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Switching from FLAC to MPC?
...Just Elliott
post Aug 28 2006, 18:16
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I know it sounds insane. huh.gif

I know I look crazy. blink.gif

I know there'll be crying from the lossless fanatics. crying.gif

I know that I'd like to be able to store more music. laugh.gif

I've tried MPC and it's transparent to me at -standard (I may have heard one or two problems but I'm 99% sure they're the placebo effect) and the only problem is seeking.

Are there any major downfalls to switching from FLAC to MPC to save space and time?

Thanks for any help smile.gif


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SebastianG
post Aug 28 2006, 18:24
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Apart from the already mentioned issues (quality loss, MPC seek problem) you'll end up using files of a format you wouldn't want to convert to any other format (transcoding => more quality loss and/or bigger files).

So, I guess you have to think carefully about how important MPC support is for you -- ie. support by portable players & stuff ...
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...Just Elliott
post Aug 28 2006, 18:30
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Rockbox support is all I need... I think the seeking problem could be solved by bruteforcing the file in the background while it's playing - if you seek to a point it hasn't already remembered it'll take the time to bruteforce that on the fly, then remember it. Dunno, I may be talking BS as I only program in PHP (which isn't even a programming language) wink.gif

This post has been edited by ...Just Elliott: Aug 28 2006, 18:30


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Gambit
post Aug 28 2006, 18:47
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Appart from the (not so very much anymore) superior quality at higher bitrates, there are exactly zero reasons to use MPC. And some will disagree, but that's mostly nostalgia on their part. MP3, AAC and Vorbis are all better choices.


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...Just Elliott
post Aug 28 2006, 19:07
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QUOTE (Gambit @ Aug 28 2006, 18:47) *
Appart from the (not so very much anymore) superior quality at higher bitrates, there are exactly zero reasons to use MPC. And some will disagree, but that's mostly nostalgia on their part. MP3, AAC and Vorbis are all better choices.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS OPINION! I am not saying one is best, I'm just saying what it appears to me as WITHOUT TESTS.
I despise MP3 because of the patent issues and the numerous ways to fsck up a file.
AAC is alright, I suppose, but propertiery, which I want to avoid.
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.

(and MPC sounds cool tongue.gif)

ed: (as in the name. and yes it is a joke)

This post has been edited by ...Just Elliott: Aug 28 2006, 19:08


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Maurits
post Aug 28 2006, 19:23
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QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 19:07) *
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS OPINION! I am not saying one is best, I'm just saying what it appears to me as WITHOUT TESTS.
I despise MP3 because of the patent issues and the numerous ways to fsck up a file.
AAC is alright, I suppose, but propertiery, which I want to avoid.

AAC is just as proprietary and patented as MP3, no differences there.

QUOTE
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.

blink.gif


So, because you don't want to test you are throwing away lossless files to switch to a dead format with hardly any support now and even less in the future. All this when a simple test could make you switch to a format like Vorbis or AAC which has more support and even more of a future. Even its creator has abandoned MPC.

This post has been edited by Maurits: Aug 28 2006, 19:25
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Jebus
post Aug 28 2006, 20:01
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MPC is just as encumbered by patents as MP3 is, AFAIK... it is just a refinement of the MP2 format. Yes, it is a free codec, but so is Lame.

I think you should try Vorbis. You'd be plesantly surprised at how high the quality is.
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Hollunder
post Aug 28 2006, 20:09
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QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 20:07) *
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.


Uhm, I may be wrong, but afaik mpc is considered to need quite high bitrates compared to vorbis or mp3 to be (almost) transparent.
I would strongly recommend you doing some ABX-tests with those codecs and typical settings.
This should be quite easy with foobar 0.9x or one of the other ABX tools, won't take very long but could save you a lot of trouble (and space, if I'm not wrong)
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Andavari
post Aug 28 2006, 20:25
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I just recently made a switch back to a lossy format myself with that being solely LAME MP3, got tired of not being able to playback my encodings on just about anything.

Musepack "may" seem like a good choice quality-wise using --quality 5 ("--standard") however the downfall is there isn't universal support. If I were you I'd be asking myself if I wanted to use a propietary format that isn't widely supported out-of-the-box universally through multiple software(s) and hardware(s).

This post has been edited by Andavari: Aug 28 2006, 20:25


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dutch109
post Aug 28 2006, 20:36
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QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 20:07) *
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.

Really ? Try Vorbis with AoTuV 4.51 or Lancer between -q4 and -q6 (128k - 192k), you will be surprised.


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Radetzky
post Aug 28 2006, 21:32
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QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 10:07) *
QUOTE (Gambit @ Aug 28 2006, 18:47) *

Appart from the (not so very much anymore) superior quality at higher bitrates, there are exactly zero reasons to use MPC. And some will disagree, but that's mostly nostalgia on their part. MP3, AAC and Vorbis are all better choices.

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS OPINION! I am not saying one is best, I'm just saying what it appears to me as WITHOUT TESTS.
I despise MP3 because of the patent issues and the numerous ways to fsck up a file.
AAC is alright, I suppose, but propertiery, which I want to avoid.
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.

(and MPC sounds cool tongue.gif)

ed: (as in the name. and yes it is a joke)


Do you REALLY want to hear others opinion or do you just want to hear what you wish you would hear?

You already got a pretty unequivocal answer but you still try to rationalise all the arguments.

Maybe you should just use MPC you know....
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pepoluan
post Aug 28 2006, 21:38
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QUOTE (dutch109 @ Aug 29 2006, 02:36) *
QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 20:07) *
Vorbis requires high bitrates to get transparent quality, which I'm trying to avoid.
Really ? Try Vorbis with AoTuV 4.51 or Lancer between -q4 and -q6 (128k - 192k), you will be surprised.
I can vouch for that.

Even more surprising: With latest Lancer (based on aoTuV Release 1), trancemixes are quite transparent on -q 1 (~ 80kbps) (and these comes from CBR 320!). Only on several track I have to up the quality to -q 1.5 (~88 kbps).

Of course with jazz recordings it's a wholelotta different matter, but like dutch109 said, -q 4 for the great majority of people is already transparent, -q 5 is even more transparent, and at -q 6 only those who specially train themselves to recognize Vorbis' drawbacks can ABX, and even with great difficulty.


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vinnie97
post Aug 29 2006, 09:32
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God, the myth continues unabated. Preach on, brothers. ABX is your salvation, Elliot.

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DARcode
post Aug 29 2006, 09:55
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I was a tad skeptic regarding Vorbis below q4/5 but ABXing changed my mind, now q3 is what I use on my notebook (LAME 3.97b3 -V 5 --vbr-new for DAP and WavePack 4.4a3 -hx3m for PC/Home Theatre).

EDIT: WV version.

This post has been edited by DARcode: Aug 29 2006, 09:56


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pepoluan
post Aug 30 2006, 16:30
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QUOTE (vinnie97 @ Aug 29 2006, 15:32) *
God, the myth continues unabated. Preach on, brothers. ABX is your salvation, Elliot.
Which myth are you referring to, vinnie97?

Anyways I had ABX-ed aoTuV beta 4.51 for transcoding trancemixes from MP3 CBR 320 kbps to -q 1, and I have to admit that for the majority of tracks, nay, nearly all of them, they are transparent to me. Only 2 tracks require -q 1.5, and at that point they become transparent to me.

This post has been edited by pepoluan: Aug 30 2006, 16:31


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beto
post Aug 30 2006, 18:33
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QUOTE (...Just Elliott @ Aug 28 2006, 14:16) *
Are there any major downfalls to switching from FLAC to MPC to save space and time?


IMO this is a bad strategic decision if you take into account the long run.


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vinnie97
post Aug 31 2006, 10:05
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QUOTE
Which myth are you referring to, vinnie97?

The myth that MPC is still psychoacoustically superior to all of its competitors even now when there haven't been any larger-scale listening tests at 200+ kbps much less at anything above 128 kbps...and the few, properly conducted personal tests I've seen at up to 192 show that MPC no longer has the superiority once touted.

*that* myth. wink.gif
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prankstare
post Jun 13 2007, 03:49
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Sorry to revive a very old thread, but common people.

Why do you keep complaining about portables not supporting MPC? This issue is completely worked out by doing a simple and fast transcoding to MP3 or whatever other format that is. Yes, I know transcoding is bad for the quality, but I'm almost completely sure that nobody will be picky all the time while listening in a merely bad-quality portable/pair of junk little headphones. Plus, transcoding is a one-time work, meaning that you don't always need to encode the same file again and again. Just get something like Foobar and be happy. :-P

This is what I've been doing - can't complain.
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hushypushy
post Jun 13 2007, 04:09
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Or....you could just keep your files in MP3 the entire time and you wouldn't have to transcode at all.
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pepoluan
post Jun 13 2007, 06:02
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@alex_wheels: So why keep everything in lossy MPC? Keep it in lossless.


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prankstare
post Jun 14 2007, 00:18
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QUOTE (hushypushy @ Jun 13 2007, 00:09) *
Or....you could just keep your files in MP3 the entire time and you wouldn't have to transcode at all.



QUOTE (pepoluan @ Jun 13 2007, 02:02) *
@alex_wheels: So why keep everything in lossy MPC? Keep it in lossless.



I don't worry about spending my time with transcoding anymore since computer hardware is very advanced now and so are the encoding speeds from the codecs. In the past, when I would still have a fairly nice Duron 950MHz in conjunction with a slow 512MB PC-133 module I could get something like 3~4x real-time encoding using some L.A.M.E release at -aps (without --vbr-new, of course) and about 5.25~5.50x average speeds using mppenc 1.14 at -insane (can't exactly remember using its standard profile though since I wouldn't encode at such that much). By contrast, I can now get nice 9~10x with L.A.M.E 3.97 at standard (V2 + vbr-new) and 12.52x (Q5) and 11.90x (Q8) with mpeenc 1.16, with slight speed differences in between the mentioned profiles (oh, just noticed something: encoding speeds slower at higher profiles, which used to be the opposite on previous versions of the coder). Oh yes, I'm still kinda stuck in junk hardware but my current Pentium 4 2,4BGHz (Northwood and no HyperThreading) seems to do audio encoding pretty well thanks to its advanced ALU units which outperforms the Athlon K7 family in the video/audio encoding scene. Imagine the people who own Core 2 Duo or even any Athlon K8. dry.gif

Well, pepoluan. What I'm doing is ripping to FLAC using EAC and transcoding to Musepack while keeping the lossless copy on DVDR media. This way I save some really good space on hard drive by storing lossy MPC files on it instead of huge lossless ones (bearing in mind recordable DVDs are quite cheap and can store over 10 FLAC -8 albums). So, yeah this way I'm not concerned if I occasionally need a format change or transcoding or anything - I simply have the original. smile.gif
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-Nepomuk-
post Jun 14 2007, 00:45
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My short answer: MPC is dead! dry.gif
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shadowking
post Jun 14 2007, 01:22
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MPC could be used as a pc rockbox solution, otherwise there are better options.


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Roobar
post Jun 14 2007, 02:31
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QUOTE (alex_wheels @ Jun 14 2007, 09:18) *
I don't worry about spending my time with transcoding anymore since computer hardware is very advanced now and so are the encoding speeds from the codecs.

<snip>

Well, pepoluan. What I'm doing is ripping to FLAC using EAC and transcoding to Musepack while keeping the lossless copy on DVDR media. This way I save some really good space on hard drive by storing lossy MPC files on it instead of huge lossless ones (bearing in mind recordable DVDs are quite cheap and can store over 10 FLAC -8 albums). So, yeah this way I'm not concerned if I occasionally need a format change or transcoding or anything - I simply have the original. smile.gif


Agree with your point re transcoding speeds from Flac to whatever (Lame in my case). But why bother with DVDs? External HDD costs are now around US$0.50/GB and freefalling. I keep all my Flacs (version 1.1.4) on a 1TB external drive and transcode to my ipod with MediaMonkey. Easy as...
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Dologan
post Jun 14 2007, 15:32
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QUOTE (Roobar @ Jun 13 2007, 20:31) *
QUOTE (alex_wheels @ Jun 14 2007, 09:18) *

I don't worry about spending my time with transcoding anymore since computer hardware is very advanced now and so are the encoding speeds from the codecs.

<snip>

Well, pepoluan. What I'm doing is ripping to FLAC using EAC and transcoding to Musepack while keeping the lossless copy on DVDR media. This way I save some really good space on hard drive by storing lossy MPC files on it instead of huge lossless ones (bearing in mind recordable DVDs are quite cheap and can store over 10 FLAC -8 albums). So, yeah this way I'm not concerned if I occasionally need a format change or transcoding or anything - I simply have the original. smile.gif


Agree with your point re transcoding speeds from Flac to whatever (Lame in my case). But why bother with DVDs? External HDD costs are now around US$0.50/GB and freefalling. I keep all my Flacs (version 1.1.4) on a 1TB external drive and transcode to my ipod with MediaMonkey. Easy as...

Oooh, but what if you need protection from an EMP attack? wink.gif Any hard drive would be roasted, but the DVD-R would be still intact... Of course, there wouldn't be anything left to play it on, but eventually you could still have your music backed up. tongue.gif Then again, if you have the original CDs it wouldn't matter anyway, hehe.
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