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Are all lossless the same?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have had some lossess albums that were about 400-500mb big and some were like 1.20gb with each track at like 50mb, why?

I was under the impression that lossless is the highest quality, only thing I can imagine is that it was at 24 bit which begs my next question, is that better?
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevms89 View Post

I have had some lossess albums that were about 400-500mb big and some were like 1.20gb with each track at like 50mb, why?

I was under the impression that lossless is the highest quality, only thing I can imagine is that it was at 24 bit which begs my next question, is that better?

 

No not really, 24bit is technically superior but there is not an adubile differance. In addition there are different compression rates of Lossless, so a 16bit lossess files of the same song can still vary in size

 
That being saidI find no audible differeance in 24 and 16 bit lossless, 
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

In addition there are different compression rates of Lossless, so a 16bit lossess files of the same song can still vary in size

Can you elaborate on this a bit? Thanks, like if I buy a CD from the store, pop it into itunes and rip as apple lossless, thats the best I can get right? I also see itunes has the option for AIFF which makes the songs huge, is that better or same as lossless?
post #4 of 15

the 3 big FLAC files I keep seeing are

16/44.1
24/96

24/192

To me I do hear a difference between the 44.1 and 24/96,mainly in spacing and detail

More on this topic here

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566906/16-44-1-and-24-96-sound-the-same

post #5 of 15
Hey there,

Google is your friend, my friend. WAV, AIFF, FLAC, and ALAC are all lossless.

WAV and AIFF are very similar. They are both containers for RAW PCM audio. WAV was originally a Microsoft/IBM standard and AIFF was originally an Apple standard. They both preserve the PCM audio from CDs perfectly.

FLAC and ALAC are also very similar, with ALAC being Apple's lossless format. As lossless codecs, they preserve the PCM perfectly just as WAV and AIFF do, but they also use compression algorithms that preserve fidelity and cut the file sizes down by 40%~50% depending on the compression levels.

Be careful when asking the question, "What is best?" The answer is often subjective, but occasionally objective.

A typical audio CD from a store contains two-channel 16-bit Linear PCM audio sampled at 44,100 Hz. This means each file on a typical audio CD sampled the digital information of the source 44,100 times each second and it did so using 16 bits of information. There are some CDs and places online that offer higher sampling rates (96 KHz and 192 KHz among others) and 24-bit audio, which is technically and objectively "better" because it's truer to the source (assuming source sample rate is higher than 44.1 KHz and has a higher bit-depth than 16), but subjectively many people cannot tell a difference.

The general public often struggles to tell the difference between 128 kbps MP3 lossy and WAV lossless so I assure you that the subjective audible difference between 192 KHz 24-bit lossless audio files and 44.1 KHz 16-bit lossless audio files will be beyond miniscule. Some people claim to be able to hear differences like that and I applaud them, but like I said, a lot of people struggle hearing a difference between lossy and lossless. The great part is there are many blind testing tools out there that allow you to try it for yourself and see if you can hear differences. If that's not your cup of tea, a friend can always help out.

128 kbps MP3 files are often "good enough" for most people. That fact in addition to the file sizes achievable with lossy files is why MP3 and MP3 players exploded in popularity. Music sounded "good" and people could carry hundreds of thousands of songs in their pockets.

For those people who do not think 128 kbps MP3 is "good enough" often they will use FLAC, ALAC, or higher bit rate MP3 files (320 kbps). WAV and AIFF are also options, but since FLAC and ALAC preserve the fidelity so well and cut down on the file sizes, there's really no need to use them. I personally use mostly FLAC with a little bit of my collection in 320 kbps MP3, but that doesn't mean I'm right. I just happen to have high end gear that can pick out the differences between high quality and low quality audio files and I have the storage space for the larger file sizes so I don't need the extra compression.

I haven't done any blind tests in a while, but I did do some using some mid-fi gear a while back. I could usually tell the difference between 128 kbps MP3 and FLAC, but the difference between 128 kbps MP3 and 320 kbps MP3 was very difficult to pick out and 320 kbps MP3 and FLAC even more so.

The best thing to do is to try out the various formats and pick what's best for your system and your budget. There are plenty of other options than what I just mentioned as well so don't think that's it. I didn't even speak of vinyl, but I recommend looking into that as well.

I hope that helps and if anything I said was wrong, I ask that someone please correct me. I'm not a professional and I don't claim to be one. I'm just an IT guy who loves music and knows a few things about audio.

Best Regards,
Dan
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot I appreciate it, I only have the Sony XBA-3's and an iphone 5 for my music, I have 95% of my music in 320kbs, 2% in lossless and 2% in some other bit rate, I can clearly tell the difference between 128 and 320, as for lossless and 320 not so much but I am still doing some tests to see if I notice differences with certain music and what not.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsterzero View Post

the 3 big FLAC files I keep seeing are


16/44.1

24/96
24/192


To me I do hear a difference between the 44.1 and 24/96,mainly in spacing and detail

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566906/16-44-1-and-24-96-sound-the-same

Is not my desire to enflame the discussion but most of the time the differences are due to the source. Vinyl and CD...
Edited by squallkiercosa - 9/18/13 at 9:24am
post #8 of 15

i for one cannot tell the difference between each compression to losless. 99% of my music were ripped from CD. Some very small percentage are 320kbps. All are FLAC. I just do this for the sake of peace of mind even though I cannot hear the difference.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddcpitt View Post

The general public often struggles to tell the difference between 128 kbps MP3 lossy and WAV lossless so I assure you that the subjective audible difference between 192 KHz 24-bit lossless audio files and 44.1 KHz 16-bit lossless audio files will be beyond miniscule.

This is opinion and not fact.

Those of us who hear the difference, use higher sample and bit rate sources.

Those of us who do not, use 128 kbps MP3 lossy sources.

Neither group is qualified to tell the other what they should or should not hear.
post #10 of 15

Have you ever heard the flute in "Crazy on You" by Heart?Neither had I til I got the 24/96 FLAC copy of it...

Again I do hear spaciousness and detail that I had previously never heard....and I will concede that certain types of music lend itself better to FLAC than others.

Some FLAC rips arent good,and if the source is a poorly produced disc than it really doesnt matter if its 128 MP3 or 24/192 FLAC

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsterzero View Post
 

Have you ever heard the flute in "Crazy on You" by Heart?Neither had I til I got the 24/96 FLAC copy of it...

Again I do hear spaciousness and detail that I had previously never heard....and I will concede that certain types of music lend itself better to FLAC than others.

Some FLAC rips arent good,and if the source is a poorly produced disc than it really doesnt matter if its 128 MP3 or 24/192 FLAC

 

Can't make that call man, that's getting into mastering NOT quality. Vinyl and CD are masterd by different people, hence the differances. But as some one else said, if YOU think 24bit sounds better and YOU have the hard drive space for it, go for it! And if you think 320k Lossy sounds AMAZING then enjoy it 

 

But yes techincally all Lossy are teh same the ONLY thing 24+ bit does over 16bit is that 24bit has frequancies above 24K hrz, 16bit is limited to like 24khrz I think, so the 24bit have those extra white noise, but most people can't physically hear that white noise above 24khrz  as "sound" is kentic force, and the force of that sound wave moves air obviously, a REALLY good mike will pic of the tiniest of movement, our ears how ever might not hence 24bit is said by some to b over kill 

 

Still I have some 24bit Albums my self, not because they sound better but because they are SO good they deserve the extra HDD space [like a sacrifice to the audio gawds] 

post #12 of 15
"ONLY thing 24+ bit does over 16bit is that 24bit has frequencies above 24K hz"

Belief and opinion, not fact.

Please provide the proof that you know ALL that can be captured with a PCM 24bit/44.1 sample.

I am, by the way, asking you to prove that you are omniscient for eternity...

Some of the things I have heard on HP that are not measured:

-Toe-tapping ability and propensity
-Rhythm
-Soundstage
-Engagement with the music. Listen to a test track but always all the way through, but only on a few sets of cans.

Please provide your measurement metric for those 4 aspects of music.
Edited by marone - 9/21/13 at 9:39pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
But yes techincally all Lossy are teh same the ONLY thing 24+ bit does over 16bit is that 24bit has frequancies above 24K hrz, 16bit is limited to like 24khrz I think

 

No offense, but this is some of the worst misinformation that I've ever read on Head-Fi. 16-bit PCM is not limited to 24kHz, and the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit audio has nothing to do with the frequencies that can be represented. 16-bit versus 24-bit is the audio resolution or bit depth. It's the entire frequency spectrum (not just up to 24kHz) that becomes more "audibly detailed" with the higher bit depth of 24-bit and the sampling rate of 96kHz (for example in the case of 24/96).

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_bit_depth

 

Not even sure why/how you're putting "lossy" in the same sentence as 24-bit either. 24-bit refers to lossless PCM. Lossy formats are quantized from either that or 16-bit.

 

Also, 128 kb/s MP3 is sonically terrible. I personally think 160 kb/s MP3 should be the minimum for acceptable sonics with MP3. The difference between 128 kb/s and 160 kb/s can be really obvious with most percussion instruments, especially cymbals. I have to wonder what sort of music people are using when trying to compare 128 kb/s MP3 to 320 kb/s or FLAC, because the musical content can help make the difference more obvious....


Edited by Asr - 9/21/13 at 10:49pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

But yes techincally all Lossy are teh same the ONLY thing 24+ bit does over 16bit is that 24bit has frequancies above 24K hrz, 16bit is limited to like 24khrz I think

No offense, but this is some of the worst misinformation that I've ever read on Head-Fi. 16-bit PCM is not limited to 24kHz, and the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit audio has nothing to do with the frequencies that can be represented.

I do not think the empiricists can hear what others can, so they use 'science' as the excuse to browbeat others.

I don't care if they use only 128 MP3 and post volumes of white papers on why I cannot hear better than that.

They are happy with 128 - good for them.

The issue is that they cannot reciprocate with those who use DSD or other high resolution sources.

That most of them don't 'see' this - that they cannot tolerate others making choices on other value sets without insulting them - is telling of their perspective.

Anyhow, enjoying the higher resolution sources in my chain and the comparisons to lower rez sources of the same material. Awesome to re-discover music you thought you knew all the details.

==================================================

My recommendation to newcomers or those on the fence is this:

Ignore this noise. Don't listen to me, or those who disagree.

Get the higher res sources and listen. If you hear it, use it, If you don't, don't use it.

That was easy, wasn't it?
Edited by marone - 9/22/13 at 2:48am
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
 

 

No offense, but this is some of the worst misinformation that I've ever read on Head-Fi. 16-bit PCM is not limited to 24kHz, and the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit audio has nothing to do with the frequencies that can be represented. 16-bit versus 24-bit is the audio resolution or bit depth. It's the entire frequency spectrum (not just up to 24kHz) that becomes more "audibly detailed" with the higher bit depth of 24-bit and the sampling rate of 96kHz (for example in the case of 24/96).

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_bit_depth

 

Not even sure why/how you're putting "lossy" in the same sentence as 24-bit either. 24-bit refers to lossless PCM. Lossy formats are quantized from either that or 16-bit.

 

Also, 128 kb/s MP3 is sonically terrible. I personally think 160 kb/s MP3 should be the minimum for acceptable sonics with MP3. The difference between 128 kb/s and 160 kb/s can be really obvious with most percussion instruments, especially cymbals. I have to wonder what sort of music people are using when trying to compare 128 kb/s MP3 to 320 kb/s or FLAC, because the musical content can help make the difference more obvious....

 

mis typed. and I'm sure I am wrong. still why can I not see any noise in 40k hrz on Sprectrum graphs of 16bit? BUt I can see it on 24bit graphs 

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