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Topic: How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back? (Read 12596 times) previous topic - next topic
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How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #25
The original poster must be spending too much time in those high-end audio "salons".

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #26
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The only thing that varies is in fact hardware : lossless files need more CPU power... but they need less hard drive access... And HD are much louder than CPU... Therefore lossless files sound even better than original ones when playedback


Well, using more CPU means it puts out more heat, requiring a higher fan speed, which is certainly louder than a hard drive.



At least with my computer... I got a Western-Digital "Quiet Drive," I literally can't hear it. But my fan sounds like a jet engine. I can't wait until I upgrade the computer to modern specs.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #27
Just for amusement value -
My old laptop (Compaq Evo N1015v) has a sound chip with noticeable noise patterns affected by CPU usage level (dynamically adjusted CPU clock; noise kicks in when CPU is running at full speed - 1.666GHz). If you find lossless setup that decodes slowly enough to keep the CPU running at max speed, "playback" of such file could indeed sound different. This integrated sound chip is so bad that I wouldn't use it for listening again anyway; people who care about listening experience should get appropiate hardware without obvious issues rather than look for software solutions that don't clash with their broken hardware.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #28
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I don't know about you, but I don't "take the position" that the earth is round, I know it...
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Just out of curiosity: How do you know that? I bet someone told you... No first hand experience of moon flights or so, eh?

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #29
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I don't know about you, but I don't "take the position" that the earth is round, I know it...
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Just out of curiosity: How do you know that? I bet someone told you... No first hand experience of moon flights or so, eh?
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He probably just looked out from a high hill or mountain. 

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #30
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He probably just looked out from a high hill or mountain. 
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But it would have to be a pretty high hill or mountain, and the air at that altitude would be pretty thin. How could you be sure what you were seeing wasn't some hypoxia induced delusion?

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #31
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He probably just looked out from a high hill or mountain. 


That is indeed an intelligent answer my friend. Looking from there to the arching horizon should clear people up... 

Moon
"If there 's no soul in the computer's music, it's because nobody put it there." - Björk.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #32
I dunno, looking out a telescope at all the other round planets tends to convince me. =D

That, and looking out an airplane window at 41,000 feet. You can just see the curvature of the horizon. I might add that that flight was also to Australia, a good halfway around the world from where I was living at the time.

I've noticed that when I move my mouse I hear a slight buzzing in the audio in my sound card. Not noticable when I'm listening to music, but you can hear it during silence.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #33
That is indeed an intelligent answer my friend. Looking from there to the arching horizon should clear people up... 

Moon
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Hehe, well, it may be very clearing for the mind, but I doubt that you'd see much more of an arch from up there than from the base.

Of course, clever people can deduct the shape of the earth from lunar eclipses, but anyway.. That wasn't really the point.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #34
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I dunno, looking out a telescope at all the other round planets tends to convince me. =D


Didn't the ancient Greeks (one of them anyway) even calculate the earth's diameter by comparing astronomical observations from different locations?

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I've noticed that when I move my mouse I hear a slight buzzing in the audio in my sound card. Not noticable when I'm listening to music, but you can hear it during silence.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=254157"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I had that on a computer..  It turned out the noise came from dirty power on the computers 12 volt socket powering the speakers.  I got a separate 12 volt wall-wart supply for the speakers and the mouse  buzz was vanquished.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #35
Did anyone see WHAT MP3? It was a freebie additional mag that came with WHAT HIFI/CINEMA a few months back.

They made the exact same claims - that Apple lossless didn't sound as good as the original because "compression is compression" as they put it.

What they did was to rip a CD with iTunes to Apple Lossless, burn it back to a CDR and compare that CD with the original on some NAIM kit.

(ok, first they compared the sound of an unspecified soundcard to the NAIM CD player, but we'll ignore that)

Anyway, I emailed them explaining their testing was flawed but got no response.


Has anyone actually checked Apple Lossless is lossless, just to be sure?
We know FLAC does it's job correctly but that's irrelevant here.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #36
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Has anyone actually checked Apple Lossless is lossless, just to be sure?
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Yes, I verified that Apple Lossless is indeed lossless. MD5 hash on input WAV and decoded WAV were identical.

<rant>On a related note, I had to install iTunes to perform this test... which caused anal leakage, projectile vomiting and nausea. How anyone can bear to use this software is beyond me.</rant>

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #37
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<rant>On a related note, I had to install iTunes to perform this test... which caused anal leakage, projectile vomiting and nausea. How anyone can bear to use this software is beyond me.</rant>

I have been using iTunes for 6-7 months and its still working without a single problem!
Maybe its a user error. 

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #38
I would love to use iTunes for Apple lossless, but they have to fix those annoying gaps between tracks. I can not understand the logic of playing a lossless file that puts a gap between every song. For me, that's worse than listening to WMA files (not the lossless ones).

How hard can it be to fix that in the decoder?
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #39
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I can not understand the logic of playing a lossless file that puts a gap between every song.

You do understand that the gap is not actually encoded in the file, but produced by a lame decoder, don't you?

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #40
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I have been using iTunes for 6-7 months and its still working without a single problem!
Maybe its a user error. 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=254364"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It wasn't really a case of the software not functioning, but I find the interface absolutely horrid. And by interface, I mean every aspect of the program.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #41
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I would love to use iTunes for Apple lossless, but they have to fix those annoying gaps between tracks. I can not understand the logic of playing a lossless file that puts a gap between every song. For me, that's worse than listening to WMA files (not the lossless ones).

How hard can it be to fix that in the decoder?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=254369"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It's a problem with player design requiring playback to be stopped/restarted when changing tracks - that includes shutdown/restart of playback thread, reopening output device, etc; not with the decoder. If decoder itself was the problem, decoded files wouldn't be bit-identical anymore (which as JensRex's test shows, they are). As far as I am aware of, iTunes can't play non-compressed formats such as AIFF gaplessly either.
Since their software/hardware has this limitation, they also have no reason to implement gapless MP4/AAC handling in their encoder and decoder, because noone would notice the difference; but that's a separate issue.

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #42
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I can not understand the logic of playing a lossless file that puts a gap between every song.

You do understand that the gap is not actually encoded in the file, but produced by a lame decoder, don't you?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=254418"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is why I asked how hard is it to fix the decoder, not the encoder. So technically, the problem is not with the decoder or the encoder, but a function of the software opening and closing the output device.

For me, the point is moot. I'm only concerned with the end result. The end result is that Apple lossless played through iTunes has a gap between every track. That is such a shame. It could be so much better.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #43
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For me, the point is moot. I'm only concerned with the end result. The end result is that Apple lossless played through iTunes has a gap between every track. That is such a shame. It could be so much better.

I agree, but such is the case of many other software and hardware players. The overpriced iPod is an even worse example. 4th generation and still no gapless playback in a device that's supposed to play back music, and do it well? What the hell?

How Do Lossless Formats Compare when played back?

Reply #44
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For me, the point is moot. I'm only concerned with the end result. The end result is that Apple lossless played through iTunes has a gap between every track. That is such a shame. It could be so much better.

I agree, but such is the case of many other software and hardware players. The overpriced iPod is an even worse example. 4th generation and still no gapless playback in a device that's supposed to play back music, and do it well? What the hell?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=254595"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


True, and I have come to accept that with the playback of lossy formats. Of course Foobar2000 is the exception. It's the high watermark for all other audio playback applications.

It's when we talk about playback of lossless formats that I absolutely can not accept anything but perfection. That's the whole point of using all that disc space for lossless files. It should sound exactly like the CD in every way.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

 
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