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What audio format gives the best sound quality? - Page 2

post #16 of 61

Is WMA Lossless truly lossless?

post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post


Don't forget Shorten, TTA,, MonkeyAudio, WMA Lossless... and we already have lossy/lossless combined in the form of WavPack and Optimfrog biggrin.gif:D:D


True, true :) I was only mentioning the most popular ones.

 

Still, I can't really put my trust on hybrid lossless formats that have lossy within.

 

And yes Mad Max, WMA Lossless is true lossless. Not one of my favs by any measure, though.

post #18 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

Is WMA Lossless truly lossless?


 

I think it is. Though, the question in my mind isn't so much is it lossless but is it as bloated and crappy a format as every other filetype Microsoft has ever released? I'm STILL waiting for WMV and BMP to go the way of the dodo. They're absolutely horrible formats that are pathetic when you compare the quality of the stream to the corresponding file size.

post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

Is WMA Lossless truly lossless?



Yes, or else it wouldn't be called lossless. I have never been able to do a proper dbt and pick them apart, and neither has anyone else I have asked.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

 


 

I think it is. Though, the question in my mind isn't so much is it lossless but is it as bloated and crappy a format as every other filetype Microsoft has ever released? I'm STILL waiting for WMV and BMP to go the way of the dodo. They're absolutely horrible formats that are pathetic when you compare the quality of the stream to the corresponding file size.


And what do you mean by bloated? I have the same song ripped in FLAC and WMA Lossless, and the FLAC is a larger file size. 

 

post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post


Yes, or else it wouldn't be called lossless. I have never been able to do a proper dbt and pick them apart, and neither has anyone else I have asked.


And what do you mean by bloated? I have the same song ripped in FLAC and WMA Lossless, and the FLAC is a larger file size. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

 

I think it is. Though, the question in my mind isn't so much is it lossless but is it as bloated and crappy a format as every other filetype Microsoft has ever released? I'm STILL waiting for WMV and BMP to go the way of the dodo. They're absolutely horrible formats that are pathetic when you compare the quality of the stream to the corresponding file size.


Well, one time I encoded a wave file to WMAL, then used Microsoft's utility (wmaltopcm.exe? I forgot the name) to "unpack" the WMAL file back to wave.  The second wave file had a smaller file size and different checksum.  Did it sound different?  I don't think so, but I had crappy gear back then.  =p

The first wave file did not have any special tagging or anything like that.  I ripped it with EAC (v0.95 beta 5?), but it was a few years ago.

Did I do it right?  That's why I doubt whether WMAL is lossless or not.

post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

 


Well, one time I encoded a wave file to WMAL, then used Microsoft's utility (wmaltopcm.exe? I forgot the name) to "unpack" the WMAL file back to wave.  The second wave file had a smaller file size and different checksum.  Did it sound different?  I don't think so, but I had crappy gear back then.  =p

The first wave file did not have any special tagging or anything like that.  I ripped it with EAC (v0.95 beta 5?), but it was a few years ago.

Did I do it right?  That's why I doubt whether WMAL is lossless or not.

I never tried unpacking it back to WAV. Have you ever tried to turn a FLAC file back to wave? I would think it would send it back to the standard 1411 file size, and why it didn't, I dunno. I have stopped using WMA lossless, and started using FLAC, but not for sound issues, but because as I have gotten better gear, I switched from using Windows Media Player to Foobar.  But like I said, I can't imagine it not being a true lossless format....and if it isn't I haven't been able to find a sound quality difference. I have DBTed WMA Lossless vs 320 MP3 and smaller file sizes and can detect the differences in those fairly easily.  
 

 

post #22 of 61

@tmars78: As I said, I don't have much experience with WMA Lossless. I'm only going on my experience with other Microsoft formats which leads me to believe there are problems with it. Often in the case of Microsoft the problem is file size when you have the same quality. If you were to compare a BMP to a PNG, for example, the PNG would be significantly smaller, especially if you took the time to compress it.

post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

@tmars78: As I said, I don't have much experience with WMA Lossless. I'm only going on my experience with other Microsoft formats which leads me to believe there are problems with it. Often in the case of Microsoft the problem is file size when you have the same quality. If you were to compare a BMP to a PNG, for example, the PNG would be significantly smaller, especially if you took the time to compress it.



WMA lossless works fine.  I changed to it exclusively on my PC so I can stream to my Xbox 360 which supplies lossless audio to my AV receiver.  I've used FLAC and ALAC before.  I don't claim to be a "golden ear'd audiofool" but I certainly didn't notice a drop in audio quality.   

 

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

@tmars78: As I said, I don't have much experience with WMA Lossless. I'm only going on my experience with other Microsoft formats which leads me to believe there are problems with it. Often in the case of Microsoft the problem is file size when you have the same quality. If you were to compare a BMP to a PNG, for example, the PNG would be significantly smaller, especially if you took the time to compress it.



Gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up. I was just curious as to what you meant. beerchug.gif



Quote:
Originally Posted by WCoast02 View Post





WMA lossless works fine.  I changed to it exclusively on my PC so I can stream to my Xbox 360 which supplies lossless audio to my AV receiver.  I've used FLAC and ALAC before.  I don't claim to be a "golden ear'd audiofool" but I certainly didn't notice a drop in audio quality.   

 



Yeah, I don't think you will ever notice a drop in audio quality. 90% of my music is still ripped in WMA lossless. 

post #25 of 61
Use this to rid yourselves from further speculation, don't want to seem rude but I find it polluting.
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

@tmars78: As I said, I don't have much experience with WMA Lossless. I'm only going on my experience with other Microsoft formats which leads me to believe there are problems with it. Often in the case of Microsoft the problem is file size when you have the same quality. If you were to compare a BMP to a PNG, for example, the PNG would be significantly smaller, especially if you took the time to compress it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WCoast02 View Post

WMA lossless works fine.  I changed to it exclusively on my PC so I can stream to my Xbox 360 which supplies lossless audio to my AV receiver.  I've used FLAC and ALAC before.  I don't claim to be a "golden ear'd audiofool" but I certainly didn't notice a drop in audio quality. 

1. Lossless means lossless, the audio content is absolutely the same whether youa re using WMA Lossless, ALAC or FLAC,, everything gets converted to the same raw PCM data before getting stream to your soundcard or your USB port.
2. WMA Lossless usually has a better compression ratio than FLAC or ALAC. More information here.
3. BMP, or bitmap is simply an uncompressed image file, it's almost an array of [0-255,0-255,0-255] vectors for 8 bit images, *unmpressed raw image date*, that's what it is, the equivalent in audio is WAV or AIFF, from the time when computers did not have the capacity to handle real time decompression. Comparing it to PNG is disingenuous.
Edited by khaos974 - 5/18/11 at 6:56pm
post #27 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmars78 View Post


I never tried unpacking it back to WAV. Have you ever tried to turn a FLAC file back to wave? I would think it would send it back to the standard 1411 file size, and why it didn't, I dunno. I have stopped using WMA lossless, and started using FLAC, but not for sound issues, but because as I have gotten better gear, I switched from using Windows Media Player to Foobar.  But like I said, I can't imagine it not being a true lossless format....and if it isn't I haven't been able to find a sound quality difference. I have DBTed WMA Lossless vs 320 MP3 and smaller file sizes and can detect the differences in those fairly easily. 


I've unpacked a FLAC file and got the exact same wave file, same size and same checksum.  FLAC is does it right, I think.  Because of that little experiment, I switched to FLAC after looking for alternatives.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by c61746961 View Post

Use this to rid yourselves from further speculation, don't want to seem rude but I find it polluting.


I had thought of doing something similar once, but was too lazy.  =p

post #28 of 61

you cant beat 128kbps mp3

post #29 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaos974 View Post

3. BMP, or bitmap is simply an uncompressed image file, it's almost an array of [0-255,0-255,0-255] vectors for 8 bit images, *unmpressed raw image date*, that's what it is, the equivalent in audio is WAV or AIFF, from the time when computers did not have the capacity to handle real time decompression. Comparing it to PNG is disingenuous.


 

Not really. Well, yes, yes it is in a way. PNG also does alpha-channels. However, BMP is a raster format and a lossless one at that. However, so is PNG. PNG also comes in two flavors: 8-bit and 24-bit. Both support alpha-channels (to different degrees) but you can turn them off when saving. It's actually a way you can save on file size. The only part that's disingenuous is the fact that BMPs are a legacy format as far as I'm concerned and PNGs are not. So no, not disingenuous at all. Using the argument, "It's a poorly compressed image format," isn't an excuse, it's my complaint.

 

@Mad Max: Would you be so kind as to perform the same test with an ALAC file? I'm curious to see how they compare. I'm going to stick with ALAC simply because I can't use FLAC on my iPhone, but it'd be interesting to know.

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekliptiko View Post

you cant beat 128kbps mp3



Well, for Justin Bieber, I guess you cant. Hell, you might even prefer 64K - he wouldnt sound any better on a high-end stack into the Leben than he does on a grainy YouTube vid. In a perverse way, you've gotta admire that level of musical inadequacy.

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