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Thread: Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

  1. #1

    Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

    I have a question about ripping CD's to FLAC. I am trying to rip to 'standard' FLAC: 44.1KHz and 16-bit depth. But for some reason I have noticed that dBpoweramp is ripping to 32-bit float. Is there a reason for this? Is it 'better'? Again, not trying to do anything esoteric. Want the standard, most portable format. I also eventually will convert these FLAC files to Apple Lossless, to be compatible with iTunes and the Apple world of devices/apps. So I don't want 32-bit float if that is less standard than 16-bit.
    Note that I am running dBpoweramp version 16.8 (1) in case that matters. Also I am not (intentionally) using any DSP effects (I had been using ReplyGain, but disabled that and it did not alter the 32-bit float format). Otherwise I think I am ripping with standard/default settings.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

    Quote Originally Posted by dbjordammen View Post
    I have a question about ripping CD's to FLAC. I am trying to rip to 'standard' FLAC: 44.1KHz and 16-bit depth. But for some reason I have noticed that dBpoweramp is ripping to 32-bit float. Is there a reason for this? Is it 'better'? Again, not trying to do anything esoteric. Want the standard, most portable format. I also eventually will convert these FLAC files to Apple Lossless, to be compatible with iTunes and the Apple world of devices/apps. So I don't want 32-bit float if that is less standard than 16-bit.
    Note that I am running dBpoweramp version 16.8 (1) in case that matters. Also I am not (intentionally) using any DSP effects (I had been using ReplyGain, but disabled that and it did not alter the 32-bit float format). Otherwise I think I am ripping with standard/default settings.
    Thanks!

    You are saying that when you look at the final ripped digital file, it reports as 32 bit? If so, something is wrong. Without using a DSP to convert the bit depth, dbpa rips a regular CD to 16/44.1. And use of ReplayGain DSP would not change the bit depth from 16.

  3. #3

    Re: Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

    Good question, and there does appear to be some ambiguity here. When I open a file with VLC, it says 'Bits per sample: 32'. And the same file in Audacity is indicated as '32-bit float' in the left hand panel. But I also just checked on my Plex server and that indicates the bit depth is 16.
    Any ideas on how to confirm what the actual, correct bit depth is?

  4. #4
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    Re: Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

    In windows, Locate one of these files, right click on it and select "properties", when the popup opens, select "Audio Properties" tab. About halfway down it will show Sample Rate (probably 44.1) and Sample Size (which is the same a bitrate). It should show as 16. VLC etc. may be showing you how it streams the file (it may upsample, do some stuff to it with DSP then deliver to your DAC, or something like that. For example, Roon Labs, if one uses ReplayGain tags, upsamples to 32 bit I think then does the volume adjustment, then downsamples to 24 bit. I think LMS streams everything as 24 bit, even 16 bit files.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ripping CD to FLAC: why is bit depth (format) 32-bit float?

    Well, I know Spek (a free spectrum analyzer) will list bit depth and sample rate.
    Last edited by artisan002; 03-24-2021 at 12:14 AM.

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