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bobreb
2005-09-20, 12:15
I'm looking for the highest quality option. Everything is currently in WAV format -- that was the best quality option available for the Audiotron device I'm switching from. Will probably re-rip to WMA lossless. Before I do, I thought I'd ask some experts what they'd do to save a little space while preserving audio quality. For instance, why Flac over WMA lossless?

Thanks.

jth
2005-09-20, 12:33
Well lossless is lossless, so presumably everything should be the same quality no matter what you choose.

If you are decoding on the server, choose whatever you like. If you want to let the SB2 decode, use FLAC since it is the only lossless format supported in hardware at the moment, although I think WMA lossless is being worked on as well.

Maditude
2005-09-20, 12:52
> For instance, why Flac over WMA lossless?

Flac can be decoded directly by the squeezebox, which means less traffic on your network. WMA needs to be decoded on the server, and the now-uncompressed audio is piped to the squeezebox.

pfarrell
2005-09-20, 13:06
On Tue, 2005-09-20 at 12:15 -0700, bobreb wrote:
> I'm looking for the highest quality option. Everything is currently in
> WAV format -- that was the best quality option available for the
> Audiotron device I'm switching from. Will probably re-rip to WMA
> lossless. Before I do, I thought I'd ask some experts what they'd do to
> save a little space while preserving audio quality. For instance, why
> Flac over WMA lossless?

If you've ripped it to WAV format, you don't need to rerip it to make it
be FLAC, all you have to do is compress it. Which eliminates the need
to touch all the CDs.

Depending on your file structure, there are tools that can guess the
proper tags from the file names, and most folks have something like
music/genre/artist/album/....
so it is easy.

As others have said, lossless is lossless. AAC lossless, MLP, WMA
lossless, FLAC all should be the same. The quality should be identical
because the uncompressed bits are identical. (sometimes padding
gets added when you uncompress, but all players, DACs, etc.
ignore the padding.

And right now, the SqueezeBox 2 only handles FLAC over the network,
which is a really good thing. That along would be justification
enough for me.

The biggest difference is licensing terms. AAC, MLP, and WMA are
proprietary systems. The license holders can set the terms and can
change the terms as they see fit. I expect that WMA will include
ever stronger DRM (digital rights management) systems in Vista
and subsequent releases of Windows.

If you like or are willing to live with the terms of the closed
formats, use them. If you think that once you paid for
your music that you should be able to enjoy it without
Apple's or Microsoft's or Meridian's permission, then
FLAC will look better to you.

Its important to me, but YMMV

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

abdomen
2005-09-20, 14:51
One more thing to consider: A result of FLAC being decoded on the SB2 itself is that it enables fast forward and rewind within tracks.