or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Flac, or AAC???

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I think this is probably considered a stupid question here, but I've been trying to figure it out. I obviously want the best audio i can get but I'm not sure I'm able to tell the difference. Ive done hundreds of blind tests between flac and 256VBR AAC that I encoded myself, and I have been roughly 50% right on the tests. The probability of guessing seems to me, to be almost 100%

 

In trying to figure this out I decided to run spek against my samples as I was having so much difficulty in distinguishing a difference. Let us just say that I am really confused now and was hoping someone can decipher this.

 

Despite being a complete newbie, with, I'm sure, terrible hearing, I can tell a difference between 128, 192 and even the 320 MP3's. They are just not good enough.

 

I was expecting something similar to the following spectrogram from my 256VBR AAC with the usual cutoff at 16kHz. The below spek being 320CBR MP3

 

But instead I got this for the 256VBR AAC

 

And here is the flac

 

Despite being unable to discern a sonic difference I can't find a visual difference either!

Does this mean that AAC can pack into its MP4 container, 256 bits of faithful reproduction of the lossless copy?

 

Anyway, I decided to download and pay for the iTunes copy and listen to that. I could tell a difference but it seemed minimal to me. So I ran it through spek also... Again I was expecting something like the MP3

 

iTunes AAC 256CBR

 

Shock!! As we can all see there is some differences on the iTunes version so the visual representation is worse than the flac but it seems minimal to me and nothing like the MP3's!!

 

I've been reading how the 320MP3's are amazing and purists are 'full of it' and wasting space with flac, and then there is the universal condemnation of iTunes. But I'm finding the opposite to be true.

 

I began running all my purchased iTunes music and I'm finding them all to be representing well, visually speaking that is. Sonically I can't say the difference is that big, it really seems minimal to me. I'm sorry i must be cloth eared! 

 

Now I'm not saying we should all start buying from iTunes as the obsessive compulsive in me wants the best and the iTunes, however minimal, is worse. But, I am thinking of mass conversions of my flac's to 256VBR AAC.

 

What am I missing??? apart from good hearing! LOL! :smile: 

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
I thought in case my encoding of the mp3 is suspect I would download one of these 'high quality' mp3's
here is the spec for it. I also include the flac spec which i also paid for.

320MP3



flac
post #3 of 5

FLAC will always be better, but really it comes down to space. I store flac when possible on my PC since I have plenty of space, but i'll often convert to mp3 for portable devices.

post #4 of 5

I'm new here - until today using Zune marketplace/mp3 ripping at 320 Kbps - but I am trying to improve - have some Shure SRH840's on the way and am looking at lossless options to rework my library and an agnostic player - not sure which or where I'll land, but do you mind if I hijack for a second and ask you what software you are using to manager your library/rip process?  I think that is my first step...

post #5 of 5
Quote:
I'm new here - until today using Zune marketplace/mp3 ripping at 320 Kbps - but I am trying to improve - have some Shure SRH840's on the way and am looking at lossless options to rework my library and an agnostic player - not sure which or where I'll land, but do you mind if I hijack for a second and ask you what software you are using to manager your library/rip process? I think that is my first step...

 

 

 

I'm using Exact Audio Copy into Wav (which is not supported by the Zune but can be converted to WMA lossless which is). EAC is not the most intuitive program out there, but google is your friend on that front.

 

I have A/B a WMA lossless ripped with the Zune software and a .wav from EAC on my laptop and my LG G2. There is a noticeable positive difference in separation and overall clarity when listening to a .wav versus a wma lossless. Although the lossless from the zune software does seem to impart just a tad more warmth to the sound.


Edited by ohsigmachi - 5/9/14 at 12:04pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home