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2007 ripping/encoding general poll
What are your current choices for your own musical library?
What's your *main lossy* format of choice?
MP3 [ 501 ] ** [54.22%]
Ogg Vorbis [ 211 ] ** [22.84%]
AAC [ 118 ] ** [12.77%]
MPC [ 41 ] ** [4.44%]
WMA Standard [ 5 ] ** [0.54%]
WMA Pro [ 3 ] ** [0.32%]
Atrac (any version) [ 4 ] ** [0.43%]
Other / I don't use lossy AT ALL! [ 41 ] ** [4.44%]
What's your *main lossless* format of choice?
FLAC [ 549 ] ** [59.42%]
WavPack [ 203 ] ** [21.97%]
Monkey's Audio [ 43 ] ** [4.65%]
Apple Lossless [ 25 ] ** [2.71%]
OptimFrog [ 2 ] ** [0.22%]
WMA Lossless [ 13 ] ** [1.41%]
TAK [ 7 ] ** [0.76%]
Other / I don't use lossless AT ALL! [ 82 ] ** [8.87%]
What's your favorite ripping mode {for your main or archive library if you have several ones}?
one file per track [ 691 ] ** [74.78%]
one file per disc with cuesheet or chapters [ 138 ] ** [14.94%]
it depends: I mix both [ 95 ] ** [10.28%]
Total Votes: 1025
  
Lych
post Jan 6 2007, 09:34
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For lossy, iTunes AAC 192kbps VBR. For lossless, Wavpack -h. I switch from FLAC to Wavpack because of its feature set. I'll probably switch over to TAK once it is completed (it looks so cool). Once my Neuros dies, I re-ripped by songs from Vorbis to mp3 so I could load them on my iPod (I didn't know about rockbox then).
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user
post Jan 6 2007, 14:15
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Archival & Listening:
Flac_1.1.3_made_by_Case_! -8 -V
because of hardware device support (now and in future) (hm, the comma bug of 1.1.3...) , listening via HiFi, speakers


Archival backup on 2nd medium:
MPC 1.16 --quality 8 --ms 15 --xlevel (ca. 260k vbr)
Musepack, because perfect (technical lossy) mostly transparent quality, small size, so cheap backup for archival, in case the flacs get lost, or mpc for the laptop, portable with perfect quality, small size, listening via HiFi, speakers

(not voted)
for portable usb stick:
MP3 lame 3.97 -V5 --vbr-new (ca. 130k vbr)
for listening in car or running outdoors with Koss KSC 75 headphones


Extracting CDs:

EAC according http://www.high-quality.ch.vu via Mareo.exe to Flac, MPC Musepack, Lame MP3 in 1 step ! inclusive tagging

1 track/song as single file of course !



As a poll should offer neutrality, not influence the voters, I suggest (for future polls?) to add the options in alphabetical order, not in the order of "last years poll result".
In general it is a good idea by guruboolez to carry out the polls in a "guided mode" smile.gif

This post has been edited by user: Jan 6 2007, 14:21


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guruboolez
post Jan 6 2007, 14:37
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QUOTE (user @ Jan 6 2007, 14:15) *
As a poll should offer neutrality, not influence the voters, I suggest (for future polls?) to add the options in alphabetical order, not in the order of "last years poll result".


blink.gif
I'm not sure to understand... This poll is about a practice, not an opinion. Neutrality has therefore nothing to do here. Unless somebody could explain me in what consist a neutral practice and also a biased one...

Anyway if people are mainly interested to favour a format they don't even use (it supposes that such people exists), I'm pretty sure they don't need to be influenced by the poll structure to do so.
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guruboolez
post Jan 6 2007, 15:56
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I gathered the results obtained during all last polls (for lossy formats only at the moment) in order to get an idea about how members of this board are changing. Results for 2007 are based on the 1200 (400*3) first votes.


(click to enlarge)

=> MP3 gained a lot of popularity here: from ~one third of voting people to more than the half now! MP3 extend its reign even on HA.org which used to be the sanctuary for alternative and modern formats. The curve is also rising. Let's see in the future if this format will gain even more popularity.

=> AAC started from very low (~5%). Its popularity grown in 2004 but the curve is stable since two years. iPod success and hegemony on the market didn't influenced that much HA members.

=> Vorbis' curve is playing yo-yo but is more or less stable with ~25% of voting people.

=> MPC was a very popular format (and even the most popular one in 2004); it's now totally marginal, probably engulfed by MP3 and lossless for archiving purpose.

=> WMA (not present in the graph) is still unpopular here (1.17% in 2004; 1.99% in 2005; 1.34% in 2006 and 1% of the first 400 voters in 2007).

____
link to earlier polls:

2002-2003 (results are now buggy but are partially available here
2004
2005
2006


data table:
CODE
          2003     2004    2005     2006     2007 (beginning)
AAC       5.60%   11.14%   11.26%   12.67%   11.75%
MP3      32.32%   28.01%   36.09%   46.04%   55.50%
MPC      29.60%   28.45%   24.17%    9.68%    4.75%
VORBIS   24.85%   20.38%   25.50%   27.39%   22.50%

10% of voters gave their voice to “lossless” in this poll.
Values for all lossy contenders are consequently lower.


This post has been edited by guruboolez: Jan 6 2007, 16:02
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boombaard
post Jan 6 2007, 16:21
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i suspect more and more people are just switching to mp3 for convenience's sake than before (that is, the crowd with portable players is still growing, and not too many people might have the cash/knowhow for a (rockboxable) iAudio or comparable player), and since the difference between 'quality' encoders like mpc and 'convenient' encoders (mp3) is so damn small these days, why bother with something you can't really send to others if you want them to test/listen to something if you can just do both with mp3 and kill 2 birds with the same stone?
I have pretty much all my music (main library) in lossless format (~1600 cds), so i only use lossy for playback on my DAP, and it only plays mp3 (that i consider acceptable), which makes it an easy enough choice.
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le_canz
post Jan 6 2007, 17:05
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Vorbis & FLAC for me.

Most of time I encode track per track.
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Yen
post Jan 6 2007, 17:52
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Lossy: Mostly MP3 (for my portable media player), Ogg Vorbis (when possible)

Lossless: FLAC
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pika2000
post Jan 7 2007, 06:22
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Lossy: MP3, compatible with anything.
Lossless: none. DVD media is so cheap nowadays, I don't see any reason to complicate myself using another codec. Used to use APE when backing to CD-Rs.
Ripping: WAV image + CUE sheet, safest way to preserve gapless for my purpose.


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pepoluan
post Jan 8 2007, 09:33
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With GSPlayer on my iPaq 2210... Vorbis, of course! -q -0.5 sounds mighty good to me on the road.

I'm lucky that many friends asked me what DAP they should be buying if not the iPod... I always refer them to DAPs I know can play Vorbis.

Glad to be part of the 2nd largest lossy community on HA, heh smile.gif

But I'm depressed knowing I'm the sole OptimFROG user... sad.gif (at point of posting)

Oh, about ripping, nearly always one file per track, except if the CD is mastered gaplessly, which I will rip 1 file per disc + cue... then transcode to Vorbis -q 1 using foobar2000 to one file per track biggrin.gif


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Synthetic Soul
post Jan 8 2007, 12:00
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QUOTE (guruboolez @ Jan 6 2007, 14:56) *
I gathered the results obtained during all last polls (for lossy formats only at the moment) in order to get an idea about how members of this board are changing. Results for 2007 are based on the 1200 (400*3) first votes.


(click to enlarge)
I totally missed this when first posted. Nice work guru. The line for MP3 is incredible. Kudos to Gabriel and Robert yet again.

QUOTE (pepoluan @ Jan 8 2007, 08:33) *
But I'm depressed knowing I'm the sole OptimFROG user... sad.gif (at point of posting)
Yes, very interesting. On the assumption that maybe 1 or 2 of the "Other" votes are for LA, it is really quite surprising that more people don't go for compression rate over everything else. The fact that neither FLAC or WavPack (who have over 80% of the vote collectively) are super-high compression does prove something. I'm not sure what, but definately something. Monkey's Audio generally seems to be as far as most people are prepared to go, but even then it's a very low percentage (5.5%) of the populous.


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boombaard
post Jan 8 2007, 12:13
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 8 2007, 13:00) *
QUOTE (pepoluan @ Jan 8 2007, 08:33) *
But I'm depressed knowing I'm the sole OptimFROG user... sad.gif (at point of posting)
Yes, very interesting. On the assumption that maybe 1 or 2 of the "Other" votes are for LA, it is really quite surprising that more people don't go for compression rate over everything else. The fact that neither FLAC or WavPack (who have over 80% of the vote collectively) are super-high compression does prove something. I'm not sure what, but definately something. Monkey's Audio generally seems to be as far as most people are prepared to go, but even then it's a very low percentage (5.5%) of the populous.


i suspect the *horrible* encoding times (.7-3.5x spd for encodes that are compressed better than MAC's -c4000 (based on my old amd 2800+ system)) count there.. encoding many cds easily becomes very boring that way.. i considered it for a very short while (the 2-3% difference still makes a bit of difference when you've got a 350gb+ collection), but since i also use my collection for playback the amount of CPU it uses decoding as well as encoding just makes me reject them outright..

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Junon
post Jan 8 2007, 13:07
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Vorbis (aoTuV+Lancer) is my main lossy format because I like codecs that offer decent quality at low bitrates (~64-96 kbps), especially since my portable player is a flash-based one and the car stereo is fed with self-burned 700 MB CDs. Its only drawback is the feeble support for Vorbis comments in many hardware players' cases, e.g. the stupid thing in my car doesn't read them at all, forcing me to rely on a clearly arranged directory and filename structure on the CD.

FLAC for archiving, mainly due to its great software compatibility and bearable compression speed (at -5) as well as the fact that both Vorbis and FLAC use the same tagging format, enabling simple preservation of the tags when transcoding from lossless to lossy; although I must admit that this reason is an outdated relic from the days when I was still using OggDropXP to encode to Vorbis. Nowadays, with foobar2000 being my main transcoder and with EAC+REACT2 creating both FLAC and Vorbis in two automated follow-up processes tag preservation isn't a reason for using FLAC anymore. But nonetheless, both the Nero burning software and my preferred audio player, Winamp, love the format, making it a very user-friendly one. In lossless audio's case file sizes don't matter too much for me, hardware compatibility is of no interest at all. Hence, an alternative lossless format might be an option if it enjoyed comparable software compatibility and noticeably better compression while still maintaining decent working speed. "Noticeably" means something with the efficiency of, let's say, the new TAK codec. Too sad that it's still in its very early days, offering no tagging and software support

I rip to a single .wav with cuesheets using EAC+REACT2's notorious F10 button, afterwards it's split to single FLAC -5 and Vorbis -q2 files.
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gameplaya15143
post Jan 9 2007, 03:15
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Vorbis for lossy smile.gif

I only picked flac for lossless because I don't know if monkey's audio supports replaygain (it probably does but I'm too lazy to find out, I rarely use lossless anyways).

1 track = 1 file

ripper = dBpowerAMP.. it's just easier than EAC


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SamHain86
post Jan 10 2007, 00:21
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My favorite format of all time is APE, set to extra high, since insane takes too long to scroll through on my machine. I rip new CDs as a single track with CUE sheet and convert it to APE, until I listen to the whole thing and decide if I like it enough to worry about how it sounds. I listen to a good deal of trance and symphonic metal [quite a combination, no?] and I can hear the differences there.

MP3 is my favorite lossy... only because I like watching the histograms in LAME[3.97] when encoding to VBR. I know how lame that sounds but I think it is neat to watch. Favorite settings are --noreplaygain -verbose -q 0 -v --vbr-new -V 0 -B 320. I set up FooBar2000 with my favorite conversions so I don't need to split my files first.


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Artemis3
post Jan 10 2007, 11:39
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I like Ogg Vorbis for lossy (pc listening), lame --abr 128 for my s1 portable; wavpack for lossless and never use cuesheets.


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Synthetic Soul
post Jan 10 2007, 12:43
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I have been marvelling at the number of votes achieved, and then realised that the "Total Votes" is actually the number of voters times the number of questions in the poll. blush.gif

Still, not bad stats for ten days... (462 voters at this point)

Following last year's lossless poll, and the comments in this thread, I'm surprised that FLAC has over twice as many votes as WavPack. I would have expected it to be more like 3:2. Is FLAC making a resurgence? Could this be due to more DAPs? Or are people who don't generally use lossless voting for FLAC if they were to use it in the future?

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beto
post Jan 10 2007, 14:34
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 10 2007, 08:43) *
Following last year's lossless poll, and the comments in this thread, I'm surprised that FLAC has over twice as many votes as WavPack. I would have expected it to be more like 3:2. Is FLAC making a resurgence? Could this be due to more DAPs? Or are people who don't generally use lossless voting for FLAC if they were to use it in the future?


I am not that surprised. FLAC is the de-facto standard for lossless in most p2p communities and online record labels. cool.gif
Don't ask me about the reasons for this. Probably they are the same reasons that make mp3 the de-facto standard for lossy. tongue.gif

edit: damn typos

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fabio
post Jan 10 2007, 15:22
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Hello,

For lossy: MP3
For lossless: WavPack
Ripping: one file per track

Some notes:

MP3 because of hardware support... I'd like to change to AAC/MP4 ~96 kbps (Nero encoder), but I'm not sure if there is another player than iPod that do it.
I'd like also change to Ogg Vorbis at ~96 kbps, but here in my country there are not players able to support it.

WavPack at high mode has good compression ratio, while keeping good decoding speed (I don't care about encoding time). When I need higher compression, I go with OptimFROG.
I'm waiting for new OptimFROG version... also, let's see new TAK progress.


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Synthetic Soul
post Jan 10 2007, 16:11
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QUOTE (beto @ Jan 10 2007, 13:34) *
I am not that surprised. FLAC is the de-facto standard for lossless in most p2p communities and online record labels. cool.gif
Don't ask me about the reasons for this. Probably they are the same reasons that make mp3 the de-facto standard for lossy. tongue.gif
Yes, good point.

If I were to make a lossless file available for download I would have to seriously think about providing a FLAC version, simply because it is so popular, and 'near-standard'. I would (bandwidth allowing) also provide a WavPack version (and promote this one more) because that is my codec of choice, and I think it deserves more recognition; however, bowing to popular demand, I may have to chose FLAC over WavPack if I could only host one.

Dunno. I'll worry about this if and when I have to! I am simply trying to explain why I think FLAC is used; it's popular because it's popular... As you say, similar to the MP3 situation really, although not quite such an obvious choice.

I think it will be difficult for any codec in the near future to surpass FLAC's popularity. Maybe Apple Lossless or WMA Lossless at some point... but both suffer from the cross-OS issue.


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pepoluan
post Jan 10 2007, 18:03
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QUOTE (boombaard @ Jan 8 2007, 18:13) *
i suspect the *horrible* encoding times (.7-3.5x spd for encodes that are compressed better than MAC's -c4000 (based on my old amd 2800+ system)) count there.. encoding many cds easily becomes very boring that way.. i considered it for a very short while (the 2-3% difference still makes a bit of difference when you've got a 350gb+ collection), but since i also use my collection for playback the amount of CPU it uses decoding as well as encoding just makes me reject them outright..
Ahh, there's where I beg to differ... I use my archive as... well, archive. For day-to-day use, *only* Vorbis. Thus call me anal or something, but I have a deep conviction, very very deep, that archives should have the best compression ever.

I even cook up a batch file compressing WAV's to OptimFROG and LA, then deleting the larger one automagically. Unfortunately I read somewhere that LA's decompressor for foobar2000 does not produce bit-perfect files, so I abandoned LA. (I still keep the batch file, just in case).

QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 10 2007, 22:11) *
If I were to make a lossless file available for download I would have to seriously think about providing a FLAC version, simply because it is so popular, and 'near-standard'. I would (bandwidth allowing) also provide a WavPack version (and promote this one more) because that is my codec of choice, and I think it deserves more recognition; however, bowing to popular demand, I may have to chose FLAC over WavPack if I could only host one.

Dunno. I'll worry about this if and when I have to! I am simply trying to explain why I think FLAC is used; it's popular because it's popular... As you say, similar to the MP3 situation really, although not quite such an obvious choice.

I think it will be difficult for any codec in the near future to surpass FLAC's popularity. Maybe Apple Lossless or WMA Lossless at some point... but both suffer from the cross-OS issue.
If you go into the WavPack forum, you should be aware that the next version of WinZip uses WavPack to compress audio files. This should help WavPack's popularity.


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beto
post Jan 10 2007, 18:06
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 10 2007, 12:11) *
Dunno. I'll worry about this if and when I have to! I am simply trying to explain why I think FLAC is used; it's popular because it's popular... As you say, similar to the MP3 situation really, although not quite such an obvious choice.

I am speculating here, but I think that one of the reasons is because of the p2p communities. They have affinities with the open source scene and heavily promote FLAC due to the fact that it is under the xiph umbrella (some of them even ban other codecs and allow just FLAC).
Another reason might be that FLAC is around for some time now and general consensus is that it is a stable and widespread codec whereas the perception about wavpack is that it is a newer codec that might not be so stable.

QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 10 2007, 12:11) *
I think it will be difficult for any codec in the near future to surpass FLAC's popularity. Maybe Apple Lossless or WMA Lossless at some point... but both suffer from the cross-OS issue.

I agree with you here. FLAC will be hard to surpass, however Apple Lossless and WMA Lossless can do this if heavily marketed. It's hard to quantify which one has the advantage here (Apple or MS): Apple has the iPod thingie while MS is on every Windows (90% of desktops). It sure will be an interesting fight with undefined outcome.
To me the cross-OS issue is a non-issue. Just see the stats: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp
As long as a codec is supported in Windows it should be fine marketwise. You don't have to support Linux (3.3%) or Mac (3.5%) because they are irrelevant and do not show a consistent usage growth trend. IMO both Apple and Microsoft know that to make their codec the standard they just have to market it agressively, but they have to start this now before lossless becomes the standard and FLAC is more widespread. Otherwise FLAC might become the MP3 of lossless.

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jcoalson
post Jan 10 2007, 18:08
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 10 2007, 06:43) *
Following last year's lossless poll, and the comments in this thread, I'm surprised that FLAC has over twice as many votes as WavPack. I would have expected it to be more like 3:2. Is FLAC making a resurgence? Could this be due to more DAPs? Or are people who don't generally use lossless voting for FLAC if they were to use it in the future?

actually, I think outside HA the percentages would be even more different. just as they would be higher for MP3 and to a lesser extent AAC/WMA and lower for everything else, the percentages for FLAC and to a lesser extent ALAC/WMAL/APE would be higher, for mostly the same reasons.

also, I think we tend to be PC-centric here but the non-PC options for audio are getting downright fantastic and people are really starting to take to them. not just DAPs, but especially home stereo. I never listen to music on a PC anymore. off the PC the only real choice is FLAC (all the better since it's free and easy to integrate) unless you're apple or microsoft.

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Synthetic Soul
post Jan 10 2007, 18:37
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Jan 10 2007, 17:03) *
If you go into the WavPack forum, you should be aware that the next version of WinZip uses WavPack to compress audio files. This should help WavPack's popularity.
Yes, I am aware of that, and it is great; however I get the impression the fact is not advertised, and therefore Winzip users will be none-the-wiser.

QUOTE (beto @ Jan 10 2007, 17:06) *
I am speculating here, but I think that one of the reasons is because of the p2p communities. They have affinities with the open source scene and heavily promote FLAC due to the fact that it is under the xiph umbrella (some of them even ban other codecs and allow just FLAC)
I think your assumption makes a lot of sense. LOL @ banning other codecs.

QUOTE (jcoalson @ Jan 10 2007, 17:08) *
also, I think we tend to be PC-centric here but the non-PC options for audio are getting downright fantastic and people are really starting to take to them. not just DAPs, but especially home stereo. I never listen to music on a PC anymore. off the PC the only real choice is FLAC (all the better since it's free and easy to integrate) unless you're apple or microsoft.
I suspect that home stereo, and video, systems running *nix will escalate tremendously in the coming years; it just make so much sense.

I guess you are right about the increased difference outside of Hydrogen Audio. Again, this comes down purely to "it's popular, because it's popular". Your forethought and initial work with FLAC has really payed off. Kudos.


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John64
post Jan 10 2007, 19:05
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The only time i personally use lossy is when i download music (legal here) and that is the highest availible quality. I prefer to use FLAC with one track and cuesheet, but due to my iPod, i selected ALAC and trackwise ripping, as that is what i do most.


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pepoluan
post Jan 10 2007, 19:13
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QUOTE (Synthetic Soul @ Jan 11 2007, 00:37) *
QUOTE (pepoluan @ Jan 10 2007, 17:03) *
If you go into the WavPack forum, you should be aware that the next version of WinZip uses WavPack to compress audio files. This should help WavPack's popularity.
Yes, I am aware of that, and it is great; however I get the impression the fact is not advertised, and therefore Winzip users will be none-the-wiser.
Winzip users perhaps will not be aware, but media players will take notice. Without support from media players, alternative formats have no future.


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