Wav, Flac - download questions

Solid Air posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

Of course not.

Playing back compressed files directly on a streamer like your ND5XS increases processors computational load. This may lead to additional noise being introduced into the system as a reasult of that 'work'.

General consensus therfore is:

* Use uncompressed formats: WAV and AIFF

* If buying compressed: use FLAC, and set your UPnP server to transcode (to WAV)

Adam

I disagree with this 'general consensus'. I certainly wouldn't use an Apple format, and I wouldn't store in WAV. While I agree that mostly there are no problems with WAV metadata in general use, switching between UPNP servers can result in issues.

Better to store in FLAC and transcode. FWIW, in my tests I can't tell the difference.

And I certainly wouldn't use a WAV format if I have a choice, since I run a Mac ecostysem at home

As to FLAC: storage is cheap nowadays, so why bother with compressed files, if uncrompressed can be stored? (That's a rethorical question).

KACPER: I think you now have all the answers to your questions and then some more 

Adam Zielinski posted:
And I certainly wouldn't use a WAV format if I have a choice, since I run a Mac ecostysem at home

As to FLAC: storage is cheap nowadays, so why bother with compressed files, if uncrompressed can be stored? (That's a rethorical question).

As a (living!) Unitiserve user, I store in FLAC despite being all Mac here too. If you use your WAV Unitiserve CD rips on other devices, that's where the problem lies. Not a concern for the OP though, if he uses a QNAP.

Actually, I'm not all Mac! I've got a Unitiserve, a Synology backup NAS, a Sony NW-ZX2 and a car. But the point is that changing format as you transfer between devices is easy, so I don't see that it matters. 

Adam Zielinski posted:
Solid Air posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

Of course not.

Playing back compressed files directly on a streamer like your ND5XS increases processors computational load. This may lead to additional noise being introduced into the system as a reasult of that 'work'.

General consensus therfore is:

* Use uncompressed formats: WAV and AIFF

* If buying compressed: use FLAC, and set your UPnP server to transcode (to WAV)

Adam

I disagree with this 'general consensus'. I certainly wouldn't use an Apple format, and I wouldn't store in WAV. While I agree that mostly there are no problems with WAV metadata in general use, switching between UPNP servers can result in issues.

Better to store in FLAC and transcode. FWIW, in my tests I can't tell the difference.

And I certainly wouldn't use a WAV format if I have a choice, since I run a Mac ecostysem at home

As to FLAC: storage is cheap nowadays, so why bother with compressed files, if uncrompressed can be stored? (That's a rethorical question).

KACPER: I think you now have all the answers to your questions and then some more 

well; yes. I was just wondering what makes WAV so special. I think it's based on which operating system is in usage (windows WAV and OS X AIFF), in my opinion there is no difference in sound quality. :-)

ChrisSU posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:
And I certainly wouldn't use a WAV format if I have a choice, since I run a Mac ecostysem at home

As to FLAC: storage is cheap nowadays, so why bother with compressed files, if uncrompressed can be stored? (That's a rethorical question).

As a (living!) Unitiserve user, I store in FLAC despite being all Mac here too. If you use your WAV Unitiserve CD rips on other devices, that's where the problem lies. Not a concern for the OP though, if he uses a QNAP.

Actually, I'm not all Mac! I've got a Unitiserve, a Synology backup NAS, a Sony NW-ZX2 and a car. But the point is that changing format as you transfer between devices is easy, so I don't see that it matters. 

Good point Chris re US and FLAC.
Now that my UnitiServe is off for repairs, I have to use Minimserver if a 'folder view' to listen to any music that was ripped by my SU (all in WAV of course )
I keep promissing myself to convert all those rips to FLAC one day... (NOTE FOR KACPER: Uniti Serve rips to either WAV of FLAC and can convert between the two ripped formats).

Kacper posted:

but if you convert any format - to WAV, the metadata is still a visible? 

Generally yes, as long the metadata was there in the first place.

Naim servers / rippers (UnitiServe and HDX) are a little bit different: ripping is done to WAV by default, but metadata is stored in a special file, which resides in the same folder. It's a proprietary technique, not used outside of the Naim servers. 
That is why WAV files, ripped by, say a UnitiServe, don't really have much metadata, beyond their name. So using those files outside of the US / HDX is difficult.
However...  US / HDX can also rip to FLAC (or indeed convert previously ripped WAV files to FLAC). Metadata is then embeded into the FLAC file. So it's easy to use it outisde of the Naim servers' ecosystem.

Hope that answers the question.

Adam Zielinski posted:

There is no difference in sound quality between AIFF and WAV. 
Popularity of WAV most likely stems from a wide-spread popularity of Windows based systems.

There is no SQ difference in any lossless file formats as such whether they be wav, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF etc. However there may be difference in sound performance from the software extracting to the PCM from the file or media data structures.

As far as metadata, WAV has a very rich metadata construct, more so than regular FLAC, and so you might find in converting from WAV to FLAC that more specialised metadata is omitted. There is a setting in FLAC encoders that can allow the special encoding of non native Ogg Vorbis Comments metadata, but not all FLAC decoders will be able to handle this.

Simon

What's nice with this transcoding that for example I do have some albums in ALAC 192khz and they can't be played via ND5XS ( in this particular format up to 96khz)

I switched transcoding on - marked only ALAC and now I don't have to convert them to FLAC anymore. Buying Audio Converter Pro at appstore was waste of money :-P

blownaway posted:
So any Synology NAS users out there know how to set up the software to convert/transcode the flac file to wav?  Then it would playback as a wav file on my NAC 272, right?
 

Good choice,  many forumites do it that way.

It depends on what UPnP media server you are using.   If its Synology's own Media Server,  open webpage>Media Server>DMA Compatibility & "check" the box for transcoding & for FLAC.        But beware,  the Synology Media Server transcodes OK,  but it does not transcode gapless.   

The alternative is Minimserver but I am not so familiar with this to remember how to set transcoding,  but it does play gapless.  

Mike-B posted:
blownaway posted:
So any Synology NAS users out there know how to set up the software to convert/transcode the flac file to wav?  Then it would playback as a wav file on my NAC 272, right?
 

Good choice,  many forumites do it that way.

It depends on what UPnP media server you are using.   If its Synology's own Media Server,  open webpage>Media Server>DMA Compatibility & "check" the box for transcoding & for FLAC.        But beware,  the Synology Media Server transcodes OK,  but it does not transcode gapless.   

The alternative is Minimserver but I am not so familiar with this to remember how to set transcoding,  but it does play gapless.  

So it's better to use transcoder  for ALAC or convert ALAC to FLAC?

(Synology DS214)

I don't really understand the question.  Transcoding sends a WAV stream to the player irrespective of the stored format.  I've never used ALAC (I'm all PC (no Mac)) so I can't comment on that much.  I have tried FLAC v WAV & to my ears on my system WAV sounds better,  I've tried transcoding FLAC to WAV & compared that to straight WAV & I can't hear any difference.    However (& the point of my note to Blownaway) is that Synology's Media Server does not play gapless when transcoding,  whereas Minimserver does.   And I no longer use Minimserver simply because I only have WAV (& DSD) & have no need to transcode,  plus I prefer the simpler Synology presentation. 

Mike-B posted:

I don't really understand the question.  Transcoding sends a WAV stream to the player irrespective of the stored format.  I've never used ALAC (I'm all PC (no Mac)) so I can't comment on that much.  I have tried FLAC v WAV & to my ears on my system WAV sounds better,  I've tried transcoding FLAC to WAV & compared that to straight WAV & I can't hear any difference.    However (& the point of my note to Blownaway) is that Synology's Media Server does not play gapless when transcoding,  whereas Minimserver does.   And I no longer use Minimserver simply because I only have WAV (& DSD) & have no need to transcode,  plus I prefer the simpler Synology presentation. 

Well in the past I was using my MacBook as a music source so all hi-res flac files I had to converted to ALAC (iTunes doesn't read flac). Now I don't need this solution any more because my ND5XS can stream up to 192khz (except ALAC- up to 96khz). I'm thinking what would be the best - transcoding at Synology ALAC to WAV or just convert those ALAC files back to FLAC.

Kacper posted:
I'm thinking what would be the best - transcoding at Synology ALAC to WAV or just convert those ALAC files back to FLAC.

I can't  comment on ALAC as I haven't used it other than convert whatever I had in ALAC to WAV.      Converting ALAC to FLAC will save on storage space - depending on the compression level you apply in the conversion.    Then use your Synology to transcode FLAC;  but as I said in my previous post, Synology's Media Server does not transcode gapless.   However I posted another thread this morning that Synology have now reintroduced Minimserver as a 3rd party UPnP & that does transcode gapless.

Also in your post you said your ND5XS can stream up to 192khz (except ALAC- up to 96khz).    Don't be tempted to upsample any format;  converting a 96kHz file to 192kHz is just taking up more space half full of nothing,  convert as source.

Mike-B posted:
Kacper posted:
I'm thinking what would be the best - transcoding at Synology ALAC to WAV or just convert those ALAC files back to FLAC.

I can't  comment on ALAC as I haven't used it other than convert whatever I had in ALAC to WAV.      Converting ALAC to FLAC will save on storage space - depending on the compression level you apply in the conversion.    Then use your Synology to transcode FLAC;  but as I said in my previous post, Synology's Media Server does not transcode gapless.   However I posted another thread this morning that Synology have now reintroduced Minimserver as a 3rd party UPnP & that does transcode gapless.

Also in your post you said your ND5XS can stream up to 192khz (except ALAC- up to 96khz).    Don't be tempted to upsample any format;  converting a 96kHz file to 192kHz is just taking up more space half full of nothing,  convert as source.

What I meant is that most of music library which I have had in my MacBook was ALAC 24bit/192khz, ND5XS can't handle that size in ALAC. That's why idea to convert those files to FLAC, By the way ALAC is the lossless format the same as FLAC.

Mike-B posted:

I don't really understand the question.  Transcoding sends a WAV stream to the player irrespective of the stored format.  I've never used ALAC (I'm all PC (no Mac)) so I can't comment on that much.  I have tried FLAC v WAV & to my ears on my system WAV sounds better,  I've tried transcoding FLAC to WAV & compared that to straight WAV & I can't hear any difference.    However (& the point of my note to Blownaway) is that Synology's Media Server does not play gapless when transcoding,  whereas Minimserver does.   And I no longer use Minimserver simply because I only have WAV (& DSD) & have no need to transcode,  plus I prefer the simpler Synology presentation. 

Hi, I'm using minimserver with my Synology.   I'm not clear on how to set it the minimserver to transcode my flac file to wav before it lands at my NAC272.  Do any minimserver users out there know?  I didn't see anything in the minimserver watch program to change this.  Hmmm...

blownaway posted:
Mike-B posted:

I don't really understand the question.  Transcoding sends a WAV stream to the player irrespective of the stored format.  I've never used ALAC (I'm all PC (no Mac)) so I can't comment on that much.  I have tried FLAC v WAV & to my ears on my system WAV sounds better,  I've tried transcoding FLAC to WAV & compared that to straight WAV & I can't hear any difference.    However (& the point of my note to Blownaway) is that Synology's Media Server does not play gapless when transcoding,  whereas Minimserver does.   And I no longer use Minimserver simply because I only have WAV (& DSD) & have no need to transcode,  plus I prefer the simpler Synology presentation. 

Hi, I'm using minimserver with my Synology.   I'm not clear on how to set it the minimserver to transcode my flac file to wav before it lands at my NAC272.  Do any minimserver users out there know?  I didn't see anything in the minimserver watch program to change this.  Hmmm...

Hi,

It's not completely straightforward and I suggest you check out the MinimServer, MinimStreamer and MinimWatch user guides to direct you through the process.

You will need to install MinimStreamer on your NAS if you haven't yet done so. Once you have done this & restarted MinimServer using MinimWatch on your PC, a couple of additional fields will appear in the Systems tab of MinimWatch Properties on your PC. One of these additional fields is called "stream.transcode'. Enter the following in this field if you want to transcode from Flac to WAV:

flac:wav  

Check out the user guides if this isn't clear to you.

 

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