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How to compare two Flac files to check whether one is remastered or no
oxyman
post Feb 2 2012, 14:02
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Hello people, Hope you are doing all fine.

I have this question.

How do I check whether re-released one is remastered or not?

For example, I have two versions of Trivium's Ascendancy, one is the first pressing and the other is re-release with bonus tracks.

I don't have enough space so I must choose only one of them, I prefer the re-released one because it has bonus tracks,

But at the same time, I also like the first pressing because it is definitely not remastered while the re-released one could be rematered.

So I would like to compare those two albums to see whether any remastering work has been done.

If you know any simple method to do such comparision, please care to elaborate some.

Thank you all in advance.
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dhromed
post Feb 2 2012, 14:24
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If one is clearly more pleasing to you than the other, use that version. If they are different, but not obviously defective, then neither is objectively better than the other, and you should choose the one you prefer. It would be like choosing one shade of red over another.

If you want more insight into the actual differences if any between the versions, you can use a program such as Audacity or Sonic Visualizer to open both files, and check out the waveform and spectrogram. But note that this will tell you little about how either will sound, and nothing at all about which you will like better.
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oxyman
post Feb 2 2012, 14:34
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thanks a lot, I think this sonic visualiser might be useful.

But I am just wondering if there is any tool that can tell me if two flac files are equal in terms of remastering process in a numeric fashion.

For example if we use "audiochecker", it tells numerically the chance a file is CDDA or MPEG.

So I was wondering if there is any software that tells whether two flac files are equal or not because I would also like to run a few tests between japanese pressings and non-japanese pressings.

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 3 2012, 20:49
Reason for edit: removing pointless full quote
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Porcus
post Feb 2 2012, 15:24
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QUOTE (oxyman @ Feb 2 2012, 14:02) *
How do I check whether re-released one is remastered or not?

For example, I have two versions of Trivium's Ascendancy, one is the first pressing and the other is re-release with bonus tracks.

I don't have enough space so I must choose only one of them


Reminds me of what I fool I was not to tag my remasters properly when I ripped them :-/ Anyway, some thoughts:



* There are many cases where you can tell -- fairly certainly -- that they are indeed different.

Trivium is a 2000's band, not a 1960's band, and with modern recordings, one usually -- digitally -- adjusts the volume so that the max peak is precisely 100 pecent of a CD's maximum. If you peak scan, you will see that most modern recordings have that property -- the peak of an album is reported as '1.0000' or '100%' or similar. Now if the CDs have different track-by-track peak levels, they are most probably different (it might in principle be that the later is changed in volume only, but that is not very likely). And if the CDs have the same peak levels, but different loudness -- do a ReplayGain scan! -- then something is changed from the first to the second release.

Often though, these rough tests will fail to detect differences even if the recordings are re-mixed. (I know you owrite 'remastered', but 'mastering' is not strictly 'mastering', it might include elements of what a layman would have called remixing hadn't it been for the 'remixes' phenomenon ... you get the drift.)


* Then OTOH, there are 'too fine' tests which may report differences even when there really aren't any except that the tracks are separated a few milliseconds different (which is what happens if you take two pressings from the same master!). So just as different pressings from the same master may fail to verify as bit-identical (because one has a few more zeroes/silence samples in the beginning and fewer at the end), then the same will usually happen when bonus tracks are added. It would only be a stroke of luck if this test would verify that two releases which -- bar the bonus tracks -- are the same master, are identical.

Apart from that, I have sometimes use CUETools to calculate CRC without zeroes to see if two CDs are different pressings. I have eliminated a few, but this also frequently fails to 'identify identicals'.


I would myself be interested in knowing whether there is a utility which takes two files and finds the offset which minimizes the diff (after having cropped what is not in the intersection set). Anyone?


--------------------
One day in the Year of the Fox came a time remembered well
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godrick
post Feb 3 2012, 00:49
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Two suggestions:

1) For a crude comparison, consider the Dynamic Range Meter component in Foobar2000. Since it's labelled crashware I can't officially recommend it, but I've never had it crash in my configuration. It will calculate basic information on dynamic range, peaks and RMS gain per channel you can use to see if you need to dig further.

2) For a very detailed comparison, go to the Musicbrainz website and calculate the PUIDs of the tracks or album IDs or release ID of whatever you want to compare. Porcus, I think the PUID and other IDs will elliminate the effect of offsets, but I'm not an expert on Musicbrainz. Good luck!
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