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FLAC: can it be badly encoded?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

Been reading and enjoying Head-Fi for a while and wanted to see if someone could answer that question for me.

 

As I have now better gear than I had in the past (BitPerfect app, various DACs - HRT micro streamer, HRT Music Streamer II and Arcam rPac - and Marantz K.I. Pearl Lite + Monitor Audio RX6 at home or JH5's on the go) I am in the process of "cleaning" my iTunes library and trying to get rid of all badly encoded MP3s to just keep FLACs (transcoded to ALAC for iTunes). 

 

As I spend hours on this, I am wondering though if FLAC, because it is lossless, is 100% a bit perfect copy of a CD in any case or if a FLAC file can be "badly encoded" depending on how it was encoded?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 5

Even a "poor" source (not rated as a good pc cd-rom/dvd/blueray drive) ripped by a mediocre application will produce fairly ACCURATE results through the very nature of flac being lossless. Some will argue that unless you are using EAC and accurip there is no guarentee that you are getting cd quality, and i tend to agree with them from the technical standpoint. I honestly doubt anyone with perfect ears and a $400 000 speaker could tell the difference, though.

If your source is scratched or the cd skips you can see how defects would come into it with digital abnormalities in the music that simply sound bad like pops and clicks.

post #3 of 5

Keep in mind that FLAC is just a format and while it is capable of delivering 100% of CD quality (or better), there's no guarantees - i.e. just because it's a FLAC file doesn't mean that the content is CD quality.

 

If you rip the CDs yourself using EAC or similar software, you're good. But FLAC files downloaded online could be just MP3 files converted to FLAC.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerFranzose View Post

 

As I spend hours on this, I am wondering though if FLAC, because it is lossless, is 100% a bit perfect copy of a CD in any case or if a FLAC file can be "badly encoded" depending on how it was encoded?

 

Save for some freak occurences during the encoding process which would either be clearly audible (as in, clear noise) or render the file unplayable, no.

 

The ripping itself is the only thing that could negatively impact the quality of the rip. FLAC is just as good as its source.

post #5 of 5

FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), as its name suggested, is a free lossless audio codec. FLAC can compress audio to about 50~60% without any quality loss.

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