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FLAC 1.4 Released With AArch64 Optimizations, Faster x86_64 FMA

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  • FLAC 1.4 Released With AArch64 Optimizations, Faster x86_64 FMA

    Phoronix: FLAC 1.4 Released With AArch64 Optimizations, Faster x86_64 FMA

    FLAC 1.4 was released on Friday as the "Free Lossless Audio Codec" that is known for its great, no-cost lossless compression for digital audio...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/FLAC-1.4-Released

  • #2
    Thanks, would be nice to compare 1.4 vs. 1.3.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cl333r
      A little rant - imho 90-99% of users of flac (or other such formats) don't really need it, I used to keep .flac files around but lately I transcode any flac to opus (256 KiB) and it takes 3-4 times less space without any noticeable loss in quality.
      Well, I didn't convert them and hence they take the same space without any noticeable loss of free storage capacity.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cl333r
        A little rant - imho 90-99% of users of flac (or other such formats) don't really need it, I used to keep .flac files around but lately I transcode any flac to opus (256 KiB) and it takes 3-4 times less space without any noticeable loss in quality.
        Of course lossy formats take less space without noticeable difference, that's the point. However if you want archival quality, lossless is the only way to go. If you ever want to change to another format you will have to get lossless tracks all over again or lose even more quality in the conversion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cl333r
          A little rant - imho 90-99% of users of flac (or other such formats) don't really need it, I used to keep .flac files around but lately I transcode any flac to opus (256 KiB) and it takes 3-4 times less space without any noticeable loss in quality.
          Lossless: Good for archiving content used in production (lossy is a huge no-no here)
          Lossy: Good for end consumer (transparent if done right, but suffers noticeable generation loss if re-encoded several times)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cl333r
            A little rant - imho 90-99% of users of flac (or other such formats) don't really need it, I used to keep .flac files around but lately I transcode any flac to opus (256 KiB) and it takes 3-4 times less space without any noticeable loss in quality.
            Music isn't that big on modern devices, so its not much of a loss unless you want to carry a really huge library.

            I can't speak to Opus transparency. I did do a blind test with MP3 and AAC awhile back, and found that the "density" of the music does seem to affect its lossy compressability, just as it does for flac compression (where busier genres end up at higher bitrates).

            It would be nice if Opus, AAC and such targeted a level of quality instead of a bitrate, like video codecs do.

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            • #7
              Since we talk about sound quality, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I was a bit into high end audio gear mainly around 2016 and I bought myself a USB DAC with heaphone AMP and open back headphones. After some time I realized that the biggest factor that affects sound quality more than anything else is simply the gear used in the studio. For example, if you're interested, there is a label called Stockfisch Records and the sound quality of music from that label is simply unmatched by anything else. Everything from that label sounds full bodied with the smallest details heard if you have a decent audio gear. I mean even on a low end audio gear you can tell the difference in sound quality of that label compared to anything else. Compared to Stockfisch Records, almost everything else sounds very thin and unexciting, even if you have a high end audio gear. And that's the unfortunate truth regarding the music industry. Almost everything sounds thin, unexciting, loud and the vast majority of people don't care about sound quality, so of course the studios are going to use cheap gear. In that case, it doesn't even matter if the music is in losless or lossy format.

              But when it comes to losless and lossy formats, I think it depends on the conversion quality. For example you can have high quality 320kbps MP3's with which you'll probably not hear a difference to losless formats, but if the conversion quality is low, then the difference will be noticeable.

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              • #8
                32-bit will be a nice option for working with audio tracks natively recorded at that bit rate, saving considerable space over WAV recordings. As Brisse described, a human can't tell the difference with 'lesser' encoding on a single pass - but artifacts begin to add up when additional filter processes are added into those tracks.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by user1 View Post
                  Since we talk about sound quality, I thought I'd share my thoughts. I was a bit into high end audio gear mainly around 2016 and I bought myself a USB DAC with heaphone AMP and open back headphones. After some time I realized that the biggest factor that affects sound quality more than anything else is simply the gear used in the studio.... And that's the unfortunate truth regarding the music industry. Almost everything sounds thin, unexciting, loud and the vast majority of people don't care about sound quality, so of course the studios are going to use cheap gear. In that case, it doesn't even matter if the music is in lossless or lossy format.

                  But when it comes to losless and lossy formats, I think it depends on the conversion quality. For example you can have high quality 320kbps MP3's with which you'll probably not hear a difference to losless formats, but if the conversion quality is low, then the difference will be noticeable.
                  I agree with your first paragraph, and note that the first step in maintaining 'exciting' acoustic sound quality beings at the microphones. But I disagree with your characterization of MP3 as an adequate format for finicky end users; even in old age, my own ears (worn out with lots of pro music-making) can tell the difference between MP3 and versus Opus 'lossy' conversion at their highest bit rates. For my own use (even in the car, where my audio files must be subjected to a TON of compression) MP3 @ 320 kb sounds lifeless, compared to FLAC. My auto head unit doesn't understand OPUS.

                  Opus versus lossless FLAC? As and 'endpoint' consumer, I can no longer hear any difference, and I feel that Opus 256kbps for each channel can't be disntinguished from wav originals, and I love listening to OPUS Internet radio stations. As a producer, I have preferred to stay with WAV all the way through - but 32-bit FLAC at least becomes a possible 'intermediate' storage format for tracks from 32-bit consoles, even if 96k and 48k masters will possibly still deserve to be kept as WAV files until the end.

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                  • #10
                    I have a large music library of flac files. I know that I probably can't hear the difference between flac and the highest bit-rate MP3 or Opus, but this doesn't matter to me. Storage is relatively cheap, and I like flac for archival purposes.

                    Although, as a consumer and not a producer, CD-quality is good enough for me.

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