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Cryptic claims made elsewhere (so-called, audible differences between FLAC & WAVE)
vinnie97
post May 23 2006, 03:36
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I'd just like to see some commentary on the claim in this thread about someone who is claiming they can hear the difference between WAV and FLAC: http://iaudiophile.net/forums/showthread.php?p=84975 (skip to page 3).

This individual seems to mistakenly think that FLAC utilizes some algorithm that interferes with the high frequencies (making them "better" to his ears). blink.gif I obviously think he's imagining these differences or being deceived by a decoder as referenced in the thread (he ignores that suggestion, though).

Perhaps the FLAC developer can set him straight because he seems to think he's rather knowledgeable on the topic. rolleyes.gif

EDIT: Doh, I exceeded the limit of chars for a topic (no warning ;( )

This post has been edited by vinnie97: May 23 2006, 03:37
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saratoga
post May 23 2006, 03:42
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Hes just an idiot. And those forums look pretty horrible, so maybe posting there isn't the best idea.
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vinnie97
post May 23 2006, 03:49
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lol, I only post there since I'm a fan of Cowon and their players. wink.gif It's a good place to discuss their hardware...you're just seeing a few bad apples in that thread...not everyone exhibits the same level of ignorance you see in said thread.

I just couldn't bear to see someone hide under the banner of knowledge because they're taking some course at school while they spout misinformation and utilized this opportunity to vent basically. wink.gif

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boojum
post May 23 2006, 04:17
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TrNSZ
post May 23 2006, 04:42
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You can easily prove this using math on paper, or in a real-application by using a bit-for-bit comparison of the WAV data with the decoded FLAC data, and with the proper hardware, it is trivial to verify the exact same audio data is being sent to your DAC.

Any claims otherwise are pure nonsense. Lots of people think they are knowledgable and at least pretend to be, but are really just clueless. This seems especially true in this case where any difference is easily verifiable both in the computer and comparing data sent from the computer to an off-board DAC.

If the person who is making these claims refuses to provide you with results of simple tests that would easily and undeniably confirm (but more likely, deny) his findings, that is reason enough to be positive he is trolling or making it all up. It is also possible he has some kind of software misconfiguration or misimplementation and he's either too stupid or too embarassed to admit it. Anyone who claims to be in an "advanced study period of computer science in audio-visual systems" who uses meaningless terms such "rounder" and "more harmonic" sounding is obviously just a troll.

If the moderators of that forum don't have any problem with a user behaving in such a fasion, I'd suggest you find a new forums to frequent as quickly as possible.

Anyway, if someone is convinced they are immortal, or the world is flat, or even that 1+1 is 3, then I doubt correcting them will have any effect.

This post has been edited by TrNSZ: May 23 2006, 15:48
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Mono
post May 23 2006, 05:33
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QUOTE (TrNSZ @ May 22 2006, 22:42) *
Anyway, if someone is convinced they are immortal, or the world is flat, or even that 1+1 is 3, then I doubt correcting them will have any effect.

That is all too true. No amount of learning can cure stupidity. It never ceases to amaze me how such people live in a deterministic world, then ignore logic and reason when it suits them.


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vinnie97
post May 23 2006, 06:14
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Of course, you're all right...that's why I frequent this forum as well. It serves as an antidote for forums like the one I referenced. wink.gif

I would normally look the other way and not think twice but the claim plus the so-called superior knowledge he declares really don't add up and witnessing such a ridiculous claim, I couldn't just sit in silence.
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Otto42
post May 23 2006, 06:16
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AtaqueEG
post May 23 2006, 07:09
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QUOTE (Otto42 @ May 22 2006, 23:16) *
Arguing with people on the internet is like being in the Special Olympics.
Even if you win, you're still retarded.


That was funny and cruel at the same time.

But I guess you are right


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Synthetic Soul
post May 23 2006, 08:56
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Topic title amended.

QUOTE (boojum @ May 23 2006, 04:17) *
Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it. cool.gif
QUOTE (Otto42 @ May 23 2006, 06:16) *
Arguing with people on the internet is like being in the Special Olympics.
Even if you win, you're still retarded.
laugh.gif It's not often I get to belly laugh first thing in the morning. Thanks guys.


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pepoluan
post May 23 2006, 09:24
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You know, not to defend the retard there, if you actually listen to FLAC against WAV on a PC, you might hear different... if you use AMD's Cool&Quiet technology. As WAVs are just dumped into Windows Mixer, it should (theoretically) use less CPU power and thus makes the fan go slower. FLACs need to be decoded and thus use more CPU power and makes the fan go faster, thus noisier.

But I don't have Cool&Quiet, so this is a hypothesis. Anyways, FLACs and WAVs will produce exact bit-by-bit match, and if you can totally isolate the effect of varying fan speed, there's no difference.


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vinnie97
post May 23 2006, 12:07
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Thanks for the title fix, Synthetic Soul.

Otto, I have heard that cruel comparison made with the Special Olympics 100 times by now. wink.gif I guess I just never learn...or disagree since the internet is very much about open communication and discussion. (yes, I'm guilty of flat out arguing as well because of my dogmatic tendencies...this is not one of those situations. tongue.gif)
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shadowking
post May 23 2006, 12:18
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There are only bit comparisons in lossless. There are no listening tests and how misled people are still doing them is just sad.

Sad that they get lossless data compression (winzip) and not audio compression.


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sTisTi
post May 23 2006, 12:29
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 23 2006, 10:24) *
You know, not to defend the retard there, if you actually listen to FLAC against WAV on a PC, you might hear different... if you use AMD's Cool&Quiet technology. As WAVs are just dumped into Windows Mixer, it should (theoretically) use less CPU power and thus makes the fan go slower. FLACs need to be decoded and thus use more CPU power and makes the fan go faster, thus noisier.

But I don't have Cool&Quiet, so this is a hypothesis.

...and what a wonderfully unrealistic one wink.gif. CPU usage will probably be 1% when playing FLAC in realtime, and the CPU will certainly not "power up" to a higher clock rate for such an easy task, thus the fan speed will stay the same.


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pepoluan
post May 23 2006, 12:40
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Ah, so much for my hypothesis biggrin.gif

Psst... don't let any audiophile read this. They'll have a field day with this laugh.gif


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Never_Again
post May 23 2006, 13:49
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QUOTE (Mono @ May 23 2006, 00:33) *
It never ceases to amaze me how such people live in a deterministic world, then ignore logic and reason when it suits them.
The phenomenon is known to science as magical thinking.
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Demetris
post May 23 2006, 14:51
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QUOTE (sTisTi @ May 23 2006, 14:29) *
...and what a wonderfully unrealistic one wink.gif. CPU usage will probably be 1% when playing FLAC in realtime, and the CPU will certainly not "power up" to a higher clock rate for such an easy task, thus the fan speed will stay the same.

Exactly. wink.gif I use Cool 'n' Quiet on an AMD64 3000+ and the multiplier values I'm seeing are 5x, 9x and 10x. The only audio-related job that can push the multiplier above 5x and make the fan rev faster and be audible is, of course, encoding.
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molnart
post May 23 2006, 16:18
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I can fairly imagine that a portable music player is decoding flac in a different way, thus it sounds differently than the wav
Similarly some eq enhancement could be done in computer decoding too causing the flac sound differently. (Or it is a buggy FLAC decoder) This is just an unlikely theory but can be POSSIBLE.

So if a FLAC sounds differently than the .wav it is certainly due to a decoding issue. Actually a double blind test here has some sense, but you need to compare the ORIGINAL FLAC file with the DECODED FLAC.

PSYCHOLOGICALLY FLAC files have much higher quality than the WAVE files, because i feel much better when i'm using an 'advanced' technology like flac instead of some stupid old-school wavs biggrin.gif (in fact they are PSYCHOLOGICALLY 'better to my ears')
EDIT: i should have said: 'better to my mind' smile.gif

(it is similar to the last.fm and foosic like services: knowing that other people can see what i'm listening to, i'm starting to like different kind of music than before wink.gif )

This post has been edited by molnart: May 23 2006, 16:23


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TrNSZ
post May 23 2006, 16:54
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QUOTE (molnart @ May 23 2006, 11:18) *
So if a FLAC sounds differently than the .wav it is certainly due to a decoding issue. Actually a double blind test here has some sense, but you need to compare the ORIGINAL FLAC file with the DECODED FLAC.
No, there is no need for a double-blind test here. What good would not knowing which file is which when comparting files bit-by-bit do you? The results are identical or not identical, if you are using your computer to compare files.

And just what is an "original FLAC" file? How do you suggest you compare that to a "decoded FLAC" file, as that would involve decompressing your "original FLAC" at some point. I hope you meant something completely different here.

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molnart
post May 23 2006, 17:31
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You are right. I meant something like this:
take a FLAC, decode it to wav with a reference decoder, play the FLAC with your original (buggy) player, the wav with a reference player. Hear a difference? Your player is buggy or introduces some unwanted equalizing on flac files

But obviously this is not a double-blind test anymore...

So i was suggesting NOT to compare the original wav file (from CDDA) with a wav file decoded from compressed source, as listening tests are done, but to compare a FLAC file (decoded internally, on-the-fly) with the previously decoded FLAC by a reference decoder

I agree that some people will hear some difference as a placebo effect, because they already know which file is which. Even if they're sure there can't be any

This post has been edited by molnart: May 23 2006, 21:52


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audiomars
post May 24 2006, 06:13
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QUOTE (molnart @ May 23 2006, 22:01) *
----snip----
take a FLAC, decode it to wav with a reference decoder, play the FLAC with your original (buggy) player, the wav with a reference player. Hear a difference? Your player is buggy or introduces some unwanted equalizing on flac files
----snip----


Hmmm, in this case, they may sound different, but the difference is because of the players used. The WAV and FLAC files should sound the same if you are using the same player without changing any settings in between.


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Jebus
post May 24 2006, 16:19
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QUOTE (sTisTi @ May 23 2006, 03:29) *
QUOTE (pepoluan @ May 23 2006, 10:24) *

You know, not to defend the retard there, if you actually listen to FLAC against WAV on a PC, you might hear different... if you use AMD's Cool&Quiet technology. As WAVs are just dumped into Windows Mixer, it should (theoretically) use less CPU power and thus makes the fan go slower. FLACs need to be decoded and thus use more CPU power and makes the fan go faster, thus noisier.

But I don't have Cool&Quiet, so this is a hypothesis.

...and what a wonderfully unrealistic one wink.gif. CPU usage will probably be 1% when playing FLAC in realtime, and the CPU will certainly not "power up" to a higher clock rate for such an easy task, thus the fan speed will stay the same.


I'm at work right now, and i wear a headset attached to a PC. When the automatic disk defragger comes on at night (when i'm working nights), I can hear it through the headset. RF interference or whatever, generated by CPU or disk activity. So I'd expect that any codec that requires extra CPU activity could very well generate tones in a poorly shielded audio cable, or possibly in a cheap soundcard.
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molnart
post May 24 2006, 20:32
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QUOTE (Jebus @ May 24 2006, 17:19) *
I'm at work right now, and i wear a headset attached to a PC. When the automatic disk defragger comes on at night (when i'm working nights), I can hear it through the headset. RF interference or whatever, generated by CPU or disk activity. So I'd expect that any codec that requires extra CPU activity could very well generate tones in a poorly shielded audio cable, or possibly in a cheap soundcard.


In case of defrag, you are hearing the HDD activity and not the CPU. I had to remove the audio cable that connected my cd-rom and onboard soundcard because the spinning drive was creating heavy backround noise.
FLAC decoding may have heavier memory requirements ( unsure.gif ), so if hdd swapping is needed, interference could occur


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Firon
post May 24 2006, 21:41
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FLAC doesn't really use any significant amount of RAM, but it will cause your HDD to read LESS, since it's smaller. wink.gif
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tev777
post May 24 2006, 23:28
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QUOTE (Otto42 @ May 23 2006, 01:16) *
Arguing with people on the internet is like being in the Special Olympics.
Even if you win, you're still retarded.


That's ferakin' priceless!


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