Uncompressed Lossless (WAV) vs Compressed (FLAC / ALAC) - O/T discussion moved from main forum thread
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haiku

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  Like gregorio you gotta get personal, which usually means you have shaken faith in your argument. You stated you were leaving the thread before and you came back, probably because you are still exploring the idea.
 
My analogy was on point but you are so busy supporting your faith that you choose not to see it.
Not everything in audio is understood or quantified. It is an impossibility.
 
We are always making new discoveries. learning new things, coming to new understandings, developing new tools and better measurements.
Knowledge evolves, in every field , all the time.
 
Except for those who are so blind as refuse to see, to steal a quote.
 
Not everything that is observed can be explained. It does not have to lie as a fault on the observer.
 
My speculation as to why there is a perceived difference is just that, supposition. I am not making claims that is the cause and I have been clear about that.
I've got other theories as to why it might occur but, sadly, I just don't think many are open to the exploration of anything not already proven.
 
You may have forgotten but I heard no difference in the 2 formats. I am just not so willing to dismiss those that do hear a difference.
 
 
 
 

Thank you.
My problem is what Charles Altmann describes as "distortion". In an abx test I too can´t hear differences. But my everyday listening is not "in the abx mode", I listen subjectively to my music, and in this "real world scenario" wav sounds better. So what am I to do? Should I not listen to what I subjectively like better? Makes no sense to me, sorry.
 
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Here's the thing - the only thing that should matter to you as a listener is what gives you pleasure.  It is the true test of the machine.  If the idea that WAV is somehow better gives you the extra bit of sensory pleasure then use it.  No-one is stopping you. At the end of the day it is you who is the only judge.
 
With my iDSD, it will upsample to DSD resolution.  When it does, the light changes. For some reason I get more pleasure knowing the light is lit. Here's the kicker though - I've already blind tested myself many times, including recording the output.  There were no audible differences and I can't tell that from FLAC, WAV or indeed aac256.  It gives me pleasure though - so I leave it on that setting.  it shows I'm human.  But I'm also rational enough to realise that it is placebo - and you'll never find me making the claim that it is better.  I know it's not.
 
And that is the bit I object to when I read it.  The idea that WAV is somehow superior.  As has already been shown - it cannot be.  We're not going to discover anything in the future that will change that either.  Bit for bit, the PCM files from the WAV and FLAC file aren't similar - they are identical.  Claiming we could somehow discover something which will make 1+1 suddenly equal 3 instead of 2 is unfortunately absurd.  Not going to happen 
.
 
Show me one shred of proof that it can happen, and I'll be the first to retract everything.  I'd like to believe I am both fair and open minded enough in that respect.
 
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haiku

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  Here's the thing - the only thing that should matter to you as a listener is what gives you pleasure.  It is the true test of the machine.  If the idea that WAV is somehow better gives you the extra bit of sensory pleasure then use it.  No-one is stopping you. At the end of the day it is you who is the only judge.
 
With my iDSD, it will upsample to DSD resolution.  When it does, the light changes. For some reason I get more pleasure knowing the light is lit. Here's the kicker though - I've already blind tested myself many times, including recording the output.  There were no audible differences and I can't tell that from FLAC, WAV or indeed aac256.  It gives me pleasure though - so I leave it on that setting.  it shows I'm human.  But I'm also rational enough to realise that it is placebo - and you'll never find me making the claim that it is better.  I know it's not.
 
And that is the bit I object to when I read it.  The idea that WAV is somehow superior.  As has already been shown - it cannot be.  We're not going to discover anything in the future that will change that either.  Bit for bit, the PCM files from the WAV and FLAC file aren't similar - they are identical.  Claiming we could somehow discover something which will make 1+1 suddenly equal 3 instead of 2 is unfortunately absurd.  Not going to happen 
.
 
Show me one shred of proof that it can happen, and I'll be the first to retract everything.  I'd like to believe I am both fair and open minded enough in that respect.

But that´s a contradiction, Brooko. If you say at the end of the day I´m the judge, and for me wav is superior, I am not allowed to say so without proof?
 
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  Like gregorio you gotta get personal, which usually means you have shaken faith in your argument. You stated you were leaving the thread before and you came back, probably because you are still exploring the idea.
 
My analogy was on point but you are so busy supporting your faith that you choose not to see it.
Not everything in audio is understood or quantified. It is an impossibility.
 
We are always making new discoveries. learning new things, coming to new understandings, developing new tools and better measurements.
Knowledge evolves, in every field , all the time.
 
Except for those who are so blind as refuse to see, to steal a quote.
 
Not everything that is observed can be explained. It does not have to lie as a fault on the observer.
 
My speculation as to why there is a perceived difference is just that, supposition. I am not making claims that is the cause and I have been clear about that.
I've got other theories as to why it might occur but, sadly, I just don't think many are open to the exploration of anything not already proven.
 
You may have forgotten but I heard no difference in the 2 formats. I am just not so willing to dismiss those that do hear a difference.
 
Where have I been personal?  Hasn't happened once. And last time I checked this is not an argument. But thanks for trying to deflect (again). This is normally a trait of someone who is trying to avoid the actual debate.  And yes I left only to be summonsed back again by a PM.  Please read my above reply to Haiku. It summarises where I stand.
 
And at this stage I really am finished with this thread.  If you choose not to actually back your own points, nor to try and understand what every poster has told you so far - then all you are choosing to do is avoid.  And that is pointless - for both you and I.  We go around in circles and each gets more frustrated.
 
I really would suggest you talk to some audio professionals - and I mean real professionals (Ethan Winer is great and is approachable) - not reviewers or audio enthusiasts.  If you watched the video I left of Ethans "myths workshop" you might recognise that Poppy Crum is the Poppy Crum of Dolby labs. You may not take advice from us (hey - we're just enthusiasts on a forum), so talk to someone whose credentials and experience can give you confidence.  They will be telling you the same thing we have tried to.
 
Above all recognise - I'm not trying to force an opinion on you.  At no stage have I insulted you directly.  And I haven't made the debate about you nor me.  I've simply stated the known facts. What you choose to do with those now is up to you.  I hope at some stage you find enlightenment 

 
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  But that´s a contradiction, Brooko. If you say at the end of the day I´m the judge, and for me wav is superior, I am not allowed to say so without proof?
 
No contradiction my friend - as long as you add two little words - "to me".  There is a huge difference between saying:
 
WAV sounds better than FLAC to me
 
and WAV sounds better than FLAC
 
The first is an opinion and subjective - and I can't control your own preference (even though I know ultimately it is based on placebo).  But the second is stating something generally which I know is not true. It contradicts science to claim it - unless you introduce the human element, and the personal bias that we know we cannot control 

 
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So long gentlemen.  It has been fun - enjoy your music.
 
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post-12549791
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haiku

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No contradiction my friend - as long as you add two little words - "to me".  There is a huge difference between saying:
 
WAV sounds better than FLAC to me
 
and WAV sounds better than FLAC
 
The first is an opinion and subjective - and I can't control your own preference (even though I know ultimately it is based on placebo).  But the second is stating something generally which I know is not true. It contradicts science to claim it - unless you introduce the human element, and the personal bias that we know we cannot control 

I guess we have two different perspectives on science. For me, science is about finding answer for experiences which cannot be explained at some point. For you, science seems to be about dismissing everything which doesn´t fit a closed system view point. ABX testing fits the latter viewpoint. I see why you like it. But I don´t listen to my music all day in a "abx setting". I don´t live in a lab. For me, abx testing is flawed, because it doesn´t match what I hear with my gear under normal listening conditions. I switch on my X7, put on my Monks, and hit play. And when I don´t like the quality of what I´m hearing, I look for alternatives to make the sound more to my liking. That´s how I came to the conclusion that wav sounds better than any other codec, TO ME. Sure "to me", I can´t speak for anyone else.
 
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As I believe it's been said before, that wouldn't change audio quality at all.  If there are any issues with decoding, they would manifest as playback errors and not a decrease in audio quality.

Some very slow players like sansa clips can have problems with high compressed flacs. The audio may stutter or so.
 
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I guess we have two different perspectives on science. For me, science is about finding answer for experiences which cannot be explained at some point. For you, science seems to be about dismissing everything which doesn´t fit a closed system view point. ABX testing fits the latter viewpoint. I see why you like it. But I don´t listen to my music all day in a "abx setting". I don´t live in a lab. For me, abx testing is flawed, because it doesn´t match what I hear with my gear under normal listening conditions. I switch on my X7, put on my Monks, and hit play. And when I don´t like the quality of what I´m hearing, I look for alternatives to make the sound more to my liking. That´s how I came to the conclusion that wav sounds better than any other codec, TO ME. Sure "to me", I can´t speak for anyone else.

You only seem to a agree with science if it agrees with your subjective findings. That is not how it works mate. Also I have repeated this several times and no one of you seems to read it: abx isn't flawed. It's the s same as subjective listening only with your eyes closed. No lab setting. No hard time listening for differences. If you can sit in your c chair with your p player and headphones and have 2 identical files, one wav and one flac and you claim to hear big differences, play both files again (or better let someone control your mp3 player) and don't look at the screen and tell again which is which. Do it. I don't see how this is any flawed as it is the same as normal listening!
 
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No contradiction my friend - as long as you add two little words - "to me".  There is a huge difference between saying:
 
WAV sounds better than FLAC to me
 
and WAV sounds better than FLAC
 
The first is an opinion and subjective - and I can't control your own preference (even though I know ultimately it is based on placebo).  But the second is stating something generally which I know is not true. It contradicts science to claim it - unless you introduce the human element, and the personal bias that we know we cannot control 

I guess we have two different perspectives on science. For me, science is about finding answer for experiences which cannot be explained at some point. For you, science seems to be about dismissing everything which doesn´t fit a closed system view point. ABX testing fits the latter viewpoint. I see why you like it. But I don´t listen to my music all day in a "abx setting". I don´t live in a lab. For me, abx testing is flawed, because it doesn´t match what I hear with my gear under normal listening conditions. I switch on my X7, put on my Monks, and hit play. And when I don´t like the quality of what I´m hearing, I look for alternatives to make the sound more to my liking. That´s how I came to the conclusion that wav sounds better than any other codec, TO ME. Sure "to me", I can´t speak for anyone else.
 it's a matter of fact vs opinion.
if you can verify a phenomenon and demonstrate its existence, then you do have a fact, and you can attempt at making a conclusion within the boundaries of those facts. if all you have is the deep belief that one format sounds better but you fail to demonstrate it objectively, then all you have is an opinion. it may be true, or not, what's important is not to claim that it is one way or the other when you in fact have no conclusive evidence.
 
 
 
in this particular case, before making claims, we first need evidence that flac and wave sound different on your device, so you would need to record the output to show a difference.
when a measurable difference is found, and only then, depending on the magnitude of those differences, we will need to objectively test that you can actually notice them.
so now we're at the point where we know there was a difference and you can notice it.  we still need to find out which is the better sound. (better for your taste, or better objectively, you decide of one, and stick to it, and try to stay mighty clear about which one you're talking about).
 
then sure you come and tell in good conscience that one format sounds better than the other(by taste or by fidelity). but starting by the claim and not having anything to show for it, that's not a different perspective on science, that's simply not the scientific method.
so what Brooko was offering is a way to still share your opinion by adding a context that will make it less likely for you to be wrong. like saying that it happens on a given device, so if it doesn't happen on mine, that doesn't make you a liar.
saying that you feel like there is a difference, instead of saying there is a difference. that way you can still share your experience even if you have no objective evidence of what happens. 
a simple IMO, creates a condition where as long as you're honest with yourself, you're saying the truth. that's pretty powerful for 3 letters ^_^. because you're talking about your opinion on something and we can't contest an opinion, you're the one who knows best about it. after that, if you still decide to go for generalizations and claims of facts, you have to be prepared to provide proof of your claim, and to be called a liar when someone demonstrates a different outcome using the wide conditions of your claim.
 
in short, try to express yourself in objective truth, instead of just taking whatever you believe in as if it was a fact. so I agree with Brooko, when in doubt, or without hard evidence, go for some "to me", "IMO", "I feel like", etc. it may seem like it reduces your expertise, but it will in fact make you and your statements a lot more legitimate to us as we will know what you're talking about.
 
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gregorio

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  Agreed, thank you. But how does anyone know for a fact that this is what is happening in the numerous reports that difference is heard. How does anyone know that it must be only in the minds of the listener.
 
I notice that you deliberately avoided answering the three questions! Did you actually watch the video or did you avoid that too, in case it questions your unquestionable belief? Are you asking how anyone knows for a fact that there was no "Fa" despite the "numerous reports"? If so, there's three ways: 1. We can measure the input and playback, no difference, 2. Those who created the video only used "Ba", there is no "Fa", so no audio difference, 3. When you closed or moved your eyes, IE. Removed your brain's visual bias from your perception, the "Fa" disappeared, no difference.
 
All we really need is one of those three ways, #1 ... and this is true of any audio recording, not just of this particular video. If there is no measured difference then there is no difference and there is ONLY ONE place where a difference can exist, your perception/brain!
 
Quote:
  Like gregorio you gotta get personal, which usually means you have shaken faith in your argument.
 
It either means a shaken faith in an argument or it means utter frustration at someone unable or unwilling to admit the simple, obvious, proven truth!
 
Quote:
  [1] Not everything in audio is understood or quantified. It is an impossibility. ... Not everything that is observed can be explained. It does not have to lie as a fault on the observer.
[2] My analogy was on point but you are so busy supporting your faith that you choose not to see it.
 
1. There is no way of explaining this without being personal because you are demonstrating a fundamental ignorance of science and of what audio recording/reproduction is. Here are some fundamental basics which no sane, rational or moderately educated person can dispute: Audio recording/reproduction is not something which is "observed" in nature and then science came along and tried to explain it. It is a technology, a scientific creation/invention, NOT the scientific discovery of a hypothesis/theory. 140 years ago Edison invented a way to measure/convert the frequency and amplitude of acoustic sound waves into another form of data (mechanical data), to store that data and convert it back to acoustic sound waves. We call this invention audio recording/reproduction. In the ensuing 140 years, audio recording/reproduction has not fundamentally changed at all! It is still the measuring/converting of the frequency and amplitude of acoustic sound waves. The only difference between now and 140 years ago is that we have developed far more accurate and reliable ways of measuring, converting and storing that frequency and amplitude data. Your statement is therefore irrelevant nonsense because even if you are correct and there is something else to audio (besides this already perfectly understood/quantifiable amplitude and frequency data), it doesn't matter because the only thing we can actually record and reproduce is that amplitude and frequency data!
 
2. Faith is irrelevant. We are not talking about a belief in one theory of how the universe works vs a different theory. If we had created/invented the universe, there would be no need of a scientific theory to explain how it works because we would obviously already know how it works because we were the ones who made it work! With audio recording we are talking about an invented technology, not a natural phenomena we're trying to explain. There is no faith, perspective, belief or opinion involved (!), there is either a correct understanding of how that technology works or an incorrect understanding!
 
Quote:
  My speculation as to why there is a perceived difference is just that, supposition. I've got other theories as to why it might occur but, sadly, I just don't think many are open to the exploration of anything not already proven.
 
You can make any supposition you want regarding perception, although of course you are open to be challenged, especially with no supporting evidence beyond anecdotes. However, you cannot make the statement that there's a difference in the audio itself because that is NOT a valid opinion. As explained above, there is no valid "opinion", only an accurate understanding (or ignorance) of how the technology works.
 

Quote:
  I guess we have two different perspectives on science. For me, science is about finding answer for experiences which cannot be explained at some point.
 
You guess incorrectly and why are you even guessing in the first place, didn't you learn what science is at school? You are demonstrating a fundamental ignorance of what science is, because science is effectively the search for knowledge divorced from "perspectives" and opinion, this is what separates science from myth and superstition! Applied science is the use of that knowledge to invent and make things. Recording technology is applied science, if the science is wrong there couldn't be any recording technology! You may argue, as bilboda is, that science doesn't know everything about audio and therefore that recording technology doesn't contain everything but you obviously can't argue that what current recording technology does contain is not understood/known by science!
 
Quote:
  For you, science seems to be about dismissing everything which doesn´t fit a closed system view point.
 
Recording technology IS a "closed system". It's a closed system which is defined, designed and invented by science! So anything not defined by science and not part of that closed system is by definition NOT science and NOT part of recording/playback technology. If, whatever else you're referring to, does actually exist, then it exists outside of recording/playback technology, IE. In your brain.
 
Why is this so hard to understand? We're talking about grade school logic here. Do you really have no idea what science and technology are or are you just so blinkered by your erroneous beliefs that you're willing to dismiss all logic and science?
 
G
 
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[Mod Comment]
 
Before anything gets too heated here - can we remember (everyone) to avoid it becoming personal.  This is about debating the point not the man.  If it's getting to much, take a break. It is after all only a forum - and none of this is life or death 

 
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I have a DAP which can play wav and flac. I have a sound card with a line in. I have various softwares that can capture the soundcard's line in. I'm willing to test if someone can point me to the right direction. I've tried to conduct my own test but it was inconclusive to say at least.
 
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gregorio

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  Before anything gets too heated here - can we remember (everyone) to avoid it becoming personal.  This is about debating the point not the man.
 
With all due respect, there is no way to avoid this debate becoming personal. There is no debatable "point", only the simple fact that flac and wav are identical. Therefore, the only "debate" possible is whether an individual (or group of individuals) understands this simple fact and/or a debate on individual/s' perception which may lead them to believe they are hearing differences between identical files. Either way, debating the man/individual is the only possible debate here.
 
G
 
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And with all due respect Gregorio - if you let it get personal (and I mean personal attacks) - there is only one course of action left to the Moderators.  If others can play by the rules - you can too. There are no exceptions.  If you can't live within those rules - don't post.
 
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