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WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Howdy,

I'm about to undertake a major DAE-to-lossless-files job for my girlfriend and she's only interested in PC playback (SFF PC directly connected to her home theatre system [LCD TV + 6.1]), storage space isn't a crucial issue (200GB SATA RAID1 array), CPU usage for decoding is (PC needs to be used for other tasks too [not gaming] and currently has a Socket 939 Athlon64 3700+ [San Diego core]), would you expert guys recommend WavPack or FLAC for that?

Tho 200GB can accomodate all her multimedia, WavPack's hybrid mode and the possibility to store correction files on another HDD or system is appealing to her, also she likes Winamp's interface too much to switch to anything else for audio files.

The music she's into is pretty much hard rock and crossover (to my ears at least): early Faith No More, Fishbone, Mother Love Bone, Mr. Bungle, Primus, Rage Against The Machine, early Red Hot Chili Peppers, Social Distortion, Sahara Hot Nights, The Who, Tomahawk, Transplants and Urban Dance Squad just to name a few.

I'll do the ripping and encoding on her PC (NEC ND-3540A optical drive, 1 GB RAM) with EAC (single files, not album image + CUE sheet) and only have a couple of days this week to allocate to that.

Thank you very much.

Dc
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #1
I'll say wavpack. Decoding is nothing on resources even using the -h mode (1-3% on my P3-500). Wavpack is also more efficient in terms of encoding speed / compression / decompression and you can use the hybrid features if needed.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #2
Thanks for your take.

Any issues with the WavPack and/or FLAC Winamp plug-ins?

Probs with EAC and WavPack?
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #3
I don't use winamp much, but never had a problem with it and wavpack. The plugin also supports replaygain.

No probs with EAC on recent wavpack versions either for me. There is a setup guide in the wiki (add %o to the eac commandline to enable hybrid feature).
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #4
Thanks again.
Quote
[...]There is a setup guide in the wiki (add %o to the eac commandline to enable hybrid feature).
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've found [a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_WavPack]this[/url], but what about this please?
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100


WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #6
Quote
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...less_comparison
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352446"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Gee, that's very useful in this specific case !
I'm fairly familiar with both CODEC's general specs and as you could be able to tell from my posts I can use both the search function and the Wiki.
It's X-Mas, try and be a tad helpful please , or simply lemme alone with me woes .
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #7
Okay, I'm going with WavPack in hybrid mode w/ correction file (unless any FLAC expert suggests otherwise with convincing info).

bryant recommended "to add either -h or -x to the command-line if quality is important to you" but I've seen some HA posters here use both (for example Duble0Syx uses "-hx2m"), anyone can enlighten me please?
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #8
Wavpack hybrid adds unnecessary complexity to the solution IMO. Why do you need it?

If you are interested in playback only I would go with individual files instead of images and use either of the codecs in lossless mode.

Bear in mind that FLAC is more widespread than Wavpack, the compression is a little worse but decompression is way faster, what could make some difference if you decide to transcode in the future.

I use both.

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #9
Quote
Wavpack hybrid adds unnecessary complexity to the solution IMO. Why do you need it?
To keep the correction files on another system and therefore reduce storage space used on the SFF PC, also lossy WavPack @ 224 is already transparent for my gf (just tested).
Quote
If you are interested in playback only I would go with individual files instead of images and use either of the codecs in lossless mode.
Playback with Winamp (what about gapless playback with the relative WavPack plug-in? Works? Does it need the relative .wvc files for lossy encodes?) and yes, as stated in my first post, I'm going for individual files (but if I create a CUE sheet with EAC I'll be able to burn an exact copy of the original CD, right?).
Quote
Bear in mind that FLAC is more widespread than Wavpack, the compression is a little worse but decompression is way faster, what could make some difference if you decide to transcode in the future.
Thanks for the hint.
Quote
I use both.
I use FLAC for my personal archiving needs, but, as mentioned, this work isn't for me.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #10
Quote
Okay, I'm going with WavPack in hybrid mode w/ correction file (unless any FLAC expert suggests otherwise with convincing info).

bryant recommended "to add either -h or -x to the command-line if quality is important to you" but I've seen some HA posters here use both (for example Duble0Syx uses "-hx2m"), anyone can enlighten me please?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352450"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



The rule is that better compression will give better measured quality. -x at times can bump the compression of a given mode one higher. It seems to work best on fast and normal modes and less on the high mode (very very slow).

-hx2 is almost useless in most cases. But some people sometimes get significant differences and think that -hx is much superior to -h. The truth behind it is that -x has smart joint stereo and it will turn off JS in extreme samples that will result in poorer compression than L/R. In these special cases -x does wonders.

Still Bryant's recommendation is probably the most efficient. If you want to a fast 'cheat' you can use hx1. You get the extra compression of -h  + secure joint stereo and much quicker than the default -hx3.  In any case Bryant doesn't recommend these custom lines.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #11
Quote
Bear in mind that FLAC is more widespread than Wavpack, the compression is a little worse but decompression is way faster, what could make some difference if you decide to transcode in the future.

I use both.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352455"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



Way faster ?

Transcoding in foobar to mp3 is exactly 5% slower in wavpack normal mode on my PC. Now that would make a 4.75 minute job a 5 minute job.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #12
Quote
The rule is that better compression will give better measured quality. -x at times can bump the compression of a given mode one higher. It seems to work best on fast and normal modes and less on the high mode (very very slow).

-hx2 is almost useless in most cases. But some people sometimes get significant differences and think that -hx is much superior to -h. The truth behind it is that -x has smart joint stereo and it will turn off JS in extreme samples that will result in poorer compression than L/R. In these special cases -x does wonders.

Still Bryant's recommendation is probably the most efficient. If you want to a fast 'cheat' you can use hx1. You get the extra compression of -h  + secure joint stereo and much quicker than the default -hx3.  In any case Bryant doesn't recommend these custom lines.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352461"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thank you very much, you've been extremely helpful.
Do you think you could spend a little bit more time and have a look at my (many ) other pesky questions  ?
Like:
A)What about gapless playback with the WavPack Winamp 5 plug-in? Works? Does it need the relative .wvc files for lossy encodes?
B)I'm going for individual files, but if I create a CUE sheet with EAC I'll be able to burn an exact copy of the original CD, right?
C)I think I'm going for "-hb192x1m -c", how about it? Is syntax correct? Can the "-c" switch be combined with the others?
D)Regarding the special cases -x does wonders, do you think for example Fishbone and Primus could be two of them?

EDIT: Updated point C, added point D.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #13
C)Just used -hb192x1mc and it worked fine, very fast too (thanks shadowking).
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #14
a) Gapless should work fine and you don't need .wvc files for lossy playback

b) should be ok

c) Hmm.. for me personaly 192k is way too noisy, 256k much less, sounds good but not transparent either. 320k is transparent on most real life samples. I'd go with 250k for your GF but its up to the users choice and listening abilities. You can also drop -h and use only -x (not -x1) to nearly double decoding speed at the cost of encoding speed. -c can also be combined.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

 

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #15
I 100% hetero but I think I luv ya  .

Here's my last annoyance:

Quote
a) Gapless should work fine and you don't need .wvc files for lossy playback
But for gapless lossy playback?
Quote
b) should be ok
Which Create CUE Sheet option please?
Quote
c) Hmm.. for me personaly 192k is way too noisy, 256k much less, sounds good but not transparent either. 320k is transparent on most real life samples. I'd go with 250k for your GF but its up to the users choice and listening abilities.
Noted, will have her listen to samples from 224 to 320, thanks.
Quote
You can also drop -h and use only -x (not -x1) to nearly double decoding speed at the cost of encoding speed.
What about compression in this case please?
Also, this is ignorance on my part, I know, but when we talk about decoding do you mean unpacking back to .wav or also what Winamp needs to do to playback the file?

Thank you.

EDIT: Added compression issue question with removal of -h switch + grammar.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #16
a) yes

b) I don't normaly do cue , but I did it a few months ago with EAC 'img cue' button.

c) Yes, decoding to wav (more important)  and playback.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #17
Quote
a) yes
I'm sorry, but is it yes you do need the wvc files for gapless lossy playback?
Quote
b) I don't normaly do cue , but I did it a few months ago with EAC 'img cue' button.
I meant, after i detect the gaps and rip individual files, should I go for Create Cue Sheet -> Current Gap Settings... or -> Multiple WAV Files with Gaps... (Noncompliant) to eventually burn an CD identical to the original?
Quote
c) Yes, decoding to wav (more important)  and playback.
Regarding playback when does decoding bacome an issue? In case of a slow HDD or too many accesses from different apps to the same?

Finally, by going with -x and no -h, compression seems to be slightly worse for the correction files.

Your help has been invaluable, both my girlfriend and I are extremely grateful, thank you very much indeed.

EDIT:Clarifications + grammar.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #18
Quote
Quote
Bear in mind that FLAC is more widespread than Wavpack, the compression is a little worse but decompression is way faster, what could make some difference if you decide to transcode in the future.

I use both.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352455"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



Way faster ?

Transcoding in foobar to mp3 is exactly 5% slower in wavpack normal mode on my PC. Now that would make a 4.75 minute job a 5 minute job.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352464"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes, FLAC decoding in much faster than wavpack at any level. MP3 encoding is slow (assuming you use lame) and that is why it seems to you that the difference is little in foobar.
Don't need to be a wavpack zealot, shadowking. 

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #19
Quote
I meant, after i detect the gaps and rip individual files, should I go for Create Cue Sheet -> Current Gap Settings... or -> Multiple WAV Files with Gaps... (Noncompliant) to eventually burn an CD identical to the original?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352479"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, I actually meant if is it better Multiple WAV Files With Corrected Gaps... or Multiple WAV Files with Gaps... (Noncompliant) (my current settings), thanks.

EDIT: Mixed the 2 options up, sorry.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #20
Quote
Bear in mind that FLAC is more widespread than Wavpack, the compression is a little worse but decompression is way faster,
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Only with -h mode. WavPack is faster than flac and compressed slightly better on my computer:
[a href="http://foobar2000.net/lossless/decoding.htm]http://foobar2000.net/lossless/decoding.htm[/url]

hybrid mode also increase the decoding time.

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #21
Quote
[...]hybrid mode also increase the decoding time.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352483"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
In terms of playback with Winamp without correction files present (stored on another system) too please?
When does it become an issue (noticeable)?

EDIT: Tags syntax.
WavPack 5.1.0 -b384hx6cmv / qaac 2.64 -V 100

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #22
Way faster ?

Transcoding in foobar to mp3 is exactly 5% slower in wavpack normal mode on my PC. Now that would make a 4.75 minute job a 5 minute job.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352464"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]

Yes, FLAC decoding in much faster than wavpack at any level. MP3 encoding is slow (assuming you use lame) and that is why it seems to you that the difference is little in foobar.
Don't need to be a wavpack zealot, shadowking. 
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352481"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]

Well gogo is a very fast encoder and there isn't much difference. Surely the WV -fast mode is up there with flac.
wavpack 4.8 -b3hx4c

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #23
Quote
To keep the correction files on another system and therefore reduce storage space used on the SFF PC, also lossy WavPack @ 224 is already transparent for my gf (just tested).

As MP3 at 160kbp for most people... and you would save even more space... 
If you don't mind the complexity go with an hybrid codec. I would not in your case: too much hassle for no added value at all 

Quote
Playback with Winamp (what about gapless playback with the relative WavPack plug-in? Works? Does it need the relative .wvc files for lossy encodes?) and yes, as stated in my first post, I'm going for individual files (but if I create a CUE sheet with EAC I'll be able to burn an exact copy of the original CD, right?).

sorry but I do not use winamp. cannot help you there 
the cuesheet lets you burn the exact copy of the CD. But i doubt your girlfriend would notice any difference if you burned the files directly without the cuesheet... I never noticed any audible difference in my burned cds (with or without the cuesheet).
anyway, from your posts you seem to be the anal type of guy, so go with the cuesheets

Quote
I use FLAC for my personal archiving needs, but, as mentioned, this work isn't for me.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352458"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Are you sure?  From what I've been reading in this thread it looks like this work is for you.
Did you take the time to talk to your girlfriend to understand what are her needs? Sorry but all the wavpack, hybrid, correction, cuesheet, -hx2m yadda-yadda seems too complex for addressing the casual listener needs. I wonder if she even knows how to use a correction wavpack file (or if she will ever need to use that)... 
Please don't take me wrong but it seems to me that you are overcomplicating things. What I mean is that maybe MP3 @128 is more than enough (and much easier) for her....

WavPack or FLAC for PC only playback?

Reply #24
Quote
Quote
[...]hybrid mode also increase the decoding time.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352483"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
In terms of playback with Winamp without correction files present (stored on another system) too please?
When does it become an issue (noticeable)?

EDIT: Tags syntax.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=352485"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, hybrid mode (lossy + correction) is slower. IIRC, I reached x27 decoding time with hybrid@fast (and > x45 for pure lossless in fast mode).

You can use foobar2000's decoder speed component to measure the speed on your computer. Results should be very accurate, but some poeple have noticed than fb2k's wavpack decoder is slower than officiel CLI decoder. Anyway, it may be useful to check by yourself. It's very easy, especially with 0.9 beta (the component is more powerful, and has "multi-pass decoding" to increase the accuracy). Just try with one file.

But keep in mind that both flac and wavpack are 'fast' formats. Even with -h mode, wavpack has a fast decoding speed. If you want the fastest lossless format, use Shorten: it outperforms both flac and wavpack (and alac, another fast format)

 
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