Lossless codecs?
Jul 12, 2005 at 3:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

GotNoRice

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Posts
410
Likes
28
For a while now I’ve been trying to get away from regular MP3, WMA, and try to get as much of my music in lossless as I can. I’ve just been using WMA Lossless because Windows Media Player 10 does it and it’s fairly easy, but would there be any benefit to going to another lossless coded like FLAC or something else?
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 3:26 AM Post #2 of 13

JWFokker

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Posts
508
Likes
10
Monkey's Audio has a higher compression ratio and does it faster than most other lossless codecs. That's about it. Speed and compression ratio are about all that matter when it comes to lossless.
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 3:29 AM Post #3 of 13

blessingx

HeadFest '07 Graphic Designer
Supplier of fine logos! His visions of Head-Fi
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Posts
13,179
Likes
25
FLAC has Replaygain and portable and multi-platform support.

When it comes to lossless it usually depends on non-sound quality needs (player or OS support or slight compression gains or different CPU hits, etc.). The only exception I can think of it Replaygain (which you may or may not like).
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 4:54 AM Post #4 of 13

necropimp

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Posts
2,254
Likes
11
in my experiences with monkey's audio it isn't faster... but it does give the best compression

i prefer wavpack... fast, can get a little smaller than FLAC, and... uh... it's cool... >.>
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 10:23 AM Post #5 of 13

stefan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
123
Likes
0
I use Monkey's Audio (APE) mostly, for the following reasons:

1. I started off using it on high compression -- better than FLAC -- but with the size and prices of Hard drives nowadays, compression size is less of an issue, now I just use it on "normal" compression level, probably around the same compression as what the standard flac setting gives. I find it very fast, and when encoded as "normal" playback is very low CPU intensive.

2. It works so well with my favorite music software -- J River Media Center (the Monkey's Audio guy works for them too, so integration is painless). Media center does the tagging and replay gain well.

3. I find the Monkey's front-end software very easy, and the codec works so smoothly with lots of other freeware software, such as EAC, foobar, dbpoweramp and frontah.

4. I DON'T use an Apple Mac or Linux, nor would I bother with lossless on a portable player. As soon as I encoded into APE, I also transcoded everything to MP3 @ 256 to store on another drive -- which I can then use in an MP3 player or whatever.

5. I ruled out WMA from day one. I was just suspicious of Microsoft and this DRM (digital rights management) business. This was a gut decision, not a technical one.

In conclusion, choice of which lossless format (for me) depended alot less on compression ratio (they are all roughly the same) and more on how easy it is to use and integrate into my existing computer system and software. The advantage is that the day I want or need to change to another lossless format (flac, AAC, wav, wavepack etc) all I have to do is use a transcoding software and it'll do it while keeping all the tags and so on.

My advice to you:

1. Get a big hard drive and rip lossless, because ripping an tagging is a time-consuming pain in the rear and you'll only want to do it once.

2. Chose whichever lossless format works best with your system. But why use WMA when you also have APE, FLAC, Wavepack? Don't worry if you made the worng choice from day one, because in most case you can transcode between different lossless formats and you'll keep all the tags (I've done this from APE->Flac and vice versa).

3. Back-up EVERYTHING and store it in a safe place. This is essential.

4. If you need to transcode to MP3, MPC, WMA lossy, AAC or whatever, you can. But you'll always have your lossless master copies. And in a few years, hard drives won't be gigabytes, they'll be terrabytes and then petabytes.....

I have 967 CD's encoded as APEs. That takes up just under 250 GB.

hope that helps.
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 1:52 PM Post #6 of 13

geoges.ravel

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Posts
246
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by stefan
I use Monkey's Audio (APE) mostly, for the following reasons:

1. I started off using it on high compression -- better than FLAC -- but with the size and prices of Hard drives nowadays, compression size is less of an issue, now I just use it on "normal" compression level, probably around the same compression as what the standard flac setting gives. I find it very fast, and when encoded as "normal" playback is very low CPU intensive.

2. It works so well with my favorite music software -- J River Media Center (the Monkey's Audio guy works for them too, so integration is painless). Media center does the tagging and replay gain well.

3. I find the Monkey's front-end software very easy, and the codec works so smoothly with lots of other freeware software, such as EAC, foobar, dbpoweramp and frontah.

4. I DON'T use an Apple Mac or Linux, nor would I bother with lossless on a portable player. As soon as I encoded into APE, I also transcoded everything to MP3 @ 256 to store on another drive -- which I can then use in an MP3 player or whatever.

5. I ruled out WMA from day one. I was just suspicious of Microsoft and this DRM (digital rights management) business. This was a gut decision, not a technical one.

In conclusion, choice of which lossless format (for me) depended alot less on compression ratio (they are all roughly the same) and more on how easy it is to use and integrate into my existing computer system and software. The advantage is that the day I want or need to change to another lossless format (flac, AAC, wav, wavepack etc) all I have to do is use a transcoding software and it'll do it while keeping all the tags and so on.

My advice to you:

1. Get a big hard drive and rip lossless, because ripping an tagging is a time-consuming pain in the rear and you'll only want to do it once.

2. Chose whichever lossless format works best with your system. But why use WMA when you also have APE, FLAC, Wavepack? Don't worry if you made the worng choice from day one, because in most case you can transcode between different lossless formats and you'll keep all the tags (I've done this from APE->Flac and vice versa).

3. Back-up EVERYTHING and store it in a safe place. This is essential.

4. If you need to transcode to MP3, MPC, WMA lossy, AAC or whatever, you can. But you'll always have your lossless master copies. And in a few years, hard drives won't be gigabytes, they'll be terrabytes and then petabytes.....

I have 967 CD's encoded as APEs. That takes up just under 250 GB.

hope that helps.



Cool, any suggestions against HD crash?
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 2:30 PM Post #7 of 13

blessingx

HeadFest '07 Graphic Designer
Supplier of fine logos! His visions of Head-Fi
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Posts
13,179
Likes
25
These charts are good to glance at. It's somewhat out of date (ALAC being new is actively developed, MacAmp Lite is dead, etc.), but good info and the best comparisons I've seen.
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 2:41 PM Post #8 of 13

stefan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
123
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by geoges.ravel
Cool, any suggestions against HD crash?


That's what I meant by back everything up.

I have everything on DVD+R's and some spare hard drives, all locked away in cool, dry and safe places.

The great thing now is that there are dual-layer DVD's which have 8.5GB capacity each -- which means I could back up my 950+ losslessly-ripped CDs onto some 25 dual layer DVD's.

very_evil_smiley.gif
You may be thinking: another way to back-up would be to share all your files with friends and family to put in hard drives on their computers -- and the chances of everyone's HDD's crashing at the same time would be slim -- but of course that would be highly illegal.
evil_smiley.gif
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 4:33 PM Post #9 of 13

breadnbutter

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Posts
177
Likes
0
That depends on where you live. In Germany the laws are a bit vague in that respect, but it is generally thought that a few copies for private use (i.e. for friends) are legal.
Actually in germany the price of a CD already contains fees for copies (they go to the GEMA, something like the german version of the RIAA I think).
 
Jul 12, 2005 at 4:43 PM Post #10 of 13

stefan

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
123
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by breadnbutter
That depends on where you live. In Germany the laws are a bit vague in that respect, but it is generally thought that a few copies for private use (i.e. for friends) are legal.


True. In fact I live in a country that officially does not respect any international conventions on intellectual property. But sharing pointless, as there are very few Iranians who would be interested in having the entire back catalogue of Husker Du or the rest of my collection on their PC
tongue.gif
 
Jul 13, 2005 at 4:41 PM Post #13 of 13

necropimp

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Posts
2,254
Likes
11
and here's a file size comparison i did using [WITH_TEETH]

WAV 566MB

FLAC 360MB
ALAC 359MB
Monkey's Audio 344MB
OptimFROG 344MB
Shorten 387MB
WavPack 349MB
WMA Lossless 351MB

encoding time
FLAC ~4-5minutes
ALAC less than 2 minutes
Monkey's Audio ~6minutes
OptimFROG 1 hour
Shorten about 90seconds
WavPack ~1minute 45 seconds
WMA Lossless just under 2 minutes
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top