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What does lossless mean?

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Initial post: 2 Apr 2012 16:47:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Apr 2012 16:49:30 BDT
Mandryka says:
On another thread (about VBR and CBR) I read from A R Long:

" I don't use FLAC for ripping cds as it can be quite limiting. . . Classical music ripped from cds deserves the WAV 2770kbps 96khz 'rip' to bring out the full flavour and nuances. If you like Herbert Von Karajans 1966 version of Debussys 'La Mer' on D.G, rip the cd twice - once in FLAC then once in WAV lossless - and enjoy listening to it twice and I'll wager you'll never go back to FLAC. "

Is it true that FLAC doesn't sound as good as WAV? If I download a FLAC file from DG's Website, will it not sound the same as the CD?

Posted on 2 Apr 2012 16:59:04 BDT
D. Evans says:
It's a load of nonsense....

FLAC is like ZIP compression - when you replay the track, you get EXACTLY the same data as the original CD (and the same that you'd get from a WAV) - except it takes up less space.

When you compress a Word doc using ZIP, you don't lose anything do you? And neither do you with FLAC.

And as for ripping at 96Khz etc - why? When the source isn't at that quality, what will it "add"? Nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2012 17:01:27 BDT
Arne Sande says:
The L in FLAC actually means lossless, that is kind of the point, you do not lose ANYTHING in a lossless codec.

Posted on 3 Apr 2012 17:17:45 BDT
If you rip a CD encoding into FLAC you can only get the data that was on the disc. There is no secret layer hiding a 24 bit/96khz or 192khz master which will be unlocked by ripping twice. I will go along with what Smitty said on the other thread that ripping twice might reduce errors but I guess it depends on how good your ripping hardware and software is. If you want fewer errors then you need to start off with a SHM/blu-spec disc and not the standard cr*p that music industry moguls think it fit to serve us.

Contrary to what has been asserted FLAC can offer superior sound to .Wav files. linnrecords is highly regarded by audiophiles and their top products are Studio Master FLAC or WMA files (the latter is limited to 96khz max). See:

Again it depends on the original recording. I personally have not noticed a great deal of difference between a .flac and .wav file ripped from the early CD releases, i.e. analogue to digital transfers. And if you have a bad remastered release, then it will sound bad in whatever format. However, a modern release that is produced for and available as a FLAC download (at CD quality) will to my ears sound better than the CD version ripped to .wav especially when played on modern medium to hi-end equipment. Music produced in FLAC gives the impression of a wider sound stage.

PS. Some people seeing that a track can be encoded to FLAC in various file sizes talk about differing sound quality. FLAC isn't like mp3 you don't loose anything with a smaller file size, it is still lossless. All it means is the playback software has to work harder with the more compressed file. Well thats the way I understand it.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 14:23:35 BDT
Trevsuki says:
"Contrary to what has been asserted FLAC can offer superior sound to .Wav files."

Erm, no. FLAC is just the compression of raw PCM data in this case - which is what wave is, and what CDs use. You can't beat raw data in audio, video, or anything so it's utterly impossible for FLAC to surpass it - it can only be as good as the source. If the source isn't pcm data, then you're basically arguing that something superior to pcm is better than pcm... kind of pointless don't you think?

The only reason Linn use FLAC is because of the size of raw data - no one wants to download a raw 24/192 file when it can be just as good in FLAC for 1/10th the size.
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Discussion in:  mp3 discussion forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  5
Initial post:  2 Apr 2012
Latest post:  9 Apr 2012

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