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How do you play lossless files

I know this must sound like a stupid question, however I'm new to lossless compression.

To my knowledge there isn't any hardware support for lossless formats like FLAC or Monkey's Audio.

What about software support? I was considering purchasing RealPlayer, but I don't think it supports lossless formats. I think it supports the more popular lossy formats like mp3, wma, but I doubt it even supports Ogg.

I will be purchasing a new computer in the near future and I can't decide how to store the audio on my computer. I know every person's situation is different and what works best for one person doesn't work for someone else so here's my setup.

Computer is hooked up to a Linn Classik, speakers are hand made by my brother and I (real wood cabinets) I'd say the speakers are about the quality you'd get if you spent about $1,000 Cdn. on a pair of speakers. I'm using an external Yamaha sound card that takes the audio out of the USB.

I thought about going strictly wave, but thought I might run out of room and lossless would be a good idea. However I also have a portable flash player, so I'll need some mp3's as well - thus my question regarding hardware support.

At the moment I'm thinking that using a lossless format AND mp3 might be the best solution, but how long does it take to encode lossless files?


How do you play lossless files

Reply #1
i would use flac and vorbis as there are nice frontends (oggdropxpd) for vorbis with flac input functions and flac comment copy. if you need mp3 i'd still use flac (or mac, because it has a nice gui) but you have to decode then all the time before encoding to mp3. maybe there will be lame versions with lossless intput support in near future.

as a player i would chose foobar.

How do you play lossless files

Reply #2
Lossless is faster than MP3 because the mathematics aren't nearly as complex (e.g. there are no psychoacoustics).

I'd recommend using FLAC; it takes up slightly more space, but makes up for it by being open source and being streamable, so that one tiny error doesn't ruin the entire file, as it does with Monkey's.

For MP3s, use this as your guide:

The settings you use will be dependent on your player; --alt-preset standard is transparent for the vast majority of samples, but can take up a lot of space for flash portables (it averages around ~192kbps), so you might want to try something more compact, like --alt-preset 128.  That will give you files with an average size of 128, but with far better sound than a CBR file.  It all depends on your preferences and what you're listening to.  --alt-preset 128 might be completely transparent for you on your flash player, or it might sound like utter hell.

BTW: Foobar2000, hosted elsewhere on this site, plays FLAC files.

How do you play lossless files

Reply #3
so how do you play with winamp3... i just find a bunch of dead links
Chaintech AV-710

How do you play lossless files

Reply #4
1. there is hardware support for FLAC. it's not so widespread as support for mp3s, though. look on FLAC page for details.

2. use the link above to see available software support. for windows, there's winamp2 plug-in, that can be used with winamp3 through wa2input or wa2mgr.

3. it's not too hard to encode mp3s "directly" from flac. may be even some frontend supports it. the idea is that you decode flac to stdout and pipe the output to stdin of mp3 encoder.

4. different lossless codecs have very different encoding times. some of them are *very* slow. even more, many of them take the same time to encode and decode (FLAC doesn't  ). flac is fast in "medium" mode (the default) and gives almost the same compression as in slow "best" mode.

edit: hundreds of typos

How do you play lossless files

Reply #5
Winamp 2.xx is fine too for playing FLAC or Monkey's Audio files. You just need to use the input plugins that are included with each compressor.

How do you play lossless files

Reply #6
so how do you play with winamp3... i just find a bunch of dead links

try the .wac in on rarewares:

some people have reported that it works for them.


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