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Flac compressed or not ?


Dvddvd
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Just bought a Cocktail audio x100 and before I started ripping any CDs had a look in the settings menu. I had the choice of compressed flac or uncompressed? If I want best quality which one do I go for? I read it does not affect quality just file size?

how much bigger is a non compressed file? 

Why would someone save in uncompressed ? What benefits if any ?

thanks

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Flac is just the same as zipping a data file. It takes up less space, but when you open it everything is there.

Sound quality wise there is no difference between a full fat file and and Flac.

I have a 3TB drive which is 80% full of Flac files I hate to think what that would be in WAV or other similar full fat formats

Do not get confused with what Flac is and what compressed files like MP3 are. The word compressed has two different meanings in that sense.

Edited by Tel
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My understanding is that FLAC offers different levels of lossless compression, which results in increasingly smaller flies. The important thing, however, is that all FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec..the hint is in the 'lossless') results in data being returned which is identical to the original.

The difference is that increasing levels of compression takes up more processing power and takes longer, both to pack and unpack. So, if the system is resource limited or decoding latency matters, then less compressed will work faster. Conversely, if storage capacity is limited, it may be necessary to use greater amounts of compression.

Either way, sonically the results will be the same, as the data being output is identical.

If I've got this wrong, perhaps someone may like to correct me.

S

EDIT:- Having now read the explanation on the FLAC site as just posted, I see that I was partially wrong in that decoding latency will be small whatever the level of compression, the increased complexity and delay is a function of the encoder. Even less reason to worry about what level of FLAC to use.

Edited by SergeAuckland
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Thanks so if I have 3tb hard drive , should I compress them or not worry about it ? The default on cocktail audio x100 was compressed.

How much smaller is a flac file compressed and not compressed  ?

Edited by Dvddvd
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48 minutes ago, Dvddvd said:

Thanks so if I have 3tb hard drive , should I compress them or not worry about it ? The default on cocktail audio x100 was compressed.

How much smaller is a flac file compressed and not compressed  ?

I don't know, as I use ALAC rather than FLAC. An uncompressed (WAV) file is about twice the size of an ALAC losslessly compressed file, so would expect FLAC to be about the same, but if course that depends on the degree of FLAC compression chosen. Personally, I would use whatever the default is for your FLAC encoder and not worry about it.

S. 

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3 hours ago, Dvddvd said:

Just bought a Cocktail audio x100 and before I started ripping any CDs had a look in the settings menu. I had the choice of compressed flac or uncompressed? If I want best quality which one do I go for? I read it does not affect quality just file size?

how much bigger is a non compressed file? 

Why would someone save in uncompressed ? What benefits if any ?

thanks

http://z-issue.com/wp/flac-compression-level-comparison/

Take the paracetamol before and after:)

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1 hour ago, Dvddvd said:

Thanks so if I have 3tb hard drive , should I compress them or not worry about it ? The default on cocktail audio x100 was compressed.

How much smaller is a flac file compressed and not compressed  ?

The raw data from a CD is roughly 10MB per minute and an average compressed flac would be about half that so around 5MB per minute. 

It's a 50% saving in space and without any loss of quality.

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51 minutes ago, Man in a van said:

http://z-issue.com/wp/flac-compression-level-comparison/

Take the paracetamol before and after:)

Thanks for posting that, very useful. Somewhat confirms my suspicions that the difference between FLAC 0 and FLAC 8 isn't worth worrying about in terms of space occupied (or saved), and one might as well use whatever comes as standard, or if you must choose something, go for FLAC 0 and get the fastest processing.

S. 

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I use dBpoweramp to rip all my CDs and it defaults to FLAC 5.

In all the tutorials I have read and forum threads about the best settings to use no one has ever mentioned changing this (and I never have).

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I played about a bit when I first got dBpoweramp and tried it at the top rate for a while thinking that it must be better. I didn't notice any difference, other than it ripping more slowly, so I went back to the default (5). 

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You/the world must choose aptly.

Though I use FLAC at maximum available 'quality' often, I prefer to archive digitally best WAV.

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My entire library is encoded in FLAC at the maximum compression level. You take the performance hit once only, when the file is encoded; there is little or no increase in processing required for the decoding.

https://xiph.org/flac/faq.html#general__asymmetry

The reduction in file size verses minimum compression level is small (about 15%) but worth the extra encoding time in my view especially when reproduced across multiple copies and back-ups; especially if you do the encoding as an overnight batch job.

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Std DBPA settings are perfect.  No discernible quality shift by changing them IMO.  The quality settings are about speed to compress/convert.

WaV is a pointless archive format since you cannot add id3 tags as it break the file  container.

Edited by Chumpchops
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Flacs at max compression are about 40% of the file size.  If you are going to compress you may as well make it the max.  As for sound quality difference between .flac and .wav:  I have made the comparison on my system - a 3.1 Ghz i7 - and cannot detect any difference.  I have heard reports of some people saying that the .wav sounds better.  I find it hard to believe but I suppose it must be possible if the overall computing power was low enough.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rip FLAC files without any compression as space isn't really a concern, and HD storage size is always growing. I know it probably makes no difference to the sound whether the file was compressed or not, I just like to give the processor as little to do as possible.

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