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What's your lossless codec of choice?
What's your lossless codec of choice?
What's your lossless codec of choice?
Apple Lossless [ 36 ] ** [5.03%]
FLAC [ 377 ] ** [52.73%]
La [ 4 ] ** [0.56%]
Monkey's Audio [ 130 ] ** [18.18%]
OptimFROG [ 7 ] ** [0.98%]
Shorten [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
TTA [ 8 ] ** [1.12%]
WavPack [ 106 ] ** [14.83%]
WMA Lossless [ 14 ] ** [1.96%]
other (please specify)/I'm not into lossless at all [ 33 ] ** [4.62%]
Total Votes: 950
  
Polar
post Aug 3 2004, 16:21
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It's been a busy year in lossless audio codec land wink.gif

So I thought it might be the right time to throw in another favourite codec poll, now that the lossy counterpart is into v2 and the last multi lossless codec poll is just a few days short of one year old. The latter included neither Apple Lossless, which has rapidly gained quite some popularity due to its support in iTunes, nor TTA.

My superficial impression tells me that OptimFROG, TTA, WavPack and WMA Lossless have also been gaining momentum ever since, perhaps at the expense of Bonk, LPAC, RK Audio, and others, which seem to have become obsolete and have therefore been omitted from the poll choices (although the board's 10 answers max has something to do with that as well). Feel free to mention LPAC or whatever you might still be using in a separate post below. Needless to say any other comments are most welcome.

Curious to know what the current balance of power between FLAC and Monkey's might be. Would Shorten still be able to keep a grip on a loyal share of users? How widely are OptimFROG and WavPack's hybrid modes being used? And what about rather obscure RealAudio Lossless?

In short: looking forward to your replies smile.gif

Edit: grammar.

This post has been edited by Polar: Aug 3 2004, 16:27
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markanini
post Aug 10 2004, 18:05
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Maby I'm a bit late on giving a comment about the lossless codec I use but here goes.
I use Flac at cause nothing decodes fatser, except shorten, than Flac. And using any other lossless codec that has a better compression will only make file a few percent smaller and a lot slowwer to decode. I use level 5 cause it gives me a decent compression and fast compression. I dont understand why some use level 8, files encode a lot slower and files dont get any smaller. At level 0 it performs quite simmilar to shorten. I'd love to se flac keep on developing.
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Polar
post Aug 12 2004, 12:30
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QUOTE (markanini @ Aug 10 2004, 17:05 UTC)
I dont understand why some use level 8, files encode a lot slower and files dont get any smaller.
*
Yes, -8 does encode a lot slower than -5 (= default), 4 to 5 times as slow to be more specific, but that doesn't have the slightest effect on decoding speed. That's the beauty of FLAC, no matter what encoding level you pick, decoding won't be influenced.

So that's why I encode at -8. As long as it squeezes out every byte it can (compression ratio difference between -5 and -8 may not be much, but every kB counts) and doesn't affect decoding time, I don't care if encoding takes a proverbial year. Since you only encode once, and encoding is not something I sit and wait for, but is just a background task, how long it takes matters zip to me.
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Omion
post Aug 13 2004, 05:07
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QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 04:30 AM)
QUOTE (markanini @ Aug 10 2004, 17:05 UTC)
I dont understand why some use level 8, files encode a lot slower and files dont get any smaller.
*
Yes, -8 does encode a lot slower than -5 (= default), 4 to 5 times as slow to be more specific, but that doesn't have the slightest effect on decoding speed. That's the beauty of FLAC, no matter what encoding level you pick, decoding won't be influenced.

So that's why I encode at -8. As long as it squeezes out every byte it can (compression ratio difference between -5 and -8 may not be much, but every kB counts) and doesn't affect decoding time, I don't care if encoding takes a proverbial year. Since you only encode once, and encoding is not something I sit and wait for, but is just a background task, how long it takes matters zip to me.
*


I'd have to disagree with you here. The decoding speed does not get affected much, but it is still affected. I did a big ol' test on my computer, and got the following results (the UCSC server seems to be passing a brainstone... be patient):

Zoomed horizontally:

Horizontal axis is file size ratio (lower is better) and vertical is decoding speed in "X" (higher is better) I did this test on 8 different songs, decoded 12 times, then threw out the highest and lowest decoding times. The points, then, are the average of 80 trials. The "-5" label looks wierd because I also tested flac with no options, and called it "--". Well, they're indeed the same, so the label is both "-5" and "--". "SS" is --super-secret-yada-yada.

The test was done on a P4 1.5ghz with 512MB RAM, using the foobar diskwriter speed test.

BTW, -2 gave consistently higher decoding speeds than either -1 or -0. Not sure why... blink.gif

Also, note that the horizontal scale is greatly magnified. The difference between -0 and -8 is only 5% the original file size.

Based on the results of this test, I'm using -7. -7 decodes at esentially the same speed as 4-6, but has higher compression. If anybody has different results, I'd love to hear them.

This post has been edited by Omion: Aug 13 2004, 05:35


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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" - Vroomfondel, H2G2
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Polar
post Aug 13 2004, 09:13
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QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 13 2004, 04:07 UTC)
QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 11:30 UTC)
Yes, -8 does encode a lot slower than -5 (= default), 4 to 5 times as slow to be more specific, but that doesn't have the slightest effect on decoding speed. That's the beauty of FLAC, no matter what encoding level you pick, decoding won't be influenced.
*
I'd have to disagree with you here. The decoding speed does not get affected much, but it is still affected. I did a big ol' test on my computer, and got the following results
(...)
I did this test on 8 different songs, decoded 12 times, then threw out the highest and lowest decoding times. The points, then, are the average of 80 trials.
(...)
"SS" is --super-secret-yada-yada.

The test was done on a P4 1.5ghz with 512MB RAM, using the foobar diskwriter speed test.

BTW, -2 gave consistently higher decoding speeds than either -1 or -0. Not sure why... blink.gif
(...)
If anybody has different results, I'd love to hear them.
*
Intriguing work, Omion. Especially since yours is the very first ratio/speed test of --super-secret-etc-level I've come across. Thanks a bunch smile.gif Are you planning on putting it online somewhere (apart from this thread, that is)? I for one would appreciate that.

Regarding those different results you'd love to hear about, well, they're the test results I've been relying on so far: Hans van der Heijden's test, the one by Wim Speekenbrink and the one on the official FLAC site (even though the latter might stricto sensu not be an independent one). All of them, as you'll be able to read, are quite comprehensive and report nominal difference in decoding speed between the various encoding levels.

Edit:
On second thought, the fact that, especially over a 12 times' decoding average, your -8 and -2 encodings gave such deviant results (well, one's gotta argue about something, right? wink.gif), might be attributed to the limited 8 song base. Hans van der Heijden's FLACed some 80 songs for his test, and each of the 8 compression levels he tested (including -8 and -2, but no --super-secret and -0) decoded at an average 51x real-time speed on his 900 MHz Athlon:

source: <http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm>

(Edit 2: Grammar.)


This post has been edited by Polar: Aug 13 2004, 14:24
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Omion
post Aug 13 2004, 19:06
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QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 13 2004, 01:13 AM)
Edit:
On second thought, the fact that, especially over a 12 times' decoding average, your -8 and -2 encodings gave such deviant results (well, one's gotta argue about something, right? wink.gif), might be attributed to the limited 8 song base. Hans van der Heijden's FLACed some 80 songs for his test, and each of the 8 compression levels he tested (including -8 and -2, but no --super-secret and -0) decoded at an average 51x real-time speed on his 900 MHz Athlon:

*

I don't think the -8 was really a 'deviant result. I think the results (other than -2) indicate that decoding speed is related to the --max-lpc-order switch (also called -l). My results sort of show five decoding speed "zones": 0,1; 3; 4,5,6,7; 8; SS. (again, forgetting about -2). These zones correspond directly to where the -l switch changes.
-0= -l 0 -b 1152 -r 2,2
-1= -l 0 -b 1152 -M -r 2,2
-2= -l 0 -b 1152 -m -r 3
-3= -l 6 -b 4608 -r 3,3
-4= -l 8 -b 4608 -M -r 3,3
-5= -l 8 -b 4608 -m -r 3,3
-6= -l 8 -b 4608 -m -r 4
-7= -l 8 -b 4608 -m -e -r 6
-8= -l 12 -b 4608 -m -e -r 6
-SS= --lax -P 4096 -b 4608 -m -l 32 -e -E -p -q 0 -r 0,16

I'm pretty sure Josh Coalson said something about what decoding speed depends on, but I can't find it now.

Keep in mind, though, that the difference in decoding speed from -0 to -8 is only 6X, or 10% slower for -8. I don't think there's any harm in encoding with -8, as it's still a lot faster than any other popular lossless codec (according to the chart you posted).


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jcoalson
post Aug 13 2004, 21:21
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that is correct. all input being equal, the only significant variable in decode time is the LPC order, and when LPC was not used, the polynomial order (which is not a controllable parameter of the reference encoder).

but still this variability is small. I think these kinds of graphs should always be accompanied by a version that shows the axes at full scale, to put things is the proper perspective. you will find the points much closer together.

Josh
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Omion
post Aug 13 2004, 21:38
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QUOTE (jcoalson @ Aug 13 2004, 01:21 PM)
but still this variability is small.  I think these kinds of graphs should always be accompanied by a version that shows the axes at full scale, to put things is the proper perspective.  you will find the points much closer together.
*

Here's a full version. The horizontal axis goes to 1 (=orig file size), and the crosshairs are on flac -0.

They're all about the same, except --ss.

Just to clarify, I'm not trying to convince anybody that the decoding speed changes significantly, only that it does change.


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Posts in this topic
- Polar   What's your lossless codec of choice?   Aug 3 2004, 16:21
- - Polar   BTW, I'm using primarily FLAC for playback and...   Aug 3 2004, 16:22
- - Slo Mo Snail   I voted the same as last year: FLAC mainly because...   Aug 3 2004, 16:29
- - krmathis   I prefer Apple Lossless! Because its supported...   Aug 3 2004, 16:30
- - guruboolez   Monkey's Audio "normal": more effici...   Aug 3 2004, 16:35
- - Sebastian Mares   Monkey's Audio Extra High   Aug 3 2004, 16:36
- - xmixahlx   i vote for flac simply because it has greater usab...   Aug 3 2004, 16:37
- - jth   FLAC for me ... although Wavpack 4 is also quite ...   Aug 3 2004, 16:39
- - karmakillernz   WavPack for me. I've used it for a while, and ...   Aug 3 2004, 16:48
- - Emanuel   Flac for its so easy to use, tag and transcode. I ...   Aug 3 2004, 16:55
- - evereux   Everything I rip gets backed up to Monkeys Audio -...   Aug 3 2004, 17:31
- - R2D2   FLAC and LPAC.....and when I have bought a 250gb+ ...   Aug 3 2004, 17:55
- - Derge   Same as evereaux for ripping, but I'm pretty s...   Aug 3 2004, 18:00
- - Polar   I'd just like to add (although I should maybe ...   Aug 3 2004, 18:12
- - rutra80   OptimFROG of course. It can be most efficient in t...   Aug 3 2004, 20:18
- - bugmenot   Monkey's Audio is going cross platform though:...   Aug 3 2004, 20:31
- - Krug_Stillo   I use Monkey's Audio and FLAC for specific alb...   Aug 3 2004, 21:35
|- - jcoalson   QUOTE (Krug_Stillo @ Aug 3 2004, 03:35 PM)but...   Aug 3 2004, 22:07
- - Krug_Stillo   QUOTE (jcoalson @ Aug 3 2004, 01:07 PM)I thou...   Aug 3 2004, 22:36
|- - jcoalson   ah, I see. I was referring to the decoding/playin...   Aug 3 2004, 23:01
|- - kjoonlee   QUOTE (Krug_Stillo @ Aug 4 2004, 06:36 AM)foo...   Aug 4 2004, 15:53
- - DreamTactix291   FLAC for several reasons Open source, which was a...   Aug 4 2004, 00:08
- - picmixer   Momentarily I am using Monkey's Audio standard...   Aug 4 2004, 00:14
|- - VCSkier   QUOTE (picmixer @ Aug 3 2004, 07:14 PM)Moment...   Mar 26 2005, 03:57
- - R2D2   Ok...why FLAC and LPAC....good decoding time, good...   Aug 4 2004, 15:47
- - kjoonlee   I use FLAC too, for its cross-platform support and...   Aug 4 2004, 15:55
|- - unfortunateson   FLAC.   Aug 6 2004, 00:58
- - damaki   Wavpack because I also use wavpack as an hybrid co...   Aug 4 2004, 17:25
- - danchr   Apple Lossless since it integrates nicely with iTu...   Aug 4 2004, 17:55
- - amn   WavPack. Because it offers good compression in ...   Aug 4 2004, 18:14
- - CSMR   WMA. I feel a bit more secure than with Monkey Aud...   Aug 6 2004, 00:44
- - khiloa   FLAC because as a few of you have said its open so...   Aug 6 2004, 19:34
- - outscape   i use flac for the most part but i will probably c...   Aug 6 2004, 19:52
|- - Polar   QUOTE (outscape @ Aug 6 2004, 18:52 UTC)i use...   Aug 9 2004, 07:18
- - LIF   I've been using Ape for 3+ years mainly becaus...   Aug 6 2004, 21:54
- - .halverhahn   FLAC to archive.   Aug 9 2004, 08:02
- - smack   LA - maximum compression for lossless archiving. ...   Aug 9 2004, 08:11
- - Polar   Perhaps it's time for some reflection. What...   Aug 10 2004, 11:15
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 10 2004, 07:15 AM)One of t...   Aug 10 2004, 16:20
||- - Polar   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Aug 10 2004, 15:20 UTC)Monk...   Aug 12 2004, 14:29
||- - rjamorim   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 10:29 AM)It can...   Aug 12 2004, 23:42
||- - Polar   QUOTE (rjamorim @ Aug 12 2004, 22:42 UTC)As I...   Aug 13 2004, 08:18
||- - rjamorim   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 13 2004, 04:18 AM)I object...   Aug 13 2004, 16:12
|- - jcoalson   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 10 2004, 05:15 AM)[*]With ...   Aug 10 2004, 16:43
|- - Polar   QUOTE (jcoalson @ Aug 10 2004, 15:43 UTC)QUOT...   Aug 13 2004, 15:49
- - markanini   Maby I'm a bit late on giving a comment about ...   Aug 10 2004, 18:05
|- - Polar   QUOTE (markanini @ Aug 10 2004, 17:05 UTC)I d...   Aug 12 2004, 12:30
|- - Silverbolt   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 03:30 AM)I don...   Aug 12 2004, 12:56
||- - Polar   QUOTE (Silverbolt @ Aug 12 2004, 11:56 UTC)QU...   Aug 12 2004, 13:04
|- - Omion   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 04:30 AM)QUOTE (m...   Aug 13 2004, 05:07
|- - Polar   QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 13 2004, 04:07 UTC)QUOTE (...   Aug 13 2004, 09:13
|- - Omion   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 13 2004, 01:13 AM)Edit: On...   Aug 13 2004, 19:06
|- - jcoalson   that is correct. all input being equal, the only ...   Aug 13 2004, 21:21
|- - Omion   QUOTE (jcoalson @ Aug 13 2004, 01:21 PM)but s...   Aug 13 2004, 21:38
|- - Polar   QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 13 2004, 18:06 UTC)I don...   Aug 14 2004, 10:21
- - atici   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 12 2004, 08:29 AM)It does ...   Aug 13 2004, 05:49
- - blessingx   FLAC had been used on the Mac for some time. It wa...   Aug 13 2004, 07:03
- - RockFan   I use (and voted for) Monkey's, for the simple...   Aug 13 2004, 16:15
- - Polar   Still curious to know, Josh: any idea as to why Om...   Aug 14 2004, 23:06
|- - Omion   I'd like to know, too. BTW, I'm doing ano...   Aug 14 2004, 23:31
||- - Polar   Are you taking hard disk fragmentation into accoun...   Aug 14 2004, 23:41
|||- - Omion   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 14 2004, 03:41 PM)Are you ...   Aug 15 2004, 02:02
||- - Polar   QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 14 2004, 22:31 UTC)I'm...   Aug 16 2004, 18:07
||- - Omion   I've got two albums done. That stupid "2-...   Aug 17 2004, 01:56
||- - Polar   QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 17 2004, 00:56 UTC)I'v...   Aug 17 2004, 08:00
||- - Omion   Yes, I'm doing 12 decodings per level. It take...   Aug 17 2004, 17:43
||- - Polar   QUOTE (Omion @ Aug 17 2004, 16:43 UTC)I'l...   Aug 20 2004, 09:01
||- - Omion   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 20 2004, 01:01 AM)Some or ...   Aug 20 2004, 19:20
|- - jcoalson   QUOTE (Polar @ Aug 14 2004, 05:06 PM)Still cu...   Aug 15 2004, 21:42
- - alex_wheels   A bit in doubt between FLAC and Monkey's. FLA...   Aug 15 2004, 12:58
- - realmax   FlAC format sounds like a good lossess codec. But ...   Aug 17 2004, 05:04
- - Omion   Just ran three more tests last night, and I think ...   Aug 23 2004, 22:23
- - Grand Dizzy   From the response to this poll it seems like almos...   Oct 24 2004, 19:56
- - sehested   Many of the people in this forum prefers lossless ...   Oct 24 2004, 21:04
- - Grand Dizzy   Very interesting! Hmm... I just buy CDs, enco...   Oct 24 2004, 21:58
- - user   I switched (and voted for wv) to Wavpack 4.1 high ...   Nov 25 2004, 01:09
- - Ivegottheskill   What does the -SS setting do? I haven't heard ...   Nov 27 2004, 01:46
|- - Omion   QUOTE (Ivegottheskill @ Nov 26 2004, 05:46 PM...   Nov 27 2004, 03:54
- - Ivegottheskill   I use FLAC (good support and decompression times, ...   Nov 30 2004, 05:17
|- - guruboolez   QUOTE (Ivegottheskill @ Nov 30 2004, 05:17 AM...   Nov 30 2004, 09:28
- - adamlau   WavPack 4.2 beta 3 using -hxm or -hb320xcm (hybrid...   Dec 1 2004, 03:28
- - Lokutus01   flac..... compression: 6 I like the format becaus...   Dec 2 2004, 18:16
- - Ray   I use FLAC, Monkey Audio and Wavpack Monkey Audio ...   Dec 13 2004, 11:14
|- - Polar   QUOTE (Ray @ Dec 13 2004, 10:14 UTC)Monkey Au...   Dec 13 2004, 11:51
|- - rjamorim   QUOTE (Polar @ Dec 13 2004, 07:51 AM)A questi...   Dec 13 2004, 13:42
- - adamin   FLAC. For me it's all about hardware compatib...   Dec 14 2004, 02:00
|- - jcrab66   Flac for me, used to be shn but i definitly like t...   Dec 15 2004, 16:59
- - Gallvs   I originally voted Monkey's Audio but now I...   Mar 26 2005, 13:02
- - unfortunateson   At the moment, my lossless codec of choice is WavP...   Mar 30 2005, 04:59
- - edekba   I've been using APE, becuz of hte compression ...   Aug 23 2005, 09:21
- - Involarius   FLAC. Nothing but FLAC. I've got the Monkey...   Oct 9 2005, 11:01
- - Julien   Wavpack for me, because it does not remove the RIF...   Oct 9 2005, 11:57
|- - Rain   QUOTE (Julien @ Oct 9 2005, 11:57 AM)Wavpack ...   Feb 13 2006, 23:23
- - weirving   I'm a FLAC-er, all the way. On my iPod, I just...   Feb 1 2006, 10:56
- - lossman   Flac all the way, Its open-source, incredibly fast...   Mar 8 2006, 09:35
- - Rasqual   I chose FLAC, because of the numerous platforms it...   Mar 11 2006, 00:39
|- - shadowking   QUOTE (Rasqual @ Mar 10 2006, 03:39 PM)I chos...   Mar 11 2006, 00:46
- - xequence   I have to say FLAC. As far as I know there really ...   Mar 11 2006, 01:56
- - lextune   It used to be FLAC, but I need to be able to embed...   Mar 15 2006, 02:51
- - LANjackal   Monkey's Audio @ Insane compression level for ...   Mar 15 2006, 07:42
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