FLAC > Ogg > MP3

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NieXS
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FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby NieXS » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:38 am UTC

But ogg is better for streaming.

Discuss.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:41 am UTC

I'll stick with AAC.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby qbg » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:59 am UTC

FLAC calls my music noise...

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Area Man » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:21 am UTC

1. Ogg is a container, not a codec
2. FLAC is lossless, so obv. > lossy format re:quality
3. Ogg can be used to contain FLAC
4. Many people make this type (1) of error every day, esp with AVI
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby NieXS » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:34 am UTC

Ok, for argument purposes, imagine a "Vorbis" after Ogg.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

MP3 is more universally used and available on virtually any digital music playing device. So, I can pop a USB stick into a random computer, a car stereo, a home reciever, or a video game console and they'll all be able to play some MP3s. Not so much with Vorbis or FLAC.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Xanthir » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

I certainly can't hear the difference between a decent MP3 and the original, so lossless formats are just a bunch of wasted space to me. MP3 thus > than FLAC.

In fact, most people can't hear the difference, especially on their crappy stereos. There *is* a noticeable difference, though, on fine equipment or to those with good ears (unlike many stereo topics, where the differences are purely in the imagination of the audiophile, as can be readily demonstrated with a simple doubleblind test). I just have neither.
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Berengal » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:06 pm UTC

For me, vorbis > mp3, (vorbis - mp3) < epsilon. I listen to music in linux, and it doesn't always come with mp3 support out of the box. Considering how often (or rather, seldom) I reinstall, and how easy this is to fix, it's a minor bother, but it's one vorbis doesn't have. Still, the difference between the two is miniscule. Actually, the biggest reason for prefering vorbis is, I think, the name.

FLAC is a waste of space, but I've got the space to waste so it's of no concern to me.

To sum up, I don't really care.
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby someguy » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:01 pm UTC

I keep FLAC archive copies of hard-to-find discs I'm lent and such; for everyday use I like Vorbis, then MP3. However my current music-playing device (a Nokia 5310 phone) doesn't 'do' Vorbis; my previous one, a Chinese Ipod knock-off, did.

I much preferred the way that low-bitrate Vorbis (96 kbps-ish) sounded, to the way low-bitrate MP3s sound. Low-bitrate MP3 turns into this... robotic/gurgly-sounding disaster I can't stand, while Vorbis only loses some treble, so it's still very listenable (sounds a bit like AM radio.)
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby hotaru » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:23 pm UTC

someguy wrote:Low-bitrate MP3 turns into this... robotic/gurgly-sounding disaster I can't stand,

only if you have a really crappy mp3 encoder and/or don't know how to use it. once i encoded a 16kbps mp3 that was nearly indistinguishable from a 128kbps mp3 encoded with lame's default options, even to me, and i can usually easily hear differences between 224kbps and 256kbps mp3s.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Dingbats » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:01 pm UTC

I can't say I can hear the difference between an ogg -q6+ and an mp3 192+ kbps. When downloading albums that I'm not sure whether they're really good or not (and hence don't want to waste space), I usually go with lossy, and I prefer ogg over mp3, mostly for ideological reasons. I rip all my CDs to flac, and I'm eagerly waiting for the day when lossy codecs are history.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:27 pm UTC

I'm gonna put a lightning rod on my head and say:

WAVE is the best ever audio codec.
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby phlip » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:54 am UTC

.wav is a container format, not a codec. See Area Man's objection. The codec you're thinking of is "Uncompressed PCM". And FLAC is strictly superior to PCM, in that the quality is identical, but the files are smaller.

Personally I'm of the same mind as Berengal... the ripcd script I wrote uses cdparanoia and oggenc, with cdparanoia/lame as a separate non-default option... but pretty much the only real reason is that the genre in OGG is an arbitrary string, whereas ID3 has a list to choose from (so using MP3 will fail if the genre in CDDB isn't in that list)... I'm no audiophile, as long as the song's recognisable I don't mind that much.

If/when I ever buy a portable music player, I'll make sure it can support OGG Vorbis, but only 'cause a lot of my collection uses it already, transcoding is tedious (even with automated tools), and I'm lazy.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Amnesiasoft » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:15 am UTC

phlip wrote:The codec you're thinking of is "Uncompressed PCM". And FLAC is strictly superior to PCM, in that the quality is identical, but the files are smaller.

I imagine support for uncompressed PCM is more readily available everywhere than FLAC. So it would depend on how much that matters to you versus size.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:39 pm UTC

*sigh*

Lossless codec != Quality audio

Sound is an analog medium. There is ALWAYS loss during the initial sampling (ADC).

(I was accused of trolling when I tried to explain this on IRC one time.)

The advantage of a lossless format is that you can do transcoding without loss. This is something the entertainment industry does not want, so we are going to be stuck with lossy formats. I suspect even HDMI is "lossy" for the purposes of "pirate" tracking (via unpublished watermarking).

It is possible to really mess up the audio quality with a lossless codec as well. The source could be a lossy format such as an MP3 or analog record. If you convert to a different sample-rate without proper filtering, you may introduce aliasing. I suspect this is why 8bit, 11khz sound sounds better on an 8bit sound card than a 16bit sound card.

I also can't stand Windows Media files. It may be just personal bias, but my excuse it that the noise-filtering they use introduces artifacts that drive me up the wall. I have been tempted to call my local (AM) radio station and tell them to avoid using even short Windows Media clips.
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Amnesiasoft » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Yeah, the whole "I use FLAC becaus it's lossless" thing has always bugged me. If you care that much, you should just cease listening to music. While the analog master is going to be the only place you'll get the "best" quality, just using it will degrade the quality anyway...

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Anyone care to give a quick primer on audio codecs for us who aren't religious music nutters?
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby someguy » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

hotaru wrote:once i encoded a 16kbps mp3 that was nearly indistinguishable from a 128kbps mp3 encoded with lame's default options, (...)

Could you tell us a bit about that?
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby b.i.o » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

Listening to lossless audio is usually silly. FLAC is good for having archive-quality (assuming, of course, it was ripped correctly) backups, and for being able to encode into your lossy format of choice.

That said, there is an audible difference between lower and medium quality lossy audio and high quality lossy audio. You're not going to hear the difference on your iBuds or $10 computer speakers, but if you have good and well-trained ears and decent audio equipment you can tell the difference.

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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby Area Man » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:08 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:*sigh*

Lossless codec != Quality audio

Sound is an analog medium. There is ALWAYS loss during the initial sampling (ADC).

(I was accused of trolling when I tried to explain this on IRC one time.)
I think we all understand that you can't get good quality from a poor recording just because you use a certain codec. It does seem troll-like :P ... is there a point in going from lossy (mp3) to lossless anyway? you can just copy the file and save some time and space.

Btw, can you hear the difference between 33 vs 45 rpm analog record? The 45 stores more info than the 33, therefore even analog recordings are "lossy".
Is there some audible sound that a 24-bit, 96 kHz digital recording can't reproduce (flac limits are 32 bits and 655.35 kHz) ? A 20 kHz dog whistle would be sampled almost 5 times.

Rip your CDs and DVDs to FLAC, recode to whatever your portable player supports if necessary.
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Re: FLAC > Ogg > MP3

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:02 am UTC

Area Man wrote:I think we all understand that you can't get good quality from a poor recording just because you use a certain codec. It does seem troll-like :P ... is there a point in going from lossy (mp3) to lossless anyway? you can just copy the file and save some time and space.


I suspect there are quite a few people out there with new 16:9 "hd ready" TVs that think they now have "high definition" TV: even if they are watching a 4:3 signal stretched to 16:9 :mrgreen: (Not to say users of this forum would be fooled)

Area Man wrote:Btw, can you hear the difference between 33 vs 45 rpm analog record? The 45 stores more info than the 33, therefore even analog recordings are "lossy".


I'm too lazy to check. Yes, I realize "analog" formats are lossy. What is interesting is that with digital formats, lossless copying is possible; even with a lossy codec.

Area Man wrote:Is there some audible sound that a 24-bit, 96 kHz digital recording can't reproduce (flac limits are 32 bits and 655.35 kHz) ? A 20 kHz dog whistle would be sampled almost 5 times.

Intuitively, I would expect some distortion with so few samples during the waveform, but you could filter the noise (would be at the frequency of the samples) out when you play it back.

I have made the point elsewhere that the 192kHz sample rate available for HD-DVD and Blu-ray is high enough to store a demodulated FM stereo broadcast: in each channel. It goes back to wanting higher quality for mastering (I assume).
Area Man wrote:Rip your CDs and DVDs to FLAC, recode to whatever your portable player supports if necessary.

Or just keep them in a climate-controlled vault :wink: (stored upright of course)

Edited for correctness/qualifiers.
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