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Thread: FLAC Compression level?

  1. #1
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    FLAC Compression level?

    I have always used Lossless Uncompressed when ripping CDs or converting from WAV using the Batch converter.
    dBPoweramp has options 0 (Fast) through to 8 (Highest) and Uncompressed as a separate option. So where does Uncompressed fit into the levels? I ask because I also use Audacity to record Vinyl - but this only gives the options 0 (Fastest) through to 8 (Best) (no Uncompressed).

    I have mistakenly I think been using 8, thinking that was equivalent to uncompressed as it is labelled "Best". But it is actually turning out to be around 30% compressed :(

    Is uncompressed actually level 0?

  2. #2
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    The good news is, that the compression level has no influence on the sound quality at all, and that you can convert between the different levels back and forth without any loss of quality.


    Dat Ei

  3. #3
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    The good news is, that the compression level has no influence on the sound quality at all, and that you can convert between the different levels back and forth without any loss of quality.


    Dat Ei
    I know - but, I'd rather not compress at all. Makes the renderer have to uncompress unnecessarily!

  4. #4
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    In the dBpoweramp Music Converter window, after selecting FLAC from the Encoding dropdown box, click the Help icon to open the help page for the FLAC codec, which explains all the compression levels.

  5. #5
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    In the dBpoweramp Music Converter window, after selecting FLAC from the Encoding dropdown box, click the Help icon to open the help page for the FLAC codec, which explains all the compression levels.
    Unfortunately in mine, the help button does nothing for Flacs. But I've open the mp3 one and gone up a level and found flac.htm page there.

    Found it:
    "the higher compression levels will give a small % file size saving, but will require more time to compress and decompress. Compression Level 0 requires the least compression time, whilst Compression Level 8 the most. Uncompressed is a special compression mode with stores 16 bit audio in an uncompressed state. "

    That sounds wrong to me. Surely the higher the level, the larger the % file size saving?

    And does that really mean Level 0 isn't actually uncompressed even though 1 is given as "fastest". And 0 = worst, 8=best? Worst/best what?

  6. #6
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    The newest versions of dBpoweramp have an Uncompressed option in the drop list for FLAC.

    Level 8 is closer to uncompressed than Level 0, however it is still compressed.

  7. #7
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    The newest versions of dBpoweramp have an Uncompressed option in the drop list for FLAC.

    Level 8 is closer to uncompressed than Level 0, however it is still compressed.
    i think spoon means that 0 is closest to uncompressed. 8 is maximum compression.

  8. #8
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Sorry yes.

  9. #9
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Yes, that's what I assumed. And I've been using 8 in Audacity. Darn.

  10. #10
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by timster67 View Post
    Yes, that's what I assumed. And I've been using 8 in Audacity. Darn.
    If you really want uncompressed simply convert Flac to Flac in dbpa selecting Flac uncompressed. You can do this in one large batch. Easy.

  11. #11
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by timster67 View Post
    Yes, that's what I assumed. And I've been using 8 in Audacity. Darn.
    My flac library is compressed using level 8 and has never been a problem for me.

  12. #12
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    My flac library is compressed using level 8 and has never been a problem for me.
    No it's not a problem. Just slightly annoying that I've been using 8 when I wanted to use 0 (or uncompressed even). Just means they are all at the highest compression level, and needlessly so. The default 5 would have been better!
    User error!

  13. #13
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by timster67 View Post
    The default 5 would have been better!
    Why would the default level 5 have been better?

  14. #14
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    Why would the default level 5 have been better?
    I know that flac compression doesn't make a difference in the general scheme of things. Compressing to level 8 all this time just made the operation that much slower, especially with 192/24 recordings.
    So, 5 would have been better, and I would have preferred 0. Not better as in better quality end result. Just better.

  15. #15
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    Re: FLAC Compression level?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    Why would the default level 5 have been better?
    I think he thinks that the more "compressed" the FLAC file, the harder the server has to work to decode and this could could somehow degrade sound quality. Without getting into the issues with that belief, I think the OP might not realize that the extra work by the computer is in the ENCODING of the FLAC file. It works harder to encode at "8" vs "0". That said, this is only in the original encoding (done one time). The playback of FLAC files (DECODING) is essentially the same work by the computer whether an 8 or 0. There's a lot of bad (incorrect) information on this issue floating around at "audiophile" websites.

    edit: missed his response. Ignore what I said above. So yes, timster67 is correct. Slower compress at 8 than at 5 or 0. (then again, on my year or two old computers, the difference in time is tiny, but I'm not doing 24/192 either....)
    Last edited by garym; 12-12-2018 at 09:37 AM.

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