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Lossless archiving..
tekix
post Nov 1 2003, 14:55
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alo, i will soon be starting the mammoth task of archiving my music and games(audio tracks) collection, and have a few questions.. wink.gif



1. All lossless codecs give 100% quality right?
2. So which codec will give me the smallest file sizes with that 100% quality.
3. And will it decode back to wav with 100% quality.

4. before i knew about lossles compression i tried ogg vorbis at (quality 10)500kb vbr, and with my computer speakers couldnt hear any difference. So is it my speakers, me or at that setting is it lossless or close to lossless.

thx for reading blink.gif
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Jan S.
post Nov 1 2003, 15:10
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QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 1 2003, 03:55 PM)
1. All lossless codecs give 100% quality right?

Yes. Pr. definition the decoded wav must be identical to the original.

QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 1 2003, 03:55 PM)
2. So which codec will give me the smallest file sizes with that 100% quality.

La and Optimfrog will give you best compression but has very demanding decoding. I'd recommend APE that has good compression and if also fast. FLAC is a good choice also but not my pick.
QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 1 2003, 03:55 PM)
3. And will it decode back to wav with 100% quality.

Yes.

QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 1 2003, 03:55 PM)
4. before i knew about lossles compression i tried ogg vorbis at (quality 10)500kb vbr, and with my computer speakers couldnt hear any difference. So is it my speakers, me or at that setting is it lossless or close to lossless.

That's an insane setting to use. Vorbis is not at all optimized for those bitrates and it ruins the point ot lossy compression IMO. If you want to go lossy mpc should give you best quality. But yes; with a setting like that you shouldn't hear a difference.
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Hyperion
post Nov 1 2003, 16:20
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FLAC is probably the only lossless compressor biggrin.gif that has a published and comprehensive test suite. wink.gif


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dewey1973
post Nov 1 2003, 18:55
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I was in your position not long ago. It seems to me that your choice of a lossless codec is a decision of tradeoffs. This chart will show you a comparison of encoding speed and compression.

http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/All.htm

As you can see the codecs that compress the most (bottom of graph) take the longest to do so (left side of graph). Play with them and see what balance makes sense to you.

There are other factors you should be aware of. Replaygain support, tagging scheme, decoding speed, processor load of encoding and decoding, portable hardware support, among others are all factors that could sway you to a particular codec.

In my case, I started off with Lossless Audio (.la) because it made the smallest files. But it also takes a long time and uses lots of processor resources during playing. I them switched to Monkey's Audio for better tagging and better playback. Then the Rio Karma was announced so I switched to flac. The more I use flac the more I like it. Even though I gave up some compression I gained lots of great features:

Portable hardware support
Nice tagging scheme
Replaygain support
Fast decoding for low processor load playback and quick transcoding to lossy formats

Please remember that this was just my experience. I am not saying these features would be enough of a reason for you to choose flac as opposed to some other codec that has smaller file size like la, Monkey's, or OptimFROG.

Have fun, it's been quite a journey for me! wacko.gif
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DonP
post Nov 1 2003, 18:59
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QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 1 2003, 08:55 AM)
2. So which codec will give me the smallest file sizes with that 100% quality.

The 2 I have used much are monkey and flac. My impression is that you can choose blazingly fast compression, or go for a format/settings that are very slow and gain you maybe an extra 10%.

Another consideration is how you want to play the files back. If you are soley using the files so you can burn another CD when one goes bad, then maybe it doesn't matter much, or pick one that your burning software can take directly.

If you want to play back from the compressed file, then choose what goes with your playback software and/or hardware. I can play back Flac on Linux and my remote Rio
Reciever.

Either way, translating from one to the other is pretty easy, so you might as well pick one and start ripping.
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torok
post Nov 1 2003, 21:25
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The great thing about lossless, is that it doesn't matter what you choose. If you change your mind later, just convert them all.

Using a lossy encoder at 500 kbps is kindof odd. The whole reason I use lossless is so I can transcode later into tiny files for portable use. I use lossless because I like to get all I can from lossy. 500kbps is not getting all you can. biggrin.gif


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zokik
post Nov 1 2003, 23:10
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QUOTE (torok @ Nov 1 2003, 09:25 PM)
The great thing about lossless, is that it doesn't matter what you choose. If you change your mind later, just convert them all.

Yup, "just" convert wink.gif
You don't loose quality, but it is a great pain... takes a lot of time, you have to do some work to preserve all tags properly, replaygain info is usually lost and has (or at least should) be calculated again for new files. And to listen the disk rumbling for hours it makes you think it would break any minute...

I didn't have a lot of ape files, but I really wished I chose flac in the first place when I was converting. I think it is quite important to choose the right format for your needs, even for lossless - may that be flac, ape, of, or whatever best suits you, although for most users the best would be either flac or ape.
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torok
post Nov 2 2003, 02:33
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QUOTE (zokik @ Nov 1 2003, 02:10 PM)
QUOTE (torok @ Nov 1 2003, 09:25 PM)
The great thing about lossless, is that it doesn't matter what you choose. If you change your mind later, just convert them all.

Yup, "just" convert wink.gif
You don't loose quality, but it is a great pain... takes a lot of time, you have to do some work to preserve all tags properly, replaygain info is usually lost and has (or at least should) be calculated again for new files. And to listen the disk rumbling for hours it makes you think it would break any minute...

I didn't have a lot of ape files, but I really wished I chose flac in the first place when I was converting. I think it is quite important to choose the right format for your needs, even for lossless - may that be flac, ape, of, or whatever best suits you, although for most users the best would be either flac or ape.

I would think that the APE -> FLAC conversion would be pretty easy using Foobar. I've tried it for one album and I didn't loose any tag information or directory stucture. Although, it doesn't look like it will delete the old file automatically. Since most people using lossless have thier drive more then half full, this would be a problem.


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tekix
post Nov 7 2003, 13:41
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thx guys, im gonna go with ape, good speed vs size.
Some one said you can burn some formays straight to cd, i assume he meant that it would convert back to wav when burning????

This post has been edited by tekix: Nov 7 2003, 13:42
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ScorLibran
post Nov 7 2003, 13:56
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QUOTE (tekix @ Nov 7 2003, 07:41 AM)
thx guys,  im gonna go with ape, good speed vs size.
Some one said you can burn some formays straight to cd, i assume he meant that it would convert back to wav when burning????

You can burn any file or format to a CD. If you want to convert to WAV prior to burning, then you'll have to specify that in whatever burning software you're using (if it can do that), or else convert the file(s) yourself prior to burning.

If you're inquiring about burning an audio CD to enable any CD player to play it, then you have to specify in the burning program that you want to create an Audio CD rather than a Data CD.
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Jojo
post Nov 7 2003, 14:50
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I always use Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless (wma9 Lossless). It's free, fast and has a higher compression than FLAC (in my tests) and pretty much everbody can play it back without having a plugin installed, because WMP is already installed on most Windows machines. Besides that, I use wma Pro for my portable player, so I can convert it directly to wma Pro without having it first converted to wav smile.gif


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guruboolez
post Nov 7 2003, 14:56
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QUOTE (Jojo @ Nov 7 2003, 02:50 PM)
Besides that, I use wma Pro for my portable player (...)

What do you mean by "wma pro"? The new lossy encoder? Is there any portable player supporting this new audio format?
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2Bdecided
post Nov 7 2003, 14:57
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QUOTE (zokik @ Nov 1 2003, 10:10 PM)
QUOTE (torok @ Nov 1 2003, 09:25 PM)
The great thing about lossless, is that it doesn't matter what you choose. If you change your mind later, just convert them all.

Yup, "just" convert wink.gif
You don't loose quality, but it is a great pain... takes a lot of time, you have to do some work to preserve all tags properly, replaygain info is usually lost and has (or at least should) be calculated again for new files.

No it shouldn't. The audio will be identical, and so will the RG information. lossless - remember? biggrin.gif


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