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checking whether flac is really lossless

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I have been reading on the topic to see if the flac files I have are really lossless.

The consensus seems to be you don't know for sure unless you ripped it yourself.

But for the listening purposes, isn't the test linked below enough to know nothing has been attenuated too far?

http://www.head-fi.org/t/442888/how-to-tell-between-a-real-flac-and-a-fake-flac#post_6979725

Or is virtually lossless not enough? I don't think people (at least me) can tell the difference between whatever the link has in the pic and true lossless file when they're listening.
Edited by username10000 - 7/1/14 at 4:12pm
post #2 of 5

Testing the frequency range can probably tell you a lot more than your own hearing can (though some people would probably disagree because they like to think things). If you can't tell if there is a frequency cut-off by analysis software, then it is good enough that you wont tell the difference between it and true lossless if it isn't.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by username10000 View Post

So I have been reading on the topic to see if the flac files I have are really lossless.

The consensus seems to be you don't know for sure unless you ripped it yourself.

But for the listening purposes, isn't the test linked below enough to know nothing has been attenuated too far?

http://www.head-fi.org/t/442888/how-to-tell-between-a-real-flac-and-a-fake-flac#post_6979725

Or is virtually lossless not enough? I don't think people (at least me) can tell the difference between whatever the link has in the pic and true lossless file when they're listening.

 

Could well a concern about nothing.  I rip to 256KBPS MP3.  The reason I do that is that I can detect no difference between that format and WAV in a bias controlled listening test.  A 256KBPS MP3 removes about 80% of the data from a WAV so you can have quite a bit of loss without affecting sonics.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by username10000 View Post

So I have been reading on the topic to see if the flac files I have are really lossless.

The consensus seems to be you don't know for sure unless you ripped it yourself.

But for the listening purposes, isn't the test linked below enough to know nothing has been attenuated too far?

http://www.head-fi.org/t/442888/how-to-tell-between-a-real-flac-and-a-fake-flac#post_6979725

Or is virtually lossless not enough? I don't think people (at least me) can tell the difference between whatever the link has in the pic and true lossless file when they're listening.

 

 

It appears that you are confusing "lossless codecs" with "perfect copies of a CD original".

 

FLAC is an acronym that stands for "Free Lossless Audio Code." It is by design a lossless audio format. What that means is that given a PCM stream of audio (whether it comes from a CD, wav files, decoded mp3 or aac or ogg, etc.) FLAC will encode that PCM stream exactly. Therefore, once you play back your flac file, it will be 100% identical to whatever source it was made from.

 

So, to answer your thread title: yes, FLAC is 100% completely perfectly lossless.

 

Now, to address the question you meant to ask "are all flac files perfect copies of a CD?" Well, in general, no. FLAC files are perfect copies of whatever source was used. If that source was 128 kbps Frauenhoffer mp3 encoded in 1995, that you can bet that your flac file is a perfect reconstruction of a terribly (lossy) compressed track.

 

If you made the flac files yourself by ripping a CD or by encoding your own original music composition, then you can rest assured that you have a perfect copy of that CD or that production. If you download music from HDtracks, you're probably getting at least CD quality (16/44.1) but no promises about anything more. If you pirate music off of file sharing networks, there's no guarantee that the flac files you are downloaded are genuine CD rips.

 

Cheers

post #5 of 5

there is a way to check, in certain circumstances

 

http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=66233

http://www.bts.to/tripleflac-integrity-test-eac-flac-tf2327432.html

 

you can do it without CUE sheets, but if the files were ripped with a CUE it's definitely much easier

 

i've used CUEtools a bit, and of course i use AccurateRip/EAC for all my rips, but i've never used tripleflac, seems promising


Edited by ferday - 7/4/14 at 12:18pm
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