Using lossless data compression for audio?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by J_Carlo, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. J_Carlo

    J_Carlo Guest

    Are any of you using lossless data compression for archiving and/or sending audio files over the net? If so , what are you using and how? If not , why?
     
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Tracktion has integrated support for FLAC files, which I use sometimes. I have also succesfully used the Monkeys Audio lossless codec (.ape files): http://www.monkeysaudio.com/
     
  3. J_Carlo

    J_Carlo Guest

    I tried FLAC and did not like it. I could easily pick it apart from the original. Will try Monkeys Audio. Thanks.
     
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    FLAC....really? I use that a fair bit. Kristal is Wav, Flac or Ogg. Since I want to stick 50mins of recs into a flash drive with plenty of other stuff on it, I use Flac.
    Can't say I had anything to compare it to, though opening Flac files, wow...foobar has no troubles but foobar is no use. VLC can play it...but not save it as a separate stream. Nothing I have can open it, except Kristal.
     
  5. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    That was a bug if so. Lossless means there is NO difference.

    I just tried a test, which I encourage you to try yourself: I imported a 16 bit wav file into Tracktion, then exported it again as a 16 bit flac file with no other changes. I reimported that flac file to another track, flipped the phase and hit play... the two tracks cancelled out to total silence.
     
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    There's a winamp plug available for flac files...

    Rar compression is also suprisingly good at squashing down wav file sizes. But the files can't be played directly of course, they need extracting first.
     
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I couldn't care much less for winamp, it's no use to me. Foobar2000 can play them, it's opening them to edit/mix with that's the problem. Nothing except Kristal can read them AND save them as wavs.

    Oh, and the Rar idea...that's GENIUS. I'll be trying that for sure.
     
  8. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Tracktion?
     
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I don't have that.
    Grammatical screw up on my part, sorry.

    "Nothing I have" is what I meant to say.

    How good does the rar compression get? Obviously it depends but on the whole?
     
  10. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Its free to try, why not give it a go?

    AFAIR its nearly as good as the dedicated audio codecs like flac or ape, with the added advantage that you can archive a whole project's worth of audio files into a single .rar file. (Tracktion lets you do the same thing but with flac compression instead via Tracktion Archive files.)
     
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    In this world of mega-sized hard drives (just bought a WD 500GB for $99 yesterday), 5Mbps Internet Connections, 8 gig thumb drives for $39, and 160GB iPods, why are we still worried about various compression formats.

    My beef isn't with lossy or lossless compression. It's with their universality or lack thereof.

    I'll be damned if I'm installing WinAmp, Foobar, iTunes, MonkeyPoo or whatever on my audio workstation. My audio machine has Audio Programs (Sequoia, Reason, FL, Garritan, Finale, and Plug-ins) only. Many of these software packages require you to use resources on your computer even when they're not officially in use.

    Not only that, when someone sends me a FLAC file to work with, I just scratch my head and ask, "Would it have been too hard to send me a friggin WAV file? Afterall, I have over 2 Terabytes of storage left on my FTP server!"
     
  12. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I agree, the time it takes to mess with this is waisted time being that hard drives are so cheap now. And in 5 years you'll probably have to redo everything again so you can play them.
     
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Thing is, my flash drive is only 1GB and if I did get an 4GB one I'd partition it, install Ubuntu on 3GB worth, and fill the rest with crap.
    Except that I think Ubuntu won't transfer well if you install it using an Intel and load on an Athlon.
    XP fails totally, Ubuntu just goes to command prompt.

    Didn't know Traction was free (even to try). Might do it later, once I escape some lectures.

    Good about RAR, I actually have a copy of the program on my flash, installed to it (minus the shell) and I can use it on any PC. Thus...rar it is.
     
  14. J_Carlo

    J_Carlo Guest

    Tried the nulling test , did WaveLab's file comparer and full analysis. Best of all , did double blind tests with a friend who is also interested in the subject. 100% of the time we could tell the reconstucted files form the source. Only exception was WavPack.
     
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Audible silence (as in you hear nothing) or actual zero samples?
     
  16. J_Carlo

    J_Carlo Guest

    That is one of the problems with nulling tests. You will not get a total null even with the same file. What you will get is audible silence at a reasonable spl level.
     
  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well...you should if it's the same exact file.

    However, I've not seen this be the case with lossless compression versus uncompressed.
     
  18. J_Carlo

    J_Carlo Guest

    That is one of the problems with nulling tests. You will not get a total null even with the same file. What you will get is audible silence at a reasonable spl level.
     
  19. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I was talking about winRAR, sorry. Tracktion has a demo version of course.
     
  20. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I get a total null when subtracting a wav file from a flac'ed version of the same. (According to Tracktion's own meters, Inspector XL and the SSL X-ISM bit meter.)

    Any other result is a bug.
     

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