Please report "faux" hirez (sourced from regular 16/44) files here

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werd

What player are you using, and in what system, the main rig or a desktop/portable or secondary system?  I would recommend keeping everything in FLAC for archiving/storage at least!  Why?  Smaller files and good tagging support.  But...I personally hear sonic differences between FLAC and wav, and it pisses me off...cuz there are supposed to be none (topic of another thread), they are the same at the receiving end once FLAC is decoded.  So, for me, the complete bs hassle of tagging in iTunes, etc for my main rig (I don't play in itunes, I just use it for library management, I play in Pure Music or Amarra, both of which use iTunes library) is somewhat worth it.  But if you don't hear the differences (and there should be none, and most folks don't hear a diff) then convert to any other lossless format that your player is comfortable with.  If the player is comfortable with FLAC, then keep it in FLAC.

Oh oh, i am using a bdp into a bda. I like flac since it gives me more room on my usb sticks but i should probably do a back to back and see.  What program do you use to get from flac to wave?

ted_b

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I use DBPoweramp.  PM me or create a thread with any other thoughts, cuz we need to get this thread back on topic.  :)

Mike Nomad

Mike, No offense but that's not true, and not normal useage.  Your use of the terms lossless and lossy are incorrect. Lossless does NOT mean master tape quality.  It simply means those formats that do not lose resolution or musical information in their conversion.  They include wav, aiff, FLAC, Apple Lossless, monkeys audio, ogg vorbis to name a few.  They can be ANY sample rate, such as cd/redbook.  Lossy means lost musical information or resolution and includes the family of Mp3, Dolby digital, DTS core and AAC.

The issue with Rhino is NOT the term lossless, but the term hidef when all they are selling is lossless redbook.  Hidef infers higher than redbook.

Hey Ted,

I'll agree that we disagree (but I think we're saying pretty much same thing two different ways)...

Lossless does not _necessarily_ mean master tape quality. Referring back to my earlier post, I'll put it another way: If the highest resolution digital recording currently available was Redbook, and Rhino tells me they are selling lossless copies of a particular release, then I expect I am getting a lossless copy of their lossless _digital_ master.

However, Redbook is no longer the digital be-all-end-all. There are other, higher resolution formats / bit-rates available. At this point, Redbook becomes a lossy format, because we can compare it against higher-resolution recordings, and hear a difference.

Rhino's use of the term "high resolution" is downright laughable. Their use of "lossless" is, I feel, misleading. They do not mention _anywhere_ on the dead.net site (unless they have made a change since my original go-round with them last year) the source for the FLAC files.

If Rhino would come clean on the FLAC file source(s) they definitely put themselves in a corner on the issue of "high resolution." They don't even have consistent language use for the same releases (Grateful Dead) across two different website that (as far as I know) they are responsible for transactions: rhino.com & dead.net. Nice touch on the rhino site, where they put Lossless in quotes...

I'm getting spun up. Stopping here to keep from getting more bitchy.

Peace, Ted.

Mike


rbbert

"Lossy" in a digital sense means that the original data cannot be recovered after the encode/decode process.  MP3, AAC, Dolby Digital, etc. all have this property.

OTOH, FLAC, wav, ALAC, etc.  all retain transparency in the encode/decode process no matter how many times it is repeated, so they are "lossless" regardless of the original data density (even if it's 14 bit/ 32 kHz sampling, e.g.)

I'm not sure where "hi def" starts?  Is it 24/44.1, like the Beatles, and like much (or even most) current pop/rock recording?  24/88.2?  It's certainly all better than redbook CD.

Geardaddy

...I personally hear sonic differences between FLAC and wav, and it pisses me off...cuz there are supposed to be none

I have one experiments comparing Apple lossless to AIFF and AIFF sounds better (this was after having my 700+ CD library converted to lossless!).  I think Soundkeeper Barry and his friends did some experiments and were consistently able to identify the lossless formats vs AIFF.

Nomad, Ted is right on the lossless nomenclature. 

rbbert

...I personally hear sonic differences between FLAC and wav, and it pisses me off...cuz there are supposed to be none (topic of another thread), they are the same at the receiving end once FLAC is decoded. 

I don't know about "supposed to be none" in real time playback.  There are "supposed to be none" during the encode/decode cycle, i.e. wav in -> identical wav out.   

Mike Nomad

I have one experiments comparing Apple lossless to AIFF and AIFF sounds better (this was after having my 700+ CD library converted to lossless!).  I think Soundkeeper Barry and his friends did some experiments and were consistently able to identify the lossless formats vs AIFF.

Nomad, Ted is right on the lossless nomenclature.

Hey GD,

I'm being unsuccessful on trying to get across the point I was trying to make, so, I fold. Sometimes the language, in print, fails me. Or I fail it. Eh, all is good.

I found your Apple Lossless vs. AIFF observation interesting: I did the same thing when the iPod Shuffle came out. I was _very_ disappointed in the Apple Lossless files. Every once in a while, I'll encode something that way for comparison: It is still not ready for prime time. The biggest problem (for me) still seems to be on transients. Sounds just like a noise gate / limiter / etc. with noticeable lag.

Geardaddy

Mike, I understood what you were trying to say, but Ted broadened the nomenclature beyond audiophilia.  But who knows...print is irritating in its limitations.

You are exactly right with your description of Lossless.  My computer nerd friends had nothing but derision for this observation since "bits are bits" and all the "information" is there.  Phooey.  I blinded my wife who is a musician and has great ears, and she heard the difference with 100% accuracy.  I believe Barry and his engineering buddies had a similar success rate in discerning the two. 

I cannot speak for wav versus FLAC.  I have read mixed things. 

ted_b

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Redbook (aka cd, 16 bit/44.1khz) and hirez (greater than redbook, usually considered hirez if 24 bit...being general here) BOTH require a lossless format to store them in, so as not to lose quality.  Those lossless formats can be either compressed (for storage savings, and include FLAC and Apple Lossless as the most popular, but also include Ogg Vorbis, etc) or uncompressed PCM (wav and aiff are the most often thought of here and are the standards by which we know computer audio files). 

If a format/container is NOT lossless, it is therefore lossy, i.e it has lost musical information in order to save huge space, never to be retrieved/reconstructed again.  In that case, the above two examples (redbook and hirez), if converted to lossy, are no longer bit perfect, no longer lossless (even if MP3 is converted later to FLAC, the damage is already done).  Lossy formats, like MP3 and Appple's AAAC have their place, but their place is wayyy too large in our musical world right now.  MP3 and AAC are everywhere.  The teens and 20 somethings of the world have been raised on lossy formats.

So, can FLAC contain lossy information?  Sure, if someone took their 192kbps iTunes lossy download and converted it to FLAC.  FLAC lost nothing (remember, it's lossless) but was given a fraction of the music to begin with, so the damage is done, never to be reconstituted.

The object of this thread was never to worry about something as low quality as lossy... the object of my thread is to report when standard lossless redbook is trying to be represented as 24 bit hirez.  Just because you upconvert 16/44 music to 24/96 does not make it hirez.  We call that "faux" hirez and are out to police the download sites to make sure the higher selling prices of hirez don't tempt companies to try and resell redbook (still lossless) as anything more than what it is, great stuff but not hirez.  The Rhino fiasco is an anomaly...they aren't trying to upconvert redbook to 24 bit and sell it...they are calling redbook "hidef"!!!  Confusing, introduces a new term that the download public thinks is "hirez", and..oh, wrong!

Soo...let's please get back to the subject of reporting 24 bit files with 16 bit DNA.  Thanks.   :thumb:

GarfL

A candidate for discussion, Talking Heads, True Stories from HDTracks

Love for Sale:









ted_b

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GarfL,
Thanks.  We discussed this album specifically on CA awhile back.  Sorry you didn't see it.

Yes, it looks very much like a redbook upsample!!

Mike Nomad

Didn't know there was any movement on this thread... I nominate both HDtracks versions of the SRV/Albert King record In Session. Graphs found on this other thread:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=91193.msg1007415#msg1007415

@ Ted: Given the tenor of comment, etc. here, would merging the content of the thread above into this one make sense? The intent of the other one hasn't been realized.

griff2

What player are you using, and in what system, the main rig or a desktop/portable or secondary system?  I would recommend keeping everything in FLAC for archiving/storage at least!  Why?  Smaller files and good tagging support.  But...I personally hear sonic differences between FLAC and wav, and it pisses me off...cuz there are supposed to be none (topic of another thread), they are the same at the receiving end once FLAC is decoded.  So, for me, the complete bs hassle of tagging in iTunes, etc for my main rig (I don't play in itunes, I just use it for library management, I play in Pure Music or Amarra, both of which use iTunes library) is somewhat worth it.  But if you don't hear the differences (and there should be none, and most folks don't hear a diff) then convert to any other lossless format that your player is comfortable with.  If the player is comfortable with FLAC, then keep it in FLAC.

My own take on this is there is no difference in quality between formats.  However, there is a big difference in the quality of the codecs.  Also the quality of the software decoders on the playback device can favour one format over another, ie I have a Squeezebox Touch that sounds better with wav than flac (which may be down to the extra processing overhead), whereas my Popcorn Hour A200 sounds better with flac than wav (and sounds better overall than the Squeezebox, but that's another story).

Archimago

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Although it's impossible to verify if 16-bit sources were used, on many SACD's, I believe the source was 44kHz simply by looking at the severe brick walling of high-frequency content when the SACD's are ripped and converted to PCM.

Notable examples:
- All the Dead Can Dance SACD's from MFSL
- Beoga - Live At Stockfisch Studios
- Eugene Ruffolo - Even Santa Gets The Blues

I find it bizarre because these are supposed to be 'audiophile' releases. Examples such as these really make me question the value of SACD unless source material can be verified.

For the record, these recordings do still sound excellent.

wayneoh

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report any download sites or sources that purport to have HiRez files but are actually just upconverted 16/44 (found out through sneaker net, web info, etc.).

Ted, can you elaborate more specifically on how one can determine if a purported HiRez file is just an upconvert? I don't understand what you mean by "found out through sneaker net, web info, etc."

Archimago

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I have a page on this...

http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/07/list-suspected-44-or-48khz-pcm.html

Lots of faux SACDs out there folks.

ted_b

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I have a page on this...

http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/07/list-suspected-44-or-48khz-pcm.html

Lots of faux SACDs out there folks.

Thanks.  I have a slightly different take on "faux" since it implies duping, but whatever.  Of the 7800 or so SACDs out there only about 3500 are either DSD recorded or analog-to-DSD mastered, the rest are PCM-based.  If these SACDs are the only way we can hear hirez to-date, and of course they are not native DSD recordings but instead take their source from PCM masters, then there is really no duping going on (unless the SACD is saying its natively recorded DSD, or is taken from literally a redbook cd source like the first Norah Jones CAWM SACD).  Add on to that any multichannel content (like BIS and their 44k sourced stuff) and you have a unique product of some value.  And Robert (BIS) is totally transparent about it and now offering those as 44k PCM downloads.    But thanks, cuz it's good to know provenance, regardless.

Russtafarian

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Quote
I have a page on this...

http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2013/07/list-suspected-44-or-48khz-pcm.html

Lots of faux SACDs out there folks.

Do you have some spectrum snapshot examples of valid analog to DSD transfers and native DSD recordings?  I'd like to see how their spectrum profile differs from the 44/48 examples you posted. 

Russ

RDavidson

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The object of this thread was never to worry about something as low quality as lossy... the object of my thread is to report when standard lossless redbook is trying to be represented as 24 bit hirez.  Just because you upconvert 16/44 music to 24/96 does not make it hirez.  We call that "faux" hirez and are out to police the download sites to make sure the higher selling prices of hirez don't tempt companies to try and resell redbook (still lossless) as anything more than what it is, great stuff but not hirez.  The Rhino fiasco is an anomaly...they aren't trying to upconvert redbook to 24 bit and sell it...they are calling redbook "hidef"!!!  Confusing, introduces a new term that the download public thinks is "hirez", and..oh, wrong!

Soo...let's please get back to the subject of reporting 24 bit files with 16 bit DNA.  Thanks.   :thumb:

Yup. EXACTLY! Same thing happens with digital photography. One can take a high res photo, which would have 100% of all information that makes the photo (color, contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc. etc.). Now let's say that person needs to reduce the size of the picture for easy/quick viewing on the web, so he reduces the size (resolution) by 50% and posts it somewhere. So 50% of the photo information is gone. When someone else then downloads this photo from the web in its 50% reduced file size, it will never look as good as the original 100% photo, EVER. One can take the 50% file and increase the resolution in Photoshop as much as they want. The problem is, all this is doing is taking the lower resolution file and chopping it into finer pieces. That's all. Nothing more. Once a file's resolution is dropped, there's absolutely ZERO way of getting the original information back. So those out there who are selling hi res downloadable music by merely taking CD rips and chopping them up into finer pieces (ie making them 24/96 or whatever) are scamming you. Again, just because the bits are finer, they're no better quality than the CD rip they came from EVER. What you want is that original file in its 100% resolution state, not its reduced then reconstituted 50% state.