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  1. #1
    Senior Member rick's cafe's Avatar
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    Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    Could someone give me a brief idiots guide to FLAC Ripping vs WAV vs MP3. I will be playing all my music on SB3 thru a Cambridge Audio 540R ... any advice or recommendations welcomed.

    Also on avg what is the file size for a CD ripped as FLAC vs the rest and what rippers do you recommend I use.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    rick's cafe wrote:
    > Could someone give me a brief idiots guide to FLAC Ripping vs WAV vs
    > MP3.


    I'm not sure if you are asking about the file formats or
    ripping software.

    Since, this is the audiophiles list, part of the answer can be short and
    easy. MP3 and other lossy formats throw away parts of the music
    that they think are not important. Audiophiles think that every
    part of the music is important, and no dumb algorithm can decide
    so they never use MP3 for anything worth listening to.

    From the audiophile focus on sound, there is no difference between
    WAV (pcm) and any of the lossless compression systems. These include
    FLAC, MLP, WMA-lossless, AAC-lossless, etc. By definition, lossless
    means nothing is lost.

    WAV files have two downsides. They are bigger (see below) and you
    can't tag them. Tags help library management, and managing a large
    library is a big deal. If you have a tiny library, it doesn't matter
    at all.

    > Also on avg what is the file size for a CD ripped as FLAC vs the rest
    > and what rippers do you recommend I use.


    FLAC for me achieves a 40% to 50% compression.
    So a movement that is 100MB becomes 60MB compressed.
    YMMV a lot.


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


  3. #3
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    Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    Download EAC from here:

    http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/

    Configure it using this:

    http://users.pandora.be/satcp/eac-qs-en.htm

    To burn to WAV, use the EAC "WAV" button. To burn
    to FLAC, use the EAC "MP3" button but with the
    "FLAC (compression)" profile loaded. To burn to
    MP3, use the EAC "MP3" button but with the "MP3
    (compression)" profile loaded.

    Note: if burning lossless, WAV won't get you any
    advantages over FLAC and will cost you more
    storage space.

    dBpowerAMP requires virtually no configuration:

    http://www.dbpoweramp.com/

    but its ripper is not as accurate, powerful or
    configurable as EAC and its MP3 encoder is on a
    30-day license.

    In regards to file sizes, I haven't found anything
    definitive, but:

    http://www.awaken.com/FAQManagingMyMusic.php5

    "FLAC files are about 36 MB each and would be
    about 500 MB/CD."

    "How much hard drive space would I need for 300
    CDs in lossless format?

    Approximately 120 GB for FLAC or WMA; and 240 GB
    for AIFF or WAV."

    "What is the average file size for a CD converted
    at the highest quality bitrate?

    A song encoded in MP3 320 kbps CBR will be about
    10 MB on average. If you assume a CD has about 15
    tracks this will result in 150 MB/CD. MP3's at 256
    kbps VBR would be more like 120 MB/CD."

    rick's cafe wrote:
    > Could someone give me a brief idiots guide to FLAC

    Ripping vs WAV vs
    > MP3. I will be playing all my music on SB3 thru a

    Cambridge Audio 540R
    > ... any advice or recommendations welcomed.
    >
    > Also on avg what is the file size for a CD ripped as

    FLAC vs the rest
    > and what rippers do you recommend I use.
    >
    > thanks
    >
    >


    --
    ___________________________________


    Mark Lanctot
    ___________________________________
    Last edited by Mark Lanctot; 2006-01-12 at 07:55.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rick's cafe's Avatar
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    Mark .. once again .. many thanks for the explaination which I found very helpful... thanks too to Pfarrell

  5. #5
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    Re: Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    You're welcome!

    One thing which the EAC Quickstart guide lightly
    brushes on is the command-line FLAC and EAC encoders.

    These may seem a bit obscure, but with
    command-line switches you can do some incredibly
    powerful things and have a dramatic effect on the
    sound in just one step!

    The quickstart's recommendations should be OK.
    I've played around with mine to use the following:

    FLAC:

    "-8 -V --replay-gain -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t"
    -T "album=%g" -T "genre=%m" %s"

    This says:

    - use maximum compression, 8 on a scale of 0 to 8.
    This is very processor-intensive though.

    - verify the process

    - add ReplayGain data

    - add the artist, title, album and genre tags

    see

    http://flac.sourceforge.net/documentation.html#format

    for all the switches, but don't get too bogged
    down with it. Just know they're there, and that
    there's lots of them.

    MP3:

    This one's tougher. There are even more switches
    and choosing them will have a much greater impact
    on the sound because you're actually throwing away
    sound data.

    Since I only use MP3s in my car, played over a
    PocketPC using an FM radio link, quality isn't
    that important to me but file size is.

    Based on recommendations here:

    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=28124

    I chose:

    "-V 6 --vbr-new --id3v2-only --pad-id3v2 --ta "%a"
    --tt "%t" --tl "%g" %s %d"

    This says:

    - variable bit rate, VBR, for quality vs. filesize

    - compression level 6 using a "vbr new" preset to
    achieve an average bitrate of 115. This makes
    files about the same size as 128 kbps constant bit
    rate (CBR) files but with better quality.

    - use ID3v2 tags only so that I can have tags
    greater than 30 characters

    - add artist, title and genre tags. I don't use
    Album tags here because I don't ever sort or play
    by album on the PocketPC.

    rick's cafe wrote:
    > Mark .. once again .. many thanks for the

    explaination which I found
    > very helpful...
    >
    >


    --
    ___________________________________


    Mark Lanctot
    ___________________________________







  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    A decent, rough rule of thumb for me has been to estimate about 1GB of
    HDD space needed to store 3 CDs worth of FLAC encoded files.

    Double this figure if you want to keep a backup of your library on HDD.

    Background numbers:

    CDs are averaging about 500 to 550MB.
    FLAC encoding results in an average of about 55% of original file size.

    This based on a sample of a couple of hundred CDs encoded. Your sample
    may differ significantly, but it's a decent guide for estimation purposes.

    --rt


  7. #7
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    Also, you should use accurate rip. Once you have set up eac, install accurate rip, and copy the .dll into the eac directory. Start eac, and insert some original cd's until it finds one it recognises, rip it, and you should be good to go.

    If you want to go the whole hog you can also calculate and set you drive's write offset for the ultimate in exact copying

  8. #8
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    Re: Idiots guide to FLAC vs WAV vs MP3

    Some of this is covered here:

    http://users.pandora.be/satcp/eac-qs-en.htm

    I can't remember where I found out about how to
    configure AccurateRip with EAC (it's not in that
    guide), but as I recall it wasn't that
    complicated. AccurateRip even determined the
    offsets for me, I believe using results others
    obtained with the same drives.

    bludragon wrote:
    > Also, you should use accurate rip. Once you have

    set up eac, install
    > accurate rip, and copy the .dll into the eac

    directory. Start eac, and
    > insert some original cd's until it finds one it

    recognises, rip it, and
    > you should be good to go.
    >
    > If you want to go the whole hog you can also

    calculate and set you
    > drive's write offset for the ultimate in exact

    copying
    >
    >


    --
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    Mark Lanctot
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  9. #9
    Senior Member tomsi42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyT
    A decent, rough rule of thumb for me has been to estimate about 1GB of
    HDD space needed to store 3 CDs worth of FLAC encoded files.
    I agree; it a good starting point. My collection of 1448 CD's takes up 479GB (=> 339MB per CD => ~1GB for 3 CD's). I have many older CD's (~35% of my collection) and these are usually shorter than the newer releases.

    Also remember that a double album is counted as 2 CD's...

    Tom
    SB3, Rotel RC-1070/RB-1070, dynaBel Exact, Kimber Kable 4TC and Timbre.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Skunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lanctot
    My only quibble w/ that guide is that I believe you SHOULD check 'drive caches data' in 'drive options'. Only then can EAC defeat that feature. PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong!

    Yeah I thought Accurate Rip took control of my offset testing.. If your accurate rips are coming out 100% it shouldn't matter if you're using DBpowerAMP or EAC.
    Last edited by Skunk; 2006-01-12 at 12:48.

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