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Whats a good format to have music in?

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Reply 40 of 66, by GuyTechie

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Wav to me is just less hassle and simpler and is why I use it.

According to Wiki, WAV files allow for metadata (such as ID3 tags), but do the majority of playback software/devices recognize them? This would make sorting, searching, and organizing music harder, no?

Last edited by GuyTechie on 2016-09-01, 04:32. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 42 of 66, by MusicallyInspired

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First of all, I didn't say that, GuyTechie. Think you messed up the quote tags there. Just wanted to clarify that.

Secondly, is RAM usage really that much of an issue? What exactly is the hassle? How exactly would you notice your system taking a hit with today's systems?

Thirdly, I also catalog my music in my own folders. I know exactly where everything is. I don't treat my music colleciton like a garbage dump and throw it all in one folder.

Finally, I have FLACs because I can't stand the thought of all of my music being distorted and, for all intents and purposes, destroyed from it's original form. If I own a piece of music I want to own it in all its full clarity the way the original artist had finished his process with it. Anything less is like paying to listen to the radio (which is similarly destroyed audio). Whether I hear the difference doesn't matter as much as the principle of the thing. I need the highest form of quality in music possible that is released and available to the public. MP3s do not fall in that category.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 44 of 66, by sf78

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xjas wrote:

The usual reason vinyl sounds better is because CDs were mastered *terribly* for most of the lifetime of the format. It took the "old guard" industry at least 20 years to figure out digital music production and by the time they got it down the 'loudness war' was already in full swing killing any sense of dynamic range or fidelity.

This is a very good point. You can hear a clear difference if you listen the same (mostly 80's) LP/CD's side by side. The CD always sounds flat as they used vinyl masters in producing them. I'm a big fan of every remastered series, as they do get better instrument separation compared to the first print CD's. Then again I mainly listen to hard rock/metal, so there's no such thing as too loud. 😀

Reply 45 of 66, by MusicallyInspired

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...if they've been mastered properly for vinyl. A lot of times they aren't.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 46 of 66, by Matth79

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So can the PS2 play FLAC that is not "highest"?. Maybe the highest compression setting uses a compression algorithm feature that is not supported.

As for MP3, 320k CBR is usually overkill (preset insane), compared to LAME VBR -V0 (preset extreme)
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=LAME

Ok, theoretically, CBR 320k could beat -V0 (typical 240k) if the psychoacoustic model broke down, but LAME has a better model than the others.

If you want a guaranteed file size / average bitrate, then use ABR in preference to CBR, but if there is a throughput issue, you may have to limit the maximum.

AHA, found the test piece I got some time back...
http://nigelcoldwell.co.uk/audio/
Though actually, it's CBR vs ABR not VBR.
For a laugh, try the 32k CBR versus the 32K ABR ... you do not need any kind of golden ears to tell that one is absolutely ghastly, and the other is more or less ok

Reply 47 of 66, by keenmaster486

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Wow, that's a good comparison check.

I would need a really good sound system to tell a big difference, but as it is with my laptop and midrange earbuds I can definitely tell the difference even between the 192 kbps CBR MP3 and the FLAC/WAV files. Edit: go higher than 192, however, and with that setup I can't tell any discernible difference.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 48 of 66, by gdjacobs

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Matth79 wrote:

For a laugh, try the 32k CBR versus the 32K ABR ... you do not need any kind of golden ears to tell that one is absolutely ghastly, and the other is more or less ok

Then compare with Vorbis and Opus.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 49 of 66, by Jade Falcon

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MusicallyInspired wrote:

Secondly, is RAM usage really that much of an issue? What exactly is the hassle? How exactly would you notice your system taking a hit with today's systems?

This is a problem with people that back newer rescores hungry file formats fail to understated completely, they fail to realize that not every one have a new computer or smart phone, or even a smart phone to begin with.
How many probable music players can play back flac? can a old Ipbod (non touch) play flac? the zoom, what about flip phones?
And what about a system running vista or 7 with 2gb of ram or less? or a old atom or Piii system?

As for the hassle, I don't want to install something like winamp, fubar, vlc and a plug in on my computer just to play a file that's only real difference from wav is the file size.

Reply 50 of 66, by keenmaster486

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Jade Falcon wrote:

And what about a system running vista or 7 with 2gb of ram or less? or a old atom or Piii system?

Anyone running Vista doesn't deserve flac, and probably doesn't care about it anyway.
Ditto for Atom.

As for PIII stuff, I thought it was perfectly fine for uncompressed audio. For instance, MPXPLAY at least can play uncompressed formats just fine even on a PMMX/200 iirc.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 51 of 66, by j7n

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I personally find it important that the music file carries unrestricted key=value metadata in Unicode format, which enables me to organize the libary as I want, and downconvert to lower bitrates without losing tags or any characters within them. Old software should support reading those tags, and gracefully degrade if they encounter special symbols of unrecognized fields. FLAC fits this criteria well, as do other free formats (Wavpack, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 with APEv2 tags). Only sound editing software support RIFF metadata in WAV, and only very recent players support embedded ID3.

Of course a Pentium II is enough to play WAV and FLAC.

As for the data rate for flac/wav; I choose 44.1 or 48 kHz, or mp3 at 320 kbit/s. Unless the input is often mono, I do not consider savings of VBR worth it. "Hi definition" files get downconverted without exceptions.

Reply 52 of 66, by ZellSF

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Your audio collection should be in flac, but you should transcode it to a lossy format for playback on limited storage devices: you really won't hear a difference in 99.9% of cases. I use high VBR AAC, but can't remember why.

Having your collection in a lossless format (flac), means you'll never have to re-rip it ever again, just re-encode it, which is a lot more convenient than dealing with a stack of CDs the next time you need to change audio format.

Reply 53 of 66, by GuyTechie

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Don't know, but why would one need that to sort files?
I guess working in a office for years trained me to properly file things.

I've always organized my music using folders and filenames. I never cared about ID tags. Then dedicated MP3 players came out. While some of them allowed you to play them as you organized them, newer and more popular players started to just use the ID tags. That's when I had to go through all of them and make sure they were tagged correctly.

So my comment wasn't about organization to sort or play. My comment was that WAV files (if they don't have the ability to have ID tags) would make it hard to use as master files to transcode to a lossy file of your choice (MP3, OGG, etc) complete with ID tags. They would just end up as MP3/OGG files without any tags.

If you stored them as FLAC, besides lossless, you get the benefit of smaller file size and ID tags that can carry over to other file formats when you transcode them.

I'm not sure how valid is the concern of CPU utilization to choose WAV over FLAC. What device are you trying to play your music on?

Reply 54 of 66, by y2k se

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Don't know, but why would one need that to sort files?
I guess working in a office for years trained me to properly file things.

Tagging goes beyond file organization. Tagging is immensely useful for the metadata it provides. It enables all sorts of functionality, like distinguishing album artists from artists. Now you can easily find all the songs recorded by a particular person even if they were done on other albums or with other artists. You can filter by genre. Tagging software can automatically organize the files in the file system based on whichever naming rules you specify.

I use MusicBrainz Picard for tagging and organizing, MusicBee for local PC playback and Emby for remote streaming.

Jade Falcon wrote:

How many probable music players can play back flac? can a old Ipbod (non touch) play flac? the zoom, what about flip phones?

My 12-year old Rockboxed iRiver can. FLAC is more efficient than MP3 by design.

Tualatin Celeron 1.4, ASUS P2B, 512 MB, GeForce 3 Ti 200, Voodoo2 SLI, AWE64, WD 80GB SE HDD, Dell 2007FP

Reply 55 of 66, by MusicallyInspired

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Jade Falcon wrote:
MusicallyInspired wrote:

Secondly, is RAM usage really that much of an issue? What exactly is the hassle? How exactly would you notice your system taking a hit with today's systems?

This is a problem with people that back newer rescores hungry file formats fail to understated completely, they fail to realize that not every one have a new computer or smart phone, or even a smart phone to begin with.

If you're using an older system, then no. Using FLACs probably isn't good for you. My question is....why haven't you upgraded? Either way, you deserve MP3 if you're on an old system.

How many probable music players can play back flac? can a old Ipbod (non touch) play flac? the zoom, what about flip phones?

Again, who's using a flip phone? And why are you even listening to music on one if you are? And besides that, as I and many have said before, FLACs are for archiving purposes (and listening on higher systems with decent speakers or monitors). If you're listening to files on lower-end devices, go MP3. You're not getting the full quality through those little earbuds anyway. Or any headphones for that matter. There's no point.

And what about a system running vista or 7 with 2gb of ram or less? or a old atom or Piii system?

Just.....why? I mean, I've got old systems too but I don't use them for music. FLAC is certainly a modern convention. I've never said anyone should use them on older systems. If you don't have a newer system then this entire discussion is moot. But you can still use FLAC for archiving and ensure that you will always have the maximum quality version available whenever you need it.

As for the hassle, I don't want to install something like winamp, fubar, vlc and a plug in on my computer just to play a file that's only real difference from wav is the file size.

If you're running on an older system, I'd think saving file space would be even MORE of an issue. If you're using WMP, don't. But you're acting like these other programs (Winamp and VLC) are these huge programs that require tons of resources, file space, and time to install. They're not. I myself have both Winamp and VLC installed for different reasons. I use Winamp exclusively for music and VLC exclusively for videos. If you want to stick to WMP or whatever you're using, well fine.

Incidentally, I've never had a problem playing FLACs on my older single-core computer. But then, I never did it that much either.

To me, not having the highest quality version available of the music I like does a disservice to the artist. But to each his own. Basically, this image sums things up perfectly:

scarjo_2-2.jpg

Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 56 of 66, by VileR

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sf78 wrote:

Then again I mainly listen to hard rock/metal, so there's no such thing as too loud. 😀

I do too, so I prefer it when it *doesn't* sound flat because some engineer killed all the headroom that made the loudness effective... remasters can (and do) improve on older versions without resorting to that - there's a reason all those oldschool metal record sleeves told you to "crank it up!" instead of trying to crank it up for you at the wrong stage of the process. 😉

MusicallyInspired wrote:

Basically, this image sums things up perfectly:

.
Heh, almost... it's missing an "after brickwall mastering" where colors are normalized from 0-255 RGB to a range of 200-255. And "after MP3" should have horrifying quality-0 JPEG artifacts rather than pixelation 😁

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Reply 57 of 66, by MusicallyInspired

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Good point. On a similar note, I don't think preserving any quality for modern pop music is helpful or even necessary as they're all produced with lossy compression and earbud headphones in mind. If they don't respect their music, why should I?

Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 58 of 66, by sf78

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VileRancour wrote:

I do too, so I prefer it when it *doesn't* sound flat because some engineer killed all the headroom that made the loudness effective... remasters can (and do) improve on older versions without resorting to that

As you probably know, Iron Maiden is a perfect example of several flat/weak sounding 80's CD's. They are almost unbearable to listen when compared to the recent remasters.