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FLAC to TAK ?

Hello everyone

I have allmost all my CD's in a lossless FLAC collection.

Now I'm thinking of switching to TAK, is it time?

I will probably use 4 Extra (-p4) compression and in FLAC I use 6.
When and if TAK will be released for portable devices.
How is TAK compared FLAC in resource usage, will it require the same amount of power or more?

How could I in a simple way convert all FLAC to TAK with the same folder layout ?

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #1
Quote
Now I'm thinking of switching to TAK, is it time?
When and if TAK will be released for portable devices.


I'm sure it will be, but since the format is very new and is still being actively developed, i wouldn't hold my breath. If at all, i think Rockbox support will be the first to come. If portable support is THAT important to you, you might want to hold off converting because TBeck might come up with something tailored specifically for the portable use. In any case, -p4 will probably not be the compression standard supported in portable. Tbeck has mentioned that -p0, -p1 are the leading candidates.

Long story short: if you're interested in portable playback, don't convert now unless you don't have problem re-converting later.

Quote
How is TAK compared FLAC in resource usage, will it require the same amount of power or more?

Decompressing is nearly identical to Flac. Synthetic Soul has done extensive comparisons between TAK and other codecs. Check it out.

Quote
How could I in a simple way convert all FLAC to TAK with the same folder layout ?

Using foobar. Check out the wiki for directions.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #2
Thanx for the info, better to wait a while.

In any case, -p4 will probably not be the compression standard supported in portable.
Tbeck has mentioned that -p0, -p1 are the leading candidates.

Do you mean normal, high and extra won't be supported?


TAK sure has nice compression and speed in perfect mix.
Thanx Tbeck!


FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #4
Now I'm thinking of switching to TAK, is it time?

Depends on what you're gonna do with these files. If it was mainly about  backing up your collection, TAK might be worth becoming a replacement  for your FLAC archive, since to average it offers better compression at  comparable encoding/decoding speeds. Concerning portables, kanak should've already said everything 'bout that. I for my part can't see any serious reason for using lossless codecs on portable devices, hence I'll abstain from going any deeper into this matter.

But one important thing wasn't mentioned in this discussion yet: You shouldn't forget FLAC's  supreme software compatibility, most audio applications support it  either out of the box or via easily to install plug-ins. At least for  me this compatibility is extremely important, since I use both Windows  and Linux on this machine, resulting in lots of different applications  being used to process the archive.
 
  Windows: Winamp for listening; foobar2000 for transcoding to lossy,  ReplayGain scanning as well as tagging; Nero Wave Editor for audio  processing; Nero Burning ROM for burning to CD/DVD.
 
  Linux: Amarok for listening; Audacity for editing; K3B for burning to CD/DVD
 
  All of these applications offer flawless support for FLAC, while using  TAK in conjunction with most of them could be rather troublesome.  Except Winamp and foobar2000 every single one of them would require me  to extract the archive to WAV first (as far as I know, please correct me in case I'm partially wrong here). In my opinion the gain in free  storage space isn't really worth the effort, and I don't even know if decoding TAK to WAV is already possible under Linux, at least without having to rely on  WINE.
 
  During its testing stage and while FLAC 1.1.2 was still the current  version I've been thinking about transcoding the archive to TAK as  well, but for the above reason and the fact that lately Josh's been  doing a great job at improving FLAC I banished the thought of doing  so. Compared to 1.1.2 the 1.1.4 version is much better, offering both  improved compression speeds and ratios. The comparably improved compression ratios of TAK aren't of much concern to me, just like the OP I even keep sticking to FLAC -6 since it works much  faster than -8 and  in my opinion the additional compression gain is completely  negligible. The additional new opportunity to store album  art inside the files is an interesting feature, but of no serious  importance... yet.

Quote
When and if TAK will be released for portable devices.

Who knows? TAK will need a large user base in order to become interesting for the industry. At the moment it's still in its very early stages, hence it's unlikely that native hardware support might arise in the near future. But custom support shouldn't be much of a problem ---> http://rockbox.org could support the codec soon, as mentioned by kanak.

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How could I in a simple way convert all FLAC to TAK with the same folder layout ?

Foobar's converter. "Convert to same directory", after the processing will have been completed, you'll just have to make Windows conduct a search for all FLAC files in your audio directory (search for *.flac). Simply delete them afterwards.

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Thanx for the info, better to wait a while.

Could be good decision concerning your personal needs... could, because the fewer people use the codec, the longer it will take until its software and hardware support is gonna become better. Thomas is just about creating a great lossless codec, but his baby will still need some time to grow up. It needs much more people who care about it, only then chances are given that it'll become a respected adult someday.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #5
When and if TAK will be released for portable devices.

only tbeck can do this as long as it is both closed source and proprietary.  the current tak lib cannot be used on any h/w devices.

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How is TAK compared FLAC in resource usage, will it require the same amount of power or more?

Decompressing is nearly identical to Flac. Synthetic Soul has done extensive comparisons between TAK and other codecs. Check it out.

not exactly.  pretty much all comparisons are using flac.exe to decode, which includes md5sum calculations that tak does not support.  in flac playback applications this is turned off.

for an apples-to-apples comparison see the FLAC comparison.  you will see flac 1.1.4 decoding is actually 15-20% faster than even tak turbo and the upcoming version will be a little faster still.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #6
...
  During its testing stage and while FLAC 1.1.2 was still the current  version I've been thinking about transcoding the archive to TAK as  well, but for the above reason and the fact that lately Josh's been  doing a great job at improving FLAC I banished the thought of doing  so. Compared to 1.1.2 the 1.1.4 version is much better, offering both  improved compression speeds and ratios. The comparably improved compression ratios of TAK aren't of much concern to me, just like the OP I even keep sticking to FLAC -6 since it works much  faster than -8 and  in my opinion the additional compression gain is completely  negligible. The additional new opportunity to store album  art inside the files is an interesting feature, but of no serious  importance... yet.

Nothing to add until here...

TAK's Turbo is still compressing about 4 times (depending on the speed of your io system) faster than FLAC -8 while providing better compression. The advantage is smaller when using foobar for transcoding, because TAK currently does not support piping and foobar therefore has to create an intermediate file.

Quote
Thanx for the info, better to wait a while.

Could be good decision concerning your personal needs... could, because the fewer people use the codec, the longer it will take until its software and hardware support is gonna become better. Thomas is just about creating a great lossless codec, but his baby will still need some time to grow up. It needs much more people who care about it, only then chances are given that it'll become a respected adult someday.

As the rest of your post, very thoughtful. Nothing to add.


When and if TAK will be released for portable devices.

only tbeck can do this as long as it is both closed source and proprietary.  the current tak lib cannot be used on any h/w devices.

That's not to say that i am not already in contact with some hardware developers... But you are right, it will take some time.

Quote
How is TAK compared FLAC in resource usage, will it require the same amount of power or more?

Decompressing is nearly identical to Flac. Synthetic Soul has done extensive comparisons between TAK and other codecs. Check it out.

not exactly.  pretty much all comparisons are using flac.exe to decode, which includes md5sum calculations that tak does not support.  in flac playback applications this is turned off.

for an apples-to-apples comparison see the FLAC comparison.  you will see flac 1.1.4 decoding is actually 15-20% faster than even tak turbo and the upcoming version will be a little faster still.

And then look at Synthetic soul's comparison and find TAK Turbo decoding faster... At the very high decoding speeds both TAK and FLAC are achieving, the speed of for instance your io sub system or properties of your cpu (for instance cache sizes and speeds) can have a big effect on your results.

You are right about MD5, although i doubt that it will have a big effect (but i may be wrong). On the other hand TAK already provides very strong error detection capabilities with it's per frame checksums of 24 bit (compared to FLAC's 16 bit). I personally would only add MD5's for finger printing purposes. I don't see a significant advantage reagarding error detection.

Puh, should i really have to implement a new Turbo mode which is both stronger and considerably faster than FLAC? It might look great in comparisons, but i doubt, that anyone would use it... Seems to be a waste of time.

  Thomas

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #7
I would venture to say that the flac, tak, and wavpack decoders are all getting very close to fundamental limits determined by their inherent algorithmic complexity.  wavpack and tak are very efficient but fundamentally more complex than flac.  wavpack has more complex entropy coding and tak uses much higher order filters even for turbo.  the fact that it can be done with narrower multiplies makes very little practical difference for most hardware with 16 bit samples.  (for righer res it can be an advantage.)

the ultimate goal of the decoder timings in my comparison is to accurately measure the runtime typical in playback.  currenlly i/o factors in to the time but after the next flac release I am going to redo everything based on cpu time.  since libFLAC is not optimized around any particular i/o subsystem I doubt it's speed margin will narrow.

P.S.
And then look at Synthetic soul's comparison and find TAK Turbo decoding faster...
as I said that's because he's testing with the default behavior of flac.exe which does md5 checking on decoding. this costs 15-20% of the overall time.  wavpack and tak do not do this so that's why I said it's not apples-to-apples.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #8
I would venture to say that the flac, tak, and wavpack decoders are all getting very close to fundamental limits determined by their inherent algorithmic complexity.  wavpack and tak are very efficient but fundamentally more complex than flac.  wavpack has more complex entropy coding and tak uses much higher order filters even for turbo.  the fact that it can be done with narrower multiplies makes very little practical difference for most hardware with 16 bit samples.  (for righer res it can be an advantage.)

Much higher order filters? Turbo is using 16 compared to 12 used by FLAC -8 (correct?). On average a modified TAK Turbo which is using only 8 predictors but adding 1 multiplication for another (new) filter would still significantly surpass FLAC -8. But as i wrote, i don't know how much sense this all makes. Is there really a significant amount of hardware players which will fail at maybe 20 percent higher cpu demands? Your latest FLAC version has improved the decoding speed. Doesn't this mean, that there is now also more cpu time left for slightly higher filter orders?

the ultimate goal of the decoder timings in my comparison is to accurately measure the runtime typical in playback.  currenlly i/o factors in to the time but after the next flac release I am going to redo everything based on cpu time.  since libFLAC is not optimized around any particular i/o subsystem I doubt it's speed margin will narrow.

Good idea!

P.S.
And then look at Synthetic soul's comparison and find TAK Turbo decoding faster...
as I said that's because he's testing with the default behavior of flac.exe which does md5 checking on decoding. this costs 15-20% of the overall time.  wavpack and tak do not do this so that's why I said it's not apples-to-apples.

You are right.

  Thomas

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #9
my mistake, I thought turbo used 32.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #10
I would venture to say that the flac, tak, and wavpack decoders are all getting very close to fundamental limits determined by their inherent algorithmic complexity.


Could you please elaborate this (or provide reading links)? What are the limits for lossless compression of audio?

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #11

I would venture to say that the flac, tak, and wavpack decoders are all getting very close to fundamental limits determined by their inherent algorithmic complexity.


Could you please elaborate this (or provide reading links)? What are the limits for lossless compression of audio?

I suppose, Josh is regarding to speed and not compression limits.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #12
Now I'm thinking of switching to TAK, is it time?

I applaud what TBeck has done with TAK, but until:

1) There is an open source version of TAK
or
2) There is enought open documentation to create alternative encoder/decoder.

i won't be touching TAK.

Also, i wish TAK and FLAC somehow merge one day.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #13


I would venture to say that the flac, tak, and wavpack decoders are all getting very close to fundamental limits determined by their inherent algorithmic complexity.


Could you please elaborate this (or provide reading links)? What are the limits for lossless compression of audio?

I suppose, Josh is regarding to speed and not compression limits.


Hmm... anyway, is there a compression limit? Are we near the limit?

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #14
> I have allmost all my CD's in a lossless FLAC collection.
> Now I'm thinking of switching to TAK, is it time?

NO. Reasons:

- Premature, author probably will change the format
- Not yet open source
- No player support so far

> Hmm... anyway, is there a compression limit? Are we near the limit?

YES. YES. 

> I suppose, Josh is regarding to speed and not compression limits.

FLAC DID impressively improve from 1.1.2 to 1.1.4 ;-)

> I applaud what TBeck has done with TAK, but until:
> 1) There is an open source version of TAK
> i won't be touching TAK.

This is critical for me as well ... a minimal decoder under BSD license and full fileformat docs ;-)

> Also, i wish TAK and FLAC somehow merge one day.

I don't think this is possible ... it would kill existing FLAC standard

TAK looks very promising :-) to me ... but came a bit late - it might be difficult to collect much sympathy when there are that many other codes around by now ...
/\/\/\/\/\/\

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #15
not exactly.  pretty much all comparisons are using flac.exe to decode, which includes md5sum calculations that tak does not support.  in flac playback applications this is turned off.

for an apples-to-apples comparison see the FLAC comparison.  you will see flac 1.1.4 decoding is actually 15-20% faster than even tak turbo and the upcoming version will be a little faster still.
And then look at Synthetic soul's comparison and find TAK Turbo decoding faster... At the very high decoding speeds both TAK and FLAC are achieving, the speed of for instance your io sub system or properties of your cpu (for instance cache sizes and speeds) can have a big effect on your results.

You are right about MD5, although i doubt that it will have a big effect (but i may be wrong). On the other hand TAK already provides very strong error detection capabilities with it's per frame checksums of 24 bit (compared to FLAC's 16 bit). I personally would only add MD5's for finger printing purposes. I don't see a significant advantage reagarding error detection.
I think apples to apples comparisons are very difficult to ascertain when using completely different enc/decoders.  For example, a test could time encoders encoding and tagging a file, or even encoding, tagging and verifying.  None of them do the same thing in any situation.  Of course, timing decompression speed for playback is one useful test, which I will be interested to see - I wouldn't say that it was the only test though.  If I wished to compare 'apples to apples' considering compression rate it would be impossible with my corpus, as even FLAC -8 Ax2 does not surpass TAK Turbo.  'Apples to apples' seems to me to be subjective.

After some recent WavPack testing, where my PC showed very little improvement even though newer PCs showed dramatic improvement, I have considered removing my comparison, as I have realised that showing results for one system is a little misleading.  I think your point is just more proof of this.

Puh, should i  really have to implement a new Turbo mode which is both stronger and  considerably faster than FLAC? It might look great in comparisons, but  i doubt, that anyone would use it... Seems to be a waste of  time.
This is what I have discussed previously. It may just be a silly marketing exercise, but people like to pick what they perceive to be the fastest and/or strongest.
I'm on a horse.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #16
- Not yet open source
- No player support so far
Open source?  Yawn.  Player support?  No support so far.  Oh, except those unknowns foobar and Winamp.

FLAC DID impressively improve from 1.1.2 to 1.1.4 ;-)
Coincidentally, yes.

I don't think this is possible ... it would kill existing FLAC standard
I don't believe that this is the case, or at least it is still open to discussion.

TAK looks very promising :-) to me ... but came a bit late - it might be difficult to collect much sympathy when there are that many other codes around by now ...
It will be interesting to see.
I'm on a horse.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #17
The simple elegance of a lossless codec is that at some point in the not too distant future when the "latest & greatest" lossless audio codec is released you will be able to transcode to it, probably using Foobar, and then ditch the previous data.

What I need now though, is a TaK plugin for GSPlayer..... I mean, I have a spiritual need to see if it plays better than FLAC on my iPAQ.
lossyWAV -q X -a 4 -s h -A --feedback 2 --limit 15848| FLAC -5 -e -p -b 512 -P=4096 -S-

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #18
NO. Reasons:

- Premature, author probably will change the format

Premature? Depends on which features you are focussing. As a general statement i consider this as wrong.

Format change? Yes. To make it even better. It's a vivid format.

Let's see if FLAC will continue without a format change when 24 Bit audio is more often beeing used and FLAC's 24-bit compression limitation caused by a design flaw becomes obvious.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #19
After some recent WavPack testing, where my PC showed very little improvement even though newer PCs showed dramatic improvement, I have considered removing my comparison, as I have realised that showing results for one system is a little misleading.  I think your point is just more proof of this.

Please don't remove your great comparison! Where are the alternatives? I know of no comparison comparing different platforms. And you know, there are other limitations, for instance the effect of the test file selection on the compression results. It's never perfect (unless you are doing nothing else).

Puh, should i  really have to implement a new Turbo mode which is both stronger and  considerably faster than FLAC? It might look great in comparisons, but  i doubt, that anyone would use it... Seems to be a waste of  time.
This is what I have discussed previously. It may just be a silly marketing exercise, but people like to pick what they perceive to be the fastest and/or strongest.

Ok. You are right. Possibly this will have to wait until the format change (actually it's rather a tiny modification of the current format).

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #20
Ok, I have done some thinking

I only use FLAC as backup of all my CD's, that I keep in the basement.
Portable support isn't important coz my portable player does not support any lossless format.
I asked for portable support because maybe I'll buy a portable player that supports FLAC or TAK in the future but thats in a distant future

For portable I use mp3.


Thomas, how often will you update TAK, is it worth waiting for the next version?

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #21
If you're waiting for the next update you'll be waiting forever... Because every format gets better with every update, and with lossless formats as competitively close to each other as they are today every format seems to get slightly ahead of the others for every new update.

So basically, if TAKs current features appeals to you... go for it... you can always convert it to a newer version or some completely other format in the future if you feel like it. Lossless is lossless is lossless.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #22
Ye I know, but I am askin if a update will come any time soon....

I don't want to convert 170GB lossless frequently

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #23
I don't want to convert 170GB lossless frequently
I know that feeling... I have like 300-400GB of lossless in various versions of FLAC between 1.1.0 and 1.1.4, just converting it all to 1.1.4 would probably be a huge improvement... but somehow it just feels like too much work. To continuously convert it whenever a better format shows up would probably drive me crazy as well.

FLAC to TAK ?

Reply #24
I know that feeling... I have like 300-400GB of lossless in various versions of FLAC between 1.1.0 and 1.1.4, just converting it all to 1.1.4 would probably be a huge improvement... but somehow it just feels like too much work.

Using Synthetic Soul's script it's an automatic, painless job: http://www.synthetic-soul.co.uk/files/flac-113.bat

Despite its name this batch file also works flawlessly in conjunction with FLAC 1.1.4. I used it myself to update a 80 GB archive overnight, without encountering any problems. Of course, in your case the conversion would take a lot more time, but since the script kept doing its job in the background, this shouldn't be much of a hindrance in practice. In conjunction with gharris999's FLACGetV script it even skips the already 1.1.4-compressed data, saving some time.

Edit:
Quote
TAK's Turbo is still compressing about 4 times (depending on the speed of your io system) faster than FLAC -8 while providing better compression. The advantage is smaller when using foobar for transcoding, because TAK currently does not support piping and foobar therefore has to create an intermediate file.

No real disadvantage of TAK, due to foobar2000 creating an excessive amount of seeking points via piping anyway. At least that's what I read somewhere around here a couple of times. Haven't encountered this issue myself so far, because I compress to FLAC through EAC+REACT2 instead, updating the archive is done using the script mentioned above.

 
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