Download: FLAC, WAV ?

Some theories are of course only theories because they have yet to be proven, other things are no longer theories because they have been proved. Good luck with disproving the laws of physics... 

As for the question you had asked avout marvelling at CDs when they first came out, my first experience was walking through some large shop or other, might have been a department store or a supermarket, hearing one playing and thinking it sounded pretty good, very clear sound - i.e initially impressive, but the wrong environment to really marvel. Not long after that, my brother bought a player (no idea what - nothing particularly hi fi, but then they were all supposed to sound great) My first reaction hearing it in his house, compared to records:  yes, pretty good clarity, no surface noise, and very good dynamic range - it would have been something to marvel over ...except that It sounded harsh, and there was no bass. Not good.

Time passed, and many hifi mag reviews read, and by mid 80s the impression was that things had improved a lot, so I went to a hifi shop to try. Much less harshness, actually not bad ...but still no real bass. Not something I could live with. It was not until 1990 or so that  I heard a player that did actually sound good, with at last the benefits shining through without the major limitations, so I bought into CD. But CDs recorded even in the early 80s sounded good on it, and music ripped from them still does. So, it was not the digitising, nor the file format nor the physical medium that was the limitation, but the players. 

The parallel between that and now, is that lossless formats are all fine and interchangeable, but the player has to be able to play it well.

You may have suspicions that file formats can't be transcoded without detriment to sound quality, but until you do something to prove it, they will be just that, unfounded suspicions, which like, say, human jealosy, can ruin the pursuit of music. So I suggest going and doing detailed tests and research, to try to find  find some real evidence that something is amiss - and if you can't, stop beating yourself and others up over it.

nbpf posted:
allhifi posted:
nbpf posted:
allhifi posted:

nbpf, HUGE: Collectively speaking, bear in mind that ...

To be honest, I do not understand what you are talking about. I have tried ...

...

nbpf, HUGE: Please answer the following: Did you marvel at the sound quality of the compact disc when introduced in 1982 -or indeed throughout the 1980's ?????

...

Not that I can remember. In the eighties I was studing at the university and I did not care about music and music replay. I guess I have bought my first CDs in the nineties and I actually got interested in music and music replay only about 5 years ago. I have to admit that I understand very little of what you are writing in your posts. I thought that you had answered your original question and decided to download and store your files in WAV format. What has this problem to do with the eighties and with the introduction of CDs? Best, nbpf

The clarification is most important. 

I absolutely loved music and hi-fi as a young child. At 12/13 Y.O.A., my interest accelerated (far faster than it did for girls come to think of it). Unless one is a passionate, genuine hi-fi guy, it would  be impossible to understand (or have a feel) for the revelations that unfolded (and continue to) both as a consumer and professional in the business over the course decades.

You see, technical specifications (specifically, in this case, digital music data -as it  represents the digits/ voltages present ) anyone can rehash on the backs of those that were/are responsible for the current specifications.      

It takes someone special (such as Rob Watts for example) who venture to go where few have gone before, and in doing so, finds remarkable new insights -and soon to be new 'specifications'.

To your question; it has everything to do with the history of CD. You see, for many including yourself and HUGE, back in its introductory year/decade, you were likely both thrilled at this (then new)  'robust' music replay specification. Remember how amazed you were both with the sound? Problem was, passionate listener's with an ear to the truth realized fast how shitty CD sounded; flat, dimensionless, strident, absolutely no LF resolution/definition, sound-staging credentials or most importantly (by far) any sense of 'musicality'; that sense of natural harmonic structure, tonal variety or dynamic instrument/vocal vitality. IT WAS WAS AWFUL.  But you didn't think so !

And then (among many other discoveries), "dither" was found to greatly enhance the listening experience as superior DAC'c (and architecture) continued to improve things considerably. You see, although your treasured digital data specification was as robust back then as it is today -it sounded like crap. So much so, that I finally could consider CDP's (for dent sound quality) at around the turn-of-the-century; seventeen years after its introduction !  Pickier folk felt 2004/5 was the breakthrough year (for quality CD sound) -a cool twenty-two years after its release.      

"What has this problem to do with the eighties and with the introduction of CDs?"

Do you understand now ?

pj

allhifi posted:
Huge posted:

AllHiFi

You don't understand the answer, so you resort to crude insults.  What I wrote would be understood by any competent engineer working in this field.
You asked, I answered in good faith, and you responded with insults.

You owe me an apology.

I apologize. Partially.

pj

Since you have only partially apologised, I shall accept that part of the apology and await the rest of it.

allhifi posted:
nbpf posted:
allhifi posted:
nbpf posted:
allhifi posted:

nbpf, HUGE: Collectively speaking, bear in mind that ...

To be honest, I do not understand what you are talking about. I have tried ...

...

nbpf, HUGE: Please answer the following: Did you marvel at the sound quality of the compact disc when introduced in 1982 -or indeed throughout the 1980's ?????

...

Not that I can remember. In the eighties I was studing at the university and I did not care about music and music replay. I guess I have bought my first CDs in the nineties and I actually got interested in music and music replay only about 5 years ago. I have to admit that I understand very little of what you are writing in your posts. I thought that you had answered your original question and decided to download and store your files in WAV format. What has this problem to do with the eighties and with the introduction of CDs? Best, nbpf

The clarification is most important. 

I absolutely loved music and hi-fi as a young child. At 12/13 Y.O.A., my interest accelerated (far faster than it did for girls come to think of it). Unless one is a passionate, genuine hi-fi guy, it would  be impossible to understand (or have a feel) for the revelations that unfolded (and continue to) both as a consumer and professional in the business over the course decades.

You see, technical specifications (specifically, in this case, digital music data -as it  represents the digits/ voltages present ) anyone can rehash on the backs of those that were/are responsible for the current specifications.      

It takes someone special (such as Rob Watts for example) who venture to go where few have gone before, and in doing so, finds remarkable new insights -and soon to be new 'specifications'.

To your question; it has everything to do with the history of CD. You see, for many including yourself and HUGE, back in its introductory year/decade, you were likely both thrilled at this (then new)  'robust' music replay specification. Remember how amazed you were both with the sound? Problem was, passionate listener's with an ear to the truth realized fast how shitty CD sounded; flat, dimensionless, strident, absolutely no LF resolution/definition, sound-staging credentials or most importantly (by far) any sense of 'musicality'; that sense of natural harmonic structure, tonal variety or dynamic instrument/vocal vitality. IT WAS WAS AWFUL.  But you didn't think so !

And then (among many other discoveries), "dither" was found to greatly enhance the listening experience as superior DAC'c (and architecture) continued to improve things considerably. You see, although your treasured digital data specification was as robust back then as it is today -it sounded like crap. So much so, that I finally could consider CDP's (for dent sound quality) at around the turn-of-the-century; seventeen years after its introduction !  Pickier folk felt 2004/5 was the breakthrough year (for quality CD sound) -a cool twenty-two years after its release.      

"What has this problem to do with the eighties and with the introduction of CDs?"

Do you understand now ?

pj

Frankly I do not. Your personal story might perhaps explain your interest in the question that you have originally posted: download .flac or .wav files?  But, in this thread, we have been discussing answers to your question, not motivations for it. At least, that's what I thought we had been doing.

From this angle, the reasons why you have raised the question seem immaterial to me. If, in your original post, you had written that you do not care at all abou music and that you are only trying to find out which data formats a friend of yours who cares about sound quality and metadata editing should download, I would have given exactly the same answers. 

allhifi posted:
<snip>

To your question; it has everything to do with the history of CD. You see, for many including yourself and HUGE, back in its introductory year/decade, you were likely both thrilled at this (then new)  'robust' music replay specification. Remember how amazed you were both with the sound? Problem was, passionate listener's with an ear to the truth realized fast how shitty CD sounded; flat, dimensionless, strident, absolutely no LF resolution/definition, sound-staging credentials or most importantly (by far) any sense of 'musicality'; that sense of natural harmonic structure, tonal variety or dynamic instrument/vocal vitality. IT WAS WAS AWFUL.  But you didn't think so !

<snip>

Ah! clearly you remember my thoughts from thirty years ago more accurately than I remember them.  It must be all that metaphysics enabling you to use time travel telepathy.

Apparently I must have misremembered thinking that there was a problem with CD replay and working on how to fix it.  Oh well, thank you for correcting my memory for me.
Presumably I also didn't build those amplifiers, so someone else must have built them for me.

I wonder, was that you?  If so, excessive use of telepathy seems to have caused you to forget the basic principles of amplifier design.

Huge posted:
allhifi posted:
Huge posted:

AllHiFi

You don't understand the answer, so you resort to crude insults.  What I wrote would be understood by any competent engineer working in this field.
You asked, I answered in good faith, and you responded with insults.

You owe me an apology.

I apologize. Partially.

pj

Since you have only partially apologised, I shall accept that part of the apology and await the rest of it.

Even after this you still continued with more insulting and incorrect remarks about me, so...


Are you going to do the honourable thing and complete your apology?


I'll equally accept a full retraction of the derogatory statements you made about me in both the posts to which I have referred.

Bowers posted:

Hi pj,

Following this thread it's clear you like to shake-up things. Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members.

Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand".

Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand.

Hope this helps.

 

Hi Bowers:  Like to shake things up ? No. What I like is some intelligent, out-of-the-box thinking to help explain some phenomena that exists -in many sciences.

You realize that human hearing is an exquisitely sensitive listening apparatus (with help from  the ol' noggi'n of course -lol). It stands to reason that some are more sensitive than others.

My original (and subsequent) question asked: "Why CD's ripped to computer hard-drive sounded considerably better played-back with WAVE -than FLAC?"

It took quite some time for your esteemed (forum) colleagues to finally suggest it may simply be the "renderer" I'm using. Finally. A potential reason. I was grateful -and said as much. Prior to this, a smattering of techno-junkies battered me to near death with digital data theory  -it's the same (WAVE vs. FLAC). End of story.

THEN, what would account for my (and thousands of others) ) who swear by WAVE as the ultimate file format to use ? Other than renderer considerations, other possible reasons for the unanimous vote/support for WAVE, rather than FLAC?          

Other than the fine chap who most recently posted (another valid and sensible reason/argument for the SQ discrepancy I note -consistently) all other (well-meaning I suppose) went off about digital signal theory !

Moving on, your quotes and comments at the end of your reply are at odds with the other -and arguments within this thread. For example, take your old saying ( that I like by the way):

"Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand"

... And yet you go on to say, quote: " Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members."

Hmmm. 

... And an even greater oxymoron (within itself): " Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand."

Priceless.

If the fine Naim (forum) members (following this) wish to understand what passionate audiophiles do, compare (and share) -the extraordinary length of time devoted to speaking of precisely what I was trying to learn on this site, It's all queued up -ready for delivery.

Simply say OK , let's have it -what has been discovered. What is the word 'on-the-street' ?

It's amazing what can be gleaned when one puts in some real passion; ultimately discovering that far more intricacies can be uncovered and unraveled ... for further processing. 

And finally, I hope my reply, helped ( you).

pj  

allhifi posted:
Bowers posted:

Hi pj,

Following this thread it's clear you like to shake-up things. Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members.

Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand".

Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand.

Hope this helps.

 

Hi Bowers:  Like to shake things up ? No. What I like is some intelligent, out-of-the-box thinking to help explain some phenomena that exists -in many sciences.

You realize that human hearing is an exquisitely sensitive listening apparatus (with help from  the ol' noggi'n of course -lol). It stands to reason that some are more sensitive than others.

My original (and subsequent) question asked: "Why CD's ripped to computer hard-drive sounded considerably better played-back with WAVE -than FLAC?"

It took quite some time for your esteemed (forum) colleagues to finally suggest it may simply be the "renderer" I'm using. Finally. A potential reason. I was grateful -and said as much.

Prior to this, a smattering of techno-junkies battered me to near death with digital data theory  -it's the same (WAVE vs. FLAC). End of story.

It was in less than a day (and 30-ish posts) that this was stated clearly. (Before that there had been observations about others' related experiences, not unusual in a forum. Your subsequent posts made it clear that you didn't understand or accept what had been said, so there were explanations to try to get you to understand: that these included technical ones going into digital theory is hardly surprising given that you either didn't fully understand or didn't accept the basic simple statement. It took to 2.5 days and 80 posts before you finally did seem to grasp the meaning of what was being said.

THEN, what would account for my (and thousands of others) ) who swear by WAVE as the ultimate file format to use ? Other than renderer considerations, other possible reasons for the unanimous vote/support for WAVE, rather than FLAC?          

Other than the fine chap who most recently posted (another valid and sensible reason/argument for the SQ discrepancy I note -consistently) all other (well-meaning I suppose) went off about digital signal theory !

Actually it came across that you didn't believe that lossless file formats could be trancoded without some form of damage, based on some inner seemingly paranoic belief without a shred of evidence to support it - and this inevitable led to more technical explanations. And it was disingenuous of you, not to mention downright insulting in one case, to criticise the attempts of those who sought to help you understand, necessarily delving into technical aspects

Moving on, your quotes and comments at the end of your reply are at odds with the other -and arguments within this thread. For example, take your old saying ( that I like by the way):

"Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand"

... And yet you go on to say, quote: " Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members."

Hmmm. 

... And an even greater oxymoron (within itself): " Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand."

Priceless.

If the fine Naim (forum) members (following this) wish to understand what passionate audiophiles do, compare (and share) -the extraordinary length of time devoted to speaking of precisely what I was trying to learn on this site, It's all queued up -ready for delivery.

Simply say OK , let's have it -what has been discovered. What is the word 'on-the-street' ?

Please clarify exactly what  you are asking now? 

 

pj

Well, well, true to form as previously shown here...

When you don't like someone's opinion because it's contrary to your own, you behave as though their opinion must, de facto, be wrong (whether you truly believe that this is the case I cannot say, as I don't live in you head; but your behaviour is here on this thread for all to see).

You claim that "What I like is some intelligent, out-of-the-box thinking to help explain some phenomena that exists -in many sciences.", yet when faced with firm evidence contrary to your opinions and hypotheses, instead of doing the research to inform yourself of the current state of knowledge, you misquote the person providing that evidence and twist their words to fit them into whatever meaning it is that you wish to destroy.

Then when 'called-out' on that and there's nowhere left to go, you berate them (even if you requested that evidence yourself!), denigrating them with personal 'ad hominem' attacks.

This type of behaviour is usually considered to constitute bullying.

Finally, now that you've applied this approach to all the people who've posted on this thread and even extended your insults to the entire membership of the forum, not only do you owe me the rest of the apology you started to make, but you owe an apology to every single member of this forum, as you've insulted us all.

@allhifi I can only endorse IB's and Huge's remarks. I think that you should stop misusing our patience and this thread. None has battered you to death. You have raised a rather simple, clear question and received some clear and detailed anwers. We have tried our best to motivate our answers and to make clear to ourselves and to you basic facts and elementary notions about data formats. Of course, each of us has tried to do so in his/her own language and it is well possible that none of these matches yours. But you have not conveyed the impression that you were interested even in reading our answers, let apart learning a new language or simply appreciating our efforts. I understand that you might be (rather desperately, if I may say so) looking for something that we cannot provide here. Perhaps time for a short trip to the padded cell?

Innocent Bystander posted:
allhifi posted:
Bowers posted:

Hi pj,

Following this thread it's clear you like to shake-up things. Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members.

Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand".

Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand.

Hope this helps.

 

Hi Bowers:  Like to shake things up ? No. What I like is some intelligent, out-of-the-box thinking to help explain some phenomena that exists -in many sciences.

You realize that human hearing is an exquisitely sensitive listening apparatus (with help from  the ol' noggi'n of course -lol). It stands to reason that some are more sensitive than others.

My original (and subsequent) question asked: "Why CD's ripped to computer hard-drive sounded considerably better played-back with WAVE -than FLAC?"

It took quite some time for your esteemed (forum) colleagues to finally suggest it may simply be the "renderer" I'm using. Finally. A potential reason. I was grateful -and said as much.

Prior to this, a smattering of techno-junkies battered me to near death with digital data theory  -it's the same (WAVE vs. FLAC). End of story.

It was in less than a day (and 30-ish posts) that this was stated clearly. (Before that there had been observations about others' related experiences, not unusual in a forum. Your subsequent posts made it clear that you didn't understand or accept what had been said, so there were explanations to try to get you to understand: that these included technical ones going into digital theory is hardly surprising given that you either didn't fully understand or didn't accept the basic simple statement. It took to 2.5 days and 80 posts before you finally did seem to grasp the meaning of what was being said.

THEN, what would account for my (and thousands of others) ) who swear by WAVE as the ultimate file format to use ? Other than renderer considerations, other possible reasons for the unanimous vote/support for WAVE, rather than FLAC?          

Other than the fine chap who most recently posted (another valid and sensible reason/argument for the SQ discrepancy I note -consistently) all other (well-meaning I suppose) went off about digital signal theory !

Actually it came across that you didn't believe that lossless file formats could be trancoded without some form of damage, based on some inner seemingly paranoic belief without a shred of evidence to support it - and this inevitable led to more technical explanations. And it was disingenuous of you, not to mention downright insulting in one case, to criticise the attempts of those who sought to help you understand, necessarily delving into technical aspects

Moving on, your quotes and comments at the end of your reply are at odds with the other -and arguments within this thread. For example, take your old saying ( that I like by the way):

"Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand"

... And yet you go on to say, quote: " Bringing an avalanche of questions and doubting most of the shared knowledge of (at least for me) high appreciated fellow forum members."

Hmmm. 

... And an even greater oxymoron (within itself): " Got the impression you don't accept the knowledge so you can convince yourself that you still understand."

Priceless.

If the fine Naim (forum) members (following this) wish to understand what passionate audiophiles do, compare (and share) -the extraordinary length of time devoted to speaking of precisely what I was trying to learn on this site, It's all queued up -ready for delivery.

Simply say OK , let's have it -what has been discovered. What is the word 'on-the-street' ?

Please clarify exactly what  you are asking now? 

 

Not so much asking, but sugessting: There is far more knowledge to be gleaned (i.e. your famous "old saying" line) in order to understand less!

You may wish to really re-read or re-think that 'old-saying' (that really is good ), so appropriate to this discussion, it begs repeating:

""Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand"

In which case, (bearing in mind the quote above)  tell me once again about all of the accumulated knowledge derived here and elsewhere and how 'absolute' (carved-in-stone) it must then be ?  

I understand the "lossless" arguments and have taken it as factual -thank you. No. argument.

Then, in point form (1-2-3 or a-b-c) inform this slow (ly streaming) neophyte what would/could be responsible for the unanimous distinctions/support claiming WAVE to be the go-to (truly best sounding) file format.

Hint, you can re-introduce the 'transcoding' function and other factors in point form, as in: (a--b-c, 1-2-3 ).

Regarding the counted pages and posts that "finally got through to me ", you surely must have encountered another old saying:  "Is it the student or teacher, that lacks comprehension"?

Alternately stated:  "Is it the (slow) student, or the poor teaching skills (or even genuinely lacking knowledge) of the teacher?"

pj

 

I apologise for not so doing - though if you check my habits you'll find that I usually trim to just the relevant parts. On this occasion I was so incensed that I responded without thought to the length of what was above, only what I was saying. (And in the previous post I had felt that what I left in was pertinent, though maybe I could have trimmed it more.)

duly done and reposted now

allhifi posted

 

 

Not so much asking, but sugessting: There is far more knowledge to be gleaned (i.e. your famous "old saying" line) in order to understand less!

You may wish to really re-read or re-think that 'old-saying' (that really is good ), so appropriate to this discussion, it begs repeating:

""Old saying is: "the more you know, the less you understand"

In which case, (bearing in mind the quote above)  tell me once again about all of the accumulated knowledge derived here and elsewhere and how 'absolute' (carved-in-stone) it must then be ?  

I understand the "lossless" arguments and have taken it as factual -thank you. No. argument.

Then, in point form (1-2-3 or a-b-c) inform this slow (ly streaming) neophyte what would/could be responsible for the unanimous distinctions/support claiming WAVE to be the go-to (truly best sounding) file format.

Hint, you can re-introduce the 'transcoding' function and other factors in point form, as in: (a--b-c, 1-2-3 ).

Regarding the counted pages and posts that "finally got through to me ", you surely must have encountered another old saying:  "Is it the student or teacher, that lacks comprehension"?

Alternately stated:  "Is it the (slow) student, or the poor teaching skills (or even genuinely lacking knowledge) of the teacher?"

 

 

.

Firstly, I don't think I've ever used the term "old saying" in my life, let alone in this thread, and I haven't quoted that saying in this thread.

Secondly, I do not profess to be a teacher, and I have tried in all the ways I know to present the position in the simplest terms I can. Unfortunately from your various responses I rather got the impression that you had not really tried to digest and understand. If you believe I don't know what I'm talking about I respectfully demand thst you provide clear and comprehensive proof that you know something that proves that to be the case.

in other words, to put it bluntly, put up or shut up, and stop trying to goad people to lose their tempers when they have merely sought to help you. If you cannot provide proof that I don't know what I'm talking about then I the correct response is an unequivocal apology

Hungryhalibut posted:

It’s not my place to give advice, but why don’t your good self and Huge just give up? There is no point getting even mildly irritated, let alone incensed. If you ignore the posts, the poster will just give up. Or talk to themselves ad infinitum. 

Indeed, I have given up - the OP seems to be beyond help or pleasing.

The thing is I don't actually get angry or emotional, but I do have the terrier mentality.

In some ways I'm a troll's worst nightmare: I don't get angry and don't rise to the bait they're trolling.  I simply keep my cool, just keep going and don't give up; but then neither do I get emotionally invested in it any way, so they get no reward form it.  It doesn't result in any degree of irritation for me.

Actually, thank you everybody...

This tread has started me on a train of thought that has resulted in an idea for a conceptual game in a setting based on a particular flexible set of scenarios.  I'm not aware of anything like it that currently exists.

So thank you all for triggering a truly original game concept!    

Hungryhalibut posted:

From the Forum Rules.

QUOTES - Please, when answering, consider whether you really HAVE to quote. If you do - please edit the quote to keep it as short and relevant as possible.

 

And in addition to this splendid, but often ignored, advisory - may I offer a style note?

The over use of ‘lol’ may induce in the reader an increasingly strong associated image

(like Reggie Perrin’s hippo).

But, then, I never liked smilies. 

ChrisSU posted:
allhifi posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Mr Happy posted:

I can easily hear the difference between wav and flac. To me also wav sounds better. I feel transcoding must have some musical loss, although ive never tried this myself. If you have enough storage then why not just rip to wav in the first place?

Loss of what? No bits are lost in transcoding. 

Again (forgive my naivety -or stupidity), yet why is it then that I can (and many others) clearly hear a very distinctive SQ improvement when WAVE is used (in my case,a CD rip -using dB power & Foobar 2000 for playback.

Therefor, as Mr. H posted (and I experience nearly every single time) how is it that a bit-for-bit so-called "lossless compressed" FLAC file sounds clearly inferior to WAVE files (in my admittedly early, non-extensive) comparisons ?  WAVE sound quality is superior -by a wide margin. It really is, an obvious, easily discernible difference.

I'm not disputing that you can hear a difference (although I believe most would describe it as subtle or marginal, but there are many variables.) The point, again, is that we are discussing the difference between WAV transcoded from FLAC on the fly before it gets anywhere near your streamer, and WAV stored as WAV. Either way, your streamer is getting WAV. This is not the same as comparing WAV to your streamer vs FLAC to your streamer.

I think I finally understand !  (FLAC container, Flac file, FLAC transcoded to WAV ) !

Thanks boys !

 pj

(Computer Audio -sooooo complicated.)

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