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Best FLAC player for PC? - Page 2

post #16 of 213

Might just be repeating what has been already said but FLAC doesn't necessarily sound as pure as it should.  Where WAV is lossless UNcompressed FLAC adds a compression, which cannot be done without sacrificing sound in one way or another, if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC).  Its why a WAV file of a song is so much bigger than a FLAC of the same song.  As was mentioned earlier the FLAC CAN actually be temporarily converted into a WAV for playback, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.  A good program will do that (which it looks like cPlay might be a good choice). 

 

Just from personal experience I like [url=http://www.videohelp.com/tools/PotPlayer]PotPlayer[/url] as my general music player and MediaMonkey as my library manager.

post #17 of 213

FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 

 

the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpNChute View Post

Might just be repeating what has been already said but FLAC doesn't necessarily sound as pure as it should.  Where WAV is lossless UNcompressed FLAC adds a compression, which cannot be done without sacrificing sound in one way or another, if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC).  Its why a WAV file of a song is so much bigger than a FLAC of the same song.  As was mentioned earlier the FLAC CAN actually be temporarily converted into a WAV for playback, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.  A good program will do that (which it looks like cPlay might be a good choice). 

 

Just from personal experience I like [url=http://www.videohelp.com/tools/PotPlayer]PotPlayer[/url] as my general music player and MediaMonkey as my library manager.



 


Edited by El_Doug - 2/3/12 at 11:48am
post #18 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 

 

the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 



 


El Doug has it right. Go and .zip or .rar a text document of a Shakespeare play if you like. Watch the file size decrease. Now, when you unzip it and unpack it back out to the original size, you might notice that not a single sentence or word is missing.    

  

This is the same as flac vs wav.   

  

Moreover: storing files in RAM doesn't change the sound, but if you like to do that, you can do that in the advanced options of Foobar2000: -> preferences -> advanced -> playback -> full file buffering up to (Kb): (insert some gigantic number which is larger than your largest file).  This will store the full file for playback in RAM, and is unrelated to the 50-10000ms buffer in playback options that is sent to your playback device. Essentially this just ensures no hard-drive activity interfering with playback. (as if it would anyway, unless you were defragging your music drive while using it, but that's besides the point).

 

 

 


Edited by Timestretch - 2/3/12 at 12:06pm
post #19 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 

 

the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 



 


Exactly.  That's why I said "if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC)."  I guess I could have been more clear.  SQ in a FLAC is temporarily reduced while the file is in FLAC form to allow for compression, but as you said everything is still there and if a good program simply uncompresses it first you will find the full quality.  I think the issue is if  aprogram tries to uncompress a FLAC on-the-fly. 

 

Reading my earlier post again I could see how even I would think I was saying the opposite (that FLAC loses quality).  My bad.


Edited by JumpNChute - 2/3/12 at 12:38pm
post #20 of 213

I don't think thinking of FLAC as reducing sound quality, which is then un-reduced upon playback, makes any sense. It just stores the same data in a more efficient way.

 

Anyone who claims differences between FLAC and WAV files on playback is wrong. I will bet my entire life savings and my left testicle on them failing to distinguish the two under controlled conditions. Yourself included.


Edited by Willakan - 2/3/12 at 1:18pm
post #21 of 213

Its all in the player.  Any difference at all is entirely due to the player's incompetence.

post #22 of 213
Foobar plays FLAC fine...and for free too. Why would you pay for something when the freebies do the job equally as well? rolleyes.gif

Those that say WAV is not equal to FLAC in terms of sound quality are pulling your legs....
post #23 of 213

Just to be fair, my understanding of pkshan's position regarding his oddball version of foobar2000 (which doesn't play FLAC files) is not that he's claiming there's an audible difference between FLAC and WAV files, but that whatever putative benefits come from his player's methodology somehow rule out it being able to process FLAC files. It's difficult to be sure about this, as my understanding of Chinese is even more fragmentary that pkshan's English language skills, but I believe that it has something to do with stripping as much code out of the player as possible, which is why his version doesn't do a lot of other stuff (tagging, etc.) that regular foobar does. As to whether someone will hear an audible difference with pkshan's foobar variant, that's a moot point -- I like pkshan's player, but I'll be the first to admit that any difference between it and regular foobar is extremely subtle and well within the margin of being ascribable to the placebo effect. As with so much of this stuff, YMMV.

post #24 of 213

I like songbird... its purple; purple is cool

post #25 of 213
Didn't know anyone was allowed to modify foobar except for Peter and his developers. ^^
post #26 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willakan View Post

I don't think thinking of FLAC as reducing sound quality, which is then un-reduced upon playback, makes any sense. It just stores the same data in a more efficient way.

 

Anyone who claims differences between FLAC and WAV files on playback is wrong. I will bet my entire life savings and my left testicle on them failing to distinguish the two under controlled conditions. Yourself included.



I would too. In fact every song I have ever had in flac and converted back to wav is exactly the same as when only ripped as wav. Oh, and WMA lossless was the exact same as both of those. Using Audacity you can check this yourself. It'll let you listen to the differences, and all I have ever gotten was complete silence. 

post #27 of 213

Is the player actually even remotely interesting as far as sound quality is concerned? The whole thing in computer audio IMO is to bypass everything you can and just send the purest possible signal to the DAC (hopefully an external device). I don't really see the actual player software doing anything at all. You should be using WASAPI to bypass any internal mixers and just send the bit audio out of the computer. If you are doing this then what is the player even doing? I'm not an expert in the internals of audio players but I would be very surprised indeed if most of them did not use an external library to decode the FLAC file. WASAPI is a windows feature so basically the player is only doing the plumbing. Many players (like winamp) don't even handle the WASAPI integration themselves.

 

Personally I prefer JRiver Media Center but I cannot believe that using any other player would affect the sound I am hearing from my FLAC files being passed to my DAC through WASAPI in any manner. So my 2c: use any player you like the features of. If you are listening to FLAC files and utilizing WASAPI the player will not affect the sound quality in any way.

post #28 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvrinne View Post

Is the player actually even remotely interesting as far as sound quality is concerned?

 

If you're referring to pkshan's crazy little foobar variant, IMO the answer is yes. What the heck, it's free -- if you try it out and you believe you hear an improvement, great; if you don't hear any difference, that's fine, too. Not really a big deal, one way or the other.

post #29 of 213

Hmm no I wasn't actually referring to anything in particular. No doubt there are a million things that the player CAN do to make the music sound different in some manner :-) Just generally if the idea is to hear what is stored in the file then I don't see the actual player doing anything other than the plumbing and providing the user interface. Personally I do utilize the crossfeed feature in my JRiver player, which I guess is an example of the player doing something. I've heard people have been getting some interesting (even good) results by utilizing some VSD plugins as well. Anything that does something that you end up hearing as an improvement can't be too bad :)

post #30 of 213

Foobar does the plumbing, the electrical and makes you a sandwich.

 

It's a music library. It's a playlist manager. It's a tag editor. It's an audio converter (it can also extract and convert sound from most videos).

Oh, and that's without plugins.

 

The most popular players today can do much more than just open and decode your files.

But maybe all you want is the stupid leak fixed, then just hire an ordinary plumber. Whether or not you need all the extra is up to you.


Edited by andrewberge - 2/4/12 at 4:16pm
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