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Feb 18, 2015
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OK yes it's a lossless file that gets zipped to reduce it's size and then unzipped and back to it's uncompressed state when being used is my understanding of it...but as I already mentioned hdd size/space isn't really the issue it used to be so I'd rather (me)just use a uncompressed file from the get go.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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FLAC is a compressed lossless codec too. So you're still uncompressing them every time you play them.

Why would you want an uncompressed file anyway? Even if you have plenty of hard drive space it seems like a pointless exercise to me. Provided you use a lossless codec file type such as FLAC or ALAC the resulting output will be identical in every way to an uncompressed codec like WAV.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Well Steve at the moment,I'm in the process of ripping my cd's to uncompressed flac files via db poweramp...basically so that I know it's been done properly the first time around and I have the full file size to do with as I please and when I please.I appreciate that it's not needed for every application and listening environment....phones tend not to have a huge amount of hdd space on them..mine included...so of course compressed lossless files have their uses but when I'm listening on my superuniti I'd rather have the full fat file at my disposal.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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But FLAC is a compressed codec though.

"FLAC is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio, and is also the name of the reference codec implementation. Digital audio compressed by FLAC's algorithm can typically be reduced to between 50 and 60 percent of its original size and decompress to an identical copy of the original audio data."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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steve_1979 said:
But FLAC is a compressed codec though.

"FLAC is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio, and is also the name of the reference codec implementation. Digital audio compressed by FLAC's algorithm can typically be reduced to between 50 and 60 percent of its original size and decompress to an identical copy of the original audio data."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC
I think people get confused with all the BS that is propagated as knowledge in hifi forums.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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OK Steve if you say so..I'm no expert and I'm really not that interested in file codecs etc....just saying my flac files (at the uncompressed setting)on db poweramp are the exact same size as the wave files...I only chose flac as I read somewhere that they had better tagging properties than wave making them easier to move....which I'm assuming that they meant between drives and devices....didn't read a whole lot about it as it bores me quickly.Anyway my main issue in the first place was with airplay and previously using it via my phone and atv 3rd gen into a arcam ir dac it was not a very smooth running application a couple of years back and apple never rolled out apple music for the atv which would have opened up a far better experience more akin to Spotify connect...so I was left with basically a screen mirroring function that I couldn't even use on the fly.....a deal breaker for me and decided to stick with Spotify.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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Nah it's just a case of mixing up compressed, uncompressed, lossless and lossy. They are all different things. Let me explain:

WAV = Uncompressed full size files and lossless audio quality.

FLAC and ALAC = Compressed to about 50-60% the original file size but still lossless audio quality so the sound is totally identical to the original.

MP3 and AAC = Compressed to around 10-30% of the original file size but they have lossy audio so the sound is slightly changed from the original.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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To be fair when encoding FLAC you do actually have option to leave them uncompressed if you want to but it's generally never done that way because it's pointless. The end result of a compressed and uncompressed FLAC is exactly the same but the uncompressed FLAC files will take up twice as much disk space.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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I use the max. level of compression and it takes a few seconds to encode a CD...
 
Feb 18, 2015
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OK.Steve fair do's ..but some would have you think otherwise and let doubt creep into your mind.....at night..when you're trying to sleep.lol.

Ps.does that mean I can go back to ripping at the level five setting.lol.without any worry.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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Mark Rose-Smith said:
OK.Steve fair do's ..but some would have you think otherwise and let doubt creep into your mind.....at night..when you're trying to sleep.lol.

Ps.does that mean I can go back to ripping at the level five setting.lol.without any worry.
It doesn't matter what compression level you set, when the codec (coder/decoder) decodes it, it's the same original data. Like zip files.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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One is a wav file, the two other are FLAC files, one with compression level 8 and the other with no compression.





 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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Mark Rose-Smith said:
Ps.does that mean I can go back to ripping at the level five setting.lol.without any worry.
That's correct. :)

Many years ago when the FLAC codec was first designed computer processors, especially mobile phone and laptop processors, were a lot less powerful and could take a bit of time (and battery life) decompressing the files so various levels of compression were made available to tailor it to the individual requirements. Now modern processors are much more powerful and energy efficient so it's no longer of any concern.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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It's all in the mind as this thread illustrates.

As an old hi-fi enthusiast I spent many years with the mindset that 'everything' matters, 'everything' makes a difference. Passing a music signal through a cable, a tone control circuit, anything really may (will?) have an effect on the sound so you really should avoid these possible issues.

The result, 'pure direct' switches, amps without tone controls and of course cables, the very stuff of being an 'audiophile'.

Then you learn a little about computers, data copied, moved from A to B all with 100% accuracy, it's how computers work. Compression can simply be a way of 'packaging' the data more carefully for storage, the data is untouched or it can be more complex with the data manipulated into even less space. But most importantly the reconstructed data is still 100% the same as the original and the computer checks that this is so, if it isn't it reports an error. This is lossless compression.

Unfortunatly, in the hi-fi world compression is also used to describe a process where data is compressed to a very large degree by deliberately throwing away some of the bits. What is actually thrown away is determined by the codec (be it mp3, aac or whatever), and they can and do sound different both from each other and from the uncompressed original.

Thus for hi-fi use, uncompressed or losslessly compressed files are the solution, lossy files may be very good in some cases, high bitrate aac for examble is extremely difficult to distinguish from the original, but as has been said before, why take the risk.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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I thought you were going to add that compression of an analogue kind also gets used to squash the dynamic range. I think that potentially adds to the confusion, but maybe it's just me?
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Yimkin_FJ said:
I have a Denon Ceol N7, with Tannoy bookshelf speakers, through which I mostly play Spotify high quality via AirPlay.

It sounds, well... 'meh'. Nothing special. What I'd expect from what was a 200 quid system with reasonable budget speakers.

However, I also have a rega rp1 turntable connected via a Cambridge audio phono amp. Vinyl sounds amazing? Yes, I realise this probably means I'm naturally attracted to a 'warm' sound, but any other ideas?

In time I would be attracted to the Kef LS50 wireless or the Naim Uniti atom (probably with normal LS50 speakers), but realistically that isn't going to happen for a while. So how can I cheaply improve digital delivery? I have an unused chrome cast audio - try that instead of airplay? Or change the denon for whatever marantz amp is out at the moment (6006?)
I would grab a sh or ex-dem Unitiqute 2 instead of the Atom, just to save the dosh, and take it with me to audition speakers (if I didn't like the match with my current ones).

Thing is, the UQ2 was amazing for it's price (imo), and even more so if you get a used one. And, if you don't like it, you can sell it for little or no loss - another nice thing about Naim stuff :)
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
i think this system is well outside the budget if looking around £500 which I think the op is. But a uq might tick all the boxes with its streaming function and amp but can you get one for this kind of money.
 

Pedro

New member
May 31, 2016
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rainsoothe said:
Yimkin_FJ said:
I have a Denon Ceol N7, with Tannoy bookshelf speakers, through which I mostly play Spotify high quality via AirPlay.

It sounds, well... 'meh'. Nothing special. What I'd expect from what was a 200 quid system with reasonable budget speakers.

However, I also have a rega rp1 turntable connected via a Cambridge audio phono amp. Vinyl sounds amazing? Yes, I realise this probably means I'm naturally attracted to a 'warm' sound, but any other ideas?

In time I would be attracted to the Kef LS50 wireless or the Naim Uniti atom (probably with normal LS50 speakers), but realistically that isn't going to happen for a while. So how can I cheaply improve digital delivery? I have an unused chrome cast audio - try that instead of airplay? Or change the denon for whatever marantz amp is out at the moment (6006?)
I would grab a sh or ex-dem Unitiqute 2 instead of the Atom, just to save the dosh, and take it with me to audition speakers (if I didn't like the match with my current ones).

Thing is, the UQ2 was amazing for it's price (imo), and even more so if you get a used one. And, if you don't like it, you can sell it for little or no loss - another nice thing about Naim stuff :)
+1

I had a UQ2 in tandem with a pair of Guru Juniors as a 2nd system. It was a really good system for a very small room. I bought both the UQ2 and the speakers used and ended up selling them without a loss. I didn't use the combo that much so...
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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18,795
nopiano said:
I thought you were going to add that compression of an analogue kind also gets used to squash the dynamic range. I think that potentially adds to the confusion, but maybe it's just me?
Compressed files such as MP3 and AAC and compressed dynamics are two totally differnt and unrelated things. I've lost count of the times that people on forums mix these up.

Converting a lossless audio file to a compressed MP3 or AAC does NOT compress or effect the dynamic range at all.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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steve_1979 said:
nopiano said:
I thought you were going to add that compression of an analogue kind also gets used to squash the dynamic range. I think that potentially adds to the confusion, but maybe it's just me?
Compressed files such as MP3 and AAC and compressed dynamics are two totally differnt and unrelated things. I've lost count of the times that people on forums mix these up.

Converting a lossless audio file to a compressed MP3 or AAC does NOT compress or effect the dynamic range at all.
My point exactly. That's why I think "compressed" gets automatically thought of as a problem for sound quality.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Dynamic compression is an essential part of the recording process, music in the studio or live will have a dynamic range greater than can be reproduced in the home so compression is necessary and not at all a bad thing.

Over compression and 'red lining' to produce the loudest recording possible is, mostly, abominable and I simply will not play such rubish, rarely a problem for me.

"Compression", when it is applied to a process that throws away part of the music is a missnomer boardering on deceit in my view, you can not recreate the original by such a process, it is resolution reduction, pure and simple.
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
616
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QuestForThe13thNote said:
i think this system is well outside the budget if looking around £500 which I think the op is. But a uq might tick all the boxes with its streaming function and amp but can you get one for this kind of money. 
He's looking at saving for an Atom or Kef LS50W. I'm suggesting he saves for something cheaper, and an amazing all-rounder, which can be had for less than half the price of either option - UQ2 can be found for circa 800 pounds.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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davedotco said:
Dynamic compression is an essential part of the recording process, music in the studio or live will have a dynamic range greater than can be reproduced in the home so compression is necessary and not at all a bad thing.

Over compression and 'red lining' to produce the loudest recording possible is, mostly, abominable and I simply will not play such rubish, rarely a problem for me.

"Compression", when it is applied to a process that throws away part of the music is a missnomer boardering on deceit in my view, you can not recreate the original by such a process, it is resolution reduction, pure and simple.
No it's not.

There have been plenty of concerts with PA systems where the loudest volume has been louder than any sane person would want at home. However these concerts would have relatively high background noise. So, ideally what I'd be looking at is playing the concert with the dynamic range untouched but the volume reduced.

There may be some classical full orchestra studio recordings where the dynamic range sitting in the brass section might be higher than what I'd be comfortable with. For such recordings I'd want the dynamic range to be the equivalent of me sitting in an Albert Hall sized studio - near the back. So, OK a little bit of artificiality there, but so what? That would only apply to extreme pieces of work - maybe Bolero or the Firebird Suite?

For Mozart and Beethoven I could quite happily accept the full dynamic range at home of the actual live performance.

For studio recordings of rock and pop bands, ideally I'd want the vocalist track to be played back at the same volume and with the same dynamic range as actually being in a listening room sized recording booth with the vocalist. From there it'd be a case of matching the drumkit and guitar recording levels to that of the vocalist - for a tonally balanced recording. No need for compression on anything. Just a case of passing some tracks through a volume control.

A couple of singers with their acoustic guitars would have a dynamic range and maximum volume that I could easily cope with at home - played back at 100%. Same applies to solo pianos and plenty of other recordings.

I hate this whole concept that dynamic compression is essential.

It's a bad concept that has crept in more and more over the years. Playing music over a PA system in a factory is not the same as playing music for entertainment at home. Dynamic compression should be the consumer's choice, not the producer's choice.
 

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