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Is FLAC really lossless? / Do compression settings make a difference?, [Was “Question Regarding Conversion of WAV/AIFF to FLAC”—TOS#6—Ask it]
xdesirex22
post Apr 20 2012, 00:41
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Hello everyone, i have recently started converting all of my WAV/AIFF files to FLAC to save space, as i have read from various sources that FLAC is indeed true lossless. I am using XLD on Mac, with the settings seen here in this image:


XLD by tstirling7, on Flickr

Will these settings yield a true lossless conversion? I need to confirm because at some point i am going to be deleting my WAV/AIFF files, and i want to be completely sure that i am not making a mistake when i do this. I was listening to both the AIFF and FLAC of a track today, and i could've sworn the AIFF sounded a little bit louder and punchier, but i can be a bit paranoid (for lack of a better word) at times about things like this so i could've been hearing things.

Also, i have a second question. I read on a forum somewhere that audio conversion programs aren't perfect so with each conversion comes a small (possibly inaudible) loss in quality. This made sense to me. but my question is, How much does this loss in quality really matter? Is this even true with a program like XLD? thank you for your time.
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xdesirex22
post Apr 22 2012, 20:14
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ok, a lot of this went over my head. are these tests necessary? I just want to make sure that im not screwing up my files. Im literally just opening them in XLD with the conversion options shown in the original post. I can't download Foobar because i am on a mac.

Is xact a comparable program? im downloading that right now.
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db1989
post Apr 22 2012, 20:28
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QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 20:14) *
ok, a lot of this went over my head. are these tests necessary?
Not really, unless you’re someone who makes a point of always testing/verifying everything for yourself and/or doesn’t trust the concrete mathematics and testimonies of countless other users!

QUOTE
I just want to make sure that im not screwing up my files.
You’re not. Lossless is lossless. Again: Compression level affects computation and file-size, not quality.
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xdesirex22
post Apr 22 2012, 20:34
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QUOTE
You’re not. Lossless is lossless. Again: Compression level affects computation and file-size, not quality.

i see. so if that's the case, then why wouldn't one always opt for the highest compression level?
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garym
post Apr 22 2012, 20:39
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QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 13:34) *
QUOTE
You’re not. Lossless is lossless. Again: Compression level affects computation and file-size, not quality.

i see. so if that's the case, then why wouldn't one always opt for the highest compression level?


probably no reason not to these days. But in the not so distant past, there were a few players that would choke a bit on the processing required to decode the -8 compressed FLAC file. For example, Some Squeezebox players used to choke a bit on 24/96 FLAC files if they were maximum compression, but not at -5 compression. Nothing to do with lossless, just the processing power within the Squeezebox players. Since then, a firmware update has solved this problem.
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Posts in this topic
- xdesirex22   Is FLAC really lossless? / Do compression settings make a difference?   Apr 20 2012, 00:41
- - RobertoDomenico   If comparing AIFF and FLAC you must perform a ABX ...   Apr 20 2012, 01:07
- - xdesirex22   Ah, that is wonderful news. You have no idea what ...   Apr 20 2012, 01:09
- - tpijag   abx answer   Apr 20 2012, 01:16
- - RobertoDomenico   There is a quick guide here that will be helpful t...   Apr 20 2012, 01:29
|- - Carledwards   QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 19 2012, 16...   Apr 20 2012, 01:45
- - 2Bdecided   You don't need to ABX lossless files - the pro...   Apr 20 2012, 12:27
|- - db1989   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 20 2012, 12:27) To...   Apr 20 2012, 13:08
- - icstm   Yes compare the PCM streams and realise that all t...   Apr 20 2012, 13:49
|- - db1989   QUOTE (icstm @ Apr 20 2012, 13:49) but no...   Apr 20 2012, 14:19
- - xdesirex22   how can i compare pcm stream? is there a program t...   Apr 22 2012, 08:49
- - db1989   foobar2000, load and select two files, right-click...   Apr 22 2012, 09:30
- - skamp   You'll need the binary comparator.   Apr 22 2012, 10:26
- - evereux   And a Windows PC or emulator since he is on a Mac.   Apr 22 2012, 10:39
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (evereux @ Apr 22 2012, 11:39) And ...   Apr 22 2012, 12:00
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 04:00) This...   Apr 22 2012, 17:08
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 22 2012, 18:08) QUOT...   Apr 22 2012, 19:17
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 11:17) Ok, ...   Apr 22 2012, 20:25
- - Chinch   First, to answer every question you have about thi...   Apr 22 2012, 12:25
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Chinch @ Apr 22 2012, 13:25) Alter...   Apr 22 2012, 12:48
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 13:48) Yes,...   Apr 22 2012, 14:10
- - xdesirex22   ok, a lot of this went over my head. are these tes...   Apr 22 2012, 20:14
|- - db1989   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 20:14) o...   Apr 22 2012, 20:28
||- - xdesirex22   QUOTE You’re not. Lossless is lossless. Again: Com...   Apr 22 2012, 20:34
||- - garym   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 13:34) Q...   Apr 22 2012, 20:39
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 21:14) I...   Apr 22 2012, 21:02
- - db1989   Some people don’t want, or care, to use a non-defa...   Apr 22 2012, 20:42
- - xdesirex22   i appreciate all the help. I've learned a lot ...   Apr 22 2012, 23:45


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