Lossless audio with error correction. 2015-01-18 02:04:43 Bandwidth and particulary storage capacity have increased significantly over the years. Cost per megabyte of storage has probably decreased by more than a factor of 1000 since MP3 first 'went wild' (ie: escaped from Fraunhoffer). Lossless has always been my preferance, but I stupidly encoded things to MP3 at a crappy bitrate back in the old days to save dollars, and now I regret it.But to the topic at hand, I am interested in preserving my audio over the coming years, and every medium (except apparently one : an m-disc) degrades over time, some worse than others. It is all very nice storing things lossless as whatever-format-you-desire, or even storing the original PCM now that storage is so cheap. However, they are all subject to data degradation, with some formats being worse than others. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, PCM is actually one of the most error tolerant!I have attempted to find out any information on error tolerance of the major (and free) lossless codecs - WavPack, FLAC and Monkeys Audio. However, I haven't found much, and that which I have found all points towards these codecs only being able to 'handle' errors. Some formats replace a 'block' with silence, others bomb out with an error (which seems to be more player specific than codec specific). I (personally) think this is an absolutely terrible solution , as for example, a single bad byte would/could cause the loss of an entire 'block' when losslessly encoded, but only a single sample when stored 'raw'!!Now to my point (finally)... what about using a lossless codec to compress an audio stream, and then use the saved space to add back some error correction? Bandwidth is getting pretty good, but storage space is now just so riduculously cheap!The reason I suggest putting this functionality into the codec is so a data (audio) stream can be played back immediately without having to progress through a separate error correcting step, which would not only be painful, but leave the data in the middle step open to corruption. It would be far preferable to store an audio track on something that could be immediately played back.I would be happy to open a discussion on...1 - Whether this is possible without breaking compatability with an existing format.2 - The pros and cons of convolutional/block error coding.3 - If is is considered that the base error correction built into a format (eg: PRML for memory sticks & hard discs, EFM & parity encoding for DVDs) is 'enough'?3 - If people think it is a stupid idea and I should stick with separate error correction (on top of base format correction) & audio compression steps.Talking a little about (1), it seems that although WavPack and Monkeys Audio have some hardware support, it is fairly rare. FLAC seems to be pretty good for hardware support. So, for the FLAC format, could extra data be embedded into the file/stream that would allow a 'correction aware' decoder to correct errors, but allow a legacy decoder to ignore the extra data and still operate correctly?Cheers,MM.