FLAC Vs. 320kbps


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¬¬ saying that 320 Kbps Mp3 is better than flac is just arrogant, just as it is the other way around. At the end the difference comes only to trained ears and listening the same song in both formats, the FLAC result is always crisp, almost regardless of the speakers or at least for me is.

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To complete the analysis someone did previously, I analyzed an Ogg I transcoded from the FLAC of "Day" by Jaga Jazzist.

Encoding is a VBR q0.8, so it has a smaller filesize than 320 kbps MP3, and slightly larger than LAME's V0 option. As you can see, it blows the 320 kbps MP3 out of the water at a lesser bitrate. I find that Ogg q0.9 is absolutely indistinguishable from lossless quality, and the difference between q0.8 is very minimal. This is why I use Ogg q0.8 primarily. Low filesize and high quality.

EDIT: Added more images for more comparisons. Look and compare the last little bump in in the Ogg one with the FLAC one. Spot the difference?

FLAC [29.8 MB]

Frequency%20Analysis.png

Ogg q0.8 [8.86 MB]

Frequency%20Analysis.png

MP3 LAME encoded 320 kbps [10.6 MB]

Frequency%20Analysis.png

MP3 LAME encoded V0 (approx 240-310 kbps) [7.27 MB]

Frequency%20Analysis.png

There you have it, guys. This is proof that Ogg Vorbis is a superior codec. Another really weird thing is that when I encode MP3's it seems to boost their volume to compensate for something. Anywho, just pay attention to the ending frequencies. These were all converted from the FLAC source file with the original lossless audio quality as seen in the first picture. I think it's pretty plain where the MP3's falter.

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Exactly. Depends on your equipment. We're not talking about "THX Certified" equipment which has been pushed by marketers. Try it on audiophile equipment. You won't be saying "I can't hear the difference" after that.

With the advent of cheaper hard drives with larger capacity, is space really even an issue anymore?

But honestly, if you can't tell the difference, just use what's right for you. Ignorance is bliss sometimes (and easier on the wallet).

+1.

Exactly what I was going to write.

Space isn't really a concern anymore, so having a few of your favorite albums in a lossless format, while streaming them to a nice hi-fi system can mean a world of difference - less distortion with higher volumes = audio bliss. :)

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I would say that storage is pretty cheep and if you are going to take the time to rip audio CDs might as well make it FLAC. Just keep in mind that every GB of storage needs a GB of backup ;).

(personally I don't bother and just rip to 256k AAC... news flash, as you get older your ears won't work as well so this conversation matters less as you age)

I question your last statement, now that I'm close to 40 I seem to care and notice quality more than I did when younger, like I can tell between anything under 320/FLAC, heck I can tell on my 32" TV when a show is shown in 720/1080, maybe it was because I didn't destroy my hearing while young and in the Army, but I sure appreciate better quality now

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At that point, if you can hear a difference, it's because you have a bad original recording (aka studio recording). I have some nice audio gear (nothing audiophile but I've spent a lot) and I have a good ear. I've never been able to differenciate to the point that I ended saying: "something's missing and it's bothering me."

BUT... I've ran a couple of times in situations that I couldn't play my FLAC files. For example in my car (SD card) and my WP7.

So 320kbps it is for me...

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This is proof that Ogg Vorbis is a superior codec.
Basically all lossy formats designed after MP3 are better than MP3. The thing is that MP3 is a de facto industry standard for lossy encoding, and it'll be basically impossible to dethrone. FLAC, however, isn't simply better quality, it's lossless. So while there's limited future in Ogg Vorbis IMO, FLAC should be the standard for lossless encoding and archiving.

It's a shame that stores like Amazon.com sell their music in MP3 rather than something at least equivalent to an Audio CD, which is lossless and can reproduce frequencies up to 22.05khz. While Ogg Vorbis would be an incremental upgrade, FLAC is really what we should aim for and standardize on.

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I question your last statement, now that I'm close to 40 I seem to care and notice quality more than I did when younger, like I can tell between anything under 320/FLAC, heck I can tell on my 32" TV when a show is shown in 720/1080, maybe it was because I didn't destroy my hearing while young and in the Army, but I sure appreciate better quality now

Thanks, I was about to ask this person where they pulled that last Perl of wisdom from! I am almost 53 and there is bugger all wrong with my hearing, as you also pointed out, quality has become the over riding factor when it comes to music.

I have in the region of 2000 full albums taken from my old vinyl and CD collection and about 85% are stored in FLAC. My system that I use is NAD and the speakers are Acoustic Research Studio Monitors. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a marked difference between lossless and MP3's. Ogg is an excellent lossy format and as far as I am concerned can't be beat! I know that not everyone has oodles of money lying around, but hard drive space now days should not constitute a problem for most PC users.

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On most users' speakers/sound cards you will not hear the difference between a high quality mp3 (v2/v0/320) and lossless. It is however useful for archiving music and converting to other formats.

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It's a shame that stores like Amazon.com sell their music in MP3 rather than something at least equivalent to an Audio CD, which is lossless and can reproduce frequencies up to 22.05khz. While Ogg Vorbis would be an incremental upgrade, FLAC is really what we should aim for and standardize on.

I agree, that's the main reason why I don't buy "digital" albums, I prefer CDs so I can rip them to my liking. I can encode @ 192 and still sound better then some 320 going around, because usually people rip off ( pun not intended :p ) the same source.

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¬¬ saying that 320 Kbps Mp3 is better than flac is just arrogant, just as it is the other way around. At the end the difference comes only to trained ears and listening the same song in both formats, the FLAC result is always crisp, almost regardless of the speakers or at least for me is.

i don't know of ANYONE claiming 320kbps is better than FLAC. but claiming FLAC is better than any lossy format is technically correct even if you can't hear the difference since it's identical to the actual recording unlike lossy formats which get rid of some of the original audio data.

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AAC encoded at lower bitrates (256kbps for example) should rival MP3 at higher bitrates, e.g. 256kbps AAC vs 320kbps MP3. For me FLAC and Apple Lossless are more useful, especially for those awesome 24-bit/96kHz vinyl rips. ;)

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I question your last statement, now that I'm close to 40 I seem to care and notice quality more than I did when younger, like I can tell between anything under 320/FLAC, heck I can tell on my 32" TV when a show is shown in 720/1080, maybe it was because I didn't destroy my hearing while young and in the Army, but I sure appreciate better quality now

Statistics are interesting things that look at averages and variances of a population. Take a single data point and you may find that it goes against the statistics entirely. The data point may be accurate and true, but it doesn't go with the average.

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i don't know of ANYONE claiming 320kbps is better than FLAC. but claiming FLAC is better than any lossy format is technically correct even if you can't hear the difference since it's identical to the actual recording unlike lossy formats which get rid of some of the original audio data.

Even FLAC isn't identical, at least in reality. The CD it's self is already imperfect, as you can't convert an analog signal (which is what sound is, at its origin) into a digital medium without some inherent loss of information. Even if you're talking about Vinyl, you won't be able to rip a perfect track, as there will be imperfections and other random sources of error. Also, I'm not sure of the technical details, but apparently, even ripping from a CD to file has some inherent information loss, though I'm not sure how.

I know this wasn't what you really meant, and I'm probably nitpicking here, but just wanted to point out that even aside from worrying about speaker quality, nothing you do will ever match the experience of hearing it live (and even besides that, anything that you as a standard consumer can get your hands on will be inferior to the master recording)

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i rip in flac with proper eac settings below then back up to data dvd, then i convert to 320. hds are cheap so storage is not a problem for me

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 2 from 29. April 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 3. September 2011, 13:41

Pitbull / Planet Pit (Deluxe Version)

Used drive : ASUS DRW-24B1ST a Adapter: 3 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure

Utilize accurate stream : Yes

Defeat audio cache : Yes

Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 6

Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No

Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes

Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No

Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes

Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Gap handling : Appended to previous track

Used output format : User Defined Encoder

Selected bitrate : 1024 kBit/s

Quality : High

Add ID3 tag : No

Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe

Additional command line options : -8 -V -T "ARTIST=%artist%" -T "TITLE=%title%" -T "ALBUM=%albumtitle%" -T "DATE=%year%" -T "TRACKNUMBER=%tracknr%" -T "GENRE=%genre%" -T "COMMENT=EAC Flac 1.2.1 -8" %source%

TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector

---------------------------------------------------------

1 | 0:00.00 | 1:24.24 | 0 | 6323

2 | 1:24.24 | 4:12.23 | 6324 | 25246

3 | 5:36.47 | 3:51.43 | 25247 | 42614

4 | 9:28.15 | 3:54.34 | 42615 | 60198

5 | 13:22.49 | 3:00.20 | 60199 | 73718

6 | 16:22.69 | 3:50.24 | 73719 | 90992

7 | 20:13.18 | 3:34.62 | 90993 | 107104

8 | 23:48.05 | 3:47.21 | 107105 | 124150

9 | 27:35.26 | 3:48.02 | 124151 | 141252

10 | 31:23.28 | 4:29.27 | 141253 | 161454

11 | 35:52.55 | 3:50.51 | 161455 | 178755

12 | 39:43.31 | 3:04.06 | 178756 | 192561

13 | 42:47.37 | 3:07.16 | 192562 | 206602

14 | 45:54.53 | 4:12.27 | 206603 | 225529

15 | 50:07.05 | 2:55.67 | 225530 | 238721

16 | 53:02.72 | 3:40.27 | 238722 | 255248

Track 1

Filename C:\Pitbull - Planet Pit (Deluxe Version) (2011) [FLAC]\01 - Mr. Worldwide (Intro) (feat. Vein).wav

Pre-gap length 0:00:02.00

Peak level 99.8 %

Extraction speed 1.9 X

Track quality 99.8 %

Test CRC B6CB5DDD

Copy CRC B6CB5DDD

Track not present in AccurateRip database

Copy OK

i like to back my cds up just in case they get stolen or ruined, i have them backed up :)

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