wider range of hardware.  It already has some support (the old Rio DAP and Slimdevices lineup, up-coming Mac OS), so it would be nice to see the trend continue.  If all lossless formats gain a broad range of support - great!  They already do in softwre.  But I think we'll be lucky to find one gain wide support.  That doesn't mean that the other formats "lost". 

Yes, choice is certainly a good thing.  And with tools like fb2k and dbPowerAmp, it's easy to switch from one lossless format to another with relative ease.

I hope for wide FLAC support only because that is what I am using to archive my CD collection.  Yeah, it's easy to switch, but it's easier yet to not have to transcode at all.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-15 13:04:56
I hope for wide FLAC support only because that is what I am using to archive my CD collection.  Yeah, it's easy to switch, but it's easier yet to not have to transcode at all.

The easier is for sure having nothing to do after once it is encoded.
I have a very large bunch of CD I decided to archive, and that was the very purpose of this thread, meaning which lossless format is the more likely to free me from further tasks...  "right-out-of-the-box" support
And that are news we're glad to hear:
Quote
Leopard (the next version of Mac OS X to come out next spring) is said to have native FLAC support. If the OS supports it, iTunes-on-OS X will as well.


I made several tests for my particular usage and I'm revising my statement: I stick with Wavpack!
Even Flac -8 can't compete with Wavpack at default with at best 5% less compression (at least with those CDs with 50-90 short tracks of audio samples).
Moreover, the 10x encoding speed of -8 -on my machine- is really a handicap when you're ripping and encoding directly from CD, where you're expecting at least 20x-30x  Flac -5 offers the expected encoding speed >30x but 6-10% less compression and that matters!

So, staying with Wavpack, finger crossed for its future. (At worst I'll transcode  )

PS: TAK seems really impressive 
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: audiomars on 2006-12-15 13:14:22
WavPack. I do not need support in devices other than my computer. For use on a DAP, I would certainly transcode my files to mp3 or aac. You cannot have too much space ever!!

Cheers
audiomars
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: jcoalson on 2006-12-15 16:14:11
Even Flac -8 can't compete with Wavpack at default with at best 5% less compression (at least with those CDs with 50-90 short tracks of audio samples).

I would like to see those samples.  in my experience and in every comparison I've seen, the difference is +/-0.5% (sometime wavpack is smaller, sometimes FLAC)
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: TBeck on 2006-12-15 16:47:25
Even Flac -8 can't compete with Wavpack at default with at best 5% less compression (at least with those CDs with 50-90 short tracks of audio samples).

I would like to see those samples.  in my experience and in every comparison I've seen, the difference is +/-0.5% (sometime wavpack is smaller, sometimes FLAC)

I agree: 5 percent seems far too much. It is possible, if you are compressing some selected samples with properties favouring one compressor. But on average (on sample sets i would consider as quite representative) i have never seen such a big difference.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-15 18:22:22

Even Flac -8 can't compete with Wavpack at default with at best 5% less compression (at least with those CDs with 50-90 short tracks of audio samples).

I would like to see those samples.  in my experience and in every comparison I've seen, the difference is +/-0.5% (sometime wavpack is smaller, sometimes FLAC)

I agree: 5 percent seems far too much. It is possible, if you are compressing some selected samples with properties favouring one compressor. But on average (on sample sets i would consider as quite representative) i have never seen such a big difference.

I originally ripped the discs using WavPack. I started to transcode to FLAC -5 and stopped after seeing that I was loosing about 5 to 10% per disc, then I switched to -8, and sorry, -8 didn't reached the level of compression of Wavpack default on 3 discs I tried: I made a rapid calculation and the result was 5% more.
Sorry, but I have no time to make further tests. -8 failed for me on 3 discs. I assume I'll be better on average on the full collection but encoding time of -8 is a pain (for me).
Samples are real sounds effects.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: greynol on 2006-12-15 18:31:39
Out of curiousity, how well does Monkey's Audio compress these samples?

Edit: Using the High (-c3000) setting and using the Extra High (-c4000) settings.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: TBeck on 2006-12-15 18:42:54


Even Flac -8 can't compete with Wavpack at default with at best 5% less compression (at least with those CDs with 50-90 short tracks of audio samples).

I would like to see those samples.  in my experience and in every comparison I've seen, the difference is +/-0.5% (sometime wavpack is smaller, sometimes FLAC)

I agree: 5 percent seems far too much. It is possible, if you are compressing some selected samples with properties favouring one compressor. But on average (on sample sets i would consider as quite representative) i have never seen such a big difference.

I originally ripped the discs using WavPack. I started to transcode to FLAC -5 and stopped after seeing that I was loosing about 5 to 10% per disc, then I switched to -8, and sorry, -8 didn't reached the level of compression of Wavpack default on 3 discs I tried: I made a rapid calculation and the result was 5% more.
Sorry, but I have no time to make further tests. -8 failed for me on 3 discs. I assume I'll be better on average on the full collection but encoding time of -8 is a pain (for me).
Samples are real sounds effects.

To make it clear: i have no doubt that your findings are correct! But they are very untypical. At least for real music.
Samples are real sounds effects.

Would it be possible to get 2 or 3 of those samples showing this behaviour? I would like to try them with my TAK compressor. I am always interested into tuning it for untypical samples.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: haregoo on 2006-12-15 19:16:50
I tested one album(Bach - 710MB) with practical settings.

Code: [Select]
        RATIO   ENC     DEC
WV -hh  69.59%  34.52x  42.05x
WV -hx  69.73%  22.38x  49.97x
WV -h   69.95%  40.96x  50.54x
WV      70.30%  54.09x  64.40x
FLAC -8 70.51%  11.89x  75.85x
FLAC -5 70.80%  39.13x  74.82x
SSE  -5 70.80%  44.76x  83.07x

FLAC v1.1.3 and gharris999's optimized compile
WavPack v4.40

WV's advantage on compression ratio is less than 2%, which is negligible small for me. I'd pefer faster and fixed decoding speed. FLAC -5 is my choice of lossless for the foreseeable future.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: pepoluan on 2006-12-15 19:29:46
Out of curiousity, how well does Monkey's Audio compress these samples?

Edit: Using the High (-c3000) setting and using the Extra High (-c4000) settings.
I have the same curiosity, but with OptimFrog.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: don_pipo_corleone on 2006-12-21 00:15:33
Would it be possible to get 2 or 3 of those samples showing this behaviour? I would like to try them with my TAK compressor. I am always interested into tuning it for untypical samples.

The discs I was archiving are "The Hollywood Edge" sound effects library. I won't post them here but tell me if you need some. They are short sounds and long ambiences.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Qushak on 2007-03-23 22:20:14
hello everyone. I am new on this forum and I can't make a decision, which lossless codec is suitable for me. I made test with FLAC 1.1.4 and Monkey's Audio 4.01. In all cases Monkey's audio have better compression, but in insane mode is useless, because CPU usega (on my Athlon 64 3200+) is relatively high and before player (Winamp) starts playing new song, computer freeze for aproximatelly 2-3 seconds.
FLAC is much faster (in -8 mode too), but compression is aproximatelly 3% worse.
But I haven't tried WavPack yet.
So as I can see that most of you are for FLAC. On second place is Wavpack but Monkey's Audio isn't mentioned a lot. Please tell me some advantages and disadvanteges of most known lossless audio formats.
Thanks for helping.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: jcoalson on 2007-03-23 22:29:34
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison)
what specifically do you want to know that hasn't already been answered in this thread?
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Qushak on 2007-03-23 22:48:29
FLAC is the best lossless encoder for people on this forum (a lot of you as I can see). The others are for Wavpack and just a few for Monkey's audio. Why are for example most albums on eMule (just looking!!) in ape format (amongst lossless)?
And for me is important:
- decoding speed (encoding speed isn't so much!)
- the best balance between DEcoding speed and compression level

So for decoding speed are the best for me FLAC and WavPack, but Monkey's Audio has relatively much better compression level and has still averange decoding speed. But FLAC is on the other hand more "opened".

Probably, I will transcode my ape collection in flac.
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: xmixahlx on 2007-03-26 08:05:23
thanks for the update...

seriously tho, why worry about this stuff?  wavpack and flac are obviously good choices and are essentially future-proof. when the-new-trendy-lossless-format comes out just transcode.

i think wavpack will gain a lot of support in the next few years.


later
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: Qushak on 2007-03-30 19:07:56
So, all my music collection is now in WavPack format. 
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: beto on 2007-03-30 21:41:50
good for you!!
Title: FLAC or WavPack? Or?
Post by: manoa on 2007-04-24 02:35:46
FLAC -4
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