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32-bit support, Split from: "The Future of FLAC"
post Aug 31 2012, 22:21
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QUOTE (yourlord @ Aug 31 2012, 21:26) *
32-bit support

QUOTE (sshd @ Aug 31 2012, 22:16) *
>2G support

Both of these are important.

I was glad to see that in audio editing/music making software FLAC gained a lot of support in the last couple of years. I'd say right now most support at least importing FLAC.
But 32bit float is used a lot in audio editing, so FLAC could definitely improve there.

Also, I remember reading once that FLAC is too loosely defined (compared to ALAC where the rules are more strict regarding number of channels etc.). Don't know much about that stuff myself, but if it's true it's worth looking into. Hardware/software manufacturers want a reliable standard to work with.
EDIT2: found it

This post has been edited by Brand: Aug 31 2012, 22:31
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post Sep 1 2012, 23:48
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Well, I shouldn't have said "normalized." You don't want to switch from float to 24-bit if you have any tracks that are currently clipping, and you may not want to do it if you have any tracks to which you will later add 24dB or more of gain. That's all you need though, and I think those aren't too terrible of limitations.

If you're sending someone else an in-progress multitrack project, your DAW software should be exporting a project file with at least the gain to be applied in mixing, intended channel, track start/end time, etc for each track, not just a collection of raw FLACs. It wouldn't be hard for software to implement a compressed project file format with the audio data stored as FLAC and take care of sample format conversion (e.g. float-int-float) and normalization/gain issues as part of the project file.

Real-time losslessly compressed audio transfer over the Internet makes no sense. You can't get much of a bandwidth savings with lossless without introducing a fair bit of delay, and since no lossless codec can guarantee that its output will have a lower bitrate than the original, your internet connection would have to have sufficient bandwidth for the uncompressed original anyways.

The FLAC format supports 32-bit fixed point, and from what little I understand it wouldn't be too difficult to create an encoder that could actually produce such files. In most ways relevant to audio, 32-bit fixed point provides more precision than 32-bit float*. It's just that nobody has cared enough about that extra precision enough to bother implementing it; again, real world ADC/DACs can't do better than 20bit fixed point.

As far as marketing advantages, the famous Lincoln quote about fooling people applies quite well to marketing imaginary benefits. In the long run, adding snake oil to FLAC is not going to help anybody.

*float does provide more precision for samples below -48dB, and obviously float doesn't clip.

This post has been edited by jensend: Sep 1 2012, 23:54
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