Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › So I just hope to clarify about the WAV n FLAC (and all other compressed lossless)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

So I just hope to clarify about the WAV n FLAC (and all other compressed lossless)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

When playback, all the file will be upsampled to 1411kbps, 44.1KHz 16Bits like the WAV format? Even though the FLAC file only has 380Kbps file?

 

So what about the native 24Bits, 96KHz Flac file? What would they be converted to when during playback?

 

My doubt arises when I stumbled across claims where WAV is much more superior than FLAC (and all other lossless formats which has lower bitrate). I thought that all lossless files are identical and the only difference is the compression method, whereby FLAC can be significantly compressed to a smaller file. No?

post #2 of 10
Try not to upsample if you can, I think WASAPI in foobar enables bit perfect playback
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

When playback, all the file will be upsampled to 1411kbps, 44.1KHz 16Bits like the WAV format? Even though the FLAC file only has 380Kbps file?

So what about the native 24Bits, 96KHz Flac file? What would they be converted to when during playback?
Actually, soundcards usually accept only linear PCM encoding, which is also used in .wav files, so every file must be converted to this during playback, even MP3.

FLAC is basically a different encoding for the same data, one which happens to be more space efficient with typical music, at the cost of lower space efficiency with some other signals (encoding white noise with FLAC would likely increase file size).

A 24b 96kHz FLAC file is decoded to the exact same 24b 96kHz PCM signal which was used to create this file. A 24b 96kHz MP3 file would get decoded to a slightly different 24b 96kHz PCM, because it doesn't preserve all information about original signal in order to achieve better size reduction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

My doubt arises when I stumbled across claims where WAV is much more superior than FLAC (and all other lossless formats which has lower bitrate). I thought that all lossless files are identical and the only difference is the compression method, whereby FLAC can be significantly compressed to a smaller file.
And you were right, all lossless files decode exactly to their original PCMs.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

 

 

So what about the native 24Bits, 96KHz Flac file? What would they be converted to when during playback?

 

 


24(for the bit depth)*96(kHz)*2(channels) = 4608kbps. Still PCM data.

 

Bitrate from an uncompressed file comes from the amount of channels, the bit depth, and the sample rate as shown above. Bitrate for a lossless compressed file is only an indication of how well it was compressed.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

SO it was all about PCM, which means everything is converted into the original form before being played back. But I remember there's a different form other than PCM right? So it's another playback method I guess.

 

Thanks for showing the calculation. So it's just basic multiplication.

 

Just for the sake of wondering, WAV processing is much faster than FLAC and other compressed lossless formats right? Is that the reason why they claimed WAV to be the "better" sounding file?

post #6 of 10

There's also DTS DSD, which is used on SACDs I believe.

 

WAV requires no decoding, it's just PCM data with a wrapper. Yes, it should be faster than FLAC/ALAC but buffers totally negate this. It might take some extra milliseconds to start your file.

 

Even if the buffer couldn't keep up the result would be dropouts, not changes in sound quality.


Edited by chewy4 - 2/15/13 at 10:06am
post #7 of 10

Decoding FLAC is also several hundred times faster than real time on current CPUs. The various background processes running on a multi-tasking OS could very well consume more CPU time.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

There's also DTS, which is used on SACDs I believe.

 

WAV requires no decoding, it's just PCM data with a wrapper. Yes, it should be faster than FLAC/ALAC but buffers totally negate this. It might take some extra milliseconds to start your file.

 

Even if the buffer couldn't keep up the result would be dropouts, not changes in sound quality.

SACDs use a process called Direct Stream Digital and Direct Stream Transmission, and are on the disc at a different depth than the standard Red Book info.  It has the capability of multichannel audio, but has found most application in stereo.  Because it uses different depth layers on the disc, it takes a special player to get the data off the disc, it's not a simple software decoder.

 

DTS (Digital Theater Systems) is a company that produces their own audio coding systems, primarily for multichannel audio, but the actual channel count is almost unlimited, based only on the available bandwidth.  There are many flavors of DTS, the most common of which appears in motion picture sound in theaters, and on DVDs, including audio-only DVDs.  Some feel it is more transparent than Dolby Digital. You'll also find their DTS Master Audio format, which has the capability of unlimited channels of 24/192 lossless.  Software decoders are possible. 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

SACDs use a process called Direct Stream Digital and Direct Stream Transmission, and are on the disc at a different depth than the standard Red Book info.  It has the capability of multichannel audio, but has found most application in stereo.  Because it uses different depth layers on the disc, it takes a special player to get the data off the disc, it's not a simple software decoder.

 

DTS (Digital Theater Systems) is a company that produces their own audio coding systems, primarily for multichannel audio, but the actual channel count is almost unlimited, based only on the available bandwidth.  There are many flavors of DTS, the most common of which appears in motion picture sound in theaters, and on DVDs, including audio-only DVDs.  Some feel it is more transparent than Dolby Digital. You'll also find their DTS Master Audio format, which has the capability of unlimited channels of 24/192 lossless.  Software decoders are possible. 

Thanks for the correction, DSD is what I was thinking of.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

Just for the sake of wondering, WAV processing is much faster than FLAC and other compressed lossless formats right? Is that the reason why they claimed WAV to be the "better" sounding file?

FLAC is very fast at decoding. Foobar2000 shows about 0.03% CPU usage increase when playing FLAC instead of WAV on my computer. I could decode a couple hundred or maybe thousand FLAC files simultaneously and it would still be faster than realtime.

 

The claims that WAV sounds better is audiophile nonsense.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › So I just hope to clarify about the WAV n FLAC (and all other compressed lossless)