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Thread: FLAC for Dummies

  1. #1
    Join Date: Aug 2016

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 194
    I'm Paul.

    Default FLAC for Dummies

    Hi all

    Hope this is in the correct section.

    I need some help understanding some of the options in my chosen software for ripping FLAC files from CD's

    The software I use is Easy CD Audio Converter and as can be seen in the picture below it has a number of options, I did a few tests rippling the same track using some of the different options, but given that its a lossless format I am struggling to understand why there are so many settings and why the files are so different.

    FLAC.JPG

    First files were ripped with all three settings at auto with just the compression setting adjusted and I got the following results

    Q0 38mb 960kbps
    Q5 35.5mb 884kbps
    Q8 35mb 874mb
    Uncompressed 56mb 1515kbps

    Next test taking all the auto settings off with the first 2 changed to 24bit and Stereo with the third option only changed I get the following

    48000 Hz 92.5mb 2309kbps
    96000 Hz 185mb 4618kbps
    384000 Hz 740mb 18481kbps

    so the silly question is, if its a lossless format why so many settings and why so much difference between each file

    Does it realy matter what setting used as far as the quality of the playback is concerned and what setting should I be using with this software.

    I have listened to all seven files and to be honest I cant hear any difference between them, but that might just be down to my heavy industry damaged hearing, or is it?.

    Thanks for any help with this.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul-H; 16-02-2020 at 13:13.
    Current setup Thorens TD-160 Mk1 with Denon DL-110 MC Cartridge, Pioneer A-70 Amp, Pioneer PD-8700 CD Player, Yamaha AX-592 Amp, Yamaha CDX-810 CD Player, Yamaha KX-480 Cassette Deck, Yamaha TX-492RDS Tuner, Monitor Audio Bronze 5 speakers, Van-Damme Cables throughout.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2020

    Location: South Yorkshire

    Posts: 2,451
    I'm Andre.

    Default

    db Power is the easiest way.. Its generally set to default but i just used un compressed cos it makes me feel better.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

    Posts: 1,705
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    Reply to msg 1.

    The different compression level Q0,Q5,Q8 probably took different times to compress, with Q8 maybe taking the longest. I’m assuming, that all are in fact lossless, so on replay should be identical with the original. That is my quess, anyway.

    Changing to 24 bit with higher sampling rates would be expected to give larger files, though a lot of the encoded data might actually be noise from the original source, which you probably wouldn’t hear, or it would be filtered out anyway.

    From the first few data values, there is a modest improvement in compression - about 5-10%, which might just be worth having if the time to compress isn’t too long.

    From the next set of values, it would only be worth doing the compression with bigger bit depth and higher sampling rates if the source material had similar bit depth and sampling rates, and also if you could actually hear the difference.
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date: Sep 2017

    Location: Dublin

    Posts: 337
    I'm Pavel.

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    If you're ripping audio CDs, you need to select 16 bit and 44100 Hz as this is what the original audio is. Resampling to 24 bit and higher sample rates won't make it sound better.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2016

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 194
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Thanks for the replies

    Just got myself a little confused (quite common these days) over if it's lossless why all the settings and what they were for, or doing, if anything.

    I will stop trying to over think it and stick to 16 bit 44100 Hz from now on.

    Thanks

    Paul
    Current setup Thorens TD-160 Mk1 with Denon DL-110 MC Cartridge, Pioneer A-70 Amp, Pioneer PD-8700 CD Player, Yamaha AX-592 Amp, Yamaha CDX-810 CD Player, Yamaha KX-480 Cassette Deck, Yamaha TX-492RDS Tuner, Monitor Audio Bronze 5 speakers, Van-Damme Cables throughout.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

    Posts: 1,705
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shovel_Knight View Post
    If you're ripping audio CDs, you need to select 16 bit and 44100 Hz as this is what the original audio is. Resampling to 24 bit and higher sample rates won't make it sound better.
    For DVDs and Blu Rays, and some downloads - different bit depths and sampling rates might be appropriate. Using different values shouldn’t make things sound better, and usually worse. However usually one or two transcodings don’t degrade quality too much, as long as one doesn’t deliberately select lossy formats such as mp3 as the output target.
    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2012

    Location: Hartlepool UK

    Posts: 1,517
    I'm Alan.

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    Flac is a lossless Audio format, but it does compress the file size smaller than the original file format, you just don't loose any data
    Compression level 0 being the fastest and level 8 being the slowest but the smallest file size, default value is 5

    I also prefer DB Poweramp for ripping and Batch conversion, excellent software, multiple tagging data base.

    Alan
    Turntable - Garrard 401/Jelco 750L/Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, Pioneer PLC 590, SME 3009/2 , Denon DL103R - DIY Paradise Phono stage - Reel 2 Reel Studer A810, Otari MX55,Tascam BR20, Revox A77, B77, PR99, TEAC X1000 & 3440, Technics RS1500 - Digital HTPC / Young Dac - Preamp - DIY B4, 821, Power Amp's DIY Voyager Mono Block, Speakers Tannoy precision 6.4 / Wilmslow Kit Volt BM220.8 / Scanspeak D2905/9500

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2016

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 194
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Ok one last question

    FLAC or WAV

    File size and Kbps result is the same, and advantage of one format over the other these days.

    Thanks

    Paul
    Current setup Thorens TD-160 Mk1 with Denon DL-110 MC Cartridge, Pioneer A-70 Amp, Pioneer PD-8700 CD Player, Yamaha AX-592 Amp, Yamaha CDX-810 CD Player, Yamaha KX-480 Cassette Deck, Yamaha TX-492RDS Tuner, Monitor Audio Bronze 5 speakers, Van-Damme Cables throughout.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2020

    Location: Wareham UK

    Posts: 11
    I'm Rick.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul-H View Post
    FLAC or WAV

    File size and Kbps result is the same, and advantage of one format over the other these days.
    The lossless compression used means that a FLAC file ought to contain the same audio data as an uncompressed WAV, so it should sound identical; but because it's been compressed it should be at least slightly smaller.

    WAV files still seem to be more widely compatible, but if you have the software to play them then FLAC equivalents should take up a bit less room.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Aug 2016

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 194
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    Just did a check on one track and the results are

    WAV 56Mb 1411kbps

    FLAC 56MB 1415Kbps, that using the Uncompressed setting and both at 16bit 2 Channel 44100 Hz

    So for that one track the result was almost identical certainly in the size department.

    Paul
    Current setup Thorens TD-160 Mk1 with Denon DL-110 MC Cartridge, Pioneer A-70 Amp, Pioneer PD-8700 CD Player, Yamaha AX-592 Amp, Yamaha CDX-810 CD Player, Yamaha KX-480 Cassette Deck, Yamaha TX-492RDS Tuner, Monitor Audio Bronze 5 speakers, Van-Damme Cables throughout.

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