View Full Version : lossless codecs

08-03-2003, 12:42 AM
I am considering lossless codec since hardrives are becoming much cheaper now days. however which one?

it looks like monkey is getting to release another beta soon? seems there is one in alpha at the moment.

i like wavepack too.

i only do listening tests, nothing technical. and i found wavepack to be a little more louder and brighter compared to monkey's.

the only other thing i need to test is if there is any notible difference when converting from wavepack to OGG and monkey's to OGG.

is one codec looking like it's having a brighter future over the other?

08-08-2003, 07:42 PM
i think you should give FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Compression) a try. It sounds really great and it can compress the most, but it is slow when you convert from a cd. Its also easy to add a tag and doesnt require a lot of CPU power.

08-09-2003, 07:03 PM
HI Razo I've been using Monkey's for awhile now.From what I've read on Hydrogen Audio the developer is now working for J River Media Player, so his time is now divided. The new alpha release is the first up date in quite some time. Also, the next release is suppose add even more compression and speed. From what I've been to gather about other lossless codecs they are all pretty decent and in theory should sound identical,but of course in the real world this is never the case. I've even heard good things about MWA lossless!. For a more expert opion check out the Hydrogen Audio Lossless Forum. I think you'll find it helpfull. jvillas

08-09-2003, 07:33 PM
yeh, i visit Hydrogen Audio forums, but sometimes the codecs are pulled apart and looked at more technically than i need to read.

i won't be using wavpack because it is too slow when moving forward or back on a song to respond.

the only 2 contenders so far for me is ape or flac. they both run fast and sound good.

08-09-2003, 07:53 PM
to tell you the truth, i think the end user only needs to know so much before it becomes too confusing.

i mean were were all happy with our vinyl records wern't we?

but i guess in the age of digital and technical digital recording of musi we are all looking for perfection? but how is pefection defined?

for a casual music listener we don't tend to train our ear to pic up on technical faults of the music we are hearing. and nine times out of ten we are either thinking about something else or doing something else whilst listening to the music.

take the scence from the movie tom cruise played in where he is singing into the broom handle doing the house work. did he care if the sound wasn't quite right?

or the song "you can leave your hat on". eye curumba! be buggererd if i was picking up on any musical faults in that song. too busy fantacising :D

and have a listen to this song. it's called 10days by "bare naked ladies" and it is really badly recorded/encoded. but it is the funniest song i have ever heard. be warned though it does contain adult material. download song (http://www.razgo.com/music/10days.wav)

anyhow i think as long as i can convert from ape or flac with all my tags in place and the end result is good listening, then will will probably do me fine.

08-10-2003, 11:10 PM
Hi Razgo, I could not agree with you more. Now that I'm up and running again maybe I'll give flac a look. I'm in the process of ripping my music collection once again and to date have not ripped to lossless. I previously used lossless exclusivley for jazz and classical, and will do so once again.There is a comfort level knowing that all the notes are captured, and are being reproduced as intended. Enjoy, have fun, dig you later. Julio

08-10-2003, 11:23 PM
yes i have a few classical abulms to rip as well in lossless.

i haven't done a lot of testing yet but did you download the latest beta monkey's codec from the beta forum here? spoon said he didn't think it was working 100% yet, but not sure what the problems are.

08-11-2003, 12:08 AM
Yes I did,and also read the message you left on the beta testers forum and was looking to see what the reply was going to say.

08-11-2003, 04:53 AM
As you said, it can come down to splitting hairs. And with the plethora of audio enhancements that most people use (knowingly or un) it gets even less important. I mean if you are going to simulate surround sound, eq the file with a bass boost, use an enhancer or audio exciter, filter for hiss and pops, and then normalize the whole thing, you won't be able to tell the difference between any of the lossless codecs.

Still, I still like shn. (shorten) It was my first (trading dead bootlegs etc.) and still most used format. I like monkey mostly because of the logo. (that cute little monkey is priceless) But somehow, I feel flac is the most solid sounding.

08-11-2003, 05:45 AM
for now shorton is off my list only because of file size compared to ape and flac. shorten seems to only have one setting? i didn't see any other settings.

compared to ape and flac it was an extra 20 meg larger per classical track with flac and ape on normal compression.

i couldn't tell any difference in quality as they all sound great to me.

08-11-2003, 06:17 AM
ok i was wrong! oh so terribly wrong :teufel8:

at first i thought ape had robbed me of over 5 mins of music because it was shorter in length compared to the other two. no wonder the ape file had a different ending :rolleyes:

spot the difference :thumbup:

Mozart-Allegro; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.flac
Mozart-Allegro; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.shn
Mozart-Romanze; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.ape

08-11-2003, 08:22 AM
Mozart-Allegro; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.flac
Mozart-Allegro; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.shn
Mozart-Romanze; Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K 466.ape

Can't believe you didn't pick it up at first glance :rolleyes: :p

Oh and Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor is some really neat stuff

Actually, as are all other concerti by Mozart.. Be it piano, basset clarinet, horn, flute or bassoon concerto! :D

08-11-2003, 08:42 AM
well i was hoping that dmc audio cd input would have been intuitive enough to read my mind and know which one it was supposed to be ripping. i mean jeez do i have to put the tick in the right place for it too? :D lol j/k

yes, i like all of mozarts music.

have you heard of Don Campbell's mozart effects cd's and book? i have "heal the body" and "strenghen the mind" http://www.mozarteffect.com/

it's quite amazing what he did with mozarts music to help heal.

08-11-2003, 10:13 AM
Is that Mozart effect stuff like some of those "relaxation" discs where you have a very nice piano concerto playing, but with annoying waves and bird chirps? Or is it really only the music with an accompanying read-along book?

I just can't stand those discs where they add sound effect over perfectly nice music. My dad got that thunderstorm beethoven thing. IT IS SO ANNOYING! (caps intended) I just can't stand it.

08-11-2003, 06:19 PM
no, it's the real deal. it gets a little complicated when reading his book, but he works closely with "sound" frequencies. i think from memory he took out some specific frequences but i don't remember which ones now.

his work was documented with helping sick kids with autisism and other child hood illnesses.

i will pop back later and list what is on the albums.

08-12-2003, 09:21 AM

The main thing I like about SHN is the MD5 capability. This allows you to check the accuracy of your rip/download/burn with a tiny text file for the entire album or session. (.md5) This may not be useful for most purposes, but it is absolutely cool for archiving and preserving sound quality. In short (:)) it makes it abundantly clear when you've got a pristine copy from as close to the source as possible. Shn files are a tiny bit larger than flac and ape, but this md5 checksum feature is one of a kind. I use MD5 Summer to check my shn files before archiving or burning them, and it gives you true peace of mind to know that it is 100% accurate.

09-20-2003, 08:00 PM
Is that Mozart effect stuff like some of those "relaxation" discs where you have a very nice piano concerto playing, but with annoying waves and bird chirps? Or is it really only the music with an accompanying read-along book?

I just can't stand those discs where they add sound effect over perfectly nice music. My dad got that thunderstorm beethoven thing. IT IS SO ANNOYING! (caps intended) I just can't stand it.
i have a potential challenge for you :D , perhaps you just haven't heard the right relaxation music peice? a close friend of mine "Christopher Buckman" has produced many of this type of music. his earlier work are all owned by MRA now but all his later stuff is more local here.

he did do a "Pachelbels Cannon" as a lot of people did, and it was the best i have heard in the sense of artists who manipulate older classical music.

however he has many which are simply all his own work. i did a sample cd i put out for him so potential customers could get a feel of his music. and here is an example of what Michael the owner of the DVD site http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Reviews/LivingReef.html had to say about the music he heard from chris on the DVD called "Living Reef" . his music is something that tends to put you to sleep very quickly.

although "living reef" may have a sudden death soon as he hasn't recieved any money/royalties for this yet. and he has 2 albums on it too.

anyhow i might put up some samples for you to check out as i would be interested in what you think.

10-11-2003, 10:50 PM
no one commented on the 10 days song??

10-21-2003, 05:52 PM
So? Have you settled on a lossless codec Razgo?
I just decided today to rerip every classical and most jazz albums I have to a lossless format, but I am at a lost as whether to go with APE or FLAC..

Also, anybody here is using Dynamic Drives in WindowsXP Pro? I just discovered them last week and converted both my hard drive to a single long partition (well actually 1 very small, and 1 very long) and it seems to work great! Anybody has had any problems with them dynamic partitions? (other than not being able to read them in another OS or Windows version)

10-21-2003, 06:55 PM
i haven't decided yet. if i were to makes a decision right now it would be flac. only because the latest monkey's codec doesn't work with my win98se system. other's reported the problem at monkey's forum but i never saw it get addressed. so i am using an old monkey.

i reckon you could almost just toss a coin to decide as they both seem almost the same as each other. although the general consenses is that flac rips/converts faster. and i would probably agree there.

so i would at least do a monkey/rip album test and then a flac/rip album test and see which one went smoothly.

don't forget to defrag first though :cool:

10-21-2003, 07:28 PM
"so I'm using an old monkey"

old monkeys have more expirience:)

10-21-2003, 08:26 PM
old monkeys have more expirience:)

Hahaha! Nice one ;)

I had actually decided on FLAC, I think, in the past because of the lesser CPU usage during playback. According to HA forums, from what I've read, the quality isn't really in cause here, really just the Tags/Compression Ratio/Ease of use and other trivial stuff like that.. I might just decide to rip half my CDs in Flac and the other half in Ape.. I guess I'll do a test rip after all, and see. But I don't think I'll be able to tell any difference.

10-22-2003, 02:50 AM
actually in theory you should be able to just convert all your monkey's into flac without any loss of quality and without having to re rip those albums.

oh and BTW that 10 days song makes a special mention of monkey :lustig3:

10-22-2003, 06:44 AM
That 10 days song is not bad as parodies go, but, I have to admit something. I didn't understand much of it! They sing quite a bit too fast unfortunately! I did understand some bits and pieces though.

10-22-2003, 06:48 AM
yeh they did sing it fast. you have to listen carefully. it just cracks me up every time i here it :D :D and if you don't get it i am surely not going to explain it in public :blush:

10-22-2003, 06:52 AM
I will get it.. after a few linstenings cause it's the words themselves I can't differentiate :cry:

10-22-2003, 09:50 AM
Alright, enough debating, I took my decision. I'm going with FLAC.

Things is, I can't use Audio CD Input because, I don't know why but, some of my CDs come out with pops and crackles when I use it for extraction. So, I had to settle on EAC for extraction and I couldn't get EAC to put the full V2 tags in APE, all I was getting was the V1 with the 30 chars limit.

So I settled on FLAC, which seems to support ID3v2 tags, at least in dAP/dMC (and honnestly, that's all I need for playback :D ).

Anybody know how widespread ID3v2 tag use on FLAC is especially on players (seeing as after reading on the official FLAC homepage, they mention that Flac uses it's own tagging system, FlacTag, but they say you can also use ID3 tags but it's not guaranteed to compatible with every player)? And, would anybody recommend using an Ogg container or should I just leave it with the minimal Flac container?

10-22-2003, 03:27 PM
Flac should be using Ogg Vorbis tags.

10-22-2003, 03:28 PM
Does EAC automatically put Ogg Vorbis tag in FLAC files? I don't think it does.. but I may be VERY mistaken..

11-09-2003, 11:38 AM
Alright, enough debating, I took my decision. I'm going with FLAC.

On unmentioned advantage with FLAC is that hardware support has begun.


MOTAR the imperious

01-09-2004, 06:27 PM
I noticed you were discussing the sound quality of the different lossless codecs somewhere in this thread. Why on earth would you do that? They DO sound EXCACTLY the same, and not just in theory.

Make a wav file, compress it using Monkey's Audio (for example), and then decompress the monkey file into a new wav file. Chech the MD5 or SHA-1 value of both the wav files. They are IDENTICAL, the sums will be the same.

01-09-2004, 07:05 PM
they may be technically the same but the difference becomes apparent with different lossless codecs able to produce smaller files but others actually playback better than others.

the current ape codec does not work for win98se. well i don't know anyone who has it working. the old ape codec works fine though.

i think tagging issues come into play as well with different lossless codecs.

01-09-2004, 07:21 PM
I agree, i was just mentioning that there is no reason discussing the difference in sound quality :)

01-09-2004, 07:30 PM
ah ok, well i didn't go back through all the posts to see who was discussing sound quality. but yes there should be any difference there.