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Converting WAV files to FLAC - Confirmation?

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ajinkya

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Hi,

Since both Wav and Flac are lossless formats, I assume that converting between them should result in no loss in audio quality. I know this sounds pretty obvious but I wanted to make 100% sure before I embark on the conversion. I have an extensive .wav collection (ripped from CD) and I want to now save space on my media devices by converting them all to .flac. Hence the question.
In addition, does anyone know a reliable, stable, proven wav-2-flac converter that worked for you? I haven't been able to find one with my initial google searches.

Thanks,
Ajinkya.
 

moserw

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Hi,

Since both Wav and Flac are lossless formats, I assume that converting between them should result in no loss in audio quality. I know this sounds pretty obvious but I wanted to make 100% sure before I embark on the conversion. I have an extensive .wav collection (ripped from CD) and I want to now save space on my media devices by converting them all to .flac. Hence the question.
In addition, does anyone know a reliable, stable, proven wav-2-flac converter that worked for you? I haven't been able to find one with my initial google searches.

Thanks,
Ajinkya.

Hi Ajinkya,

FLAC is lossless so there will be no loss in conversion. I have never needed to convert WAV to FLAC but I have had on ocassion needed to convert DTS files to FLAC and I can tell you while there are s/w available to do the needful none worked to my satisfaction. The best solution I could come up was to rename the .dts to .flac and it worked just fine. If I come up with something that converts .wav to .flac I will keep you posted.
 

bhaskie

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Hi,

Since both Wav and Flac are lossless formats, I assume that converting between them should result in no loss in audio quality. I know this sounds pretty obvious but I wanted to make 100% sure before I embark on the conversion. I have an extensive .wav collection (ripped from CD) and I want to now save space on my media devices by converting them all to .flac. Hence the question.
In addition, does anyone know a reliable, stable, proven wav-2-flac converter that worked for you? I haven't been able to find one with my initial google searches.

Thanks,
Ajinkya.

I had used dBpowerAMP Music Converter couple of years ago and it used to work very well (wmv, ogg, flac, wav).

It used libFlac to convert wav's to flac's and allowed arnd 9 compression levels.
For example, a 40MB wav can be converted to 29MB flac (1.3:1) at least compression and 24.5MB flac (1.5:1) at highest compression.

HTH.

~bhaskie
 

pradski

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sorry to interrupt,

could anybody tell me what is flac. Why are you all converting your wav files. What are the advantages. I assume wav is ripped from cd. When you have a CD why a flac and what is advantage of storing.
 

ajinkya

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Pradski,

FLAC is a lossless compression codec for audio. It saves significant space on disk as compared to WAV which is uncompressed, raw data directly from CD (PCM format). Just search on this forum for a thread titled 'Flac, Lossless, ..." and there is a detailed discussion of why Mp3 is bad for good audio and Flac is the preferred storage standard.
 

bhaskie

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sorry to interrupt,

could anybody tell me what is flac. Why are you all converting your wav files. What are the advantages. I assume wav is ripped from cd. When you have a CD why a flac and what is advantage of storing.

To add: if you created your flac well enuff (no normalization etc. during conversion from wav to flac) you can recreate your original CD's. So there you go! on the fly decoding of your flac's at a third the size of CDs. moreover flac is FLOSS and has great support from devices/players etc
 

bhaskie

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For linux:
flac utility can convert WAV/AIFF into Ogg/native FLAC format.
"flac -8 <src.wav> <dest.flac>
compression level varies from 0 to 8 (8 being best)

~bhaskie
 

pradski

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Another doubt sorry, very new to flac. just heard only in this forum.

If I have original CD s. There is no point in doing this right. I convert them to mp3 to use in car. I don't use original in car.

This flac uses less disc space does our car audio s play this type.

And I see many are converting cd s to flac. Is it they are storing for future ?
Or they are trying to cut down on the number of cd s. If they are original why do they do it.

OR If I use original cds. And I use mp3 for car audio. should I be converting to flac and store them or use them.

Please any suggestions.
 

bhaskie

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Another doubt sorry, very new to flac. just heard only in this forum.

If I have original CD s. There is no point in doing this right. I convert them to mp3 to use in car. I don't use original in car.

This flac uses less disc space does our car audio s play this type.

And I see many are converting cd s to flac. Is it they are storing for future ?
Or they are trying to cut down on the number of cd s. If they are original why do they do it.

OR If I use original cds. And I use mp3 for car audio. should I be converting to flac and store them or use them.

Please any suggestions.

The recommended way to go is:
Buy original CD
For CAR, Rip at 320kbps VBR mp3/wmv/whatever (do the best rip possible, look up for tools etc.)
Burn these to a disc and play in car/store these in your ipod/zen and play through aux-in.

For home, rip to FLAC (lossless compression) and play using your HTPC.
YOu can store the original CD for future usage :)

As far as research has shown, its quite difficult to differentiate between 320kbps mp3 and flac unless you are dogbert :D
Cowon player/5.5G ipods with rockbox can play FLAC's AFAIK. But the point is you really won't need flac in the car (thats just my view).
 

pradski

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Hey bhaskie,

Thanks now I got it.

I got a big job to do now. I am so tired of converting my cds to mp3. And burning invariably for others.

cheers.
 

moserw

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Another doubt sorry, very new to flac. just heard only in this forum.

If I have original CD s. There is no point in doing this right. I convert them to mp3 to use in car. I don't use original in car.

This flac uses less disc space does our car audio s play this type.

And I see many are converting cd s to flac. Is it they are storing for future ?
Or they are trying to cut down on the number of cd s. If they are original why do they do it.

OR If I use original cds. And I use mp3 for car audio. should I be converting to flac and store them or use them.

Please any suggestions.

Hi Pradski,

FLAC is another format like MP3. Instead of converting to .mp3 files are converted to .flac because there is no loss of quality during this conversion. Files are converted to FLAC mainly to play on the system or to save them as backup since these FLAC files can be converted back to an Audio CD later on. FLAC is preferred since it takes less space than .wav files.

For playing in your car there is no need to convert to FLAC. In fact the system in your car will not play .flac files. Most car audio systems will play Audio CD, mp3, wav, and wma formats only. Formats like FLAC will not be supported. Only a PC will have all the codes required to play all formats. Secondly, unless you want audiophile quality and must have Audio CD quality at all times, converting to .flac will not be required. Considering you are already playing mp3 files in your car and seem to be happy with them, there is absolutely no need to convert any of your content into FLAC unless you want to backup your entire music collection on DVDs (both for backup and for saving space) or you have an iPod or other personal media player which plays FLAC and you want to have the best in terms of audio output without any loss/compromise in quality which is what mp3 is to a serious audiophile. Even I have only recently started moving my music collection to FLAC, DTS, etc., only after moving up to a HT System. Prior to that I was perfectly happy with mp3s at 384 kbps.

Ah! The Onkyo has ruined my ears to mp3 now...
 

pradski

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Thanks a lot moser,

Now I understand completely. What is this new DTS you are converting to in audio. Is it the same DTS in audio. Can it be done. any thing interesting to know about it. If so could you please let us know.
 

moserw

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Thanks a lot moser,

Now I understand completely. What is this new DTS you are converting to in audio. Is it the same DTS in audio. Can it be done. any thing interesting to know about it. If so could you please let us know.

Audio CDs, mp3s, etc. play music in 2 channel. Movies on a Home Theater play in 5.1 i.e. 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer. Basically 2 channel music will not sound very good on a 5.1 system. Some modes like the Dolby Pro II Music mode etc. do make mp3s sound good on a 5.1 system. Music that is recorded/encoded/created itself in 5.1/DTS will sound great on a HT System. Very few such albums exist where they are recorded in 5.1/DTS. In fact audiophiles would prefer 2 channel itself since music is not like movies and you don't need music coming from different speakers like when watching a movie. However, some prefer music in 5.1/DTS to play on their 5.1 Home Theater Systems since 2 channel music does not always (actually most of the time) sound good on a 5.1 HT system. So basically I am collecting music that's recorded in DTS i.e. 5.1 so that I can play it on my 5.1 HT System. However, to tell you the truth very little is available in true 5.1. Mostly 2 channel music is upmixed i.e. converted into 5.1 which does not really make much sense since a good AVR will do the same "upmixing" of 2 channel music via 5.1 on your Home Theater System.

Hope this helps...
 

sud98

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While converting WAV files to FLAC what is the amount of space one should expect to save?

I just ripped my 'Rock On' CD to WAV and the size on disk was 417 MB while converting to FLAC it became 262 MB. So is a saving of around 33% fair?

Regards,
Sudhir
 

doors666

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As far as research has shown, its quite difficult to differentiate between 320kbps mp3 and flac unless you are dogbert :D
Cowon player/5.5G ipods with rockbox can play FLAC's AFAIK. But the point is you really won't need flac in the car (thats just my view).

I dont know who did the research. I have tried with 192, 256, 320 etc, and each and every time I am successfully able to tell which is CD and which is mp3. I am not an audiophile and neither do I have a kick ass system or golden ears. Infact, a friend of mine, who probably is the farthest thing from audiophile, was able to spot the mp3s at high bit rates also without any issues. This guy is happy with his 20k onkyo table top crap micro music system.
 

moserw

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Was the ripping done at CBR or at VBR? From personal experience I can say 384 kbps at VBR is very good. I personally have not tested it out myself or had friends test it out personally, but I do have friends who say its not always possible to tell the difference when the rips are at 320 or 384 kbps VBR. Also, you will find enough articles on the internet to support this too.

Personally I can say I am happy to compromise a bit on quality and settle for 384 kbps rips in VBR since more music can be accommodated on a single CD for my car.

Finally, mp3 quality at 128 kbps does suck. It only gets to be decent to good from 192 kbps VBR onwards.
 

bhaskie

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While converting WAV files to FLAC what is the amount of space one should expect to save?

I just ripped my 'Rock On' CD to WAV and the size on disk was 417 MB while converting to FLAC it became 262 MB. So is a saving of around 33% fair?

Regards,
Sudhir

Please use EAC (Exact Audio Copy V0.99) to convert the orig audio CDs to wavs (if you are not doing it alraedy).

libFlac can convert wav's to flac's at 8 compression levels.
For example, a 40MB wav can be converted to 29MB flac (1.3:1) at least compression and 24.5MB flac (1.5:1) at highest compression.
 

bhaskie

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I dont know who did the research. I have tried with 192, 256, 320 etc, and each and every time I am successfully able to tell which is CD and which is mp3. I am not an audiophile and neither do I have a kick ass system or golden ears. Infact, a friend of mine, who probably is the farthest thing from audiophile, was able to spot the mp3s at high bit rates also without any issues. This guy is happy with his 20k onkyo table top crap micro music system.

Well I don't have the exact link but googling will find that out. They ran blind tests with best quality mp3 rips (at 320) and flacs and 50% of the time they failed to differentiate. I tried running the same test with Sennheiser HD280 pro headphones and i failed miserably as well :D

I hope your response is based on using the same system and same application playing a highest quality MP3 (lame) rip and a CD->WAV->FLAC rip.

I am no audiophile, but I dont use mp3's for two reasons - its not free, and i have terabytes of space for flacs :)
 

doors666

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Well I don't have the exact link but googling will find that out. They ran blind tests with best quality mp3 rips (at 320) and flacs and 50% of the time they failed to differentiate. I tried running the same test with Sennheiser HD280 pro headphones and i failed miserably as well :D

I hope your response is based on using the same system and same application playing a highest quality MP3 (lame) rip and a CD->WAV->FLAC rip.

I am no audiophile, but I dont use mp3's for two reasons - its not free, and i have terabytes of space for flacs :)

We didnt try the flac. We played the actual cd versus the mp3 version on a cd in a pioneer dvd player with yamaha amp and B&W 602 spkrs. We only played music which we have heard a lot of time though (dark side of the moon, wish you were here, strange days, led zep 2 and 4, powerslave etc). No new stuff. We could identify the mp3. Tried with some 5-6 cds a few times each. One guy would be randomly playing these and other guy will try to identify (without looking of course:). Worked each time. I specifically remember that some of these were definitely atleast 256 kbps, I think we did test 320 also as far as I can remember. Its been some 6 years since we did it.
 
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