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How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Just wondering cause I have a ton of lengthy wavs (that are growing daily) that could use some form of compression.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #1
It's lossless, period. No audio data is discarded at all. Whatever you input, you'll get exactly the same as output.

I would recommend using Monkey's Audio on your wav collection. It has excellent compression, a good GUI, the sources are available and it is very fast.

http://www.monkeysaudio.com

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #2
Or FLAC

It compresses a little less ~67% vs. ~64.5% for  Monkey's.

Compression speed is about the same but decompression is much faster with FLAC. This may be important if it is used in some kind of hardware player in the future or if you have a slow computer.

Also, from my understanding, although both have open sources, FLAC's license is much more liberal, if that at all matters.

BTW my numbers come from this post.

EDIT:
The author of FLAC also has a comparison of various lossless codecs on this page. Here most codecs are getting ~50% compression so this better shows the compression values you can reach using lossless codecs. I personally am going to wait a few more years until hard drive and portables have higher capacities (and lossless compression reaches 25%  ) before I switch from MPC to lossless.

Other people's thoughts on thier lossless codec of choice.
Sorry, I have nothing witty to say here.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #3
Quote
Or FLAC.  

It compresses a little less ~67% vs. ~64.5% for  Monkey's.

Compression speed is about the same but decompression is much faster with FLAC. This may be important if it is used in some kind of hardware player in the future or if you have a slow computer.

Also, from my understanding, although both have open sources, FLAC's license is much more liberal, if that at all matters.

BTW my numbers come from this post.

EDIT:
The author of FLAC also has a comparison of various lossless codecs on this page. Here most codecs are getting ~50% compression so this better shows the compression values you can reach using lossless codecs. I personally am going to wait a few more years until hard drive and portables have higher capacities (and lossless compression reaches 25%   ) before I switch from MPC to lossless.

Other people's thoughts on thier lossless codec of choice.

I doubt there will ever be any more improvements to lossless compression. Maybe some SLIGHT changes that require 12 times the processing power, but around 50% seems to be the limit to me.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #4
The easy of use of Monkey's Audio is unbeatable.  Hands down.  It has one of the, if not the best compression to time ratio out, and GUI is great.  And everything you need is included, even the Winamp2 and CoolEdit plugins.

There really is no better choice, as long as you aren't planning on sharing your APE files (that's the extension for Monkey's Audio files) with people that are using non-Windows Operating Systems.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #5
Well, until there is an xmms plugin for APE, I will use FLAC.
-Andy

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #6
Quote
Just wondering cause I have a ton of lengthy wavs (that are growing daily) that could use some form of compression.

I belive that samples are lost when encoding just as with audio extraction, I'm sure someone can clarify this.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #7
When encoding to lossless, no samples are lost. Absolutely none. After decoding to wav again, you will have a wav file that is bit-identical to the original.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #8
The only risk is unstable hardware... some kind of buggy motherboard.
I got one error in a lossless Lpac file. After some tests, I realized that the original wav file (700 MB) was unstable. There was one sample that was sometimes read differently, according to the program used.

Lpac was not to blame, anyway. As I said, it's my Mobo/hard drive/RAM/OS or something, that is bugged. But the point is : all things equal, avoid unnecessary processing.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #9
Quote
all things equal, avoid unnecessary processing


all things equal, always have a stable computer :-)
Sven Bent - Denmark

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #10
A stable computer ? I thought this was only a theoretical concept 

I even managed to make a Unix workstation crash... (w00t)

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #11
Just to recap, if you want to archive consider ape. 

If you want to share, consider flac or shn (!!).  Yes, shn is still a widely supported, easy to use format.  Until there's cross platform support for ape it's a non-starter as a sharing format.

Is it my imagination or does it take a rather long time to verify ape files?

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #12
to verify a MA file, I believe it needs to be decoded entirely.  for a whole album encoded 'extra high', this isn't a quick process on most people's machines.

I believe there is a linux client out for MA now.  And I'll tell you its starting to become the sharing standard in many areas of the net (I"ll leave you to figure out where), whereas I've never seen .flac's shared, and only .shn's I've seen are bootlegs that I have pretty much no interest in.

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #13
Thanks for the info.

You're right that the kind of music you are sharing does matter.

- Some folks trade only bootlegs (recordings of live shows).  For that, it's mostly shn but flac is used as well. Since etree.org started to discuss the format it's become more used.  It's somehow still  not the easiest thing for newbies though.  In those communities, being able to share with Macs is important, you don't want to leave a small but significant chunk of people out, hence my comment.

- I have noticed many rips of newly-released studio cds in the binaries groups are in ape.

One minor thing, comparisons seem not to really discuss the encode / decode asymmetries.  A sharing format will typically be decoded many more times than it is encoded.  So shouldn't having fast decode times (flac, wavpack) be weighted more, and bode somewhat better for getting hardware support. (No doubt this has been covered elsewhere, feel free to give the short response ...)

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #14
Quote
A stable computer ? I thought this was only a theoretical concept  

I even managed to make a Unix workstation crash... (w00t)

i once managed to crash an AIX (IBM's Unix) on som as400 machine with a simple copy command.

I did a append copy with source and destionation as the same file.
The file grew out of control
Sven Bent - Denmark

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #15
[edit]


How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #17
Quote
My apologies, I meant to post the above here...

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....t=0&#entry60259

...but got my threads crossed up.

If you're new and looking for a lossless compression, read that link about FLAC.  The importance of streaming really can't be overlooked.  You don't want to let a HDD failure or a tiny scratch on your CDR ruin your archive.  It's worth the extra space.

 

How "lossless" Is Lossless Audio Compression?

Reply #18
Quote
Quote
Just wondering cause I have a ton of lengthy wavs (that are growing daily) that could use some form of compression.

I belive that samples are lost when encoding just as with audio extraction, I'm sure someone can clarify this.

Are you referring to offset during encoding?

Well, they aren't lost anyhow.
Compress & decompress , and compare with the original 

(via checksums, filesize, or better WAV compare: sample per sample)

 
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