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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
  
ffooky
post Jan 10 2007, 19:15
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I think one reason for the resistance to WavPack in p2p/Usenet is the use of the .wv extension for both lossy and lossless files. Admittedly you can usually work out the nature of the file you're dealing with by the filesize but I think it was a fundamental and IMO inexplicable error not to adopt a different extension for the two compression modes.
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Martin H
post Jan 11 2007, 15:46
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I have changed my mind about my archiving/playback formats of choise and i'm know using FLAC images with embedded cuesheets/logfiles for archiving and Ogg Vorbis track files for PC playback and i have just finished a job of transcoding my WavPack images into FLAC images and also transcoded the FLAC images into Ogg Vorbis -q5 track files for PC playback with the Lancer-sse2/aoTuV-b5 compile. I decided that decoding speed would be one of the most important criterias for me and then after looking at Synthetic soul's comparisson for lossless codecs and then compared WavPack -f to FLAC -5, in where FLAC -5 gave both faster decoding + better compression ratio and after reading about the new FLAC v1.1.3 release, then i decided to make the switch. I really think that Josh has done a great job with this release and the option for transcoding from FLAC to FLAC while preserving metadata is just pure genious and also the slightly better compression ratio while not making any sacrifises to the decoding speed and better error recovery support and the new switch for setting e.g. a cuesheet/eaclog vorbis comment field from a file.

CU, Martin.

This post has been edited by Martin H: Jan 13 2007, 14:01
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toology
post Jan 11 2007, 17:21
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I use foobar for ripping cds into WavPack high x3. At the time when I started using it it had better compression than Flac, I don't know if that's still the case but I'll keep using it.
As for lossy, since I'm an iPod owner, I'd like to use Nero aac but currently it's easier and better (gapless) to use Lame mp3.
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ozmosis82
post Jan 11 2007, 18:30
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iTunes (blech) AAC for my iPod (for gapless playback) @ 160kbps "VBR"
WavPack for my archives

I'd probably save around 10-12 gigs of space if I could use Nero AAC but, alas, no gapless support yet (on iPods). Otherwise, I'd rather use Vorbis.

Was thinking on going back to FLAC for my archives but... well, I'm lazy.
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singaiya
post Jan 11 2007, 23:00
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lossy = AAC (itunes 128vbr)
lossless = Wavpack (might go TAK when released)
ripping = tracks

QUOTE (ozmosis82 @ Jan 11 2007, 09:30) *
iTunes (blech) AAC for my iPod (for gapless playback) @ 160kbps "VBR"
WavPack for my archives

I'd probably save around 10-12 gigs of space if I could use Nero AAC but, alas, no gapless support yet (on iPods). Otherwise, I'd rather use Vorbis.


I don't understand how can you save that much space by using Nero? Couldn't you just lower your itunes bitrate? I don't know of any samples that are better with either one or the other implementation (at bitrates of 128 or above).
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Martin H
post Jan 12 2007, 14:23
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There was one person who previously in this thread said that nearly no one where ripping to images and that the evidence of this was shown in this very poll. My personal theory about this, is that among HA newbies, then track file ripping is without a doubt the norm, but then for the HA old-timers(not myself wink.gif), then image ripping has a much higher user count and i suspect that this is the explenation we are seing here for the very low image ripping user base, as i suspect that the image ripping results are being somewhat "poluted" by newbies.

This post has been edited by Martin H: Jan 12 2007, 14:31
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collector
post Jan 12 2007, 14:59
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In my opinion many track-rippers rip for playing those tracks and image-rippers rip for archiving. I don't use foobar but 1by1 or qcd for playing the audio and my versions can't play images.
Maybe a poll about archiving gives other results. For a week or so I'm experimenting with Wavpak for archives.
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beto
post Jan 12 2007, 18:23
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QUOTE (Martin H @ Jan 12 2007, 10:23) *
There was one person who previously in this thread said that nearly no one where ripping to images and that the evidence of this was shown in this very poll. My personal theory about this, is that among HA newbies, then track file ripping is without a doubt the norm, but then for the HA old-timers(not myself wink.gif), then image ripping has a much higher user count and i suspect that this is the explenation we are seing here for the very low image ripping user base, as i suspect that the image ripping results are being somewhat "poluted" by newbies.

Your theory is flawed. tongue.gif
You cannot draw any conclusion about newbies and old timers behaviour because the votes are mixed. The pool shows this: only a few people rip to image+CUE. The vast majority (old timers and newbies) prefer one file per track.

This post has been edited by beto: Jan 12 2007, 18:25


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Martin H
post Jan 12 2007, 19:43
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Yeah, of course you are right smile.gif

I apologise for drawing the wrong conclusions smile.gif

Sorry mate(s) beer.gif

CU, Martin.
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user
post Jan 15 2007, 17:08
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hm,

maybe the interpretation "flac is so popular, as it is popular" is too simple.
I can find technical arguments & history, why I think, flac is so popular, and the reasons, I use flac myself, though there was a time I ripped to wavpack before !

The reasons are probably, that flac became most popular, are imo: - fast decoding & encoding !
- this leads also to the next very important reason, which could be compared with the "mp3-reasoning":
- non-PC devices for playback, be it portable like for cars, or home stereo.
- the point, that since longer time, users see, that flac is supported by commercial industry.

- wavpack or ape as next popular formats show, better compression ratios in various modes, but mostly on the costs of either en- and decoding speed or both,
while especially the decoding speed is technically important for the industry support, ie. necessary cpu power for the decode, also the argument of battery consumption.
In the end, those little promille or percent compression ratio of other formats don't matter at Lossless sizes and todays/future storage capacities.

the success of mp3 has its reasons also in mp3-encoder/decoder having been "free" to use for everybody (while flac is really free !). And that mp3 can be played by nearly every non-PC audio device.

Apple & co could overcome flac only, if they would start big public campaign for their Lossless formats.
But I don#t see this happen, as for them, they "think", lossy is enough for mass-market, so they implement Loslsess only as additional feature into their devices, but no special marketing.
But this is the great thing for our world of audio, as other smaller or middle sized companies can offer and do already ! alternative good audio devices playing flac eg., not only the monopole formats "BBD" or however they are named.

And this is similar to the mp3 success, if soon a lot "Korean, Chinese" made priceworthy (ie. you don#t pay for advertisements on TV/radio, if you buy it) audio devices play flac as quasi-standard, we can be happy to not be dependent on 1 big-apple company wink.gif

This post has been edited by user: Jan 15 2007, 17:37


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Bourne
post Jan 17 2007, 01:10
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Hi. WAVPACK to go.

Well, I am migrating everything I have in lossless to WAVPACK. I was pretty going mad with hundreds of files and tagging, when I found out wavpack has embedded cuesheets, that called my attention. When I tested I really found real cool, and thought: "Hell, I now don't need to go through this file-to-file tagging hassle."

FLAC is becoming the "standard" lossless codec on the net sharing files (The name is catchy, that's the reason I think). But as it happened with MP3, it is not necessary the best. (Read here, OGG is better than MP3). But MP3 was the lossy that stuck! So I think that RIGHT NOW, at this moment... none lossless codec has a good hardware support, like MP3 has. We cannot claim that "this lossless is better over that other" just because a few more devices will play it. No. Until DVD Players, that are for general multi-media use, do not come with those lossless support, I think there won't be a "widespread" hardware support. We're talking here about the Joe user being able to play his lossless onto anything. So it's not worth stick with FLAC when you can only play on a two or three expensive devices. When it's hitting the DVD Players along with the portables, it's gonna stuck.

I can store my lossless archive in single album files, plus the seeking in WAVPACK is damn fast, whereas in FLAC is a delays a bit (and that *IS* irritating). But the main reason to switch to WAVPACK is organization. Like I said, you can go mad with hundreds of files that you need to tag, and if you're a damn perfectionist, then you're definitely go nuts. WAVPACK makes it easy. And you can unwind.

I also have learned that backup CD's are worthless since they will only last for a short time. So I don't burn anything onto CD's anymore. They're dead and they're going late coz I have lost few original CD's over 10 years and they were quite expensive, and yes, there were no replacement for them but download a lossless copy of it laying on the internet. So what's the point spending US$ 15.00 onto something that will eventually wear out. I don't want to go through the ripping hassle, nor worried about a perfect rip CD. Nooo.. not anymore, I have suffered enough with my paranoia. I still think that in a 10 year period, music will be totally digital. If there's something in the shelves, it will be already digitalized.

I really DO HOPE that wavpack hardware support increases with all its features. It's just so nice. Well, thanks for it Wavpack. My musical life would be hell if it wasn't for you. And until that wide support does not show up, I will go with -V2 -vbr-new and stick my pen-drive onto my powerful mini-system.

This post has been edited by Bourne: Jan 17 2007, 02:19
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Jebus
post Jan 17 2007, 01:59
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FLAC, faster decoding to other formats (I use it for archival purposes, not actual playback). I guess if space ever gets really tight, i'll just convert it.

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Martin H
post Jan 17 2007, 02:24
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QUOTE (Bourne @ Jan 17 2007, 01:10) *
none lossless codec has a good hardware support, like MP3 has. So it's not worth stick with FLAC when you can only play on a two or three expensive devices. That's not for us mortal workers.

Two or three devices ???

From the supported hardware devices list at the FLAC site :
http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware

Home stereo:

* AudioReQuest music servers
* Avega Systems' wireless Oyster loudspeakers
* Digital Techniques' Blackbird Digital Music Players
* Escient's FireBall servers (E2-40/160/300, DVDM-300, SE-D1), networked home stereo components with hard-drives
* Hifidelio, a wireless home stereo component
* iMuse audio/video media servers
* Meda Systems' Bravo servers
* The MS300 Music Server by McIntosh Laboratory (brochure)
* Olive's Opus, Symphony, and Musica wireless digital music centers
* PhatNoise Home Digital Media Player
* Pixel Magic's HD MediaBox
* PONTIS' MS330 Media Server
* Neodigits' Helios X5000 HD network media player
* Netgear EVA8000 HD digital media player
* Numark's DJ equipment like the HDX and CDX turntables with integrated hard drive and CD player, and the HDMIX mixer
* Rio Reciever and Dell Digital Audio Receiver via RioPlay, RRR, tRio, or xPLRio.net clients
* Roku Photobridge HD via plugin
* Roku Soundbridge(*)
* SkipJam's networked audio/video devices
* Sonos Digital Music System (review)
* Slim Devices' Transporter and Squeezebox networked audio players (review)
* Turtle Beach's AudioTron(*) via Bery Rinaldo's Samba VFS Module
* Zensonic Z500 Networked DVD Media Player
* Ziova's CS510 and CS505 network media players
* (*) device decodes FLAC to WAVE/PCM on server-side
* (**) device decodes FLAC to MP3 on server-side

Car stereo:

* Kenwood Music Keg
* PhatBox
* URAL ConceRt CDD
* Volvo's Digital Jukebox

Portable/Handheld:

* Bluedot's BMP-1430
* COWON's iAUDIO A2, iAUDIO F2, iAUDIO U3, iAUDIO M3, iAUDIO M5, iAUDIO T2, and iAUDIO X5
* Green Apple's portable media player: AP3000
* iPod via the Rockbox firmware replacement
* iRiver iHP-120/iHP-140/H320/H340 via the Rockbox firmware replacement
* Iwod G10
* Meizu M6 Miniplayer
* Onda VX737
* Rio Karma
* Teclast TL-29
* TrekStor's Vibez

Btw, i have gone over to FLAC, because of it's fastest decoding speed(not counting the out-dated Shorten format) and also because i was really impressed with Josh's great work on his latest FLAC v1.1.3, which now actually has better embedded cuesheet support than WavPack(a switch for embedding the cuesheet into a Vorbis comment and a switch for embedding it into a CUESHEET metadata block + a switch for decoding single tracks out of the image file and one can choose between any index'es). Also FLAC to FLAC transcoding while transferring all tags by just running "glob -c flac -f *.flac" or "glob -c flac -f ***.flac" for recursive operation in a command prompt is just pure genious also. Finally it's not bad either that it has the best software/hardware support of any lossless codec either smile.gif

CU, Martin.

This post has been edited by Martin H: Jan 17 2007, 02:41
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jcoalson
post Jan 17 2007, 07:43
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I've got a handful more from CES to add to the list when I get the chance... wink.gif

p.s. there's a newer poll: Moderation: this is the newer poll, now relevant posts have been moved.

This post has been edited by Synthetic Soul: Jan 17 2007, 12:58
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shadowking
post Jan 17 2007, 12:45
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In the non-HA DAP world - Ipod, zen, iriver rule, So in that case wavpack and flac have equal hardware support: rockbox. They are both great codecs and I prefer wavpack. The wavpack decoding is very fast unless you run a C-64 . On my PIII 550 even the very high mode runs smooth enough for most tasks. The other modes (high, normal, fast) have no trouble even on portable hardware.


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Martin H
post Jan 17 2007, 14:37
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Fast decoding for me personally is nice because of the waiting time savings when transcoding my FLAC images into aoTuV Lancer -q5 track files and which i will do frequently between every new release, or when i change my mind about the used compression setting, like i have just done from -q6 to -q5 and also for FLAC to FLAC transcodings when new versions arrives. I personally use FLAC for archiving and Ogg Vorbis(aoTuV -q5) for PC playback.

CU, Martin.

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Bourne
post Jan 17 2007, 15:45
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For every album, I do:

- 1 WavPack copy with embedded cuesheet. It's neat, and you can't mess files.
- 1 MP3 VBR 2 fast mode copy. Only to listen in the computer or a portable/car.
- 1 CD-R with the redbook standard copy. It can be played anywhere. Neat.

I don't think one can get better than this...

In the future? Ahhh....

I'll rip WAV files onto the Blue-Ray.... yeah... not even using lossy or lossless in the future.
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jcoalson
post Jan 17 2007, 17:17
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QUOTE (shadowking @ Jan 17 2007, 06:45) *
In the non-HA DAP world - Ipod, zen, iriver rule, So in that case wavpack and flac have equal hardware support: rockbox.

I would still argue that DAP market share is not a good indicator of choice, otherwise AAC and ALAC are the most supported codecs because of the ipod.

also, I think where FLAC really shines is in the home stereo, which is why there are so many more devices in that section.

Josh
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Balthazar_B
post Jan 23 2007, 20:14
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My choices are based mostly on format versatility. I'm still pretty new at this, so no religion has taken hold yet smile.gif . I'm also far from the completion of ripping my entire library, learning the ins and outs of REACT2, etc. Ultimately, I want to use REACT/EAC to do everything in one pass, with individual tracks for both lossless and lossy (as long as I can reconstruct a CD with tracks/cuesheet -- not that I've confirmed I can do this yet -- this makes the most sense to me).

FLAC for lossless, because it has broad support not only as a codec format but also for the tag-related stuff discussed earlier in this topic. Slimserver is a driver here. The rumors flying around about iTunes supporting FLAC soon (at least as a transcoding source) are notable, even though I use Winamp instead of iTunes to feed my 5.5g iPod. If something else emerges someday that's a lot better than FLAC, I expect it will be easy to transcode to it from FLAC.

LAME MP3 for lossy, since everything I use for lossy will play it, and lots of things support LAME gapless tags. I can burn MP3 CDs (for car audio systems that don't support direct iPod connections), feed my old Zen DAP, use any playback software where lossy isn't a problem, etc. If AAC or Ogg were noticeably better in both quality and compression in the environments where I use lossless, and had equivalently broad device support (including gapless), I'd consider a change (also assuming I could transcode from FLAC on autopilot with perfect tag fidelity, etc.).

Frankly, I think the whole database/tagging end of things is the most challenging, where current standards (such as they are) are lacking (with useful support for classical tags, for instance) and transparency between all the tag formats is not there yet.

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kornchild2002
post Jan 23 2007, 22:45
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QUOTE (singaiya @ Jan 11 2007, 15:00) *
lossy = AAC (itunes 128vbr)
lossless = Wavpack (might go TAK when released)
ripping = tracks

QUOTE (ozmosis82 @ Jan 11 2007, 09:30) *

iTunes (blech) AAC for my iPod (for gapless playback) @ 160kbps "VBR"
WavPack for my archives

I'd probably save around 10-12 gigs of space if I could use Nero AAC but, alas, no gapless support yet (on iPods). Otherwise, I'd rather use Vorbis.


I don't understand how can you save that much space by using Nero? Couldn't you just lower your itunes bitrate? I don't know of any samples that are better with either one or the other implementation (at bitrates of 128 or above).


I think that said user had a stereo separation (or some stereo sound) problem with the iTunes AAC encoder on one of those rare killer samples (that EVERY encoder has).

For me, I use iTunes AAC at 128kbps VBR as my main lossy format. I recently made the switch from Lame mp3 at -V 2 due to hard drive space limitations. I could have just gone with a lower bitrate Lame setting but now my car, computer, iPod, PDA, and gaming console all support AAC so I see no need for mp3 in my situation (even though the Lame mp3 encoder can hold its own).

As far a lossless goes, I use Apple lossless since it is built right into iTunes and I can easily convert from ALAC to AAC without the need for 3rd party software (like going from FLAC to iTunes AAC). I guess you can say that I have sold my audio soul to Apple as I used to be a Lame, foobar2000, FLAC junkie.

I still can't believe that ATRAC received two votes especially since many Sony players can now handle AAC and have been able to play mp3 (Lame) for a really long time now.
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ShadowVlican
post Feb 4 2007, 23:01
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What's your *main lossy* format of choice?
MP3, because it works everywhere

What's your *main lossless* format of choice?
FLAC, because it's the most supported lossless format

What's your favorite ripping mode {for your main or archive library if you have several ones}?
one file per track, because of widespread support. cuesheets aren't widely supported and i wouldn't be able to easily send "track X" to a friend, etc.

so as you can see, while the formats i chose aren't the most advanced, they are easily the most headache free formats. my grandma would be able to handle them.


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dewey1973
post Feb 6 2007, 00:24
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Ogg Vorbis - My Karma supports it so why not take advantage of the better sound:file size ratio?

FLAC - I have 140 GB of FLAC files in my archive, but it has been a long time since I was actively archiving. My eye is starting to wander. OptimFrog is looking pretty tempting. WavPack is also one I'm considering. So I'm interested to see how this poll develops.

one file per disc with cuesheet or chapters - I was a single track guy, but now I'm using images. I don't want to worry about anything hidden in the pre-gap and so I think images are better for me. They also seem easier to manage. Especially with scripts like REACT2 out there to help me create lossy files for the Karma.
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xequence
post Feb 13 2007, 02:52
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I used to use FLAC, but ive recently switched to... WavPack biggrin.gif

I did my own unscientific tests and found it to have better compression and better encoding speed then flac, as well as the decoding speed is very similar, most often the same but sometimes very slightly worse then flac.

And since, as far as I know, FLAC and WavPack are the only two major totally free (source code and price, as in linux type free) lossless codecs. Both work well and are great, but I like WavPack better. And as a big plus to WavPack, it has one of those uber type options (x6) that takes a major long time to encode but can get better compression. Sure, not always practical, but still, nice to have biggrin.gif

Ive been converting my shorten files to WavPack recently. I really dont like shorten... Sure, fast encode and decode, but not that great compression or seeking. WavPack and FLAC both have great seeking.

Monkeys Audio seems to have better compression then WavPack or FLAC (and it has a nice and useful GUI for it), but id like to support free (see above) software. FLAC is probably GPL, and I think WavPack is BSD.

Im not sure how many people work on WavPack besides the main person (who I think is bryant), but thanks alot for a great product smile.gif


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jcoalson
post Feb 13 2007, 02:59
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QUOTE (xequence @ Feb 12 2007, 20:52) *
FLAC is probably GPL, and I think WavPack is BSD.

FLAC is mostly BSD. the command-line programs are GPL.
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Kowalski
post Feb 13 2007, 03:49
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I only do lossy encodings with lame. I used to use -V0 for everything but since my harddisk died 2 months ago I had to re-ripp everything again! I used -V2 --vbr-new this time. That's transparent to me (mostly Rock/Metal sources).

Unfortunately I did not think of using flac. dry.gif And I'm just too damn lazy to start ripping AGAIN. mad.gif


smile.gif

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