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  1. #1
    Senior Member dwc's Avatar
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    Recommended FLAC compression level?

    Is there any reason not to use level 8 compression when encoding to FLAC for (wireless) slimbox? Has it been found that some other compression level works better for some reason? Thanks for any help, I have a lot of cd's to re-rip and I only want to have to do this once.

    I also have to take into consideration that my mp3 player is an x-5, and I don't remember if it supports level 8 or not. Heading to iaudiophile next to check on that...

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Recommended FLAC compression level?

    On Wed, 2005-10-19 at 16:00 -0700, dwc wrote:
    > Is there any reason not to use level 8 compression when encoding to FLAC
    > for (wireless) slimbox? Has it been found that some other compression
    > level works better for some reason? Thanks for any help, I have a lot
    > of cd's to re-rip and I only want to have to do this once.
    >
    > I also have to take into consideration that my mp3 player is an x-5,
    > and I don't remember if it supports level 8 or not. Heading to
    > iaudiophile next to check on that...


    FLAC is flac. The compression setting is not supposed to have any
    impact on replay. FLAC is designed to be asymetric. Easy to decompress,
    which you do every time you play a tune, and not so easy to compress
    which is something that you do only once, and usually on a real
    computer.

    What the compression setting does is tell the compressor how hard to try
    to compress the file. Using a higher setting can make the files a little
    bit smaller, but takes lots longer. If you are sitting in front of the
    computer watching the compression, you may care. If you queue up the
    compression and go on to other things, or go to sleep, work, etc.
    then you might as well use the highest level.

    The increased compression is not at all proportional to the time
    required. You can spend two or three times as long trying to compress
    for only 10% or so of decreased file size.


    --
    Pat
    http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimse...msoftware.html



  3. #3
    Senior Member dwc's Avatar
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    Thx Pat,
    Reading more on the topic at various forums, it doesn't look like going all the way to lvl 8 is really going to buy much drive space over the lower levels, and apparently lvl 8 takes "ages" longer than even lvl 5 for example to encode.

    Secondly, the playback of lvl 8 files also takes a bit more cpu and is known to burn batteries a bit faster on mp3 players.

    So, that being said, it looks like I'll be encoding to something less than 8. Perhaps 5.

    -Dan

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwc
    Thx Pat,
    Reading more on the topic at various forums, it doesn't look like going all the way to lvl 8 is really going to buy much drive space over the lower levels, and apparently lvl 8 takes "ages" longer than even lvl 5 for example to encode.

    Secondly, the playback of lvl 8 files also takes a bit more cpu and is known to burn batteries a bit faster on mp3 players.

    So, that being said, it looks like I'll be encoding to something less than 8. Perhaps 5.
    My understanding is that playing flac and other lossless (or worse, non-compressed WAV) files is also more battery consuming than mp3, ogg, and other compressed formats. I'm not sure why that is. My guess is that it's the reading of larger files from either flash memory or from a hard drive that accounts for the increased power consumption.

  5. #5
    Josh Coalson
    Guest

    Recommended FLAC compression level?

    --- dwc <dwc.1x696c (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
    > Is there any reason not to use level 8 compression when encoding to
    > FLAC
    > for (wireless) slimbox? Has it been found that some other compression
    > level works better for some reason? Thanks for any help, I have a lot
    > of cd's to re-rip and I only want to have to do this once.
    >
    > I also have to take into consideration that my mp3 player is an x-5,
    > and I don't remember if it supports level 8 or not. Heading to
    > iaudiophile next to check on that...


    flac -8 does take a little bit more computation to decode than -5.
    unsually it is negligible, but some devices like the iaudio X5 are
    right on the borderline; my understanding is that the X5 with the
    latest firmware can decode -8. I should be getting a review unit
    soon and will have more info then.

    my recommendation is that if you plan on using the files on
    devices outside a PC, stick with flac -5. the extra gain you
    get with -8 is usually minimal with CD audio.

    if you don't mind reencoding later (flac -8 to flac -5) you
    can do flac -8 now until you have a problem. I plan in the next
    version of flac to do flac->flac recoding that preserves all
    the metadata.

    Josh





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  6. #6
    I too have an x5. I can't find it right now but I do remember reading somewhere that it only supported up to compression level 6 (can't find the posting now)... however, I'm skeptical about the truth of this statement since the compression level should have no impact on the decoder...

    Anyway, I guess you could try and see what happens. I use 5 for all my stuff and I've never worried about the (say) 1mb/song differences. These days hard drives are too cheap to waste time with higher levels.

    ss.

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