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ALAC vs. FLAC

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by jonasras, Mar 5, 2013.
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  1. nick_charles Contributor
     
    Select two tracks and right-click ...
     
    Image1.jpg
     
     
    If not installed in your build the ABX comparator available from here http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx
     
  2. ramachandra
    "Audiophiles NEVER, EVER bother with double blind tests since the results might cause their entire audio belief system to fall apart."
     
    I'm sorry, but this sort of tests useless as is. Because sound live an imprint in the memory and more you listen to a music the stronger is the imprint about the details. Now you start clicking and guess what is happen, longer you do tests the less chance you have to distinguish between the two formats. Around 20th test probably i can not even tell the difference between a 1000kbps FLAC  and a 128kbps MP3 what is normally not a challenge. For example those people who test perfumes often smell coffee between tests, to "reset" their senses, or people drink red vine with food for the same reason. Audiophiles listening new capacitors in their gear for days, then change and evaluate to be sure etc.
    This is how our senses work, the easy thing just to think: Oh yeah, another audiofool shown up.
     
  3. Head Injury

    This isn't true, but even assuming it was you're allowed to listen to the samples as long as you want before you make a decision in an ABX test.
     
  4. ramachandra
    "This isn't true" This is where we disagree. I have better things to do than spend my day to prove myself how right I'm.
     
  5. Poimandres
    Roflmao. Someone is quite full of himself. Oh well live and let live! BTW the world isn't flat either.
     
  6. ralphp@optonline
     
     
     
    Exactly - set up a double blind test that allows one to listen to each unknown "setting" (in this case you are comparing the sound of ALAC versus FLAC so each file type would be a "setting") for as one likes. Listen for 10 minutes, an hour or a day to each setting, whatever makes you happy. Or better yet have the durations of each setting be completely random - 10 minutes of A, an hour of B, 1/2 half of B, etc.
     
    See if you can hear the difference with any degree of accuracy. I would think that by your prior descriptions of just how obvious the difference is you have no problems with any of these tests.
     
    I'm not trying to reopen the DBT can of worms, I'm only trying to get you understand the "sound science" point of view - if the differences are so obvious why not prove it with well run double blind test? And if you don't want to submit to a double blind test, fine then be happy and listen to only ALAC but do NOT declare your completely subjective findings on a public forum and not expect to be challenged.
     
  7. ramachandra
    Ok, i spent half hour with testing. I do not use Foobar and it is sound different to my hears, i guess i can do better with Winamp.
     
    foo_abx 2.0.1 report
    foobar2000 v1.3.8
    2015-05-17 23:22:42
    File A: Adam Fielding - Pieces - 01 A Call To Action.flac
    SHA1: a83f093258d9f03a0baaca69fa1c4039ce9f2b16
    File B: Adam Fielding - Pieces - A Call To Action.m4a
    SHA1: d16257bdc0d15d8ef96fbe77b41bcf5bc6ad9edb
    Output:
    DS : Primary Sound Driver
    Crossfading: NO
    23:22:42 : Test started.
    23:26:48 : 01/01
    23:27:35 : 01/02
    23:28:44 : 02/03
    23:29:21 : 03/04
    23:30:02 : 04/05
    23:32:08 : 04/06
    23:32:55 : 05/07
    23:38:25 : 06/08
    23:39:29 : 06/09
    23:41:23 : 07/10
    23:42:57 : 08/11
    23:46:07 : 09/12
    23:47:04 : 10/13
    23:49:51 : 10/14
    23:51:00 : 11/15
    23:52:34 : 12/16
    23:52:34 : Test finished.
     ----------
    Total: 12/16
    Probability that you were guessing: 3.8%
     -- signature --
    980a46dd8d147689a52b6614a709649ac77a60d2
     
  8. ralphp@optonline

    Impressive and thank you! Now it up to those with knowledge of the inter-workings of computer audio to figure out why ALAC sounds different from FLAC.
     
  9. Poimandres
    It doesn't. I would check settings in the player.
     
  10. ramachandra
    I think your source what is really need to be checked.
     
  11. Head Injury
    ramachandra, could you possibly upload the two files you used for the ABX test so we can take a look at them? The ones downloaded straight from the artist's Bandcamp null out completely, absolutely no difference.
     
  12. ramachandra
  13. castleofargh Contributor
    maybe don't let those files up for too long, as they technically make you an illegal music provider ^_^.
    but thanks for being a good sport and following up on people's requests to understand what you're talking about.
     
  14. ramachandra
    I had an idea. Basically it was mentioned above both formats are lossless audio, and convert one to another not result any decrease in quality. So i got a converter and i have converted few FLAC files to ALAC and tested, but not with ABX this time, and i got the same result. So it is probably have something to do with the decoding, like a different EQ setting for the formats. This little discovery certainly will save me few euros in the future. [​IMG]
     
  15. castleofargh Contributor

    that can very much happen. even though it obviously shouldn't. but will depends on the player used, and maybe some settings. I've myself never experienced it with lossless formats, but with mp3 once and several times on portable devices trying to play ogg files. when the decoding sucks, the result can be different.
    but on a computer you always have some software that will be able to handle everything fine. maybe just try other players until you no longer get differences? or as you suggested, just convert to the lossless format that works for you.
     
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