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23

Just four letters: FLAC. Some explanation / thoughts on the subject Warning: this includes personal opinions that aren't necessarily mainstream-accepted. See AJ Henderson's answer for a somewhat more moderate view. I'd first like to say: being pedantic, there is no such thing as a lossless audio file. Audio is an analogue phenomenon, anything digital can ...


11

FLAC (free, lossless audio codec) is a non-patent encumbered audio codec that utilizes lossless compression to store the audio. There are many other lossless options that support compression, but FLAC is more or less the defacto standard. Since it is lossless, the waveform from it will exactly match an uncompressed wav, however it looks for patterns in the ...


10

FLAC compression levels are (only) a trade of between encoding time and file size. The decoding time is pretty much independent of compression rate. In the following I will refer to the compression levels 0, ..., 8 as FLAC-0, ..., FLAC-8. In short: I recommend FLAC-4! The Easy Solutions Obviously: If I don't care about encoding time and since space is ...


4

Audio sampled at 44.1 kHz (like normal audio CDs) can in theory contain content up to the Nyquist limit of 22.05kHz. However, you need a filter to remove all content above that limit, otherwise it folds back into the hearable range: you hear this as aliasing. A perfect, theoretical filter would remove all content above 22.05kHz and leave everything else ...


3

That depends on what you mean by audible. You can invert the phase of one and add it back to the other and it will play only what the difference between the two is, however you will hear artifacts that might not have been detectable to normal hearing in the original file since they were previously buried underneath other sounds. It is also important to ...


3

FLAC being the most popular one, there is a comprehensive list of lossless compression formats on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless_compression#Audio Compressed files should be processed by the CPU before being used. This is not preferable in professional editing as CPU is a very valuable and expensive resource than storage space. Since WAV ...


2

FLAC is lossless compression. FLAC itself is compatible with the bit depth and sample rates of your studio masters. However, those listening won't always have sound hardware that are compatible with that bit depth and sample rate. (This problem has nothing to do with FLAC itself.) If you want guaranteed compatibility, distribute FLAC at 44.1kHz 16-bit, ...


2

Basically, you're right with all your points. The level between different albums can indeed be dramatically different, depending on how agressively it was mastered. Records from the early days of CDs are often very quiet (engineers celebrated not having to worry about vinyl's noise floor anymore, and also, early CD players didn't really work reliable with ...


2

Yes. Without decompression a flac file contains just pseudo-random data. A media player requires an ordered stream of PCM stereo audio samples in order for them to be converted to analogue audio via a DAC chip. Therefore, we implement 'codecs' (Code-Decode) to handle the decoding of the flac data to the ordered stream of PCM samples we require to be fed to ...


2

Audible differences is something different than electrically measurable differences. The techniques mentioned (by computing the difference between the two signals) allow to measure differences between two signals but don't give real details about the perceived difference. The correct way to evaluate audible differences is to setup a panel of listener, and ...


1

http://www.wavpack.com/ has the specs of the supported file formats. Wavpack supports both lossless and lossy compression depending on the configuration options selected during processing.


1

There is a limit to the amount of compression you can achieve with a "Lossless" compression algorithm - at some point all the recognizable patterns are removed and your file essentially becomes random data. The bitrate you are referring to is simply the number of bits of data that have to pass through the decoder to reproduce a unit second of uncompressed ...


1

According to the man page, --bps specifies the bits per sample. As far as I can tell, this parameter controls the data that will be encoded using FLAC, and can have a lossy effect. For example, here's a comparison of a short audio clip using 8, 16, and 32 bits: You should never use 8 bits unless you're going for an effect, ...


1

Your Sony Home Theater System probably doesn't support FLAC because it doesn't have the codec to uncompress the FLAC audio files. It kind of depends on the features of your hardware and the settings on whether you are getting the best audio output. Most likely, this is what is happening: Your laptop is decoding the FLAC file to an uncompressed digital ...


1

Although FLAC encoding is always lossless, it still offers different compression levels to choose a tradeoff between size and decoding speed. So, the unexpected difference in size that you noticed may come from different compression levels between the files. Try to re-encode the cropped file with maximum compression level (8) and compare sizes again.


1

I'm struggling with this issue now, as well. The one downside to Flac, that I can see, is that it doesn't support media cues. One benefit to recording in Wav is that I can record a lot of audio at one time -- say, an hour -- and then Go back and mark where different things happen in the recording. There are DJ programs that will add 'hotcues' to sections ...


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