IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Why’s FLAC ‘the’ lossless codec? Is it future-proof(able)? Comparisons, [TOS #6: was “Future proof lossless audio/codec” in General Audio]
eahm
post Jun 23 2012, 18:03
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 1171
Joined: 11-February 12
Member No.: 97076



I am trying to understand why is FLAC standardizing in the lossless world? Reading here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of...chnical_details isn't True Audio more future proof? All these channels and huge range, isn't it the "best" option for the next "100 years"?

If one day everyone will start using FLAC, will there be a way to expand the number of channels available? For expample the "new new" 12.1 Surround System or whatever they will come up with.

Just some thoughts, don't want to get anyone upset, I use FLAC and I love it.

Thanks.

This post has been edited by eahm: Jun 23 2012, 18:03
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
 
Start new topic
Replies
Porcus
post Jun 23 2012, 21:50
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 1995
Joined: 30-November 06
Member No.: 38207



If I were dictator and could order specifications for The Next Universal Lossless Audio Codec, I can think of a quite a few improvements, but let me rather offer my $2e–02 on the 'why FLAC is standardizing' (which I am not sure will be true for forever, given the power of The New Microsoft with the fruity logo and name).

First: there need not be any 'good' reason why one product dominates over another market-wise. And especially not here, where compatibility is more or less everything as soon as features are 'good enough'. If N equally good codecs share the market evenly, that is most likely an unstable equilibrium. Whichever gets the upper hand (even if just by coincidence) will have better chances of growing quicker. And when concerns 'good enough' ... that TTA can sample at 4 GHz is certainly nothing compared to compatibility.

Some time ago, I tried to start a thread asking why these formats came about – which problems did they set out to solve?
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=79491 Didn't really find the answers.


I would suppose that the main reason for FLAC's success, is being at the right place doing the right thing at the right time. And I can only guess that parts of this 'right thing', were
- optimized for decoding speed. Ten years ago, I think that was fairly important (and maybe even today for portable devices): it didn't require much CPU load. (AFAIK, no codec improved over FLAC on both compression and speed simultaneously until TAK, am I right?)
- licensing. Free, could be used in any device.
- quite future-proof feature-wise, at least for quite a few years' horizon. (Compare to Shorten and WAV ... and their tagging ...)
- good enough compression ratio. I mean, most don't even use the –8 switch.
And the right place, would be under the wings of Xiph, who had gained a reputation after doing Vorbis at the time when manufacturers were worried about licensing costs for MP3.


Compare to the competition at (approximately) that time: WavPack (1998) and Monkey's (2000?) decoded slower, and not to mention the closed-sourcers LA (2002) and OptimFrog (2003). LPAC was also closed source, and not to mention WMA Lossless, which was release at a time where Microsoft was getting knocked big time for their attempts at locking-in, and at the same time everything DRM-enabled was getting the middle finger big time. Meridian Lossless has some market though, on physical media, but has never target the 'decode yourself' market.



I have to say though, that I don't really understand why WavPack didn't catch on, being so early available. Though I don't know what features it had back in last century.

This post has been edited by Porcus: Jun 23 2012, 21:56


--------------------
One day in the Year of the Fox came a time remembered well
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
greynol
post Jun 23 2012, 22:49
Post #3





Group: Super Moderator
Posts: 10341
Joined: 1-April 04
From: San Francisco
Member No.: 13167



QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 23 2012, 13:50) *
(AFAIK, no codec improved over FLAC on both compression and speed simultaneously until TAK, am I right?)

If you mean encoding speed vs. compression, then no, not really; though this is a moving target.

MAC is pretty swift at its lowest compression which is generally stronger than flac at its most aggressive settings. WavPack also fares better than flac by virtue of it being stronger at compression as well, though not as fast as MAC for compression levels where it can compete. TAK generally does a faster job than MAC at encoding at the weaker end of where they share common compression levels. Once TAK is configured to encode aggressively, its speed drops substantially, more so than MAC the last time I looked at data, but things may have changed since then. WavPack's encoding speed drops even more sharply.

When you take it into perspective, however, we're only talking about a 2% improvement in compression over flac at -6 at which point flac begins to lose efficiency.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jun 23 2012, 23:43


--------------------
Your eyes cannot hear.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Posts in this topic
- eahm   Why’s FLAC ‘the’ lossless codec? Is it future-proof(able)? Comparisons   Jun 23 2012, 18:03
- - saratoga   If people wanted more channels they'd just upd...   Jun 23 2012, 19:04
- - Debby747   I use and prefer WavPack for its features. The re...   Jun 23 2012, 19:26
- - lvqcl   Why care about future? FLAC is lossless and DRM-fr...   Jun 23 2012, 19:51
- - felix26591   I don't know about the channels, but flac is i...   Jun 23 2012, 20:39
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (felix26591 @ Jun 23 2012, 21:39) I...   Jun 23 2012, 20:43
|- - 2012   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jun 23 2012, 20:43) QUO...   Jun 23 2012, 21:55
- - eahm   QUOTE (Debby747 @ Jun 23 2012, 11:26) I u...   Jun 23 2012, 20:48
|- - skamp   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 23 2012, 21:48) In my o...   Jun 23 2012, 21:07
||- - IgorC   QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 23 2012, 17:07) Techni...   Jun 23 2012, 23:22
||- - skamp   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 00:22) Is 3%...   Jun 24 2012, 08:53
||- - Porcus   @ Greynol: you don't seem to get the point. I ...   Jun 24 2012, 10:57
|||- - greynol   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 24 2012, 02:57) @ Gre...   Jun 24 2012, 17:28
||- - Dario   QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 23 2012, 22:07) Techni...   Jun 24 2012, 16:36
|||- - greynol   QUOTE (Dario @ Jun 24 2012, 08:36) The co...   Jun 24 2012, 17:31
|||- - Porcus   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 24 2012, 18:31) QUOT...   Jun 24 2012, 18:04
||- - skamp   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 00:22) Is 3%...   Jun 25 2012, 09:31
||- - skamp   QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 25 2012, 10:31) Well, ...   Jun 25 2012, 11:46
|- - db1989   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 23 2012, 20:48) QUOTE (...   Jun 23 2012, 21:28
- - lvqcl   IMO a codec that supports 4GHz samplerate is not b...   Jun 23 2012, 21:08
- - Porcus   If I were dictator and could order specifications ...   Jun 23 2012, 21:50
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 23 2012, 21:50) First...   Jun 23 2012, 22:26
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 23 2012, 13:50) (AFAI...   Jun 23 2012, 22:49
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 23 2012, 23:49) QUOT...   Jun 23 2012, 23:28
|- - bryant   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 23 2012, 12:50) I hav...   Jun 24 2012, 22:47
|- - Porcus   @ Bryant: Thanks for enlightening. And well ma...   Jun 25 2012, 01:01
- - greynol   MAC at it's weakest setting compresses better ...   Jun 23 2012, 23:49
- - yourlord   FLAC was early on the scene. Performance is good e...   Jun 24 2012, 01:01
- - Takla   Some other factors which imo made/make for widespr...   Jun 24 2012, 01:13
- - eahm   I am not talking about speed, compression, hardwar...   Jun 24 2012, 01:54
- - Takla   That's fine but most people, even music lovers...   Jun 24 2012, 02:52
- - dumdidum   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 23 2012, 22:50) First...   Jun 24 2012, 16:35
- - IgorC   Those are old results (2006) The last comparison ...   Jun 24 2012, 18:21
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 19:21) Those ...   Jun 24 2012, 18:52
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 24 2012, 14:52) That...   Jun 24 2012, 18:57
- - greynol   Thanks. I see 6% there, not 8% though. Re: Old r...   Jun 24 2012, 18:23
- - IgorC   http://www.synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison...sion...   Jun 24 2012, 18:29
- - greynol   That doesn't change the fact that much has cha...   Jun 24 2012, 18:54
- - Destroid   I'm late to the discussion so I am starting wi...   Jun 24 2012, 19:01
|- - Porcus   @ Destroid: a few good points, although I don...   Jun 24 2012, 20:06
- - TBeck   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 19:29) http:/...   Jun 24 2012, 19:19
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (TBeck @ Jun 24 2012, 15:19) But it...   Jun 24 2012, 19:53
||- - greynol   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 11:53) FLAC/T...   Jun 24 2012, 20:03
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (TBeck @ Jun 24 2012, 20:19) many f...   Jun 24 2012, 19:54
- - greynol   Personally I only care how comparisons fare agains...   Jun 24 2012, 19:51
- - Dario   Well, I don’t know what kind of albums you g...   Jun 24 2012, 20:21
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (Dario @ Jun 24 2012, 16:21) Well, ...   Jun 24 2012, 20:25
||- - Dario   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 24 2012, 21:25) QUOTE ...   Jun 24 2012, 20:36
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Dario @ Jun 24 2012, 21:21) Well, ...   Jun 24 2012, 21:25
||- - db1989   QUOTE (Dario @ Jun 24 2012, 20:21) I list...   Jun 25 2012, 06:53
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (Dario @ Jun 24 2012, 16:21) I list...   Jun 24 2012, 22:23
- - Destroid   @Porcus Ah, is true. The average user sometimes is...   Jun 24 2012, 20:36
- - IgorC   I have encoded two sets of samples from two last p...   Jun 24 2012, 21:49
- - TBeck   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 24 2012, 20:51) Pers...   Jun 24 2012, 23:31
- - Dario   Here’s a 30-second sample of the album I was talki...   Jun 25 2012, 11:39
- - lvqcl   Apparent lowpass at 13...14 kHz and other signs of...   Jun 25 2012, 11:45
|- - Dario   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Jun 25 2012, 12:45) Appare...   Jun 25 2012, 12:00
|- - Porcus   I am not surprised that a demo from a one-man-band...   Jun 25 2012, 12:24
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 25 2012, 12:24) (That...   Jun 25 2012, 12:36
- - Porcus   The Vàli upload has a peak of only 0.82, and is fr...   Jun 25 2012, 11:52
- - lvqcl   Half a year ago I took 7 albums from my music coll...   Jun 25 2012, 13:19
|- - JJZolx   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Jun 25 2012, 06:19) Half a...   Jun 25 2012, 16:55
- - smok3   as far as longevity goes, i'd use whatever app...   Jun 25 2012, 13:26
- - TBeck   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 25 2012, 13:24) Earli...   Jun 25 2012, 13:59
|- - stephan_g   QUOTE (TBeck @ Jun 25 2012, 14:59) This i...   Jun 25 2012, 16:10
|- - benski   QUOTE (stephan_g @ Jun 25 2012, 11:10) Ho...   Jun 25 2012, 16:43
- - pdq   I doubt that any lossless encoder would do well wi...   Jun 25 2012, 16:38
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (pdq @ Jun 25 2012, 17:38) I doubt ...   Jun 25 2012, 17:31
- - db1989   Does Josh ever still, or have any intention to eve...   Jun 25 2012, 16:49
- - eahm   QUOTE (stephan_g @ Jun 25 2012, 08:10) Ho...   Jun 25 2012, 17:13
|- - benski   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 25 2012, 12:13) QUOTE (...   Jun 25 2012, 17:39
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 25 2012, 13:13) Going b...   Jun 25 2012, 18:32
- - db1989   Yes, quality has nothing to do with it. eahm seems...   Jun 25 2012, 18:41
|- - skamp   QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 25 2012, 19:41) numer...   Jun 25 2012, 18:50
- - eahm   QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 25 2012, 10:41) Yes, ...   Jun 25 2012, 18:47
|- - IgorC   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 25 2012, 14:47) it...   Jun 25 2012, 18:59
- - lvqcl   TTA is more future-proof than FLAC, Itanium is mor...   Jun 25 2012, 19:14
- - eahm   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 25 2012, 10:59) QUOTE ...   Jun 25 2012, 19:15
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 25 2012, 14:15) QUOTE (...   Jun 25 2012, 19:35
|- - JJZolx   QUOTE (saratoga @ Jun 25 2012, 12:35) Hop...   Jun 25 2012, 19:43
|- - lvqcl   QUOTE (JJZolx @ Jun 25 2012, 22:43) It wo...   Jun 25 2012, 19:50
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (JJZolx @ Jun 25 2012, 14:43) QUOTE...   Jun 25 2012, 19:58
- - IgorC   It might be the case that the next step will be no...   Jun 25 2012, 20:00
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (IgorC @ Jun 25 2012, 21:00) It mig...   Jun 25 2012, 20:06
|- - benski   QUOTE (Porcus @ Jun 25 2012, 15:06) QUOTE...   Jun 25 2012, 20:14
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (benski @ Jun 25 2012, 21:14) QUOTE...   Jun 25 2012, 20:41
- - eahm   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Jun 25 2012, 11:14) TTA is...   Jun 25 2012, 20:23
- - hlloyge   To return to the original question, I think EAC ha...   Jun 25 2012, 22:41
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (hlloyge @ Jun 25 2012, 23:41) To r...   Jun 25 2012, 23:23
- - greynol   Nah, EAC has had (and still has) internal support ...   Jun 25 2012, 23:20
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (greynol @ Jun 25 2012, 18:20) I am...   Jun 25 2012, 23:42
- - lvqcl   From 2009 ripping/encoding general poll:   Jun 26 2012, 00:14
- - krafty   I think FLAC is popular because it was on the inte...   Jun 26 2012, 00:34
|- - greynol   QUOTE (krafty @ Jun 25 2012, 16:34) I thi...   Jun 26 2012, 04:08
- - Destroid   Which I guess brings the question of, "How ea...   Jun 26 2012, 01:18
|- - saratoga   QUOTE (Destroid @ Jun 25 2012, 20:18) Whi...   Jun 26 2012, 01:36
- - onkl   FLAC has a nice sounding name. I believe one of th...   Jun 26 2012, 04:32
- - Zarggg   One could argue that "WMA" and "AAC...   Jun 27 2012, 07:39
|- - bandpass   Onkl's point was that the names are nicer soun...   Jun 27 2012, 08:36
- - Porcus   So, what's in a name? yalike, Offer my4ay? a...   Jun 27 2012, 08:39
2 Pages V   1 2 >


Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 27th December 2014 - 23:57