PDA

View Full Version : WAV or FLAC ?



DejanM
2008-07-31, 05:42
Hi to everybody here,

I am a new owner of SB Duet and I am just building my new Music Library on the HD. I have a dilemma: which format to use for storing my CDs ? The only criteria is quality of music reproduction - HD place of particular formats doesn't play any role for me ...

Mark Lanctot
2008-07-31, 05:47
FLAC. Its quality is the same as WAV (it's lossless) but it's 40-50% smaller so it saves on drive space and is less difficult to transmit wirelessly. Probably most important of all, it has an excellent tagging system.

bigfool1956
2008-07-31, 05:52
Hi DejanM, welcome to the forum.

FLAC is a lossless compression format, which means that there is no quality loss whatsoever when using it to store music. It has the advantage that it can be properly tagged, which is important when you are storing your music on a computer.

When a lossless format such as FLAC or Apple Lossless is decompressed you get an identical file to the wave file from which it was created.

Some people can hear a difference between the sound of a FLAC being decoded in the server or the hardware, but the machanism as to why this should be so is unclear. It is not a function of the format at all. In the server you can opt to have your flac files decompressed in the hardware (native, and is the default setting) or in the server (flac to wave). It is simple to swap between the two, and see if you find any difference.

Flac is an open source compression method, and as such you need have no worry that it will become unavailable in the future.

Therefore in conclusion, the best way to go is to store your music in FLAC. The bonus is, you will use half the disc space.

GlenL
2008-07-31, 07:35
Between WAV and FLAC, FLAC no question.
File sizes are just over half the size of WAVs, plus FLAC supports tags.

Of course if you are an Apple user (Mac/iPod/iTunes/iPhone/iPod Touch etc), Apple's ALAC format is probably a better option.

DejanM
2008-07-31, 07:47
Hi,

Thanks for your answers. I read in a Slimdevices Users Guide for Duet that when the files are stored in WAV format they will be internally transferred into FLAC and then converted further to get SPDIF stream on the digital output. Something completely opposite to what I would expect ... My interpretation is that FLAC is the "natural" internal format for Duet. Can you please put a comment on this ?

st2000
2008-07-31, 08:05
I believe if you start w/Free Lossless Audio Compression (FLAC) it will
stay that way through the process. This is speculation, but starting in
WAV w/no compression and compressing it to FLAC on the server then
uncompressing it at the client (if that's what happens) should not
result in any loss. On the plus side, there is less traffic on your
intra net - which is always good.


DejanM wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Thanks for your answers. I read in a Slimdevices Users Guide for Duet
> that when the files are stored in WAV format they will be internally
> transferred into FLAC and then converted further to get SPDIF stream on
> the digital output. Something completely opposite to what I would expect
> ... My interpretation is that FLAC is the "natural" internal format for
> Duet. Can you please put a comment on this ?
>
>

SuperQ
2008-07-31, 08:52
Hi,

Thanks for your answers. I read in a Slimdevices Users Guide for Duet that when the files are stored in WAV format they will be internally transferred into FLAC and then converted further to get SPDIF stream on the digital output. Something completely opposite to what I would expect ... My interpretation is that FLAC is the "natural" internal format for Duet. Can you please put a comment on this ?

It doesn't have to, you can manually adjust the conversion settings in SqueezeCenter. All of the Squeezeboxes will play wav directly.

The problem is wifi bandwidth can be very low depending on the distance between the Squeezebox and the AP. For this reason they do a lossless FLAC transcode of WAV files to reduce the bandwidth needs.

What you call "natural" is really "native decoding". The Squeezebox supports a number of internal formats for decoding. FLAC, WAV, ogg, mp3, wmv.

FLAC is the best because it is lossless, compact, supports tags album art, cue sheets, and internal integrity checking.

Phil Leigh
2008-07-31, 09:43
Flac - 60% of the size, same audio quality, proper - useful - tags.
That's all there is to say.

DejanM
2008-07-31, 14:49
Ok. Thanks guys ... you convinced me ... Therefore, FLAC here i come ...