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Lossless Compression

Hi,
I'm just about convinced that, for archive purposes, lossless compression is the way forward, especially since large HD's are relatively cheap (as are CDR's).

The question is.....do I go with Monkeys, LPAC, FLAC or whatever?
I cannot see me ever using anything other than Windows so different platforms are not really an issue.

Any advice or suggestions would be most welcome (incidentally, I rip as one large file with cue sheet using EAC if that is of any significance)

Thanks,
auldyin

Lossless Compression

Reply #1
I would suggest Monkey's Audio for the simple reason that it compresses better and, usually, faster.

But it's only available for Windows. Since you said that's no problem...

Regards;

Roberto.

Lossless Compression

Reply #2
The format really doesn't matter. Monkey's Audio will probably compress a few percents more, which saves you some insignificient amount of disk space. Should you ever change your mind, you can always uncompress and recompress into another format without any loss.

I too recommend Monkey's Audio, as it has a neat interface, but Windows only.

Lossless Compression

Reply #3
I'd go w/ FLAC, but that's just me.

Despite the fact that you're only using Windows, you might want to at some point play them on some other (future) computer. Monkey might not be available for that platform / device. Re-compressing is still a hassle.

It's hard to predict the future, but if I were to put my crystal ball aside and make an (un)educated guess, I would bet that if any lossless format were to become a de facto standard in the near future (as MP3 has with lossy), FLAC would have the highest probability at this point in the game of becoming so, simply because it is open, cross-platform, very portable*, easy to work with, and it works really well (the Winamp plugin has never skipped a beat, and with PP's gapless output... good stuff .

It would, because of these qualities, be a good candidate for device integration as well (a future lossless Rio-style device / car audio player...?).

That having been said, a lot of ppl use SHN right now... but then again, some of those users are beginning to migrate over to FLAC... so who knows?

Just my $0.02

--

* I've compiled and run FLAC on Windows, OSX, Linux, FreeBSD, & OpenBSD w/out any incident.

Lossless Compression

Reply #4
I haven't seen much discussion of it on this forum - other than the rare occasions on which I bring it up myself, that is    - but in audio-trading circles (Grateful Dead/Phish/John Coltrane/Pink Floyd/what have you...) there IS already a de facto standard for lossless compression: Shorten.

  I'm not joking. There are a lot of folks using it. The compression ratio is not the highest available perhaps (yes, Monkey's Audio will beat it by a few percentage points), but it is definitely one of the most portable formats (Windows, Linux and Mac ports are already available as open source freeware) and has more existing popular support than any competing standard.

  etree.org (http://etree.org) offers a download of the CLI versions of this software, although there is (hopefully) a new Windows frontend in the works from one of our other respected Project Mayhem contributors....

  For more info, you might check these links.

  Windows: http://etree.org/shncom.html
  Linux: http://etree.org/linux.html
  Macintosh: http://etree.org/macos.html

  Sincerely,
    - M.

Lossless Compression

Reply #5
... there is also a Winamp plugin for Shorten. You can download it from this page: http://etree.org/shnamp.html

    - M.

Lossless Compression

Reply #6
Quote
I haven't seen much discussion of it on this forum - other than the rare occasions on which I bring it up myself, that is    - but in audio-trading circles (Grateful Dead/Phish/John Coltrane/Pink Floyd/what have you...) there IS already a de facto standard for lossless compression: Shorten... I'm not joking. There are a lot of folks using it.
That is true. Shorten has a large following among certain folks. Someone once requested a ShortenDrop. Was that you M? I made it, quite some time ago, and never knew who to send it to.  I'll try to get it updated and see if Roberto's interested in hosting it. BTW, I got an e-mail from David Bryant, the author of WavPack yesterday. He's working on a new version, which has a new decorrelator that gives much better performance in lossless mode and somewhat better performance in the hybrid mode. Sounds quite interesting!

Lossless Compression

Reply #7
Quote
Originally posted by layer3maniac
I'll try to get it updated and see if Roberto's interested in hosting it.


Of course I am 
Why didn't you send me yet?


Obs: Please, send me on monday. You already know why.

Lossless Compression

Reply #8
Quote
Originally posted by M
I haven't seen much discussion of it on this forum - other than the rare occasions on which I bring it up myself, that is    - but in audio-trading circles (Grateful Dead/Phish/John Coltrane/Pink Floyd/what have you...) there IS already a de facto standard for lossless compression: Shorten.

  I'm not joking. There are a lot of folks using it. The compression ratio is not the highest available perhaps (yes, Monkey's Audio will beat it by a few percentage points), but it is definitely one of the most portable formats (Windows, Linux and Mac ports are already available as open source freeware) and has more existing popular support than any competing standard.
Well, compared to lossy encoding, there are not yet many lossless audio compressor users. My guess is FLAC might become the widest used lossless compressor in the future. FLAC already has hardware-support. It has other features that Shorten lacks (for example streaming support). Seems that FLAC is much more actively developed. Shorten seems to offer near worst compression of all lossless audio compressors.

For personal use, I see no reason why not use for example Monkey's Audio.
Juha Laaksonheimo

Lossless Compression

Reply #9
Quote
Originally posted by Annuka
I too recommend Monkey's Audio, as it has a neat interface, but Windows only.


Imho, Lpac and Flac are more reliable than Monkey (look at its forum).

Bye, dB

Lossless Compression

Reply #10
I'd recommend WavPack since it's the best lossless format when it comes to speed/compression ratio...

Monkey's audio might be good because of the tags, but it's far too slow when using the highest compression ratio...

Lossless Compression

Reply #11
a) MA is really slow when used in highest compression mode, but why use it? He disrecommends it himself. Use normal or high compression.

b) Both FLAC and MA have pages comparing the different compression formats, and both pages have MA ranked above WavPack.

Since FLAC is a competitior, I see no reason to doubt that data. OTOH, you didn't give any, so I very much doubt your statement.

--
GCP


Lossless Compression

Reply #13
Quote
Originally posted by JohnV
Here are some comparison pages:
Speek's comparison http://home.wanadoo.nl/~w.speek/comparison.htm


From this page, I gather WavPac is a bit faster but compresses quite a bit worse.

Perhaps MA in fast mode would be a good matchup then

--
GCP

Lossless Compression

Reply #14
Quote
Originally posted by Sachankara
I'd recommend WavPack since it's the best lossless format when it comes to speed/compression ratio...

Monkey's audio might be good because of the tags, but it's far too slow when using the highest compression ratio...

hmm it may be me but it only takes around 10-20 sec to encode a song in MA's high compression

Lossless Compression

Reply #15
Quote
Originally posted by Garf


From this page, I gather WavPac is a bit faster but compresses quite a bit worse. 

Perhaps MA in fast mode would be a good matchup then

-- 
GCP
Actually I´d say it´s pretty much the opposite... Those benchmarks are old... I did a quick testing of my own with my Athlon 800 using Windows XP...

WavPack 3.93 (01-10-02) and Flac 1.0.2 vs. LPAC 1.40 using Madonna´s song "Frozen" in 48kHz, 16 bit LPCM audio (58,3 MB [61 160 516 bytes]):
Code: [Select]
Format    Switches  Time         Size                         Compression



WavPack   -h        16.42188 s   31,0 MB (32 547 257 bytes)   ~46.78%

Flac      -5        36.62891 s   31,5 MB (33 071 767 bytes)   ~45.92%

Flac      -8        153.2422 s   31,4 MB (32 938 980 bytes)   ~46.14%

LPAC      -3        57.00781 s   29,9 MB (31 396 127 bytes)   ~48.66%
As far as I can tell, Flac doesn´t even stand a chance against WavPack... Neither in compression ratio nor in speed...

Edit: Just added LPAC...

Lossless Compression

Reply #16
Quote
As far as I can tell, Flac doesn´t even stand a chance against WavPack... Neither in compression ratio nor in speed...

I'm willing to give up a 1% decrease in file size, and a halving in compression time, for the ability to actually compress and decompress the format in the first place.

If you want to be able to read your files on any system, and still have decent compression ratios, your *only* choice is FLAC. That's it. That's why FLAC is the preferred format for audio samples on this board.

Monkey's Audio and WavPack are Windows only, and thus utterly useless, unless you like playing around with undocumented file formats. LPAC is slightly more cross platform, but is still an undocumented format, and only available on a few OSes. Shorten is widely used, but the source code is now extremely hard to find, and it has poor compression ratios, and the format is not by default seekable.

<rant>
This isn't some l33t warez board - Windows only file formats *ARE* *NOT* *ACCEPTABLE*.
</rant>

Lossless Compression

Reply #17
Jon??? Where was the smiley after your rant???

Lossless Compression

Reply #18
WavPack is also the only one with a built in lossy - recovery feature. JohnV had a good point on this issue. Would the RIAA  have the legal authority to hunt down recovery files?

Lossless Compression

Reply #19
Quote
Originally posted by Jon Ingram
If you want to be able to read your files on any system, and still have decent compression ratios, your *only* choice is FLAC.
Well that´s just the problem... auldyin (the starter of this thread) didn´t bother about any other platform than Windows so your argument is a bit wrong in that way... He might never share his music with anyone else, so why should he use an inferior format?  If you´re bound to Windows and will never share your music WavPack is the only format to use... But if you want to share it, Flac will undoubtly be a better choice...

Lossless Compression

Reply #20
Quote
Originally posted by Sachankara
Actually I´d say it´s pretty much the opposite... Those benchmarks are old... 


IIRC the last link has benchmarks with WanPack 3.91 or 3.92.

Quote
As far as I can tell, Flac doesn´t even stand a chance against WavPack... Neither in compression ratio nor in speed...


Don't change the subject. We were talking about MA, which you conveniently excluded from the benchmark.

I know FLAC isn't the best, but it's free software and runs on any flatform. That's why it's recommended for samples on this board.

--
GCP

Lossless Compression

Reply #21
Quote
Originally posted by Garf
IIRC the last link has benchmarks with WanPack 3.91 or 3.92.
I hope you mean WavPack...?  Anyway, I used 3.93 when benchmarking...
Quote
Originally posted by Garf
Don't change the subject. We were talking about MA, which you conveniently excluded from the benchmark.
Does Monkey's audio have any command line encoder? If not, I cannot make an exact benchmark with my timer program... But if there is I´ll do some benchmarks right away...
Quote
Originally posted by Garf
I know FLAC isn't the best, but it's free software and runs on any flatform. That's why it's recommended for samples on this board.
Well I agree that it´s the best lossless format for cross platform useage, but if there´s no chance what so ever that you´ll change platform or trade/share your music, then you can just as well stick with WavPack which has a very good size/compression time ratio...

Lossless Compression

Reply #22
Quote
I know FLAC isn't the best, but it's free software and runs on any flatform.
Is that a laptop?

Lossless Compression

Reply #23
Quote
Originally posted by Sachankara
Does Monkey's audio have any command line encoder? If not, I cannot make an exact benchmark with my timer program..
Yeah, mac.exe is the command line console encoder.
Juha Laaksonheimo

Lossless Compression

Reply #24
Update:

Monkey's audio 3.95a1
WavPack 3.93
flac 1.0.2
LPAC 1.40

Still using Madonna´s song "Frozen" in 48kHz, 16 bit stereo LPCM... 58,3 MB (61 160 516 bytes)
Code: [Select]
Format    Switches  Time         Size                         Compression   Compression/time



WavPack   -h        [b]16.42188 s[/b]   31,0 MB (32 547 257 bytes)   ~46.78%       [b]~2.84[/b]

Flac      -5        36.62891 s   31,5 MB (33 071 767 bytes)   ~45.92%       ~1.25

Flac      -8        153.2422 s   31,4 MB (32 938 980 bytes)   ~46.14%       ~0.30

LPAC      -2        42.23438 s   29,9 MB (31 404 533 bytes)   ~48.65%       ~1.15

LPAC      -3        57.00781 s   29,9 MB (31 396 127 bytes)   ~48.66%       ~0.85

MAC       -c1000    22.35938 s   30,4 MB (31 979 020 bytes)   ~47.71%       ~2.13

MAC       -c2000    30.15625 s   29,5 MB (30 962 872 bytes)   ~49.37%       ~1.63

MAC       -c3000    34.99219 s   [b]29,2 MB (30 717 140 bytes)   ~49.77%[/b]       ~1.42
Compression/time is the percentage of compression divided by the total time of encoding... Logically speaking, the higher value the better compression per time "unit"... Sort of... 

Perhaps I should test some other samples too?

 
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