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What audio format gives the best sound quality? - Page 4

post #46 of 61

Fair enough, DougofTheAbaci :)

 

Along with .pdf, Flash is another widespread format that should be killed and never be handed the chance to be as popular as it is. While I don't agree with Apple's decision to support Flash, given that it is a base requirement for proper web browsing in the present days, I do like the solidity of its own browsing experience, even when taking in account its limitations.

 

About app stores, I find that both Apple and Microsoft are to blame, for their not so sane standards that could be easily dismissed if there was even a slight consistency check on the uploaded apps, nevermind the nature of the content blocking nonsense.

 

So far, I've seen Cowon players supporting APE, along with other less known brands, most likely to be as the rebranding business that goes around the Nationite N2 player and his counterparts from other regions. Still, APE performs nicely, with tagging and cue support, only that it's not so used as other lossless formats, IIRC.

post #47 of 61

As someone who makes websites for a living and spends every waking moment on the web, I'd very happily debate how necessary Flash is on the web these days for a number of reasons but maybe that's a topic for a different thread. ;)

 

Hmm. So APE has relatively good support as far as lossless formats go? Then which is the better codec, FLAC or APE? I don't know very much (read: anything) about APE so I can't make a distinction myself.

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

As someone who makes websites for a living and spends every waking moment on the web, I'd very happily debate how necessary Flash is on the web these days for a number of reasons but maybe that's a topic for a different thread. wink.gif

 

Hmm. So APE has relatively good support as far as lossless formats go? Then which is the better codec, FLAC or APE? I don't know very much (read: anything) about APE so I can't make a distinction myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

@Khaos974: You, sir, have been dated.

 


What do you mean by "dated", it just means I've been using lossless for quite some time cool.gif

All relevant information about lossless codecs here: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison#Comparison_Table

As far as I am concerned I prefer Flac because it's less resourceful intensive, it's open source and the files include a MD% in their header which allows a quite check of integrity of you when you back up the files.
post #49 of 61


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Along with .pdf, Flash is another widespread format that should be killed and never be handed the chance to be as popular as it is. 

 

 

I know we are going terribly off-topic, but remind me what's wrong with .pdf? Acrobat reader sucks big time alright, though I have no trouble viewing .pdf with fox-it reader. Not aware of any major deficiencies of the .pdf format per se... 

post #50 of 61

I must say, I hate Flash with a passion.  Especially how it's used exclusively on Youtube, I just can't get over how inefficient it is...I can play 1080p videos fine with, say, VLC, but as soon as I even think about playing 720p videos my computer starts to seize up and stutter.  You can do nearly anything Flash can do via other methods, and it's generally cleaner and better implemented that way anyway.  (except for those dumb menus on the top of head-fi, those drive me nuts.  sometimes when I just want to go back to a root forum, it makes me click on the "summit-fi" button instead because the little menu pops out without warning...)

 

Also, I don't think much supports APE.  Though the new Fiio X3 will, but that's not really saying much since that's just one device.

post #51 of 61

Ok. First, I do prefer FLAC over other lossless formats, mainly due to the low cpu power required for overall processing, while keeping all the tagging goodness that's so necessary. Oh, and I didn't mention it being an open format, because that's a given.

 

Second, while Acrobat increases in versions, so do the core pdf format, which is getting increasingly bloated. While fox-it does indeed handle pdf files quite well, the core format is still growing, but the worse part is that newer versions make older versions obsolete. Current versions support various formats of audio, video and 3D content, that even when none of those is being used, they're still somewhat a burden due to content placeholders.

 

Third, would HTML5 be a proper replacement for Flash, DougofTheAbaci? I really can't get over the fact that I'm forced to use version tiers, that are indeed taking a toll on performance, Youtube being quite a good example. And even though Transgaming is licensing their renderer technology to Adobe, it will only be viable as long as content doesn't increase in weight as long as complexity, IMO.


Edited by Roller - 5/20/11 at 10:10am
post #52 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikoLayer View Post

 

I know we are going terribly off-topic, but remind me what's wrong with .pdf? Acrobat reader sucks big time alright, though I have no trouble viewing .pdf with fox-it reader. Not aware of any major deficiencies of the .pdf format per se... 



It's used as a secure format and it's not. It has numerous security flaws and is a favorite for hackers who want to infiltrate your system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

I must say, I hate Flash with a passion.  Especially how it's used exclusively on Youtube, I just can't get over how inefficient it is...I can play 1080p videos fine with, say, VLC, but as soon as I even think about playing 720p videos my computer starts to seize up and stutter.  You can do nearly anything Flash can do via other methods, and it's generally cleaner and better implemented that way anyway.  (except for those dumb menus on the top of head-fi, those drive me nuts.  sometimes when I just want to go back to a root forum, it makes me click on the "summit-fi" button instead because the little menu pops out without warning...)

 

Also, I don't think much supports APE.  Though the new Fiio X3 will, but that's not really saying much since that's just one device.


 

Yeah... The only thing HTML5/CSS5/JavaScript can't do nearly as well as Flash can is animation. Pretty much it. Advanced animation is a nightmare with HTML5 Canvas. Mostly because there's no GUI for it yet. Though, there's not much else that fits that list.

 

And yes, Head-Fi could do with a healthy dose of mega-menus for their navigation. I keep debating sending them a small list of "alterations you might consider making" but so far I haven't found the time and, to be honest, I'm not sure they'd care.

 

@Roller: It depends on what you want it to do. HTML5 is just a markup language, it's the next version of HTML. If we're talking Html5 the buzz-word which includes CSS3 and javascript (usually jQuery in most people's minds) then yes, I'd say with very few situations, Html5 can do anything Flash can and do it in a more accessible, semantic and standards-compliant manner.

 

However, I'll be honest, right now there's still an issue with legacy compatibility since a lot of this stuff doesn't work in IE6,7,8 without some hacker. However, I don't care about IE6 anymore and IE7 and IE8 can be brought into line. IE9 is actually a pretty good browser... Dunno what caused Microsoft to wake up (other than losing 40% of total market share) but I'm sure glad they did. If the majority of users who use IE upgrade to the latest version then we'll be in a world where the majority of users support the majority of Html5 tech. Which will be a very good day for me. :D

 

Oh, and to keep this somewhat close to topic, for anyone curious there isn't an HTML5 Audio codec in use, as far as I know, that supports lossless audio with the possible exception of OGG. I don't know if OGG can be a lossless format or not, but it's one of the few main HTML5 Audio codecs that I think stands a chance of it. The others being MP3 and AAC. (I don't think ALAC's version of AAC counts.)

post #53 of 61

We really don't have that many alternatives, and that's another thing that bothers me.

 

I do think you should send them some of your recommendations for changes, perhaps giving some background info on their validity. Basically making your point go through.

 

Oh, and let's face it, besides atrocious performance, flash is absurdly rough on the edges, for something that's been going around for so many years. I wonder, can flash content be exported to other formats while maintaining integrity?

 

About browsers, Microsoft is already with an ongoing campaign to discontinue IE6, IE8 already comes with the recent OSes, and IE9 is finally a reality. While I don't really care for IE, it is unfortunately being used by some apps, not to mention that having an updated IE means more changes than just the browser itself.

While I understand that on corporate environments, specially older ones, there is still a large userbase of older browsers, there is no reason why people shouldn't upgrade their browsers to recent versions, as the offer is quite good and diverse.

 

When I first read your last paragraph, I was thinking you were forgetting about OGG, but lossless is a different business. Truth be told, the average internet connection speed has to be taken in account, as in a world where there are both people still using dial-up and people using fiber optics, things get a bit hard. A good example is the fact that even servers will have to significantly increase their capacity, as current FLAC streaming is a nightmare, even with high compression ratios.

post #54 of 61

The mega-menu idea is an easy one to back up. Jakob Nielsen (foremost usability expert for the web) has a nice article based on his research that proves they improve usability and flow on a website.

 

It depends on the content you're talking about. If it's video and audio? Yeah. Heck, Flash uses H.264 video as it is, which is one of the two top codecs used for HTML Video. Most people use that now because it can be supported on the most platforms.

 

If you mean things like games and animation... Not to my knowledge. Those need to be re-authored using standards-based tech. It's one reason why people have been hesitant to leave Flash behind. They already have a library of tools they use to build websites. Getting rid of Flash would require them to start all over. Granted, they'll have to do it eventually anyway but they don't always see it like that.

 

That's actually the justification I use, in regards to IE6. The vast majority of IE6 users are office workers, or things to that effect. They're not the people who browse the web, or, at least, they shouldn't be doing it during work, in theory. IE7 users are slowly upgrading to IE8 and IE8 users are slowly migrating to IE9. Microsoft is making a big push to get people to use their latest browser. What's going to be the big decider is how long it takes XP users to upgrade their systems because they can't use IE9. When that time finally comes Html5 will see major support across the vast majority of platforms.

 

Dialup isn't nearly as big of a problem as you'd think. The vast majority of users have at least a basic DSL connection. Actually, the real problem is mobile broadband. Even with "4G" (I use quotes because 4G is actually an internationally defined spec and there is no "4G" network that actually meets the minimum requirements) the speeds aren't all that great. Compound that with the diminutive screen real estate and limited processing power and suddenly things become interesting. There's been a big move int he web community towards something called Responsive Web Design which is basically building sites that will adapt based on various factors relating to the device they're being viewed on.

 

Anyway... Tangential. I agree that speed is a factor but it will become less so as time goes on. To be honest, I'm really curious about Apple's cloud service because they're working on a new system that would improve playback latency for higher-quality audio while streaming. I know Amazon and Google both have theirs, but Amazon's doesn't interest me all that greatly but Google's does. Though, there are a lot of things about that service that feel rushed.

 

I'm willing to be that Google realized Apple was close to releasing their solution to the whole cloud music situation and rushed out what they had.

post #55 of 61

To tell you the truth, I'm not exactly visualizing what kind of changes you propose for HF's UI. Would you contact the admins directly, or would you post on the feedback forum?

 

So, if re-authoring is absolutely essential, it does indeed mean that there are significant differences between HTML and Flash. I somehow thought that there would be at least some common points between the two fo them.

 

A lot of people have been complaining about backwards compatibility of newer versions of Microsoft software, like IE, MSN and such, but the fact is that it does indeed help to move the Windows environment forward.

 

Well, dial-up is certainly a percentage that's dropping every day, still there are quite some users all around the world. Many countries are trying to raise their connection speed to a 4Mbps average, like what happens on both US of A and UK. And the whole mobile broadband still has a long way to go, as it is far too unstable due to far too mny variables that allow such issues. But ever since the switch from analog to digital TV streams, that we have huge amounts of airwaves just waiting to be properly harnessed, which in fact reminds me of an experiment that Google is doing to provide 700Mbps wireless internet using those same (now) empty channels.

 

Honestly, I'm still a bit skeptic regarding true on-the-fly site conversion for the destination device. While I do believe it to be possible, I fear it will involve too much processing from either the servers or the destination devices themselves, which ultimately can result in exceedingly lower performance. Though, the way Opera Mini works is quite interesting and proving to be more effective than I ever expected.

 

Cloud services... Eventually, private cloud services will have to surface all over, both for cost and security reasons. If the copyright lobby wasn't so eager to wage war against any who oppose them, P2P could very well be a viable solution to a lot of current content distribution issues.

 

But I digress. Along with all levels of tech improving and refining existing tech, I also wish for better audio streaming quality, but that would mean the current dirt quality mp3s out there (128kbps) would start to teach people that such low standards is not the way to go. Good for the audiophile within, somewhat bad for the (evil) music industry.

post #56 of 61

Flash is its own software. The coding languages it uses is ActionScript, which is similar to JavaScript as they share the same root. However, you can't just pull from one into the other.

 

Backwards compatibility is a wonderful thing when it doesn't slow down progression. People still haven't figured out that since technology is mostly software things can move forward very fast when we let them. Microsoft has been hyper-sensitive about backwards-compatibility due to the large volume of enterprise customers that make up their base. Those people require it. You know... Instead of actually choosing future-proof formats.

 

One of the benefits of open source is that it makes something significantly more future-proof. FLAC, for example, if the group behind the format just disappeared tomorrow someone could grab the code and take it over as it nothing had happened. It's been done before, most notably with OpenOffice which became Libre Office.

 

Actually, responsive sites are very easy to do. It's mostly knowing a few CSS tricks. CSS3 also added something called media queries which allows you to detect the screen resolution, orientation and size on the fly and apply difference CSS rules based on that.

 

P2P is one of the first examples of cloud computing. Same with the SETI Institute. My big pet-peev is when companies like Microsoft talk about The Cloud. "Look, we connected to our home computer and transferred a file! That's the cloud!" No, no it's not.

 

I don't think it would be so bad for the music industry. One of the problems it's facing these days is the ubiquitous nature of low-grade audio. Albums are mixed with this low-quality playback in mind and it just perpetuates a negative situation. If people started becoming used to higher-quality streams the music industry could start mixing for them again. And, as we all know, there is a very big difference between an album mixed for high-end gear and one mixed for iPod headphones. Think of it the way art improves in a climate where more people are art-literate. Music would benefit in the same manner, I feel.

post #57 of 61

All this bull will be fixed when I make my own audio company. And in addition I will release new state-of-the-art audio products; which will support new codecs that will blow your minds.... wink_face.gif

post #58 of 61

I ask two things: Something that allows the power of library organization of iTunes but plays FLAC and does a good job of it. Do that and I'd happily pay. Bonus points if it'll sync with my iPhone.

post #59 of 61
Foobar with the Facets plugin?
post #60 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

...

Anyway, we're getting really off track. I was using it as a comparison of how Microsoft filetypes have a habit of being legacy-tied and how I would have assumed WMA Lossless suffered from the same issue. That's why I'm curious to hear more about the mentioned file inconsistencies that were seen when going WAV > WMAL >WAV that weren't present in WAV > FLAC > WAV. I'd still like to hear if FLAC is the only mainstream lossless format that does this right and if ALAC and OGG suffer from the same flaw.


Certainly.

APE had the same results as FLAC, I think, though I need to check that again.  I tried ALAC once, I think it didn't pass like WMAL, but I had used dBpoweramp for encoding to ALAC, which I get the feeling that I shouldn't trust.  I will try it again with iTunes only instead, though I'm not sure I can trust that program either.  I certainly can't hear a difference between ALAC, FLAC and APE.

 

...

 

ALAC's fine, I did just remember incorrectly.  Both iTunes and dBpoweramp encode/decode fine.  XD

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