I didn’t want to throw this into the Ott Mir review thread, but I did notice on Ott’s website that he hates not only MP3s (ok), but vinyl (I get it) and CDs as well (huh?)! I know there are some really techie people on this forum, so here’s a few questions for you to kick around;
What is a FLAC, why is it half the size of a WAV if it’s better, and how can I play them on my Mac?
Would a musician like Ott be working in a much higher resolution than your standard 44.1 khz CD, would we really be able to hear the difference, and if so, what would it sound like?
WAVs are the source audio (known as lossless quality). It’s the audio quality Ott works with in the studio.
Basically, you hear exactly what he hears in the studio. Super high quality.
Wavs are HUGE in file size though. (roughly 10mb per minute of audio)
Mp3s take the wav audio and “compress” the data bitrate, and remove what are considered “unnecessary frequencies” (this is known as a ‘lossy’ encoding).
This makes for a smaller file size, but you’re missing the clarity and fullness of WAV.
FLACs are basically a way of compacting and compressing a WAV file using special algorithms.
It reduces the filesize, but maintains the lossless quality of wav.
I can absolutely hear the difference between flac/wav and mp3s…
mp3s sound…‘confined’, ‘squashed’, and ‘blocky’ to my ears. If that makes any sense…
I guess CDs are more of a hassle these days to people with Ipods, computers, and whatnot.
By burning the WAV files to CD, then distributing it, the record company is just leaving room for mechanical error on the listeners part.
By direct downloading the wav, you bypass all of this “hassle” or potential for “mechanical error”.
Also, as was mentioned in the other thread, CDs just get ripped, then piled on a shelf.
Seems like a waste…
i’ve always been a doubter when it comes to lossless audio, partly because i’ve never owned a decent sound system, and partly because i think that compression technologies are getting better all the time.
now that i have a decent system, i think it’s time to give lossless a proper go.
luckily the download link from the email still works, so i can download the album again in lossless format (thanks ott!). i’m very curious to see if i notice a difference.
I’m not a techie at all but all I will say is that I’m one of the very very few who still buy cd’s and appreciate them and always use them. The reason being that over the last 22 years I have built a hi end hifi which cost alot of money so I like to enjoy the production in it’s full glory and with stuff like Ott, Shpongle etc there is so much detail in there. I don’t mind the storage aspect either and prefer a solid copy to keep.
People forget that the technology has developed so much now not only in how much info you can get off a cd from improved technology but also with pre, power amps, cabling, speakers and mastering in the studios. However it’s a bad time for the industry, hi end is still solid but the prices have gone up but the budget to mid category is dead as so many settle for stuff I wouldn’t even pass as decent quality such as ipod etc but that’s the trend and due to the economic climate it will continue. Even hi end speaker manufactures now such as B & W make docking stations, even Krell made one a few years back.
WAV and FLAC is ok but I can’t be bothered with burning it to cd and printing off the covers all the time and the only time I use my mp3 player is when I go on holiday. Sitting in front of my computers speakers isn’t much of an experience either..
Totally agree with you, and how a marketer can add that the distribution of music without a loss through your site byloby good positioning of the studio and a good response to the stolen albums shpongle4 and YB3
I hope that in the future when you buy a CD (which contains the WAVs), you’ll also get some sort of download code to get FLAC files. For now, I’m using mp3 @ 320kbps, mainly because my hard drive is limited to 1TB and it’s not for music only.
Hard drive technology, mainly flash memory is developing constantly, so apparently in few years we’ll have something like 100 TB to fill on our external devices. Then I’ll be happy to use FLAC files. At the moment I haven’t got a very good sound system either, so using FLAC would be rather pointless. We’ll have those +100gb FLASH MEMORY personal media players soon, too.
With all those lossless audio files and such, I’d still like to buy and own CDs. Especially with music that contains some themes exposed with lyrics or art in the booklet, the first time you listen the album, going through the booklet is just something special. I really noticed that with Moonsorrow’s new album (which doesn’t really belong to these forums).
For those of you with high end sound systems, WAV or FLAC is the best way to go.
For the rest of us listening to music on an ipod, wouldn’t you agree that MP3 LAME @ VBR -2 is realistically the best you can do? I usually start out with FLAC or WAV, then transcode to VBR using Foobar 2000. For the majority of my music I used VBR -2, however with Twisted releases I like to use VBR -0 just to be sure, however I doubt that it would be a noticeable improvement from -2 given that I’m using an ipod and the standard ipod headphones.
Have any of you read recent double-blind tests? The ones I read from a few years ago concluded that MP3 LAME VBR -2 is pretty much perceptual transparency for the majority of listeners. Does this hold up?
Thanks for the info everyone! So what I’m hearing is that the CD is basically a storage device, it holds the full value of the music as a WAV, but it may be diminished by lousy machines. Ok. MP3, I think even I can hear it’s not quite party quality. What TryptamineDream proposed is over my head, but in that scenario, don’t you have to start with high quality audio in the beginning?
I guess I have the space on my computer and my sound system is slightly better than your typical user’s (however much more pederstrian than my dad’s hi-fi with its glowing tubes and pile of little machines- but he only listens to R&B and Jazz, sometimes at 78 rpm!). I think I’ll get the ALAC. Ok, for sure, if Ott tells me to do something, I’m ‘a gonna do it.
Jahful…I guess I’m the 1% who buy cd’s and use them as I have a decent player, I think most people would be suprised how good ‘kit’ is these days but as mentioned mp3 players/computers are the trend.
Ott…Good point about cassette and dispite being an audiophile I still have alot of them from 20-25 years which have early mixes on, these then get burnt to cd in which I don’t question the sound quality so it’s probably just what you get use to over time.
I still buy CDs because it makes me feel like I actually bought the album. It’s great however that more and more sites are offering WAV or FLAC, and I reckon I’ll succomb and leave the CD behind eventually.
The best thing about digital distribution in my opinion is that the limitations of physical formats disappear and the possibility of releasing an album in the quality with which it was recorded. So I hope that the next Ott album will be available in 24-bit and perhaps even @ 96 kHz.