Rant: FLAC sucks!

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smib

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So if I were to do 96kHz @16 bit, what bitrate would that make for? Is 16 bit even a good choice for what I want?
 

smib

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In the last 18 minutes the internet has informed me that with lossless formats bitrate isn't really used because of the way it works, so now I have no idea how to figure out how much space I'm going to need.
 

smib

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(Size of the equivalent uncompressed WAVs) / 2
And there inlays the problem. I don't have the storage space yet, and if the bitrate is going to be different depending on the complexity of the audio, simply doing a few albums might not be of much help to me. What I need to know is if there is a rule of thumb or something that will allow me to estimate how much space this project will take up.

Also, I made a typo on the earlier post, it's 294 records, not 394.
 

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I just gave you the rule of thumb I use. Uncompressed audio is (# of channels)*(bit-depth)*(sample rate)/(8 bits per byte), so 16-bit 44.1 kHz stereo is 176,400 bytes per second, and 32-bit 192 kHz stereo is 1,536,000 bytes/sec.
 

smib

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Ah, I see. Thank you much. I think I'll go with 32 bit @ 96kHz, that'll allow everything, including album art, to comfortably fit onto 500GB. I think.
 

Crazyjeeper

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When I've been ripping my records, the .flac of a single side @ 24bit/96khz is approx 400mb. The uncompressed .wav files @ 24bit/96khz is anything from 500 up to 800mb.
 

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Some of you who do not care for FLAC file must not listen to classical music. It really does make a difference there. I myself used to hate FLAC until I discovered how much is lost sonically.
 

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I did say twice that I was not sure, don't hold me on my word, when the word is "I think...".
 

janstett

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Your bone should be with Apple. ;) I mean, they support AAC (the MP4 format designed to replace MP3), but not FLAC. Bah!
They do support ALAC (Apple Lossless) though it is confusing because ALAC files have .M4a extensions just like the AAC files do. With dbPowerAmp it's easy enough to go from one to the other as you please.

I use ALAC to do my CDs because I have a lot of iPods and Apple gear.

I recently started getting into multichannel high-res music, and even though ALAC claims to support it, I can't get anything better than 48kHz 16-bit out of it, so I use FLAC instead and it's just happy with 24-bit and up to 192kHz.
 

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Proprietary formats generally don't fare well in the long run. Though, apple has the installed user base to keep it alive, the trouble is going to be getting enough people in their user base to care enough about the quality of their music to use it. As things are now, people who are into music quality usually find non-apple products to meet their needs, so it's tough to say how the future of apple's lossless will be.
 

janstett

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Why would anyone use FLAC? What's wrong with separate MP3s? [...] Unless you have few grand invested into your audio, you won't be able to tell the difference, and if someone is willing to spend a few grand on audio, they'd probably bought the real CD anyways.
Well, first, FLAC is as good as having the CD. So I ripped all my CDs (actually to ALAC but they're interchangeable) and put them in storage. If I want to re-encode for my iPod, I have the lossless files which are as good as the CDs. Or I can listen to the original sources that are as good as listening to the original CD. (and yes I can hear the difference, I even listen to better-than-CD stuff and appreciate it).
 

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If you rip to FLAC from a CD, it's as good as a CD, but if you rip from a better source, it'll be, of course, better than the CD. A CD only goes up to 44.1 kHz (or is it 48 kHz) sampling rate, FLAC goes a lot higher and if you have a source of such quality, you will preserve it.
 

janstett

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Proprietary formats generally don't fare well in the long run. Though, apple has the installed user base to keep it alive, the trouble is going to be getting enough people in their user base to care enough about the quality of their music to use it. As things are now, people who are into music quality usually find non-apple products to meet their needs, so it's tough to say how the future of apple's lossless will be.
True, true, but the iPod has become the defacto standard -- and it's easy to go back and forth to FLAC with dbPowerAmp. At least with the lossless formats there is no generational loss.

And ALAC has been pretty easily reverse engineered in a few places (dbPowerAmp, WinAmp) and Apple hasn't come looking for blood, so it may be able to survive as a well-known proprietary format.

I live in an iPod-centric world for my portable music -- what are the popular players that do FLAC? And do any of them support > 44.1/16? I would consider one for my high-res collection if the signal quality and DACs are good enough.

If you rip to FLAC from a CD, it's as good as a CD, but if you rip from a better source, it'll be, of course, better than the CD. A CD only goes up to 44.1 kHz (or is it 48 kHz) sampling rate, FLAC goes a lot higher and if you have a source of such quality, you will preserve it.
I've been using FLAC to rip my DVD-Audio collection which goes up to 192kHz in some cases (though it's more common at 96kHz). DVD-A Explorer FTW! FLAC also does multichannel (5.1).
 
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janstett

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I'm waiting for a format that would have the ability to separate instument tracks where you could turn down guitar track for example or have karaoke. I know it exists, from Japan I believe and they said the bitrate isnt even as high as expected.
Thomas Dolby did this more than 10 years ago (I forget the name of the website, I think it's gone down). Various bands have experimented with it over the years -- Aerosmith released an album that had a few songs you could mix.

Trent Reznor of NiN puts out Garage Band files which have all the instrument tracks there -- it's pretty awesome to play with it. Visit remix.nin.com

Also, right now people are somehow getting access to Rock Band tracks and using them to create 5.1 mixes.

I really love this kind of ability, but right now it's a very rare hobbyist plaything.

Why do ~all vinyl rips sound so grainy (distorted highs)? Is it a technological limitation of vinyl?
I think technically vinyl is intended to be run through a standard equalization curve and not everybody does so...

If you rip to FLAC from a CD, it's as good as a CD, but if you rip from a better source, it'll be, of course, better than the CD. A CD only goes up to 44.1 kHz (or is it 48 kHz) sampling rate, FLAC goes a lot higher and if you have a source of such quality, you will preserve it.
Well, first, to rip from a better source, you're talking about DVD-A, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.

Flac is better than the average format because

(1) it supports higher sampling rates. CD is 44.1kHz, DVD/DAT/MD is 48, then there are advanced resolution rates of 96kHz and 192kHz (I have two DVD-As recorded in 192kHz stereo).

(2) it supports larger sample sizes. 24-bit rather than 16-bit.

(3) It supports more than just two channels (i.e. 5.1/7.1 surround).

I have a growing collection of better-than-CD stuff that comes from HDCD, DTS CD, DTS DVD, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, Blu-Ray, and Vinyl.

Oooh, I'd like to hear that. What you got?
Too much to list here... Here's a list on Rapidshare...

If you're interested, let me recruit you for "the hub" and check out the Google surround group http://groups.google.com/group/SurroundSound. Demonoid is a pretty good source for Vinyl...
 
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