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Is FLAC really lossless? / Do compression settings make a difference?, [Was “Question Regarding Conversion of WAV/AIFF to FLAC”—TOS#6—Ask it]
xdesirex22
post Apr 20 2012, 00:41
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Hello everyone, i have recently started converting all of my WAV/AIFF files to FLAC to save space, as i have read from various sources that FLAC is indeed true lossless. I am using XLD on Mac, with the settings seen here in this image:


XLD by tstirling7, on Flickr

Will these settings yield a true lossless conversion? I need to confirm because at some point i am going to be deleting my WAV/AIFF files, and i want to be completely sure that i am not making a mistake when i do this. I was listening to both the AIFF and FLAC of a track today, and i could've sworn the AIFF sounded a little bit louder and punchier, but i can be a bit paranoid (for lack of a better word) at times about things like this so i could've been hearing things.

Also, i have a second question. I read on a forum somewhere that audio conversion programs aren't perfect so with each conversion comes a small (possibly inaudible) loss in quality. This made sense to me. but my question is, How much does this loss in quality really matter? Is this even true with a program like XLD? thank you for your time.
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icstm
post Apr 20 2012, 13:49
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Yes compare the PCM streams and realise that all this formats are is clever long-word algorithm compression techniques. Think ZIP for music. Even in ZIP you have compression factors that are to do with how much computation should be done, but how much of the original data should be lost.
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db1989
post Apr 20 2012, 14:19
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QUOTE (icstm @ Apr 20 2012, 13:49) *
but not how much of the original data should be lost (because none ever is).
Fixed? wink.gif

In which case, yes, and it provides a further opportunity to reassure xdesirex22 that the compression level solely affects the computational power and techniques used during compression; this may create a different FLAC file, but the stream that you would get from decoding it (note: some formats decode more slowly files that were compressed to a higher degree) would be exactly the same as that from any other FLAC file and, by definition, exactly the same as the original uncompressed stream.
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Posts in this topic
- xdesirex22   Is FLAC really lossless? / Do compression settings make a difference?   Apr 20 2012, 00:41
- - RobertoDomenico   If comparing AIFF and FLAC you must perform a ABX ...   Apr 20 2012, 01:07
- - xdesirex22   Ah, that is wonderful news. You have no idea what ...   Apr 20 2012, 01:09
- - tpijag   abx answer   Apr 20 2012, 01:16
- - RobertoDomenico   There is a quick guide here that will be helpful t...   Apr 20 2012, 01:29
|- - Carledwards   QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Apr 19 2012, 16...   Apr 20 2012, 01:45
- - 2Bdecided   You don't need to ABX lossless files - the pro...   Apr 20 2012, 12:27
|- - db1989   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 20 2012, 12:27) To...   Apr 20 2012, 13:08
- - icstm   Yes compare the PCM streams and realise that all t...   Apr 20 2012, 13:49
|- - db1989   QUOTE (icstm @ Apr 20 2012, 13:49) but no...   Apr 20 2012, 14:19
- - xdesirex22   how can i compare pcm stream? is there a program t...   Apr 22 2012, 08:49
- - db1989   foobar2000, load and select two files, right-click...   Apr 22 2012, 09:30
- - skamp   You'll need the binary comparator.   Apr 22 2012, 10:26
- - evereux   And a Windows PC or emulator since he is on a Mac.   Apr 22 2012, 10:39
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (evereux @ Apr 22 2012, 11:39) And ...   Apr 22 2012, 12:00
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 04:00) This...   Apr 22 2012, 17:08
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 22 2012, 18:08) QUOT...   Apr 22 2012, 19:17
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 11:17) Ok, ...   Apr 22 2012, 20:25
- - Chinch   First, to answer every question you have about thi...   Apr 22 2012, 12:25
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Chinch @ Apr 22 2012, 13:25) Alter...   Apr 22 2012, 12:48
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 22 2012, 13:48) Yes,...   Apr 22 2012, 14:10
- - xdesirex22   ok, a lot of this went over my head. are these tes...   Apr 22 2012, 20:14
|- - db1989   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 20:14) o...   Apr 22 2012, 20:28
||- - xdesirex22   QUOTE You’re not. Lossless is lossless. Again: Com...   Apr 22 2012, 20:34
||- - garym   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 13:34) Q...   Apr 22 2012, 20:39
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (xdesirex22 @ Apr 22 2012, 21:14) I...   Apr 22 2012, 21:02
- - db1989   Some people don’t want, or care, to use a non-defa...   Apr 22 2012, 20:42
- - xdesirex22   i appreciate all the help. I've learned a lot ...   Apr 22 2012, 23:45


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