Best FLAC player for PC?
Feb 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM Post #16 of 229

JumpNChute

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
19
Likes
0
Might just be repeating what has been already said but FLAC doesn't necessarily sound as pure as it should.  Where WAV is lossless UNcompressed FLAC adds a compression, which cannot be done without sacrificing sound in one way or another, if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC).  Its why a WAV file of a song is so much bigger than a FLAC of the same song.  As was mentioned earlier the FLAC CAN actually be temporarily converted into a WAV for playback, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.  A good program will do that (which it looks like cPlay might be a good choice). 
 
Just from personal experience I like PotPlayer as my general music player and MediaMonkey as my library manager.
 
Feb 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM Post #17 of 229

El_Doug

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Posts
3,450
Likes
108
FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 
 
the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 
Quote:
Might just be repeating what has been already said but FLAC doesn't necessarily sound as pure as it should.  Where WAV is lossless UNcompressed FLAC adds a compression, which cannot be done without sacrificing sound in one way or another, if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC).  Its why a WAV file of a song is so much bigger than a FLAC of the same song.  As was mentioned earlier the FLAC CAN actually be temporarily converted into a WAV for playback, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.  A good program will do that (which it looks like cPlay might be a good choice). 
 
Just from personal experience I like PotPlayer as my general music player and MediaMonkey as my library manager.



 
 
Feb 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM Post #18 of 229

Timestretch

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Posts
291
Likes
67


Quote:
FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 
 
the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 


 


El Doug has it right. Go and .zip or .rar a text document of a Shakespeare play if you like. Watch the file size decrease. Now, when you unzip it and unpack it back out to the original size, you might notice that not a single sentence or word is missing.    
  
This is the same as flac vs wav.   
  
Moreover: storing files in RAM doesn't change the sound, but if you like to do that, you can do that in the advanced options of Foobar2000: -> preferences -> advanced -> playback -> full file buffering up to (Kb): (insert some gigantic number which is larger than your largest file).  This will store the full file for playback in RAM, and is unrelated to the 50-10000ms buffer in playback options that is sent to your playback device. Essentially this just ensures no hard-drive activity interfering with playback. (as if it would anyway, unless you were defragging your music drive while using it, but that's besides the point).
 
 
 
 
Feb 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM Post #19 of 229

JumpNChute

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Posts
19
Likes
0


Quote:
FLAC's compression can indeed be "undone" - that is the very definition of lossless compression!  no sound is "sacrificed" whatsoever!!! 
 
the compression is similar to that of a zipped computer file - patterns in the code are used to shrink the file, but are 100% reconstructed when opened.  This is why a zipped text file does not lose any sentences, and why a music file compressed with FLAC does not lose a single bit of musical information
 


 


Exactly.  That's why I said "if temporarily (as is the case with FLAC)."  I guess I could have been more clear.  SQ in a FLAC is temporarily reduced while the file is in FLAC form to allow for compression, but as you said everything is still there and if a good program simply uncompresses it first you will find the full quality.  I think the issue is if  aprogram tries to uncompress a FLAC on-the-fly. 
 
Reading my earlier post again I could see how even I would think I was saying the opposite (that FLAC loses quality).  My bad.
 
Feb 3, 2012 at 4:16 PM Post #20 of 229

Willakan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Posts
1,039
Likes
106
I don't think thinking of FLAC as reducing sound quality, which is then un-reduced upon playback, makes any sense. It just stores the same data in a more efficient way.
 
Anyone who claims differences between FLAC and WAV files on playback is wrong. I will bet my entire life savings and my left testicle on them failing to distinguish the two under controlled conditions. Yourself included.
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM Post #22 of 229

ChipnDalebowl

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 15, 2010
Posts
221
Likes
11
Foobar plays FLAC fine...and for free too. Why would you pay for something when the freebies do the job equally as well? :rolleyes:

Those that say WAV is not equal to FLAC in terms of sound quality are pulling your legs....
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM Post #23 of 229

Dradder

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Posts
129
Likes
11
Just to be fair, my understanding of pkshan's position regarding his oddball version of foobar2000 (which doesn't play FLAC files) is not that he's claiming there's an audible difference between FLAC and WAV files, but that whatever putative benefits come from his player's methodology somehow rule out it being able to process FLAC files. It's difficult to be sure about this, as my understanding of Chinese is even more fragmentary that pkshan's English language skills, but I believe that it has something to do with stripping as much code out of the player as possible, which is why his version doesn't do a lot of other stuff (tagging, etc.) that regular foobar does. As to whether someone will hear an audible difference with pkshan's foobar variant, that's a moot point -- I like pkshan's player, but I'll be the first to admit that any difference between it and regular foobar is extremely subtle and well within the margin of being ascribable to the placebo effect. As with so much of this stuff, YMMV.
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM Post #26 of 229

tmars78

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Posts
418
Likes
35


Quote:
I don't think thinking of FLAC as reducing sound quality, which is then un-reduced upon playback, makes any sense. It just stores the same data in a more efficient way.
 
Anyone who claims differences between FLAC and WAV files on playback is wrong. I will bet my entire life savings and my left testicle on them failing to distinguish the two under controlled conditions. Yourself included.



I would too. In fact every song I have ever had in flac and converted back to wav is exactly the same as when only ripped as wav. Oh, and WMA lossless was the exact same as both of those. Using Audacity you can check this yourself. It'll let you listen to the differences, and all I have ever gotten was complete silence. 
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM Post #27 of 229

vvrinne

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Posts
39
Likes
11
Is the player actually even remotely interesting as far as sound quality is concerned? The whole thing in computer audio IMO is to bypass everything you can and just send the purest possible signal to the DAC (hopefully an external device). I don't really see the actual player software doing anything at all. You should be using WASAPI to bypass any internal mixers and just send the bit audio out of the computer. If you are doing this then what is the player even doing? I'm not an expert in the internals of audio players but I would be very surprised indeed if most of them did not use an external library to decode the FLAC file. WASAPI is a windows feature so basically the player is only doing the plumbing. Many players (like winamp) don't even handle the WASAPI integration themselves.
 
Personally I prefer JRiver Media Center but I cannot believe that using any other player would affect the sound I am hearing from my FLAC files being passed to my DAC through WASAPI in any manner. So my 2c: use any player you like the features of. If you are listening to FLAC files and utilizing WASAPI the player will not affect the sound quality in any way.
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 6:55 PM Post #28 of 229

Dradder

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Posts
129
Likes
11


Quote:
Is the player actually even remotely interesting as far as sound quality is concerned?

 
If you're referring to pkshan's crazy little foobar variant, IMO the answer is yes. What the heck, it's free -- if you try it out and you believe you hear an improvement, great; if you don't hear any difference, that's fine, too. Not really a big deal, one way or the other.
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM Post #29 of 229

vvrinne

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Posts
39
Likes
11
Hmm no I wasn't actually referring to anything in particular. No doubt there are a million things that the player CAN do to make the music sound different in some manner :) Just generally if the idea is to hear what is stored in the file then I don't see the actual player doing anything other than the plumbing and providing the user interface. Personally I do utilize the crossfeed feature in my JRiver player, which I guess is an example of the player doing something. I've heard people have been getting some interesting (even good) results by utilizing some VSD plugins as well. Anything that does something that you end up hearing as an improvement can't be too bad :)
 
Feb 4, 2012 at 7:15 PM Post #30 of 229

andrewberge

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Posts
257
Likes
16
Foobar does the plumbing, the electrical and makes you a sandwich.
 
It's a music library. It's a playlist manager. It's a tag editor. It's an audio converter (it can also extract and convert sound from most videos).
Oh, and that's without plugins.
 
The most popular players today can do much more than just open and decode your files.
But maybe all you want is the stupid leak fixed, then just hire an ordinary plumber. Whether or not you need all the extra is up to you.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top