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No way is Apple Lossless as good as WAV. - Page 2  

post #16 of 102
could you send me the two files and i can perform the first test for you. Just transcode the alac file to wave and compare them with eac. If you would rather not I will. If you plan to make a claim like that I would back it up. If the difference is that obvious how could it not show up in a simple wave comparison or an abx test.

You can look at the uncompressed data the ipod uses by making a recording go figure :P.
post #17 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdg
Ps I agree a blind test would be best but I don't have someone around to help me with that.
It seems that we agree that a blind test would be the best way to test. You don't need the assistance of someone else to use Foobar's ABX comparator. As I mentioned before, all you need to do is highlight the two files that you want to compare, right click on them, and then select "compare." Foobar will give you four choices to listen to: A and B, and X and Y. Listen as long as you need to, and then decide whether "A is X, B is Y" or "A is Y, B is X" and press the appropriate button. The only caveat is that you should decide in advance how many trials you are going to do. (If you decide to do 12 trials and stop after 8 becuase you happen to be ahead, the results are not valid.)
post #18 of 102
Be sure to make sure the two files are of the same volume first. A small difference in volume may often be interpreted not as a difference in volume, but rather a difference in sound quality.

Foobar2000's ABX comparer IS a blind test because you aren't told which file is which. Heck, it's even a double blind test, as the whole point of the DBT is so you can't pick up on any psychological cues from the person who is giving the test, and it's kinda hard to read foobar's face or body language.
post #19 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Grey
Be sure to make sure the two files are of the same volume first. A small difference in volume may often be interpreted not as a difference in volume, but rather a difference in sound quality.
replaygain is there for a reason :P
post #20 of 102

No way is wav as good as flac

It's been a little bit since somebody's claimed they've heard a difference between lossless audio formats.... I was getting nervous head-fi was losing its touch.

It's okay GDG, you're not alone. I can tell the difference between flac and wav. Flac's bass is just so much tighter with more impact and the soundstage is so much wider. The presentation is warmer and more airy. The veil's been lifted also. The instrument separation is monumental and the clarity is just so much better. I can pick out details I never thought I could using flac!

Whoever invented audiophile adjectives should be shot.
post #21 of 102
OK, so you feel ALAC sounds worse than WAV... What about FLAC and AIFF? Do those sound better, the same, or worse than WAV?

Reminds me of a thread last year where someone claimed WAV files didn't sound as good as playing off of the original CD
post #22 of 102

ALAC IS LOSSLESS

I've seen the test results and ALAC is LOSSLESS. You don't have to listen to know that. What it could be is the processors in the iPod that plays WAV and ALAC could be doing something different. That might be what's being herd. But as far as getting back the original file when decompressed, that is a most definate. Of course, what you hear maybe an AAC m4a instead of an ALAC m4a. No idea what's going on when you listen. All I know is ALAC is LOSSLESS.

If you want, you could install Rockbox and use FLAC at level 8 which gives better compression then ALAC and is also truely LOSSLESS.
post #23 of 102
I don't know for alac but...
With dBpoweramp I can convert wav into flac and back to wav, the result is binary the same (fc.exe original.wav converted.wav).
post #24 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdg
I can't believe it. I'ver read countless posts, many by digital experts, claiming that lossless compression was completely benign. I finally realized that my superstitious believe that keeping an audio file in it's origonal form was unneccessary. Thrilled with the prospect of being able to almost double the number of CDs I can put on my 30gig Ipod I converted my entire Itune catalog to Apple Lossless.
I've gone along happily assuming I was getting the maximum audio quality untill two events occured.
1)I bought a pair of AKG K701s (an extremely good pair of headphones) and a portable amp (RSA Hornet).
2)I read the Squeezebox review in UHF where they claimed that they noticed that WAV files sounded better than Apple Lossless.(they seemed to feel the process that "uncompresses" the file was the culprit)

At first I simply didn't believe the article since UHF has been falling further and further behind in it's reporting and knowledge of current technologies. They always seem to be last to "discover" the latest and greatest. They have been well behind most in the mainstream press reporting on the breakthrough Benchmark Dac1, the surprisingly good audio quality of the Ipod, and the revolutionary nature of the Squeezebox. I assumed they simply had convinced themselves that the Apple Lossless files weren't up to par and didn't understand that the files were truely "lossless". Just for the heck of it I transferred the first cut of Patricia Barber's well recorded "Cafe Blue" to my Itunes catalog and left one version in WAV and converted another to Apple Lossless. When I compared them on my Ipod (Using the AKGs and amped with the Hornet) I was stunned to find that the WAV file seemed to open up and breath compared to the Lossless file. It seemed to have more "air", was more dynamic and resolving. I repeatedly checked to make sure I wasn't imagining things but sure enough the WAV file sounded significantly better. Man, what a kick in the teeth. I guess I need to take what I read with a grain of salt because I didn't need to listen very hard to hear the difference.
Gerry
I reported this (about FLAC, the effect and cause are the same) before. I was told I am crazy. Nice to see there are people who support what I hear. Nice to see there are still people who try it out for themselves. The only valid argument is what YOU hear. There are a lot of people who can't to hear it, which is ok. But they also don't want YOU to hear it, because that would mean their reasoning could be wrong (or better: beside the point).
I for me don't care what other people think the reason is they don't hear it. I just want people to be aware that using a compressed file CAN (for you) make an audible difference on playback. I am shure a lot of people are not able to hear it, for them this item is not relevant. For those who can hear it, it is something to take into consideration.
post #25 of 102
I haven't tried anything myself, but it's possible that the apple lossless decoder in the iPod is flawed and doesn't decompress properly. Taking the two files to foobar and doing an ABX on them won't do anything because it's being decoded by foobar.

I'm not saying there's a problem but it's possible that there is and none of the methods most of you are suggesting will work. Yes, lossless compression is exactly like the WAV, assuming that the decoder does its job properly.
post #26 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs
Hey, guess what? I just developed x-ray vision. No, really. I can read what's written on the other side of that wall.

What? No, of course I'm not going to read it to you. Why should I? I know that I can see it. If you want to see it, use your own eyes.
lol this reminds me of the family guy where peter calls the ghost that never lies as a witness in court and he's the only one that can talk to it.
post #27 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees
I reported this (about FLAC, the effect and cause are the same) before. I was told I am crazy. Nice to see there are people who support what I hear. Nice to see there are still people who try it out for themselves. The only valid argument is what YOU hear. There are a lot of people who can't to hear it, which is ok. But they also don't want YOU to hear it, because that would mean their reasoning could be wrong (or better: beside the point).
You are making a very bad and very wrong assumption. I never once in this entire thread said that he could not hear a difference. Therefore, your assertion that I "don't want [him] to hear it" because that would "mean [my] reasoning is wrong" is false. Though I think that it is extremely unlikely that there is an actual difference between .wav and AL, I am not claiming that he hears no difference. I'm sure he does hear a difference, or he wouldn't have posted. As I said earlier, I can't tell what he hears. My point is simply that if he refuses to substantiate the claim that he can hear it with evidence that he can very easily obtain through an ABX test, then the claim is useless, because there is no way to tell whether the difference he hears is the result of an actual audible difference between the AL codec and .wav, an error in the decoding scheme used by the playback device, expectation bias, or something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenja
I haven't tried anything myself, but it's possible that the apple lossless decoder in the iPod is flawed and doesn't decompress properly. Taking the two files to foobar and doing an ABX on them won't do anything because it's being decoded by foobar.
I completely agree with you. Note, however, that the claim that the OP is making is that "no way is Apple Lossless as good as WAV." He is attributing the difference he hears to the codec itself, not to the decoder. (Though he has not said so in this thread, in his audio asylum thread he notes that he has read of an audible difference between AL and .wav playing back on the computer via iTunes.) The assertion that the codec is not as good as .wav is easily tested.
post #28 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenja
I haven't tried anything myself, but it's possible that the apple lossless decoder in the iPod is flawed and doesn't decompress properly. Taking the two files to foobar and doing an ABX on them won't do anything because it's being decoded by foobar.

I'm not saying there's a problem but it's possible that there is and none of the methods most of you are suggesting will work. Yes, lossless compression is exactly like the WAV, assuming that the decoder does its job properly.
It is a fair point, but one can easily set up a blind test using the iPod. Just get one person to help you, with your back turned. Have them flip a coin, heads = wav vs. wav, tails = alac vs. wav. They select the files on the iPod, you just listen and tell them when to switch. 10 coin flips later you have something at least vaguely resembling objective data. This is barely different from the listening tests that were done to make this thread in the first place... it is just that the listener cannot be the person selecting the files.

But this isn't HydrogenAudio. It's not required to substantiate claims before making them here. Only if you want anyone to believe you.
post #29 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs
You are making a very bad and very wrong assumption. I never once in this entire thread said that he could not hear a difference. Therefore, your assertion that I "don't want [him] to hear it" because that would "mean [my] reasoning is wrong" is false. Though I think that it is extremely unlikely that there is an actual difference between .wav and AL, I am not claiming that he hears no difference. I'm sure he does hear a difference, or he wouldn't have posted. As I said earlier, I can't tell what he hears. My point is simply that if he refuses to substantiate the claim that he can hear it with evidence that he can very easily obtain through an ABX test, then the claim is useless, because there is no way to tell whether the difference he hears is the result of an actual audible difference between the AL codec and .wav, an error in the decoding scheme used by the playback device, expectation bias, or something else.
Since you are obviously trying to figure out what you or anybody else is actually hearing by actually trying for yourself, my rant was NOT directed against you.
Sometimes I get carried away, but I try to formulate very exactly. If I did not succeed this time and made you feel accused of something: I sincerely appologise.
post #30 of 102
only the op and kees can veirfy these claims so continued speculation is pointless, and even if the files are being decoded improperly with the ipod it dosen't change the fact that the files are lossless on a pc and verified as so alac is still a good format to archive your music. If this is found to be true this is even more motivation to use an opensource codec with published decoding schemes compared to alac a closed source codec codec with a reverese engineered opensource decoder.
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