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Lossless Format(s) Of Choice, Info needed for software project...
Lossless Format(s) Of Choice
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Annuka
post Oct 15 2002, 20:05
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I am currenty working on a music organiser project.
I wish to know which formats are used in order to prioritise development.

If you use more than one format, select the one you use most and post additional formats below.

Thanks

For those interested, take a look at:
http://www.phazer.dk/morg/
http://www.phazer.dk/morg/demo/?action=stat


PS: I realise there is an older poll on nearly the same subject. This is a little different. I am asking which formats people are using now -- not which format they use the most.
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ssamadhi97
post Oct 15 2002, 20:11
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personally i use Monkey's for archiving.

since i'm into bootleg trading, i am more or less forced to use Shorten (ugh, thank you, etree mad.gif ) and FLAC (oh well, looks like etree is finally switching to a good format) as well.


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macdaddy
post Oct 15 2002, 21:33
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building on what has already been said,
QUOTE
since i'm into (taping and) trading, I am more or less forced to use Shorten...


as a member of etree, I am in the same boat...

I use .flac16 to archve store-bought CDs...

interesting project. too :-)
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SNYder
post Oct 15 2002, 21:59
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monkey's is all i use. cause it has the best and easiest to use encoding/decoding front end.
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chicoselfs
post Oct 15 2002, 22:01
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Always biggrin.gif


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JEN
post Oct 15 2002, 22:29
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I also think monkey's is best. Its easy to use, fast encoding, can compete with other lossless when it comes to file size. In my books, its an all round winner biggrin.gif
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madah
post Oct 15 2002, 23:05
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I use flac for everything. It takes some more time to encode than Monkey's but I don't care about that. What I care about is that flac takes way shorter time to decode and it has lower cpu usage when playing, and it is free and open-source!

Been using Monkey's a lot in the past, but I don't like that the decoder-source is only able to decode new files (>=3.96 ?). Have some of those older files burned, but I will probably re-encode to flac and re-burn... sometime...
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Annuka
post Oct 15 2002, 23:12
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QUOTE (madah @ Oct 16 2002 - 12:05 AM)
Been using Monkey's a lot in the past, but I don't like that the decoder-source is only able to decode new files (>=3.96 ?). Have some of those older files burned, but I will probably re-encode to flac and re-burn... sometime...

Me too -- except for the reburning part.
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ssamadhi97
post Oct 16 2002, 00:15
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i don't have any problems with decoding the older files? and at least MA's sources are available.. anyway, the final word is not spoken on lossless formats, and luckily we can always recompress without losing any data (although reburning massive amounts of lossless files can get quite pesky / expensive laugh.gif )


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Annuka
post Oct 16 2002, 01:20
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QUOTE (ssamadhi97 @ Oct 16 2002 - 01:15 AM)
i don't have any problems with decoding the older files? and at least MA's sources are available.. anyway, the final word is not spoken on lossless formats, and luckily we can always recompress without losing any data (although reburning massive amounts of lossless files can get quite pesky / expensive  laugh.gif )

The source-avalible MA decoder cannot decode old files.

I have 60 cd-r with MA 3.80 files. They can only be decoded with the Windows program, not the source-avalible decoder.
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ssamadhi97
post Oct 16 2002, 01:37
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might have something to do with the changed channel decorellation.. dunno, maybe ask Matt about that? *shrug*

anyway, i don't have any files "older" than 3.92 ...


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Jon Ingram
post Oct 16 2002, 09:52
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Note that when I told people that this could happen (the open source component not being able to decode some files), I was laughed at. I'll be standing in the corner muttering "I knew I was right" to myself until I feel better.
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caligae
post Oct 16 2002, 11:59
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QUOTE (ssamadhi97 @ Oct 16 2002 - 01:15 AM)
anyway, the final word is not spoken on lossless formats, and luckily we can always recompress without losing any data

I think this is the best thing about lossless. You can transcode (is this term appropriate for lossless also?) your files a billion times without having to worry about quality loss.

So if someday there is a killer algorithmus (which i doubt seriously) that compresses at mp3-like bitrates you can laugh at all the lossy codec users.

Transfering of tags might be a problem - a problem that can be solved though.
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metrom
post Oct 16 2002, 13:50
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FLAC <- OpenSorce, crossplattform, will "forever" be supported(O.S.), you wont live in fear of whatever that could happend to a closedsource project.
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buzzy
post Oct 19 2002, 16:28
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Somehow the real issues don't seem to get discussed in these threads about format. Like what are you using it for? Does sharability, cross-platform support, hardware support, ... matter?

- If you are using it for archiving, then sure pick whatever format floats your boat. The differences in compression and encode time might mean something.

- If you are using it to share music (like bootleg trading) - then marginal increases in compression are far less important than cross platform support, user knowledge, etc. In a Moore's law world, where the cost of storage is plummeting (and bandwidth to a lesser degree), a 5-10% filesize difference (63% for SHN instead of 56% for APE or 59% for FLAC or whatever) doesn't matter. Something has to be a lot better than that to make it worth changing for most people, or worth transcoding.

Sure, shn isn't the cutting edge. But it's well tested and pretty predictable. I hope support for future OSs is available, I'd rather not have to transcode until something much better shows up. As long as the camps are split between flac and ape, and neither one is compelling enough to get most users to switch - shn will go on and on.

The point isn't that shn is so great, though it has spread a lot of happiness .. it's that the context is really important for these discussions. Especially ... What are you using it for? What is important to you?

The issues with Monkey's seem to make it a distant 3rd if sharing is important.
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nc71
post Oct 19 2002, 17:27
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flac- because it's open source!


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ssamadhi97
post Oct 19 2002, 18:42
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QUOTE (buzzy @ Oct 19 2002 - 04:28 PM)
Sure, shn isn't the cutting edge.  But it's well tested and pretty predictable.  I hope support for future OSs is available, I'd rather not have to transcode until something much better shows up.

As long as the camps are split between flac and ape, and neither is compelling enough to get most users to switch - shn will go on and on.

SHN was cool when it first surfaced, but nowadays it's hopelessly outdated. I hope that traders adapt a superior format quickly, now that etree.org is starting to advocate FLAC (Josh, congrats on that achievement smile.gif )

fwiw, I for one won't give up monkey's audio that quickly, because somehow I just happen to like the format. wink.gif


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Artemis3
post Nov 2 2002, 04:23
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Open, documented, standard formats lasts forever.
Closed, undocumented, propietary formats lasts until their creators/owners say otherwise, or die/go bankrupt.

Lossless compression is used for archiving, and archiving is supposed to stand the test of time.

Hence, by this definition, to choose a closed format is unwise.

If you backup your data in something, which in 10 years you won't be able to access, no ease of use today will make the data come back at you tomorrow.

Besides, not adding support to a program for open source formats is plain lazyness of the authors of said program. But of course, if you used a free open sourced program, you could have added it by yourself on the first place.

This only means: If such or such feature does not exist yet, someday it may be added in the future, in the case of open source only. In the case of closed source, you will never now, if it will ever be.

If the author of EAC dies tomorrow, there will be no more EAC. But there will always be CDex, even if the author of such utility died too.

Authors/Organizations can also change their minds, drop projects without further advise, no need to die, maybe just switch business, selling themselves, going backrupt, taking a break, changing their way of life, etc.

Hence, Propietary software is not safe either.

This is only a part of a view of the matter. Free software is more important than you may think. The future depends on it happy.gif


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Destroid
post Nov 2 2002, 09:36
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Monkey's Audio is the most efficient with the low power audio system I use for recording. If anyone has any benchmarks of lossless used in fanless low power CPU's I think that it would be apparant that encoding with Monkey's is very fast for the amount of space savings gained.


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Guest_SK1_*
post Nov 2 2002, 21:17
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I voted for FLAC some time ago. But then when i checked other lossless encoders, my choise has changed. I prefer OptimFROG the most. I think it's compression is very good and it takes low resources for playback of method 1 encoded files (it's the recommended method, the higher ones have really minor compression improvements and requiere much more power, which is really not worth the few kb's.).
So, my choise is OptimFROG, too bad i can't change my vote smile.gif...
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Audio_Spyder
post Nov 29 2002, 18:56
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I voted Monkey's since all my music is currently in that format, but may move to flac for low power applications (ie fanless pc) since it takes less decoding power. Depends on how Monkey's performs when I build the system.
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mmortal03
post Dec 2 2002, 04:37
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WavPack has a nice concept in its hybrid mode, and it does a great job in its lossless mode as well. It is free but not open source though. FLAC is open source, does a great job of compression, and will eventually have replaygain support. I am interested in Ogg FLAC as well, so I give FLAC my vote.


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fewtch
post Dec 2 2002, 08:09
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I started with LPAC and have found absolutely no reason to switch (yet). It's right there in the middle as far as compression and speed (just fine), and it runs on both Windows and Linux, which covers 99% of all the bases, AFAIC.

Basically, I'm happy enough with it not to convert everything at this point, nor to switch formats. And I'm not an "open source pimp," I like both closed-source and open-source software. Anything that runs under Win32 *and* Linux will be usable for a long, long time yet, even if the software is discontinued.

This post has been edited by fewtch: Dec 2 2002, 08:15


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fewtch
post Dec 2 2002, 08:20
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QUOTE (Artemis3 @ Nov 1 2002 - 08:23 PM)
Open, documented, standard formats lasts forever.
Closed, undocumented, propietary formats lasts until their creators/owners say otherwise, or die/go bankrupt.

Lossless compression is used for archiving, and archiving is supposed to stand the test of time.

Hence, by this definition, to choose a closed format is unwise.

If you backup your data in something, which in 10 years you won't be able to access, no ease of use today will make the data come back at you tomorrow.

I don't agree with the gist of your argument.

As long as closed, proprietary software has a standard interface and doesn't "time out," it will run (and decode the proprietary codec) as long as compatibility with current OS's is still around. In the case of Win32, that should last all the way through Win64, perhaps even longer (emulation of today's computers and OS's will be pitifully easy in 20 years). Same with Linux.

That said, I agree that in many ways open source is a better choice. But in others, it may not be... will leave that argument for another day.

This post has been edited by fewtch: Dec 2 2002, 08:25


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