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View Full Version : Why is FLAC supposedly so bad?


Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 12:42 AM
Please give a real answer. If you don't know, don't post, unless you're hijacking the thread with something funny, or you want to argue. That would be funny, but, seriously, don't lie if you don't know. I seek an honest truth.

The Wicker Man
2005-04-15, 12:46 AM
I don't know who told you that, but they are full of shit. It has replaced shn (shorten) as the standard. SHN's are archaic. And it is quicker and more stable than that monkey ape shit.

Just my opinon, but not sure who thinks they are bad. Most bands who offer live shows on their sites offer in flac form.

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 12:47 AM
FLAC = Fucking Lossy Audio Crap

That's why it sucks.

The Wicker Man
2005-04-15, 12:49 AM
FLAC = Fucking Lossy Audio Crap

That's why it sucks.

<Insert head shaking smilie here>

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 12:49 AM
FLAC = Fucking Lossy Audio Crap

That's why it sucks.

Thank you. What specifically in the sound of decompressed pure lineage MD5 equipped files are missing? Is there specific equipment that brings out it fualts, or what?

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 12:51 AM
<Insert head shaking smilie here>

Right over my head.

Thanks,
-The Wicker Man

spiritinaphoto
2005-04-15, 12:55 AM
Yeah, FLAC support these days is much better than that for Shorten. For instance, there are FLAC plugins for pretty much every major media player in Linux, but our only options for Shorten playback are either an XMMS plugin or command-line playback. Since I've never gotten XMMS to compile properly, I'm having to run foobar2000 under Wine to playback Shorten files. I really don't know why there isn't a gstreamer plugin for Shorten.

The only problem with FLACs is that if you use etree's md5check script and some idiot included md5s with their FLAC files, it will check both the md5s and the fingerprints, so it takes twice as long as it should to check the files. This is why you should never include md5s with FLAC files--just include a text file with the fingerprints.

spiritinaphoto
2005-04-15, 12:59 AM
Thank you. What specifically in the sound of decompressed pure lineage MD5 equipped files are missing? Is there specific equipment that brings out it fualts, or what?
Pig is teasing--don't listen to him. This kind of taunting is typical when newbies post a thread in General Discussion that really should have been posted in Technobabble.

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 01:01 AM
Pig is teasing--don't listen to him. This kind of taunting is typical when newbies post a thread in General Discussion that really should have been posted in Technobabble.
Actually, I was taunting Wicker. He's far better game than a newbie.

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 01:02 AM
And that was nice. Thank you. Anyway, so, who is talking about technical stuff? I didn't hear anything.
:imslow:

carlton68
2005-04-15, 01:06 AM
any else think sara is wired

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 01:06 AM
Actually, I was taunting Wicker. He's far better game than a newbie.

OMFG! You're so right. FLAC is pure shiT!!! #@<hidden>$%$#@<hidden>#$@<hidden>#$%!!!!

Thank you.

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 01:10 AM
any else think sara is wired

Weird or wired? I say both. Then again, she lives in Nebraska so that's a certain handicap attached to that one.

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 01:10 AM
any else think sara is wired

Yeah, man. She's like, wired. You know, if you take two wires and plug them into a potato with a really small bulb at the other end, it will light up. And did you know that the wire was invented my ancient mesopotamians who were tired of their grass huts burning down. You see, they took their copper spears and banged out wires long enough to reach the tops which connected to a regular spear-head to make a lightning rod. Speaking of lightning, did you know that it strikes three times in a row?

dorrcoq
2005-04-15, 01:14 AM
Who is this guy? :hmm: I think him and Sara would be a match made in heaven

The Wicker Man
2005-04-15, 01:17 AM
probably someone incognito

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 01:22 AM
Who is this guy? :hmm: I think him and Sara would be a match made in heaven

Fuck.

spiritinaphoto
2005-04-15, 01:23 AM
Who is this guy? :hmm: I think him and Sara would be a match made in heaven
Why? I'm not nearly as much of a space cadet as this guy is.

Oh, and it's 'Sarah' with an 'h'--that's the proper transliteration from the Hebrew origin of the name. Spelling it with out the 'h' is a bastardization.

pigonthewing
2005-04-15, 01:28 AM
Why? I'm not nearly as much of a space cadet as this guy is.

If by that, you mean Hello Kitty fan, then I'm pretty far out myself.

The Wicker Man
2005-04-15, 01:28 AM
Why is a silent H necessary?

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 01:28 AM
Uh, and did you know that the count from Sesame street was a pimp?



"One bitch-slap, mwuhahaha, TWO bitch-slap, mwuhahaha, THREEE bitch slap, mwuhahaha. Three bitch-slaps gets the bitch to give me my money."

This dude at work told me that. It's funnier if you watched alot of sesame street as a kid. Or if you still watch it. Whatever. :cool:

U2Lynne
2005-04-15, 01:29 AM
Thwumpt, I'm moving your thread to Technobabble where you will get a better response.

Thwumpt
2005-04-15, 01:34 AM
Uh, where was I, oh yeah, shns suck. LOL.

Thank you.

Five
2005-04-15, 02:52 AM
I've never heard anybody say FLAC is bad... everybody agrees it's the best. Who told you it's bad? :confused:

rerem
2005-04-15, 05:59 AM
Flacs is good. It's high in fibre and keeps you regular so you don't stay up all night slobbering on your keyboard and fretting about sector boundaries and the relative losslessness of human existance-or whatever. :clap:

ssamadhi97
2005-04-15, 10:51 AM
I really don't know why there isn't a gstreamer plugin for Shorten.
well.
the "official" reference decoder implementation is pretty much un(re)usable.
nobody feels like reimplementing it to create a sane decoder
the foobar plugin is actually based on a somewhat sane independent decoder implementation, but the foo_shn devs are lazy bastards and mostly uninterested in Linux, so they're not going to make a gstreamer plugin anytime soon either (trust me on this one. I know.)
That should cover it..

Uh, where was I, oh yeah, shns suck. LOL.
Yes it does.

Instead of going into a lengthy and unnecessarily technical rant on why that's the case, let me just reiterate: Trust me, it sucks.

I've never heard anybody say FLAC is bad... everybody agrees it's the best.
I disagree. It's not. WavPack is better. :)

Chachi420
2005-04-15, 10:57 AM
Please give a real answer. If you don't know, don't post, unless you're hijacking the thread with something funny, or you want to argue. That would be funny, but, seriously, don't lie if you don't know. I seek an honest truth.
I used to use shn, but I now use flac becasue it seems to compress more than shn. They are both lossless, so not any difference in quality. The change took a long time for me, but one day I realized that flac is the way to go now.

jazzbo
2005-04-15, 03:11 PM
well.
the "official" reference decoder implementation is pretty much un(re)usable.
nobody feels like reimplementing it to create a sane decoder
the foobar plugin is actually based on a somewhat sane independent decoder implementation, but the foo_shn devs are lazy bastards and mostly uninterested in Linux, so they're not going to make a gstreamer plugin anytime soon either (trust me on this one. I know.)
That should cover it..


Well, another big problem with shorten (in the eyes of the gstreamer folks) is the licensing situation which is unclear on modified source distribution and basically forbides commercial usage which makes it difficult to get into a commercial product. So the unfree license keeps it out.

Source for a shorten plugin for gstreamer exists in the CVS sandbox in the gstreamer codetree:
http://cvs.freedesktop.org/gstreamer/gst-sandbox/gst-shorten/ My understanding is that it is largely abandoned, probably because of the reasons you cite above.

dorrcoq
2005-04-15, 03:46 PM
Why? I'm not nearly as much of a space cadet as this guy is.

Oh, and it's 'Sarah' with an 'h'--that's the proper transliteration from the Hebrew origin of the name. Spelling it with out the 'h' is a bastardization.

Typical self-absorbed arrogance - what makes you think I was refering to you? :hmm:

U2Lynne
2005-04-15, 04:04 PM
Typical self-absorbed arrogance - what makes you think I was refering to you? :hmm:
Do we have another Sara, or Sarah, around here? :confused:

dorrcoq
2005-04-15, 05:50 PM
Do we have another Sara, or Sarah, around here? :confused:


You never know. I think that is the name Pig goes by when he picks up extra cash as a tranny hooker.

h_vargas
2005-04-15, 06:43 PM
I disagree. It's not. WavPack is better. :)

i like WavPack better, too, for the record. :D it's the compression method of choice, for all of my transfers.

uhclem
2005-04-15, 10:29 PM
The only problem with FLACs is that if you use etree's md5check script and some idiot included md5s with their FLAC files, it will check both the md5s and the fingerprints, so it takes twice as long as it should to check the files. This is why you should never include md5s with FLAC files--just include a text file with the fingerprints.
One way to deal with this problem is by using a special feature found on most computers called the "Delete" button. :idea:

BassmanRon
2005-04-16, 04:25 AM
Why is a silent H necessary?

Why'd you put the second "s" in "necessary"? Why isn't the "c" an "s" instead, since it sounds that way?

Why does "Wicker" have both the "c" and the "k"? Wouldn't just a "k" be enough?

The answer to all of these questions, including your "Sarah" challenge: That's just how it's spelled.

feralicious
2005-04-16, 01:38 PM
I disagree. It's not. WavPack is better. :)
i like WavPack better, too, for the record. :D it's the compression method of choice, for all of my transfers.Okay... STOP!!! I don't want any new things to learn!!! My brain hurts... :crazy:

I took a peek at WavPack and I think it looks a bit involved, but then I didn't install it, just looked at the website and a few posts about it.

Five
2005-04-16, 02:43 PM
(forgive me...)

What's the advantage to WavPack? Is it supported on portables (like FLAC)? Does it compress smaller (like APE)?

uhclem
2005-04-16, 04:39 PM
What's the advantage to WavPack?
I'm not an expert on this, but here's what I have personally noticed about wavpack that seems to make it as good as, if not better than, flac:

slightly better compression ratio
much faster compression speed
fast seeking
stores wave md5 signature just like flac fingerprint
APE2 tags
full FB2k support


I don't know of any portables that support it, but I don't have a portable so I don't keep up on that area. If I did have a portable, I wouldn't use a lossless format with it anyway.

We should seriously consider allowing the wavpack format here at TTD. Here's the link to the wavpack website: http://www.wavpack.com/

Five
2005-04-16, 07:24 PM
incredible... 32bit float support and audition filter, support for winamp and foobar2000.

This is exactly what I need for multitrack archiving, thanks so much for the tip.

as for allowing it here... what does everybody think?

New Homebrew
2005-04-16, 07:46 PM
No SBE correction on the frontend, sadly.

jazzbo
2005-04-16, 07:54 PM
as for allowing it here... what does everybody think?

One of the things that is unfortunate is that the feature that stores an md5 in the header is an option, and not the default from what I can tell.

I also think if the format was allowed, proof should be required for any torrents that the files are in fact lossless. wavpack is a hybrid format and it is possible to create lossless files. It is even possible to do 'stupid' things with it like create 'lossy' files at 600kbps that are nearly as big as the lossless compressed version, but will unpack differently than the original file. Luckily, it is very easy to check using wvunpack if the file was compressed in a lossless or lossy fashion.

uhclem
2005-04-16, 09:43 PM
No SBE correction on the frontend, sadly.This is true, but FLAC would still be permitted here of course. People who don't know how to use shntool to fix SBEs could stick with FLAC.
One of the things that is unfortunate is that the feature that stores an md5 in the header is an option, and not the default from what I can tell. This is true. I agree that md5 storage should be the default, but it's not. We should probably institute a rule that if you use Wavpack you must either store the md5 checksum or provide a list of the checksums (for situations where people got the files elsewhere and they didn't have the md5 in the metadata).
I also think if the format was allowed, proof should be required for any torrents that the files are in fact lossless. wavpack is a hybrid format and it is possible to create lossless files. It is even possible to do 'stupid' things with it like create 'lossy' files at 600kbps that are nearly as big as the lossless compressed version, but will unpack differently than the original file. Luckily, it is very easy to check using wvunpack if the file was compressed in a lossless or lossy fashion.This shouldn't be a problem since, as you point out, there is a verify function that confirms whether the files are lossless or not. Also, very few people actually use the hybrid format afaik so it's unlikely to appear (but that could change). I agree that a log should be provided showing that the files are lossless.

Both of these situations can be taken care of by providing an output from wvunpack.exe with the -mv argument, which tells wvunpack to calculate the md5 and verify the integrity of the data. This is very similar to the FLAC verify function, but it also shows whether the files are lossless or lossy.

Currently the only downside I can think of is that it appears that shntool no longer works with the newest version of wavpack that just came out (v4.2) (except perhaps by using the 'custom' work-around). Hopefully shntool will be updated in the near future to deal with this.

ssamadhi97
2005-04-16, 10:05 PM
I'm not an expert on this, but here's what I have personally noticed about wavpack that seems to make it as good as, if not better than, flac:
I took the liberty to break your list up little and comment on it :)


slightly better compression ratio

Gotta give it that much.

As for the rest, it's pretty much a tie.

much faster compression speed
APE2 tags

Much faster? No, definitely not in any case. If you let flac operate at its sweet spot (regarding the compression speed / efficiency tradeoff), which is -4, it only takes ~20% longer than WavPack at default settings. Of course at higher settings flac is pretty damn slow :)

Also note that WavPack decodes a bit slower at standard settings - and its decoding speed actually decreases if you use better compression settings (as opposed to FLAC)

As for tagging, FLAC uses VorbisComments for metadata, which are just as powerful as ape2 tags.


fast seeking
stores wave md5 signature just like flac fingerprint
full FB2k support

I'd say it's obviously a tie between wv and flac for these too ;)

I don't know of any portables that support it
There's no hardware support for WavPack whatsoever.

As for other pros/cons and supported platforms, check this out:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison


Generally both FLAC and WavPack are feature-rich and widely supported formats. Personally I see nearly no reason why only one should be allowed here.

Of course, despite being an excellent format it's not very well known among consumers yet, meaning that we'll probably see quite a lot of "omg wtf how do I play wv files?" posts here after introducing wv to the masses.

But I'm all for supporting it, wv sure deserves to be more well-known. :)

ssamadhi97
2005-04-16, 10:34 PM
I also think if the format was allowed, proof should be required for any torrents that the files are in fact lossless. wavpack is a hybrid format and it is possible to create lossless files. It is even possible to do 'stupid' things with it like create 'lossy' files at 600kbps that are nearly as big as the lossless compressed version, but will unpack differently than the original file. Luckily, it is very easy to check using wvunpack if the file was compressed in a lossless or lossy fashion.
And guess what, same applies to Shorten :lol Yes, indeed, Shorten does have lossy compression modes.

jazzbo
2005-04-16, 11:24 PM
Currently the only downside I can think of is that it appears that shntool no longer works with the newest version of wavpack that just came out (v4.2) (except perhaps by using the 'custom' work-around). Hopefully shntool will be updated in the near future to deal with this.

Good to know this, kinda :) I thought it was just my config that I couldn't get working with shntool and wavpack. I was going to use it to cross check the md5 support while I was checking the options with it.

uhclem
2005-04-17, 01:04 AM
I did some testing and shntool is able to produce output in wv format using the new wavpack.exe, but it's no longer able to handle input from wv files using the new wvunpack.exe.

uhclem
2005-04-17, 01:26 AM
ssamadhi - I was counting tags, seeking, fingerprints & fb2k support in my 'as good as' category since flac is obviously excellent in those departments. I was lazy and didn't make that very clear though. :(

As for speed, I was thinking in terms of FLAC level 8 vs. Wavpack -h. Wavpack can produce significantly smaller files much faster than FLAC. I would agree that at FLAC level 4, FLAC is pretty fast though. But for that matter, shorten is pretty fast at what it does ;)

As for decompression speed, it appears from the wavpack documentation that the -x switch will produce files that decompress faster in the same manner as FLAC files (albeit at the cost of much slower compression, rendering the two formats a virtual tie). I have not experimented with that switch, however, so maybe I misread that.

Thanks for the link to the hydrogenaudio wiki - very handy. :thumbsup

h_vargas
2005-04-17, 02:23 AM
Okay... STOP!!! I don't want any new things to learn!!! My brain hurts... :crazy:

I took a peek at WavPack and I think it looks a bit involved, but then I didn't install it, just looked at the website and a few posts about it.

lol, sorry, feralicious. i've been using WavPack for the last 2 years+... great stuff.

one *possible* advantage, or feature, of WavPack over other formats IMO is the option of being able to create SFX (Self-Extracting Files) of WAV files. this feature alone (aside from the 32-bit float compression) is invaluable to me... after i do a transfer, i create an MD5 or SFV file of the original WAV file, then compress it to SFX format.

this is a good feature because the WAV file is packed into a Self-Extracting file... meaning, even someone who does NOT have WavPack installed can extract the WAV file. it's also good because - heaven forbid - it guarantees future compatibility with any M$ O/S, i.e. any M$ O/S is sure to be able to run an .EXE file (and hence, it would decompress/unpack the WAV file).

so, assuming the media i archive my transfers to has any decent longevity, in 7 years when Windows 2012 is out, i can still extract my transferred archives regardless of whether or not WavPack or FLAC or SHN were compatible with W2012 or not. (i would think FLAC will be, but you never know. i pretty much doubt SHN will be, but perhaps it may... but by having SFX files, i'm not taking any chances.)

btw, another feature i like in WavPack is the hybrid mode... this way, you can get what is equivalent to a "high quality" (320 kbps) MP3 fairly quickly in a download, and then grab the additional file to unpack the *lossless* WAV file (which is identical to the original WAV file pre-compression). very cool stuff.

oh, and feralicious - i thought new programs/techie stuff was up your alley... you being a "geek girl" and all. :lol but seriously, WavPack is easy to use, especially with the Frontend.

word to the WavPack.

Five
2005-04-17, 02:54 AM
It's also supported by Monkey's Audio frontend right out of the box. I've got to spend some time playing with this format...

ssamadhi97
2005-04-17, 08:14 AM
ssamadhi - I was counting tags, seeking, fingerprints & fb2k support in my 'as good as' category since flac is obviously excellent in those departments. I was lazy and didn't make that very clear though. :(
Yea I know (and knew) what you were getting at, it's just that when reading that introduction of yours one would think that wv wins a considerable amount of the points you list subsequently. Had to defend poor flac :)

As for speed, I was thinking in terms of FLAC level 8 vs. Wavpack -h. Wavpack can produce significantly smaller files much faster than FLAC. I would agree that at FLAC level 4, FLAC is pretty fast though. But for that matter, shorten is pretty fast at what it does ;)
Using flac at level 8 is a waste of cpu cycles imo. Compared to 7 or even 6 you only win maybe 1-5(-10?) kbps, at the expense of an insane encoding time.

Check out the lossless codec comparisons linked to from the HA wiki, they have some nice stats and graphs on compression and decompression speed. The WavPack stats might be outdated on several of them, but other than that you can draw some interesting conclusions. For example this page (http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/All.htm) is one indicator for me that using flac at levels above 4 or 5 is not too sensible unless you need to squeeze that last bit onto a medium.

Oh yes, as you can see Shorten is still faster than wv and flac at these levels - and considerably less efficient.

pmonk
2005-04-17, 10:45 PM
Certainly a nice format but the commands seem like French to me.

Without the frontend of batchenc I would neve figure it out!

Now I know you can create md5 using the option -m and you can verify as well but is there a way to create an md5 text like you can do with shntool and flac fingerprints?

jcrab66
2005-04-17, 11:20 PM
flac is not bad, its good. What is bad are stupid posts from people just trying to stir up shit....

uhclem
2005-04-22, 01:17 PM
it's also good because - heaven forbid - it guarantees future compatibility with any M$ O/S, i.e. any M$ O/S is sure to be able to run an .EXE file (and hence, it would decompress/unpack the WAV file).

so, assuming the media i archive my transfers to has any decent longevity, in 7 years when Windows 2012 is out, i can still extract my transferred archives regardless of whether or not WavPack or FLAC or SHN were compatible with W2012 or not.
Although I am in 100% agreement with vargas that wavpack is a great format, I disagree that the SFX feature of wavpack will somehow make it more compatible with future operating systems.

When you create an SFX file, a little bit of executable code is added to the file that, when executed, decompresses the file to PCM Wave format. That's all fine and dandy, and very useful for distributing files to people who don't have any wavpack software and can't be bothered to install any. BUT the code attached to the SFX file is basically the same code as found in the wvunpack Windows binary. If you switch to an OS that can't run the wvunpack Windows binary, it won't be able to run the code in the SFX file either. In short, there is no advantage, with respect to archiving and future OS compatibility, in using the SFX feature versus just using the wvunpack binary. If you archive SFX files you are kidding yourself and just wasting bits.