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Do you use FLAC or WAVPACK?, Simple poll on two of the most popular lossless codecs
Do you use FLAC or WAVPACK?
Do you use FLAC or WAVPACK?
FLAC [ 325 ] ** [54.99%]
WAVPACK [ 222 ] ** [37.56%]
Neither, I use another losless codec [ 44 ] ** [7.45%]
Total Votes: 718
  
fj4
post May 2 2006, 09:36
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flac, because I already encoded all my CDs to it. smile.gif The quick decoding is great, transcoding flac (level 5) to ogg vorbis (Lancer) is fast enough for me.
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GL1zdA
post May 2 2006, 11:56
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FLAC, because of high decoding speed. (Is there a lossless codec eith higher decoding speed faster then flac?). Also i can seek in files fast (i used to compress with monkey audio and this was a problem on slower machines, even Athlon XP's)
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haregoo
post May 2 2006, 13:07
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QUOTE (GL1zdA @ May 2 2006, 07:56 PM) *
(Is there a lossless codec eith higher decoding speed faster then flac?)

SHN rolleyes.gif

The favorite is YALAC, not yet released.
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blaud
post May 3 2006, 00:04
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Wavpack. On my system it compresses more, and the compression time is a lot
faster than flac.

I did not do any rough decompression time tests, and that
really does not concern me. It may be different for other purposes. I'm
more concerned with smaller size and faster speed for compression.
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DXX
post May 10 2006, 15:50
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FLAC.

Because I've been using it for the last 3 years and have no need to switch.

- Better compression offered by other codecs are of no use to me. I'll switch when another codec can give me the lossless compression at a ratio similar to mp3's smile.gif
- Fast encoding, decoding and tagging (I always pad my track when encoding)
- Low CPU usage during encoding/decoding compared to APEs
- Widespread hardware support
- Also the fact that there are no plans to introduce DRM or Lossy modes to FLAC is a great plus for me. No crap in my codec.

This post has been edited by DXX: May 10 2006, 15:52
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Triza
post May 10 2006, 20:40
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QUOTE (DXX @ May 10 2006, 06:50) *
Also the fact that there are no plans to ... or Lossy modes to FLAC is a great plus for me. No crap in my codec.


Indeed this is another thing about FLAC. The author seems to understand to do only one thing and do it well.

Triza

This post has been edited by Triza: May 10 2006, 20:41
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Hollunder
post May 10 2006, 21:37
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flac

the first lossless I tried and there's no reason for me to switch to anything else.

doesn't mean that the oder lossless codecs are bad or anything like that but the advantages/differences are simply to small for me to switch
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beto
post May 10 2006, 21:48
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QUOTE (Triza @ May 10 2006, 16:40) *
QUOTE (DXX @ May 10 2006, 06:50) *

Also the fact that there are no plans to ... or Lossy modes to FLAC is a great plus for me. No crap in my codec.


Indeed this is another thing about FLAC. The author seems to understand to do only one thing and do it well.

Triza


As for doing the job well (ie. compressing music losslessly) both Wavpack and OptimFROG outperform FLAC and still offer an hybrid mode as a bonus. Last time I checked their compression ratios were better than FLAC's dry.gif

Your comment is precipitated IMO though you are right regarding one thing: FLAC does just one thing but it is far from doing it well when compared to its contenders (compression ratios and encoding speed).

If DXX thinks an hybrid mode is crap, oh well to each its own.


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jcoalson
post May 10 2006, 22:39
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I think you guys are arguing from two different niches.

if all you are ever going to do is use a PC for lossless, then yes there are several alternatives to FLAC that are better in one way or another, even if you're not obsessing over a couple % difference in filesize. that's one niche.

if you are using it outside a PC, that's another niche, and the dominant factor is usefulness: how widely is it supported? this is directly related to codec design and to a lesser extent other factors. some lossless codecs that are fine for the PC (optimfrog, ape, etc.) are never going to get off the PC in any significant way.

wavpack is kind of in the middle right now; it has potential to get off the PC but still has some hurdles to jump.

unfortunately, the sad fact about codecs is that fragmentation makes all of them less useful to everyone, even though it affects the PC the least.

Josh
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rjamorim
post May 11 2006, 01:31
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QUOTE (jcoalson @ May 10 2006, 18:39) *
unfortunately, the sad fact about codecs is that fragmentation makes all of them less useful to everyone, even though it affects the PC the least.


Precisely the reason why, I gotta admit, I'm not that enthusiastic about YALAC. ALS kinda bothers me too, but then again, it's the first industry-approved standard, so it had to happen sooner or later anyway.


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indybrett
post May 11 2006, 01:38
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FLAC.

Why? Hardware support.


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Cartman_Sr
post May 11 2006, 03:34
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QUOTE
QUOTE(jcoalson @ May 10 2006, 18:39)
unfortunately, the sad fact about codecs is that fragmentation makes all of them less useful to everyone, even though it affects the PC the least.


Precisely the reason why, I gotta admit, I'm not that enthusiastic about YALAC. ALS kinda bothers me too, but then again, it's the first industry-approved standard, so it had to happen sooner or later anyway.


Agreed. I mean, how many lossless codecs does the world need, really? I am a capitalist in the sense that competition is always best in the world of business. But, here in the realm of what I would consider to be research by some very talented people, competition can be counterproductive. People get fragmented and choose sides, and ideas aren't shared and can end up never being put to good use, which is really unfortunate. I wish I could think of a historical example of this.

Anyway, like I've always said before, I think flac has the best combination of all-round features, and that's why so many people use it. It has become widely accepted based on its merits, not so much what people say. For yalac, why not try to integrate that work into one of the existing codecs? Until a major breakthrough in the world of lossless waveform compression comes along and compresses those files down to say 30% (and who knows if that is even possible), do we really need so many variations which all basically compress files to within 5% of each other? Meanwhile, the price of hard disk space continues to drop...
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Mono
post May 11 2006, 05:24
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FLAC.

Because I've purchased music in FLAC, and how widely it is supported.

QUOTE (Cartman_Sr @ May 10 2006, 21:34) *
People get fragmented and choose sides, and ideas aren't shared and can end up never being put to good use, which is really unfortunate. I wish I could think of a historical example of this.

It happens all the time in software development. Take a look at KDE and Gnome desktops--if they agreed to sort out their ideological differences, desktop Linux would benefit a lot. At least they're open source, so features in one may quickly be duplicated in the other.


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Mangix
post May 11 2006, 05:37
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WavPack because of its incredible performance. i've done some tests in compression on various cds and WavPack almost always compresses better than FLAC. but then again, i mostly use lossless for storage so...
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audiomars
post May 11 2006, 06:47
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WavPack. For CUE sheet support, speed and RG support.


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Synthetic Soul
post May 11 2006, 10:57
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I hope you guys are all voting in the Which lossless audio codec do you use? thread also.

I'm very suprised that there are so few votes there compared to this thread. Maybe running both at the same time was a mistake.


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DXX
post May 11 2006, 16:51
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ May 11 2006, 04:57) *
I hope you guys are all voting in the Which lossless audio codec do you use? thread also.

I'm very suprised that there are so few votes there compared to this thread. Maybe running both at the same time was a mistake.


What? You mean there are other lossless codecs tongue.gif
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Cartman_Sr
post May 11 2006, 17:51
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I voted in the other one too.
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beto
post May 11 2006, 21:03
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QUOTE (jcoalson @ May 10 2006, 18:39) *
unfortunately, the sad fact about codecs is that fragmentation makes all of them less useful to everyone, even though it affects the PC the least.

Josh


I don't know. Are you saying that having options is a bad thing in the codec world? How come having choices could decrease the usefullness of something?

Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but following your logic we should all drop vorbis, aac and wma in favour of mp3 because it is much more widespread (in the PC and in the portable world) after all they do the same thing and mp3 is good enough for most people... So Garf, Ivan and Menno quit now from Ahead and join LAME development's team, yay!!

<ironic mode on>
I understand your concern: FLAC got there first, but holding the position is really hard in a competitive world so the less codecs to compete against the better. It is not the case at this time but God forbid Wavpack gets wide support from portable players!! tongue.gif
</ironic mode off>

Please don't take the above as a personal attack to either Josh or FLAC. I like both, but sometimes I disagree. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by beto: May 11 2006, 21:05


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jcoalson
post May 11 2006, 21:52
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I actually don't care whether or not the final lossless standard is FLAC, as long as it is as free as FLAC is. if it turns out to be wavpack, great. if it turns out to be mpeg-als, not so great (because of patents). apple lossless, even worse since it's inferior by all measures.

competition is fine but the usefulness of codecs/formats is dominated by the network effect, which is harmed by fragmentation. c.f. vhs vs. beta, bluray vs hd-dvd. at some point you have to stop, take stock of the current technology, and agree on one format to kickstart the network effect. repeat 10-20 years later.

like I said before, having codec options on the PC is less of a problem. but it does reduce usefulness everywhere outside the PC, in support, distribution, etc.

Josh
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beto
post May 12 2006, 01:19
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Ok. Point taken. Thanks for your input. smile.gif


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MojoTheDestroyer
post May 17 2006, 22:05
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I have to throw my two cents in and say that I use FLAC.

The best part of this codec isn't the speed or the compression, but the foresight of the developer. Every aspect of the codec is exceptionally well thought out. In fact, each time I think about an improvement to the codec, I read the explanation for why things are the way that they are, and I realize that I've been preemptively outsmarted once again.

Some complain that the *encoding* speed isn't as fast as WavPack; however, I think that is rather shortsighted. Of course, we are now in the nascent days of lossless encoding, where we each encode all of our own music. This isn't lost on me, as I've ripped over 400 discs myself. However, FLAC properly places the emphasis on the simplicity and speed of the decoding. In the future, the codec wars aren't going to be won by which codec drops the frame rate of my video game less while encoding, they will be won by the *decoding* speed. Not only are files decoded thousands of times for each encode, decoding dictates which hardware platforms (those with low processor power/battery life) support the codec. What makes this debate even more pointless is that FLAC encodes faster than EAC can rip CDs, and anybody who's been to business school knows that in mass production it's the weakest link in the chain that matters. Even if it were to encode twenty times as fast, we'd all be sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for the next CD to finish.

With regard to the delay when tagging, I'd like to first point out that this entire "problem" can be avoided with -P80000 on the command line, which is what I do (though I do agree that the default should be increased). It is a drawback, but saying that it should be changed is again placing too much emphasis on file creation, a process that is only done once. Putting the metadata at the front helps with streaming I believe (another FLAC strong point). Are you really willing to sacrifice this so you don't have to take ten seconds to add another term to your command line script?

The size difference with regard to WavPack is negligible, so I don't really vote based on this.

With regard to the "lack of development", I really cannot fault the developer for getting it right the first time. Sure, WavPack is constantly coming up with new features. I admit that WavPack hybrid mode has a cool Voltron-esque feel to it, but I'd never use it. Mainly, I'm a firm believer in KISS/Occam's Razor. When I want to fax someone, I use a fax machine; when i want to copy something, I use a copy machine, and when i want a cup of coffee I use a coffee machine. I use the best tool for the job, which is why I don't own a Brother combo fax/copier/coffee pot. When I want lossless I use flac, and if I want lossy (which I hope never happens), I'll use OGG.

Finally, the real be all end all to the discussion is industry support. FLAC has the blessing of Xiph as well as some major players in the hardware and software industries. If WavPack can duplicate this in the near future, my hat will go of to the developer, but it won't be an easy task, given that the industry looks for stability.

Anyway, they're both excellent codecs, but this is why I use FLAC!

This post has been edited by MojoTheDestroyer: May 17 2006, 22:06
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Triza
post May 17 2006, 23:46
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Amen. Just what I wanted to say thousands of times.

Besides just because Wavepack is catching up I will not convert my lossless collection. When you mass convert you expose yourself bugs and hw errors, human errors that could destroy your collection.

The other good thing about FLAC that each release is generally stable. There are very few of them. Besides it has nice safety features like the extensive testbed for folks like me, who compile the binaries myself. Plus the --verify option. When it comes to data I am very conservative. I do want stability and do not like a lot of change.

Besides I do use a lot metaflac and flac to alter my collection. Always command line and scripts because believe it or not it is much easier. I do not want to learn a new interface or rewrite a lot of my scripts just to be able to achieve the same effect.

Josh has to scew up big time to make me switch away from FLAC.

Triza

This post has been edited by Triza: May 18 2006, 00:00
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k.eight.a
post May 18 2006, 00:59
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MojoTheDestroyer & Triza: I just want you to ask about the error robustness of FLAC. wink.gif
I have read somewhere that it's not as robust as WavPack's...? blink.gif
...and because I'm quite new to the lossless world (first I have chosen Monkey's Audio for it best compression) but after some reading I have chosen WavPack because I don't see any major drawback against FLAC.
Hardware support doesn't make much sense to me, because computers are everywhere so I can always convert it to lame MP3 (-V 2 --vbr-new -Y) to fit more songs and have a lower battery consumption. smile.gif


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Triza
post May 18 2006, 03:40
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Well there were some tests guruboolez did in this regard. Unfortunately I do not not have a link. And there were a few more related threads over the years. I try to tell you what I remember/know.

1st of all, it was around 2003 when I compared all these formats and wavepack was quite behind FLAC at that time. For example it was not cross-platform as far as I remember, which was a requirement for me. Or for whatever reason I had to rule out wavepack. Once this decision was made, I merely monitored the lossless codecs by reading the relevant threads here in HA in case there is some significant breakthrough. This has not happened yet, so I did not bother to study other lossless codecs. I am still quite happy with FLAC. Hence my wavepack knowledge on your question is zero.

Well there are 3 things to consider

1) Error detection. That is to say that the encoder can detect any errors.

FLAC does that. It can detect corruption in the stream, but that is not 100% of course. But that is a 2nd line of detection. This is an MD5 sum which is calculated over the entire signal excluding the metadata. After a demod or integrity check, FLAC does check this checksum. If it fails it issues an error. Time to time I run flac -t just to test the integrity of my backup with this.

2) Error recovery. That is to say that if there is an error, the decoder is able to skip the corrupted area and it is able to recover a and continue decoding once the stream becomes healthy again. So depending on the length of the corruption, you might just hear a little blip. A lot of lossless formats cannot do that AFAIK. They instead stop once a corruption occurs. So you cannot decode anything that lies behind the corruption.

FLAC format does error recovery. Here is a thread on this.

3) Error correction. This is self explanatory. To my knowledge no lossless codec is able to do that. Frankly that would be counterproductive. Error correction would be only possible by introducing redundancy, which would increase the bitrate. Lossless codecs are to compress as much as possible. This is called source coding. Error correction IMHO should be a separate thing. You digital channel or storage medium should have sufficient capability to do that.

Personally I think 1) is an absolute must including some sort of a reliable checksum like MD5. 2) is nice. I do not want 3).

Triza

QUOTE (k.eight.a @ May 17 2006, 15:59) *
MojoTheDestroyer & Triza: I just want you to ask about the error robustness of FLAC. wink.gif
I have read somewhere that it's not as robust as WavPack's...? blink.gif
...and because I'm quite new to the lossless world (first I have chosen Monkey's Audio for it best compression) but after some reading I have chosen WavPack because I don't see any major drawback against FLAC.
Hardware support doesn't make much sense to me, because computers are everywhere so I can always convert it to lame MP3 (-V 2 --vbr-new -Y) to fit more songs and have a lower battery consumption. smile.gif


This post has been edited by Triza: May 18 2006, 03:42
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