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The Future of FLAC
greynol
post Nov 22 2012, 16:36
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Are you prepared to substantiate either of those sound quality claims even if one of them is only expressed as an opinion*?

Wolfson vs. Cirrus Logic?

High bitrate Nero AAC vs. lossless?

(*) opinions are not in any way exempt from TOS #8.

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 22 2012, 16:51


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jkauff
post Nov 22 2012, 22:29
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QUOTE (greynol @ Nov 22 2012, 16:36) *
Are you prepared to substantiate either of those sound quality claims even if one of them is only expressed as an opinion*?

Wolfson vs. Cirrus Logic?

High bitrate Nero AAC vs. lossless?

(*) opinions are not in any way exempt from TOS #8.

No claims were made. I don't know if Apple prefers Wolfson to CL, they've used both in earlier products. I suspect the CL was the smaller chip, so it went in the phone. There have been comments made by reviewers that the iPhone 5 audio is a notch below the iPhone 4S sound, so maybe the Wolfson in the adapter is a larger, better DAC than the tiny CL they used. I was just making the point that they bothered to put a DAC in the adapter--must have had a reason, since it makes the adapter more expensive.

As for FLAC vs. AAC, I said I couldn't hear much difference with my setup. If I had a pair of $500 Sennheiser IEMs instead of my $150 Shures, I could probably tell the difference--but the iPhone only cost me $200, so I'm not going that route. As always, YMMV. I'm transcoding to 300 VBR AAC, so the quality's pretty good, but I'm not claiming it's as good as lossless. It's just good enough for my usage.

You can call off the mods now. cool.gif
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skamp
post Nov 23 2012, 00:48
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QUOTE (jkauff @ Nov 22 2012, 16:08) *
IMO, the current Cirrus Logic DACs aren't good enough to warrant the extra file size of FLACs for portable use. Interestingly, Apple has included a Wolfson DAC in the Lightning-to-30-pin adapter, so they're still interested in pushing quality sound out to external playback devices. And Lightning can output both digital and analog signals to external devices.

[] No claims were made. [] I was just making the point that they bothered to put a DAC in the adapter--must have had a reason, since it makes the adapter more expensive.


(emphasis mine) Those are claims about the quality of DACs, and they need to be justified. You've been here since the beginning of HA, you should know this.
Also, the Lightning connector is all digital, there's no analog line out. That's why they had to put a DAC inside the Lightning to Dock adapter. Quality had nothing to do with it.

FWIW, RMAA tests of the Cirrus Logic DACs in Apple's latest products show high linearity and low distortion.

QUOTE (jkauff @ Nov 22 2012, 16:08) *
If I had a pair of $500 Sennheiser IEMs instead of my $150 Shures, I could probably tell the difference


Another claim that needs justification.


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jkauff
post Nov 23 2012, 08:07
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QUOTE (skamp @ Nov 23 2012, 00:48) *
Those are claims about the quality of DACs, and they need to be justified. You've been here since the beginning of HA, you should know this. Also, the Lightning connector is all digital, there's no analog line out. That's why they had to put a DAC inside the Lightning to Dock adapter. Quality had nothing to do with it.

FWIW, RMAA tests of the Cirrus Logic DACs in Apple's latest products show high linearity and low distortion.

QUOTE (jkauff @ Nov 22 2012, 16:08) *
If I had a pair of $500 Sennheiser IEMs instead of my $150 Shures, I could probably tell the difference


Another claim that needs justification.

OK, I give up, I retract both my earlier posts. I'd still like to know why Apple chose Wolfson over Cirrus Logic for the connecter DAC. Price? Quality? They already had stacks of them in a warehouse? I have no idea, I just made the quite possibly mistaken assumption that the company preferred the Wolfson for quality reasons. I won't make any assumptions anymore.

As for the Sennheiser vs. Shure remark, you're quite right. I don't want to get into a Head-Fi-style debate over the relative quality of stock IEMs. My point was that my Shure set is certainly not in the top tier of IEMs--I have no first-hand experience with the Sennheiser line--and that higher quality earbuds would very likely reveal more differences between my AAC files and my FLAC files on the iPhone CL chips. In any case, I certainly don't have "golden ears" and was just speaking from personal experience using the setup I have. I don't need or expect an audiophile experience on a phone anyway.

Spoon opened this thread speculating about the future of FLAC, and I just don't see it having much of a future as a portable format in a world where most people are getting their music from the iTunes store and Spotify/Pandora and don't even know what a DAC is. I think it already is and will continue to be the standard container format for home music servers, HTPCs, and multi-TB hard drive music collections like mine. ALAC and the others are very minor players in that space.

Apologies all around if I ruffled HA feathers with my posts.

This post has been edited by jkauff: Nov 23 2012, 08:37
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greynol
post Nov 23 2012, 16:37
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It's too bad this topic had to take tangential paths, but that's what happens when people choose to defend positions that should not be defended.

A tangential path on FLAC sucking because it is not CBR can be found here:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=98015

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 24 2012, 01:54


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Axon
post Nov 25 2012, 07:17
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If the future of FLAC is really in question, why hasn't it been brought up on flac-dev? It's not like you need to know the secret handshake to post there (even if one is directly challenging the quality of the current maintainership).
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spoon
post Nov 25 2012, 20:49
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The fact that Eric has (up until now) ignored the concerns raised here, says plenty about its current stewardship, perhaps they were not worthy concerns...

However I fear it is a case of:



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BFG
post Nov 25 2012, 21:36
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This kind of makes me wonder if Justin Ruggles (the owner of FLAKE) would be interested in taking over. And if the community would accept that.
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Justin Ruggles
post Nov 26 2012, 18:51
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QUOTE (BFG @ Nov 25 2012, 16:36) *
This kind of makes me wonder if Justin Ruggles (the owner of FLAKE) would be interested in taking over. And if the community would accept that.

No
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BFG
post Nov 26 2012, 21:30
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QUOTE (Justin Ruggles @ Nov 26 2012, 11:51) *
No

Well, that was easy laugh.gif
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notinasia
post Mar 4 2013, 12:09
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I think code development and networking can be seperate. Not independent of course, but I think it's realistic to let xiph.org maintain the api, and if any needs for change arise because networking introduces new users, and new demands, that's when networking people can make a request of the development team. If that doesn't work, well that's a bridge you can cross when you get to.

I am willing to contribute my ideas with anybody. Here is a start with a fan page, nothing complete just what I've got together before going in to work: http://www.facebook.com/pages/FLAC/5336467...533646726686289
. Some things that I would like to see are: a user-friendly modern website / guide for curious non-tech, every-day windows users; logos / motto pics that can be distributed on facebook; some FLAC-specific merchandise either recommended to xiph.org, or done independently; facebook ads, etc.

The idea behind this not being to make business deals with microsoft after I get off of work, but just to advocate flac to the public, and to hopefully gain more commercial support for the FLAC format by doing so... Spam links to request microsoft to add flac support to windows CE, whatever.

As you may notice, I am not a regular visitor on HydrogenAudio, so my preferred method of contact would be through the facebook page. I did a flac decoding project a couple of years ago, asked some questions here, and tuffy (Josh if I'm not mistaken) helped me out and I really appreciated it. Anyways, I've been curious how things are going with FLAC and I ended up here. I hope to get the ball rolling with like-minded people, and I've left the first page like up for grabs by anyone (it could be yours).
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notinasia
post Mar 4 2013, 13:13
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So I search for FLAC on facebook before all this happened and just can't find anything... Then I start a fan page and whatever and go to like xiph.org and there's a link to a Free Lossless Audio Codec page right in front of me asdfasdfasdfasdf. Anyways I'm going to keep it up for now and see what happens.

This post has been edited by notinasia: Mar 4 2013, 13:39
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