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I've been researching audio file formats before I start ripping all my CDs. Is there a sonic difference between compressed files such as FLAC and uncompressed files like WAV or AIFF?

 

I realize I may be opening a can of worms here, but I want to know people's experience. And the cost of storage is so low it hardly matters that one is bigger than the other.

 

Mark

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Is there a sonic difference between compressed files such as FLAC and uncompressed files like WAV or AIFF?

 

I realize I may be opening a can of worms here, but I want to know people's experience. And the cost of storage is so low it hardly matters that one is bigger than the other.

 

Yes, it is a can of worms. Some people perceive that uncompressed formats (including uncompressed FLAC) sound better on their systems than losslessly compressed formats. Others do not share this perception.

 

If you really believe that the cost of storage doesn't matter, then you could stay on the safe side and simply go with an uncompressed format. Alternatively, you could run some tests with tracks you're familiar with and think are well recorded. Transcode the same track to a an uncompressed format (e.g., AIFF) and a compressed one (e.g., ALAC), compare how they sound, and judge for yourself.

 

Personally, I think it's possible that the SQ differences are system specific. And my only meaningful advice is that WAV has metadata support that is more limited than most of the other popular formats, so before you fix on WAV, make sure your playback software will handle the metadata to your satisfaction.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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No difference. aiff and FLAC handle metadata better than WAV.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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No difference. aiff and FLAC handle metadata better than WAV.

 

AIFF and WAV use standard ID3 format metadata.

AIFF have own metadata format. However currently most software read id3 format metadata.

FLAC use own format metadata (vorbis comment). It compatible with id3. Conversion software can almost without problem export vorbis comment to id3 and back including artworks.

 

Almost all playback software read these formats. iTunes don't read id3 from WAV.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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I've been researching audio file formats before I start ripping all my CDs. Is there a sonic difference between compressed files such as FLAC and uncompressed files like WAV or AIFF?

 

I realize I may be opening a can of worms here, but I want to know people's experience. And the cost of storage is so low it hardly matters that one is bigger than the other.

 

Mark

 

 

Lossless compression formats should offer the closest copy of the original CD (next to no compression at all, that is), but even here, there is some research that indicates that on-the-fly decompression of FLAC or Apple Lossless Compression Algorithm compressed files makes the processors in the players work harder, and that can affect SQ. I don't know if it's true or not. Lossy compression will will save you the most space, allow you to put more music in your player, but by the time one chooses a data rate that is high-enough to be truly transparent (384 KBPS for MP3), you might as well go for FLAC or Apple Lossless.

 

And it's questions like these that make it a can of worms. The bottom line is that believe it or not, there are a lot of people who simply cannot hear compression artifacts (or they aren't put-off by them). If you are one of these, then by all means compress. You'll get a lot more poor-sounding tunes on your system that way. :)

George

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I'm more of the view it depends on the quality of your system.

 

Since having a Qobuz Hi-Fi account i'm re-ripping all my CD's into AIFF having had them in Lossless.

I can hear detail i've not heard before after many years with Lossless rips and I think you can hear

how the instrument is being played better...

 

Right or wrong thats my current view on the subject.....

Setup:

Lumin D2> Roksan Blak> Focal 806

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I'm more of the view it depends on the quality of your system.

 

Since having a Qobuz Hi-Fi account i'm re-ripping all my CD's into AIFF having had them in Lossless.

I can hear detail i've not heard before after many years with Lossless rips and I think you can hear

how the instrument is being played better...

 

Right or wrong thats my current view on the subject.....

 

There may be a degradation in sound quality when playing back FLAC or other lossless compression in real time. This will depend on the particular computer and its software. On my system I have observed such effects in the past. They are easily eliminated by decompressing from FLAC to WAV prior to playback.

 

There is no need to rerip your FLAC files. Just use a batch converter (such as dBpoweramp) to convert these files to AIFF or WAV. This may take overnight (or several nights if you have a large library) but it is not labor intensive. Reripping would be a lot of work.

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I started this thread because I wanted to get a start on ripping CDs before I bought all the hardware. I guess the best answer is to get the system together and experiment to see what sounds good to me.

 

Thanks for all the input.

 

Mark

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I started this thread because I wanted to get a start on ripping CDs before I bought all the hardware. I guess the best answer is to get the system together and experiment to see what sounds good to me.

 

Thanks for all the input.

 

Mark

 

You can always go ahead and rip to FLAC. When you get your system together, FLAC can easily be saved bit perfectly into a WAV again. So try a few of your favorite recordings and see if you hear a difference. If you do, convert them all back to WAV. Once you have ripped them to FLAC the first time converting to another format is just a few hours for your computer. No big effort on your part. The ripping the first time is where the effort comes in. So go ahead and start ripping now.

 

There is no credible evidence any of the lossless formats sound different. There is worrisome conjecture about what might be happening, and people who say they can hear a difference (said difference disappears if they don't know what they are listening to). The output you listen to is the same either way. So now all this hysteria about something dead simple and reliable. If you don't even have a system together the difference is at best small. It should be way,way down your list of concerns. Just go ahead and rip to FLAC.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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You can always go ahead and rip to FLAC. When you get your system together, FLAC can easily be saved bit perfectly into a WAV again. So try a few of your favorite recordings and see if you hear a difference. If you do, convert them all back to WAV. Once you have ripped them to FLAC the first time converting to another format is just a few hours for your computer. No big effort on your part. The ripping the first time is where the effort comes in. So go ahead and start ripping now.

 

A couple of other people have pointed this out to me. I didn't realize you could do this, but it makes sense since both formats are lossless.

 

There is no credible evidence any of the lossless formats sound different. There is worrisome conjecture about what might be happening, and people who say they can hear a difference (said difference disappears if they don't know what they are listening to). The output you listen to is the same either way. So now all this hysteria about something dead simple and reliable. If you don't even have a system together the difference is at best small. It should be way,way down your list of concerns. Just go ahead and rip to FLAC.

 

I often wonder when reading the Forum posts just how much difference in SQ people are talking about, and if I would even hear it. Thanks for the encouragement.

 

Mark

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A couple of other people have pointed this out to me. I didn't realize you could do this, but it makes sense since both formats are lossless.

 

I often wonder when reading the Forum posts just how much difference in SQ people are talking about, and if I would even hear it. Thanks for the encouragement.

 

Mark

 

Many years ago I tested the FLAC to WAV to FLAC to AIFF and back again many times just to feel better. No difference to the audio files. I also rip to FLAC and keep them as backup. Safe!

 

For the playback library I do have it all lossless AIFF or WAV to avoid having one more program (FLAC converter) running in the background and the subsequent I/O activity on disk and memory. Space is cheap, so there is no reason.

 

Is it noticeable? In my setup and to my ears, yes. Is it huge? No. To me it increases fatigue and irritation, to others it might manifest differently or not at all. It is subtle enough, like most tweaks you read about here and so it is more a factor of can you live with it. I cannot stand to listen to fatiguing high-end digital and would rather listen to silence, but to many/most it does not bother them.

 

Certainly test on your own rig.

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I often wonder when reading the Forum posts just how much difference in SQ people are talking about, and if I would even hear it. Thanks for the encouragement.

 

Mark

I found the differences subtle but meaningful. FLAC to ALAC, and FLAC to AIFF. ALAC and AIFF both sounded subtly better than FLAC to me. Differences were also dependent on the quality of the recording. I also thought AIFF sounded better than ALAC, but that was a much closer call. Meaningful enough that I converted my FLAC library to AIFF.

 

This is on my system. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there were no apparent differences on other systems and software.

 

esldude gives good advice - just rip into a lossless format now, and figure out later if any differences are meaningful to you when you have your system put together.

 

Paul

Main System: Mac mini (Audirvana+, MMK, JS-2) -> ISO Regen (LPS-1) -> Icron 2201 (Rex LPS-1.2) -> ISO Regen (LPS-1.2) -> Ayre QB-9 Twenty -> Headamp GS-X Mk2 -> Classe CT-M600 -> KEF Reference 201/2

 

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I often wonder when reading the Forum posts just how much difference in SQ people are talking about, and if I would even hear it. Thanks for the encouragement.

 

Hi Mark,

 

Ears is unstable instrument for trust it. If difference exists, we can measure it.

As rule, for any difference must be technical reason.

 

Here 3 way check true:

1. Know what inside player.

2. Make measurements of system player+driver+dac.

3. Pro double blind test (carefully developed [with deep technical knowledges about tested subject due many important details] and accepted methodics, more 100 checking, 10 ... 20 and more participants, exact contriol under test performing).

 

99.99999...% of any difference measured with properly tools. So ways #1 and #2 more robust, fast and simple.

 

I always open mind for some things. However need check it for accepting as true.

While I don't hear about same researches. Except comparing contents of WAV and derived FLAC.

 

Best regards,

Yuri

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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Hi Mark,

 

Ears is unstable instrument for trust it. If difference exists, we can measure it.

As rule, for any difference must be technical reason.

 

Here 3 way check true:

1. Know what inside player.

2. Make measurements of system player+driver+dac.

3. Pro double blind test (carefully developed [with deep technical knowledges about tested subject due many important details] and accepted methodics, more 100 checking, 10 ... 20 and more participants, exact contriol under test performing).

 

99.99999...% of any difference measured with properly tools. So ways #1 and #2 more robust, fast and simple.

 

I always open mind for some things. However need check it for accepting as true.

While I don't hear about same researches. Except comparing contents of WAV and derived FLAC.

 

Best regards,

Yuri

 

Perhaps, but in the end it is the only instrument that matters, and it is completely personal. Some device or setup might measure brilliantly and yet if your ears prefer the other device than that is all that counts.

 

And what is that brilliant measurement anyway. Put a frequency spectrum on the output of your DAC or speakers and play a snippet. Now change something upstream, like a fan, an LPSU or run a FLAC converter and measure that same snippet. Okay, let's say your measuring equipment is fast and accurate enough to capture and show the differences and it shows a slight bump in the 18.2kHz compared with the baseline. Then what? Your ears might not hear that bump or your brain is not bothered. But someone else is more sensitive to that frequency and it irritates. See how personal it is?

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No difference. aiff and FLAC handle metadata better than WAV.

 

+1

 

I would add ALAC also.

 

Lossy formats do degrade the sound. Very obvious on Sirius satellite or many lossy streaming sites. Starts to get hard to hear differences above 320 Kbps.

 

Given storage is cheap it makes sense IMHO to go lossless in the highest resolution available.

Benchmark DAC2, Active speakers: ATC 150's, 100's, 20's, C6CA, C6 Subwoofer.

 

Headphones: Only for playing drums. I don't like sounds in my head. The best headphones suck. Nothing can replace good speakers played loudly. And nothing absolutely nothing is a substitute for live music!

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I think the answer is easy. Everyone agrees that storage is dirt cheap. Everyone agrees that having metadata is better than not. And everyone agrees that uncompressed does not sound worse than compressed (either the same or better). So rip an uncompressed format that does metadata - FLAC or aiff.

 

I have about 1500 CD's all ripped to uncompressed FLAC using dbpoweramp. A 5TB external hard drive at Costco is now about $140. That will hold 5000 uncompressed CD's more or less, for about 3 cents a CD. The only caveat is to back up everything, at least once.

 

Larry

Analog-VPIClas3,3DArm,LyraSkala+MiyajimaZeromono,Herron VTPH2APhono,2AmpexATR-102+MerrillTridentMaster TapePreamp

Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,MykerinosCard,PacificMicrosonicsModel2; Dig Play-Lampi Horizon, mch NADAC, Roon-HQPlayer,Oppo105

Electronics-DoshiPre,CJ MET1mchPre,Cary2A3monoamps; Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR

Other-2x512EngineerMarutaniSymmetrical Power+Cables Music-1.8KR2Rtapes,1.5KCD's,500SACDs,50+TBripped files

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Perhaps, but in the end it is the only instrument that matters, and it is completely personal. Some device or setup might measure brilliantly and yet if your ears prefer the other device than that is all that counts.

 

And what is that brilliant measurement anyway. Put a frequency spectrum on the output of your DAC or speakers and play a snippet. Now change something upstream, like a fan, an LPSU or run a FLAC converter and measure that same snippet. Okay, let's say your measuring equipment is fast and accurate enough to capture and show the differences and it shows a slight bump in the 18.2kHz compared with the baseline. Then what? Your ears might not hear that bump or your brain is not bothered. But someone else is more sensitive to that frequency and it irritates. See how personal it is?

 

I agree with Yuri. The ear is an unstable reference. Differences are measurably large by the time the ear gets it.

 

Now sure maybe your ear prefers something that measures less than brilliantly. Wouldn't it be nice to know just how that preferred device measures so you can enhance it to be even better or perhaps replicate it less expensively?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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So rip an uncompressed format that does metadata - FLAC or aiff.

 

I didn't know there was such a thing as uncompressd FLAC. Every place I've looked online described FLAC as compressed. Since you mentioned it I Googled "uncompressd FLAC" and see that dbPoweramp does it. You may have given me the answer. Thanks.

 

Mark

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Perhaps, but in the end it is the only instrument that matters, and it is completely personal. Some device or setup might measure brilliantly and yet if your ears prefer the other device than that is all that counts.

 

And what is that brilliant measurement anyway. Put a frequency spectrum on the output of your DAC or speakers and play a snippet. Now change something upstream, like a fan, an LPSU or run a FLAC converter and measure that same snippet. Okay, let's say your measuring equipment is fast and accurate enough to capture and show the differences and it shows a slight bump in the 18.2kHz compared with the baseline. Then what? Your ears might not hear that bump or your brain is not bothered. But someone else is more sensitive to that frequency and it irritates. See how personal it is?

 

Hi Tranz,

 

You want say that brain reconstruct what we don't hear in straight test by frequency?

 

Possibly. Therefore I said about "open mind".

 

However need consider:

 

1. No difference - brain give difference

 

2. Difference present - we don't know currently: how measure - brain give difference

 

However for right measurements need consider math used for compression and playback.

 

With math of compression no problems. It checked. As usual my old video :)

 

[video=youtube;3jPphh-CsHM]

 

Possibly made checking for all cases. But I suppose result will same. Except possible bugs in used version of standard FLAC library.

Or bugs in used software.

 

DAC and next links don't influence to comressed and uncompressed.

 

Remains only one black box - player.

 

I suppose all players use standard library. If there are difference it is matter of bugs or hidden by user sound enhancing. But what interest of developer specially enhance uncompressed formats?

 

 

Before in discussions was considered CPU performance as reason of difference between FLAC and WAV. But it will simply dirty sound or interruptions. It's not subtle difference, as hifi and hiend.

 

However unpacking FLAC is not so hard process for modern computers. Comparing with resampling or DSD converting, as example.

 

May be for first approaching anybody describe what he/she listen as difference between FLAC and WAV?

 

Best regards,

Yuri

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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Hi Yuri,

 

If I am understanding your post correctly, I agree.

 

And yet in my system and my experience even lowering the amount of background processes using CAD scripts helped reduce irritation/digititus/fatigue and so even though the CPU can easily handle the process of unFLACing and then some, not having the FLAC process and threads running in the background had a similar impact.

 

That is why I recommend that the OP try it themselves before deciding one way or the other. Easy and quick test. Quicker than reading this thread. :)

 

Cheers

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Hi Yuri,

 

If I am understanding your post correctly, I agree.

 

And yet in my system and my experience even lowering the amount of background processes using CAD scripts helped reduce irritation/digititus/fatigue and so even though the CPU can easily handle the process of unFLACing and then some, not having the FLAC process and threads running in the background had a similar impact.

 

That is why I recommend that the OP try it themselves before deciding one way or the other. Easy and quick test. Quicker than reading this thread. :)

 

Cheers

 

Fully agree. Here need decide for yourself. Discussion can help get several fulcrums. Fortunatelly almost all software available as free demo or full free.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 - HD audio converter/optimizer for DAC of high resolution files

ISO, DSF, DFF (1-bit/D64/128/256/512/1024), wav, flac, aiff, alac,  safe CD ripper to PCM/DSF,

Seamless Album Conversion, AIFF, WAV, FLAC, DSF metadata editor, Mac & Windows
Offline conversion save energy and nature

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I didn't know there was such a thing as uncompressd FLAC. Every place I've looked online described FLAC as compressed. Since you mentioned it I Googled "uncompressd FLAC" and see that dbPoweramp does it. You may have given me the answer. Thanks.

 

Mark

 

Another vote for dbPoweramp and uncompressed FLAC.

 

Ripping with dbPoweramp has the advantages of (1) calibrating your CD drive (2)comparing your rip to their database with Accurate Rip and (3) giving you excellent metadata, fields and editing options. dbPoweramp makes good use of multiple processors and can rip to multiple locations and formats to save you a step for backups. There are free options available that might be as good or nearly as good, but the cost compared to the value of the total CD library + playback equipment is a small fraction of a percent.

 

 

I don't hear any differences between uncompressed FLAC and either WAV or AIFF.

I definitely prefer uncompressed FLAC over any form of lossy compression on my main system but not so much in the car or with small desktop computer speakers.

John

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I think the answer is easy. Everyone agrees that storage is dirt cheap. Everyone agrees that having metadata is better than not. And everyone agrees that uncompressed does not sound worse than compressed (either the same or better). So rip an uncompressed format that does metadata - FLAC or aiff.

 

I have about 1500 CD's all ripped to uncompressed FLAC using dbpoweramp. A 5TB external hard drive at Costco is now about $140. That will hold 5000 uncompressed CD's more or less, for about 3 cents a CD. The only caveat is to back up everything, at least once.

 

Larry

 

Dirt is cheap, but not free. I am looking at upgrading the storage on my NAS as I have too many hi-res albums and I am looking at shelling out about $600 for new, larger disks. Most of the storage is taken up with audio that is already FLAC compressed. In addition to the cost of the disks there is a time factor in doing the migration, and that is definitely proportional to the data size. Triple the raw cost of storage to allow for multiple copies, and double or triple the time required for migration to allow for verification that the migration didn't corrupt any data.

 

In the absence of any knowledge for why people hear differences, I am not convinced that going to the "uncompressed" version of FLAC will have any sonic benefit. I suspect that the programs using any version of FLAC all will have the same buffer moving strategy, regardless of the level of compression actually used. This is more complex than required for a straight file copy, because of the variable length encoding necessitated by any lossless format that can do compression. In a well implemented player the major noise generator is going to come from data moved over peripherals and over the main bus in and out of RAM, and extra data copies are going to create more noise. The actual decode computation needed to expand already compressed FLAC is primarily a simple linear-predictor, a bunch of floating point multiplies and sums and this can all be done very quickly by the CPU chip, running out of cache. Of course, if a player has been tuned for minimum footprint for one format it won't be tuned for a different format, hence YMMV.

 

I used to use CPlay before I got my Mytek DAC. It did the FLAC expansion at the start of each track and usually this was a silent portion. Therefore 99% of the time there was no audible difference and the 1% of the time was insufficient to detect or for any fatigue to build up. CPlay did not work well with the Mytek drivers because it it was at war over buffer sizes (e.g. even vs. odd). When I switched to HQPlayer I did notice some differences between real time FLAC decode and WAV, but they were minor. I went to decoding FLACs to a RAM disk so I wouldn't have to spin the hard drive that contained my library. I could sometimes hear noises when it seeked.

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Dirt is cheap, but not free. I am looking at upgrading the storage on my NAS as I have too many hi-res albums and I am looking at shelling out about $600 for new, larger disks. Most of the storage is taken up with audio that is already FLAC compressed. In addition to the cost of the disks there is a time factor in doing the migration, and that is definitely proportional to the data size. Triple the raw cost of storage to allow for multiple copies, and double or triple the time required for migration to allow for verification that the migration didn't corrupt any data.

 

In the absence of any knowledge for why people hear differences, I am not convinced that going to the "uncompressed" version of FLAC will have any sonic benefit. I suspect that the programs using any version of FLAC all will have the same buffer moving strategy, regardless of the level of compression actually used. This is more complex than required for a straight file copy, because of the variable length encoding necessitated by any lossless format that can do compression. In a well implemented player the major noise generator is going to come from data moved over peripherals and over the main bus in and out of RAM, and extra data copies are going to create more noise. The actual decode computation needed to expand already compressed FLAC is primarily a simple linear-predictor, a bunch of floating point multiplies and sums and this can all be done very quickly by the CPU chip, running out of cache. Of course, if a player has been tuned for minimum footprint for one format it won't be tuned for a different format, hence YMMV.

 

I used to use CPlay before I got my Mytek DAC. It did the FLAC expansion at the start of each track and usually this was a silent portion. Therefore 99% of the time there was no audible difference and the 1% of the time was insufficient to detect or for any fatigue to build up. CPlay did not work well with the Mytek drivers because it it was at war over buffer sizes (e.g. even vs. odd). When I switched to HQPlayer I did notice some differences between real time FLAC decode and WAV, but they were minor. I went to decoding FLACs to a RAM disk so I wouldn't have to spin the hard drive that contained my library. I could sometimes hear noises when it seeked.

 

In the "real" world, we solved a lot of this a long time ago with compression, de-duplication, and replication. It's costly, but it is worth while. A 10TB physical VTL for example, can stash many hundreds of terabytes of data. Disk systems are starting to pick up this technology and move the cost down into something that is reasonable on the consumer level. Not completely there yet, but time will tell.

 

I do note that people who spend $5K on a DAC or $600 on cables do seem to balk at spending money on the computer side of things. Why not spend $10K on your computer and network? The result will often be quite worth the cost. (grin)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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In the "real" world, we solved a lot of this a long time ago with compression, de-duplication, and replication. It's costly, but it is worth while. A 10TB physical VTL for example, can stash many hundreds of terabytes of data. Disk systems are starting to pick up this technology and move the cost down into something that is reasonable on the consumer level. Not completely there yet, but time will tell.

 

I do note that people who spend $5K on a DAC or $600 on cables do seem to balk at spending money on the computer side of things. Why not spend $10K on your computer and network? The result will often be quite worth the cost. (grin)

 

-Paul

 

My position is that where audio quality of digital audio is concerned, money is better spent on a DAC with isolation capabilities rather than tweaking the computer to reduce noise. These tweaks are not free, especially if one places any value on one's time. They will ultimately be less effective than providing isolation. They will have to be redone everytime there is a significant technology change. These optimizations are based on using cheap mass produced components that were designed on the philosophy that "bits is just bits" when the audio application is "bits is not just bits". Thus, the problem, which amounts to "polishing a sow's ear" or "putting lipstick on a pig". Just my opinion. I don't see the point in trial and error optimization of systems where there is no visibility to the underlying implementation.

 

Last time I looked reliable tape drives were extremely costly. The market for corporate storage is not tuned to optimize library sizes in the 5 - 20 TB region.

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