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Best FLAC converter software


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If you take an album in FLAC (or APE) and convert it to WAV using 5 different converters you will find that all 5 newly created WAV-versions of your album sound different. What the heck is going on here? Why do they sound different!? There are many dozens of converters out there that can do the job. I don't have the time to go through them all to find the best for the job. So, the point of this thread is to cross-fertilize, collect member feedback and come up with a list of top-three converters out there.

So my question goes to all those addicted to best: what is your favorite FLAC-to-WAV converter?

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There is no such thing as "the best", the perception of different people is different. Not to mention the fact that the perception of the same person is not fixed, and can change under the influence of a variety of external factors. Also, the software options for different operating systems are not the same.

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In other words, nobody cares about superior WAV and everybody continues to listen to their inferior FLACs?

 

If that is indeed the case, then, it appears, that I'm in the wrong place with my questions. I erroneously thought that this was the forum where addicted-to-best audiophiles share, help and learn from each other...

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Not quite 😉 ... listening to FLAC means that the conversion mechanism that uncompresses the FLAC is active at the same time as listening; which could degrade the SQ, via interference from the digital processing circuitry. So converting to WAV, offline, is the best approach - agreed.

 

But I haven't seen anything that supports the idea that the resulting WAVs will differ, depending upon which FLAC to WAV software is used - my thoughts are that the resulting files sound different because of other reasons; such as precisely how each output example is stored physically on the storage media. This is where I would do a set of experiments, where I could guarantee that each output WAV is stored absolutely exactly the same way, down to the last byte, for each one file - and see if I could still hear differences ...

 

Does this make sense?

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On 11/5/2020 at 4:00 PM, cappo said:

If you take an album in FLAC (or APE) and convert it to WAV using 5 different converters you will find that all 5 newly created WAV-versions of your album sound different. What the heck is going on here? Why do they sound different!? There are many dozens of converters out there that can do the job. I don't have the time to go through them all to find the best for the job. So, the point of this thread is to cross-fertilize, collect member feedback and come up with a list of top-three converters out there.

So my question goes to all those addicted to best: what is your favorite FLAC-to-WAV converter?

Cappo

What we first need to confirm is that after conversion to .wav files that all of the resulting .wav files have the same checksums. To do this you can use free software for Windows such as ExactFile.  I normally use SHA256 for this these days as .md5 may be capable of being fooled on occasions.

 I have 2 files in the same folder, one of which was copied directly to K:/New Folder in a USB memory stick from Videos and renamed with USB, and the other which was copied first from Videos to my "I'' HDD, then to the New Folder on USB.  

 The same method applies to both Digital Audio and Video files.

 

I agree that although the checksums may say that they are identical, that they can however sound different even though all of your different converters show the same result, as they should.

 However, the owner of the Forum and the qualified E.Es and S/W people will insist that you are imagining the differences if the checksums are the same. 😉

P.S. 

 I mainly use Foobar 2000 for the conversions from .flac to .wav

 

Click on the image until you get a larger image.

Alex. 

Checksums.jpg

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

This is where I would do a set of experiments, where I could guarantee that each output WAV is stored absolutely exactly the same way, down to the last byte, for each one file - and see if I could still hear differences ...

 

 You have already done this with  3 comparison Audio files that I sent you where you reported hearing differences between all 3 

(TOTO-Africa) 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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1 hour ago, cappo said:

In other words, nobody cares about superior WAV and everybody continues to listen to their inferior FLACs?

 

If that is indeed the case, then, it appears, that I'm in the wrong place with my questions. I erroneously thought that this was the forum where addicted-to-best audiophiles share, help and learn from each other...

 I always convert .flac files to ..wav before playing them because they sound better. 

However, I have found that as I further improve the PSU and Earthing of the PC that the differences between them  are less than previously.

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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15 minutes ago, cappo said:

Here are 3 versions of Diana Krall's Live in Paris Album converted into WAV by:

AIMP Converter, Audio Transcoder and Xrecoder respectively. Listen and hear for yourself - all sound different while all are stored identically and all checksums are identical too:

Cappo

 I won't even bother listening to them as I do not need convincing .

If you check MY PROFILE you will even find some comparison Music Videos where if your gear (including your PC's monitor, NOT a typical Laptop, but an external monitor) is good enough, you can both see and hear the differences at the same time . See also MY Signature (below)

Alex

 

 P.S. 

 I suspect that this thread will soon be removed by Admin due to someone complaining 😉

 I have never discussed any of this previously with you before either, in case somebody suggests we are in collusion

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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1 hour ago, sandyk said:

 

cappo 

Re this link. You would need to translate this page for most members

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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9 hours ago, sandyk said:

 I suspect that this thread will soon be removed by Admin due to someone complaining 😉

 I have never discussed any of this previously with you before either, in case somebody suggests we are in collusion

What?! Someone complaining?!?! Complaining about what? I've asked a perfectly innocent question, have I not?

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Hello dear lovers of good sound!
I started reading this topic with interest. I think your Forum is the most interesting and informative. But why has this topic not received its development? After all, all true lovers of good sound will recode Flac files to Wav. I decided for myself that I like the sound better when using two programs: Audio Transcoder and Xrecode 3. But there are probably better ones. Hope to receive your critical feedback.
I apologize for the poor translation.

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15 minutes ago, stefano_mbp said:

I manage my library with Minimserver 2 (on Nuc8i3/Ubuntu 20.04.1) and I use its MinimStreamer transcoding functionality to convert on the fly Alac and flac to wav, same bit depth and resolution.

So not time and hdd space wasted to convert offline, in my opinion this is the best compromise.

 

 

Stefano, converting on the fly doesn't count. All and every media-player does that and they all suck at it. This thread is about offline FLAC conversion only and I'm on a quest to find the best software to do it offline.

P.S. HDD space is not a problem at all. We spend many thousands of $$$$$ on our components, cables, etc. We can certainly afford to buy some extra HDD space to enjoy better SQ. Our hobby is certainly worth it, isn't it?

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8 hours ago, Vlodzimierz said:

I decided for myself that I like the sound better when using two programs: Audio Transcoder and Xrecode 3.

This is interesting! Has anyone else tried Audio Transcoder and/or Xrecode 3? If so, would you care to share your feedback?

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56 minutes ago, stefano_mbp said:

Я управляю своей библиотекой с помощью Minimserver 2 (на Nuc8i3 / Ubuntu 20.04.1) и использую его функцию транскодирования MinimStreamer для преобразования на лету Alac и flac в wav с той же битовой глубиной и разрешением.

Так что не тратьте время и пространство на жестком диске на конвертацию в автономном режиме, на мой взгляд, это лучший компромисс.

 

 

 

I am using a mini computer with i7 8650 series processor, with passive cooling. The signal from the computer via USB AudioQuest Diamond is fed to the USB-SPDIF Singxer SU-1 converter. Then from it SPDIF is fed to the DAC. A Samsung 970 Pro SSD M2 is installed inside the computer, with the software installed. The music files are stored on a 2.5 "HDD connected to a SATA cable from 3M. This is the best I could find! On such a source, the difference between FLAC and WAV files is very clear. I find the package source configuration to be the best in terms of getting good sound.

Sorry for the poor translation.

 

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We are all neighbors on planet Earth. I have already tried many different conversion programs, I read a lot of various Forums. I read a lot of topics from your Forum. I am looking for answers to my questions. I am looking for those who will be interested in my experience.

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7 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Not to be a cynic, but the OP from Ukraine starts talking about converting FLAC to WAV in his first post on the site. Shortly thereafter another poster from Ukraine joins the site to offer a solution that converts FLAC to WAV, in his first post on the site. 

 

Amazing. With this luck, you guys are probably neighbors and don't know it. Hmmmm.

We are not neighbors but we do know each other even though 400 miles separates us. Is that a crime? 

Instead of putting us down, why don't you contribute something valuable to the topic? Example: download Audio Transcoder and, using it, convert just 1 of your favorite albums into WAV and listen. Then tell us what you think. All of this will take you half an hour max and you will learn something useful. No need to pay either since they offer a free trial period...

 

I am here with 1 purpose only - to learn. This is the only forum on this planet that specializes in computer playback! Where else can we go to find answers to our questions?! And you make us feel like we are not welcome here...

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3 minutes ago, cappo said:

We are not neighbors but we do know each other even though 400 miles separates us. Is that a crime? 

Instead of putting us down, why don't you contribute something valuable to the topic? Example: download Audio Transcoder and, using it, convert just 1 of your favorite albums into WAV and listen. Then tell us what you think. All of this will take you half an hour max and you will learn something useful. No need to pay either since they offer a free trial period...

 

I am here with 1 purpose only - to learn. This is the only forum on this planet that specializes in computer playback! Where else can we go to find answers to our questions?! And you make us feel like we are not welcome here...

 

Nice to see you know each other. I can only use my experience operating this website since 2007, to gauge people and posts. The sequence of events here is identical to thousands of posts I've seen where people are trying to promote software with a hidden agenda. You must admit that this thread and its sequence of posts could've been predicted by anyone who knows how online spammers operate. I've blocked thousands of these types of posts from appearing on this site.

 

That said, perhaps this is the one in a million post, the most guilty looking innocent conversation. I really don't know. I'll take your word for it for now. 

 

I also suspect a bit of a language issue because it really seems like you're a bit hostile to other people around here. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and guess that isn't your intention.

Founder of Audiophile Style

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