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FLAC vs. 320 Mp3

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by icedup, Sep 7, 2011.
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  1. Dillan
    .. but differences can be noticed. Especially in poorly encoded situations. I take the lossless approach to remove any hint of possibility or argument. And at the same time I do not look down on anyone who chooses different methods.
  2. streetdragon
    Sure i'd choose lossless over lossy but if i don't have either i don't really mind.
  3. julian67

    I removed my post because I think I misread your question as a normal question, rather than the rhetorical question it seems to be. I am blowing hot air. ahem.
  4. sonitus mirus
    FLAC is wonderful for archiving, that much has been established.  If I had a super-rare CD, I'd probably keep a few lossless backups as well.  I don't really have that many CDs, and I purchase these mostly to fill a hole missing from the music subscription services that I use.  At this time, I really won't benefit from ripping to a format that I will be using only at home and for archiving.  If I found myself having to switch lossy formats to accommodate the equipment I was using on a frequent basis, I'd probably want to have lossless files to run batch routines against whenever this occurred.  I only chose cbr mp3 as a format after I was convinced that I was not sacrificing sound quality.
    That is not the end of the story for me.  I'm continually searching for any proof that will show me otherwise.  In my situation, at this time it would not be that big of a deal for me to completely redo my entire library to some other format.
  5. Dillan

    I really respect that post. You aren't concrete set on opinions and you are willing to keep learning and adapt to what needs to change depending on experience and research.
  6. julian67

    I also think that is all fair comment: it's reasoned, supportable, contains no extraordinary claims or appeals.

    Flac is indeed wonderful for archiving. I back up every CD to flac. What I used to also do was make a lossy copy. I had a lossless archive I never listened to and a lossy library that served as my regular listening resource. The main logic was that the lossy files let me put a lot more music on my portable players while the lossless archive future proofed and backed up the CDs. I used to travel a lot (months away at a time) so on my portable players file size vs sound quality mattered a lot. I was also convinced that I'd never hear a difference. I'd done abx tests and thought Ogg Vorbis -q 5 seemed transparent. To play it safe I settled on -q 7. Anyway if you listen long enough to enough music you do run into stuff that doesn't sound so good. Often this can be verified to be a problem not with the encode but with the CD. But occasionally a problem comes back to lossy compression. I have to emphasise that these kind of problems are very rare but once you know they are there you do tend to wonder what else is lurking in those many 1000s of lossy files. And if there is stuff you can pick up on without going to the trouble of a comparison (the comparison comes next, for verification) then there has to be the potential for tracks which seem OK when played but don't in fact sound the same as the CD. It kind of bugged me. I tried out different codecs such as lame, fraunhofer mp3, fraunhofer aac and wavpack hybrid. I found they all can fail on some samples (not necessarily the same samples). Finally it dawned on me that the answer was sitting there packed away in tar archives on a partition labelled Lossless. doh! All my portables play flac. My PCs, laptops, tablets play flac. I don't travel long term these days so can I be happy with 90 or 100 CDs of music on each portable device instead of 350 or 400? Yes, easily. I think 90 CDs on each of three devices is plenty to get me through any boring trip into town or a few hours (or even days) escapism.

    I gained a lot of disk space when I wiped the lossy rips and my music collection has never sounded better. I still regularly listen to high quality aac because that's what the BBC offers for BBC Radio 3 (320 kbps aac) and it's great. Live concerts sound really good and I enjoy it. I also listen to mp3 and aac in a variety of qualities such as low bitrate AAC-HE or low/moderate bitrate mp3 because there are some podcasts I like. That's all fine. But there is no way I'm going back to transcoding lossless files to produce something that cannot be better but can be less good, all to save disk space which currently costs 3 UK pence per gigabyte!!. T H R E E P E N N I E S P E R GB.

    On the other hand I am a grade A scrooge so maybe I'll squish it all down to AAC-HE and then auction my hard disks :D I love those pennies. Do I hear two and a half pennies per gigiabyte? Two pennies?
  7. Dillan
    Yea I mean that's how I feel at this point. It would matter to me if my collection were lossy, but it's lossless. Going any other way would feel like a downgrade to me, regardless of anything.
  8. bigshot
    I listen to music, not data. As long as the music is faithfully presented, which it is with high bitrate MP4s, no problem.
  9. bigshot
    That's why you up the bitrate and use better codecs like MP4, so there is enough bitrate in the data stream to handle the encoding flawlessly. If the encoding of lossy audio is done well, human ears cannot tell the difference. Scientific testing has shown that, whether you want to believe it or not.
    The state of compressed audio isn't the same as it was ten years ago. Many of your DVDs and Blu-Rays use MP4 audio. So does high resolution YouTube, satellite radio and streaming music services like Spotify. You listen to lossy audio all the time and probably don't think twice about it. Odds are, you listen to 128 VBR regularly without even knowing it and think it sounds fine.
  10. bigshot
    Ha! That reminds me of a great story... I have tens of thousands of CDs and DVDs. They're all in SafeKeeper books and I have yet to damage any of them. They all play perfectly. All except ONE!
    I was perusing the used bins at the Wherehouse back in the day. I saw a CD called "Myron Floren's Polka Favorites". Floren was Lawrence Welk's accordianist, and he played a mean "Flight of the Bumblebee". He was accused of child molestation or something so all of his recordings had gone out of print. So I bought it and took it home. I popped it on my CD player and I hear, "This is Malcolm McLaren. Never mind the bollocks, here's the Sex Pistols!" and the Sex Pistols began to play. The disk was labelled "Polka Favorites", but the CD itself had the Sex Pistols on it!
    I have no idea how that came about, but I am probably the only human being in the world who likes BOTH Floren and the Sex Pistols. That disk became one of my favorite CDs. I kept it on display on top of my stereo. In the 1994 Northridge quake, I was very close to the epicenter. The stuff on my equipment rack was thrown to the floor and my tower speakers fell on top of the mess. The only loss I suffered was that my speaker fell smack dab on Polka Favorites and split the jewel case and the CD inside in two.
    There was no way for me to prove that it was really the Sex Pistols any more. Doggone it! Even a lossless backup on a hard drive wouldn't have helped.
  11. bigshot
    That is a good way to be. Best not to be dogmatic about opinions until you've done the research and the tests for yourself. It isn't good enough to just take the common knowledge on internet forums. A lot of people there are just repeating things they don't know for themselves. That's why we have the sound science forum. Here, we depend on tests and published results.
  12. julian67



    Blu-Ray specifies the following audio codecs:

    Linear PCM (LPCM) - up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio. (mandatory)
    Dolby Digital (DD) - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
    Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) - extension of Dolby Digital, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
    Dolby TrueHD - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)
    DTS Digital Surround - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
    DTS-HD High Resolution Audio - extension of DTS, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
    DTS-HD Master Audio - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)

    In any case MP4 is a container, not a type of audio. The MP4 container can contain aac, mp3, mp2, als and lots of other types of audio Perhaps you were thinking of aac? Blu-Ray doesn't use that either.

    But anyway who needs actual facts when you can just grab stuff out of the air?

    Nope, it's still not a codec. MP4 is only a container.

    That's better. Finally hit the nail right on the head.
  13. bigshot
    I'm sorry. I'm not reading your posts or replying to you any more. I won't be trolled.
    Have fun doing something productive with your time.
  14. julian67
    If you're not reading my posts then how and why are you replying?

    Someone pointing out the deficiencies in your argument in a debate does not equate to trolling. I did tease you a little in my last post because you suggest others are ignorant while you are in the know, but at the same time you are coming out with fanciful nonsense, plucked from the air it seems, and presenting it as being factual and supportive of your claims and assertions. Perhaps you think it sounds good or convincing. It doesn't.
  15. bigshot
    I'm sorry I'm not reading your posts any more. I won't be trolled. Keep on replying, keep getting the same answer. No fun, isn't it? (not waiting for the answer)
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