Flac files using too much hard drive space?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by summersdance, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. summersdance

    summersdance
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    I've just bought a new 'all-in-one' touchscreen pc and i'm using it as a juke box. I have a problem though, when i upload my cd's to flac files (using eac) they seem to be taking up far too much hard drive space. After 90 CD's it has used 34.9GB! Anybody know what i could be doing wrong? They are definitely flac files and not wav.
     
  2. andy1249

    andy1249
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    A CD can be up to 700MB , wav files will come out the same size as they are on the CD and flac will give approx 50% compression.

    So , at 700MB for each CD ( worst case ) that would mean approx 63 GB for 90 CD's , and half that would be around the 30GB mark , so what your seeing is correct.

    If you have a lot of CD's then you need to be looking at network accessible external storage such as a NAS or other similar device. Storage space is cheap these days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  3. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    The alternative is high bitrate MP3 files. I use V0 VBR and unless you have a particularly excellent setup, it is hard for the most part to be able to tell the difference.

    But if I could do it all again, I'd do FLAC!

    Out of interest, for your touch-screen solution, what software are you using for the jukebox?
     
  4. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Dont agree with that at all , any decent entry level setup can clearly distinguish between lossy and compressed and the data is all over the net to back this up.

    A particularly good article is here ,

    MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD | Stereophile.com

    I re-ripped thousands of CD's ( From MP3 lame VBR0 ) because of the blindingly obvious difference , that took months and wasn't something I wanted to do , but the simple fact is , if you want quality perfect copies of your CD's for file based playback , no lossy format is good enough , that is simply Apples sales spiel kool aid.

    Only lossless will do , full stop.
     
  5. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    First line of OP's post. Do you reckon that an all-in-one is going to be the start of a system capable of demonstrating the higher quality?

    No, hence my reply and alternative - not necessarily an equal alternative, but a valid one. Going to be tricky upgrading the hard disk in an all-in-one really.

    Also, I did say myself ... I'd do FLAC if I were starting again - keeping a master copy and re-ripping to VBR V0 for a more portable copy.

    And you know, it's not something most people outside of a specialist forum know or care about. That is a matter of fact - and is clear from the number of devices that play digital music and the average bitrates that they are encoded in. Not to mention the "inferior" headphones that most listen on, or average speakers that play back the music.

    So for the vast majority, lossy will do (sadly). My ears and setup are fairly average, but I can't say personally, that the difference is all that great. To say a "decent entry level setup can clearly distinguish between lossy and compressed" may be true, but I'm afraid "decent entry level" is open to interpretation.

    Give me a decent-ish DAC (again, what's to say I think something cheap is decent?), speakers (I have Kef Cresta - decent in my eyes, but not premium) and slightly better (golden?) ears, and sure - FLAC will sound better than V0. :thumbsup:

    Obviously having FLAC as a master makes sense, I won't disagree ... but the file sizes for FLAC are still prohibitive for mobile media devices and a lot of people can't be bothered keeping two libraries and converting to MP3 for mobile.

    So no, I totally disagree with this part completely. But I know what you're saying and you're entitled to your opinion. There's a place for both and until people have enormous capacity media devices, MP3/AAC is here to stay, even if the lossy format that is available to most via iTunes etc is entirely pants for the enthusiast.
     
  6. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Ive got over 3000 different titles ( nearer to 4 if you count collections of re-masters of favourite titles ) and so far they all fit comfortably on approx 2TB of space.

    A 2 TB drive is approx £80 pounds at the moment , hardly a premium price to pay for best quality.
    Add approx 100 or so to that and you can have a nas unit that will feed every device in the house ( will transcode on the fly to lesser devices that cant handle lossless)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=2TB+hard+drive&x=0&y=0

    Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 2-Bay No Disk Desktop Network Storage System: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    So , Storage space is really no excuse , being ( for 3K titles ) barely half the price of many of Apples crippled and compromised players , Apple being the main push behind these dreadful lossy codecs.

    With MP3/AAC etc. you are stuck with that rubbish format , there is no recovering the content thrown away during the lossy compression , so if you do get better gear , then you either suck up and live with your original bad encoding choice or start ripping all over again. And that's a lot of wasted time depending on how many titles you have.

    By the way my gear is a squeezbox touch into a marantz 8003 and a pair of MA floorstanders , hardly esoteric or high end , and clearly shows up mp3 for the trash it is , especially on classical titles or anything with a bit of dynamic range.

    If you are into them , Pink Floyd's Dark side of the moon will drive home in a few seconds how brutal mp3 as a format is , I recommend listening to "Time".
    You can hear how lossy encoding destroys the quality of that track even on an ipod .... AAC vs ALAC.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  7. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    It's still 2TB ... and a lot of people want music to be portable, too.

    And 32GB+ portable players that will support FLAC are either non-existent ... or a clean fortune. I'm not disputing the internal solutions at home, as this would be pointless, given the cost of cheap storage.

    It's the mobile solution and in the OPs case, sealed solutions. Simply buying and setting up a NAS disk is not always the ideal solution for many. It works for me, but then I am a minority and aware of that (more people don't have a NAS, than do).

    You seemed to have glossed over the valid points I was making, in essence, agreeing with you - that having files in FLAC as a master format, makes sense - as MP3/AAC can be encoded from these as a duplicate for mobile devices for one.

    Basically, you'll always have a perfect (near enough) digital copy of CDs and SACDs etc - we all know this is logical - especially as a means for keeping a permanent backup (on a second drive, kept securely off-site) :) I am not disputing any of your points, but merely pointing out that for many, lossless is more than adequate.

    Anyhow - you must have better ears than I, or perhaps, have a better environment to enjoy your music, but the difference between FLAC and V0 VBR is not significant enough for me to warrant an extensive library re-rip of 1500+ albums.

    The only time FLAC proved beneficial to me, was when wearing my large cans (HD595) and using my valve amp - a scenario I found myself using less and less, due to free time etc. Now it's my S Series Walkman, or via my Revo 3610, T Class amp and Kefs.

    My living room has a wooden floor and the wrong shape - something that also contributes to an "average" sound. Not a lot I can do about that, short of spending a lot of money :D

    What's important is that people are happy with what they have. I always like to highlight the difference between Apple's AAC encoding with VBR V0, which for me is more of a step up than V0 to FLAC.

    That's just me, though. I know plenty of other people will have more keen ears, or preferences, or setups that enable said differences to be demonstrated.

    Anyhow - it's a debate that's done to death really :p
     
  8. larkone

    larkone
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    Surely your 'new touchscreen PC' has at least a 500GB hard drive so what is the problem of using up 35GB. If you really think that you will fill this up then an external 500GB or 1TB USB drive does not cost much and would give you at capacity for 1000 or 2000 CDs at least. FLAC is definitely the way to go because at least you have captured your CDs in the same original quality, you can always create another copy in a lossy codec for a portable player if you need to.

    High quality MP3 - no such thing, you have lost something of the original CD recording and can never get that back.
     
  9. Qactuar

    Qactuar
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    A point already made by all :D

    But OP hasn't divulged much information about the setup. Given the intention to rip to FLAC from the start, it bodes well. But until he/she returns to fill in the gaps, we don't know.
     
  10. brookheather

    brookheather
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    I just maintain a master FLAC rip from the CD and a secondary high bit rate AAC for syncing to portable devices. I use MediaMonkey to manage the FLAC master files and iTunes for the AAC files. I use dbPowerAmp to convert from FLAC to AAC - on a multi-core desktop PC it is pretty quick to run the conversion. If I want to convert to a different codec I have everything in FLAC to use as the source.
     
  11. summersdance

    summersdance
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    My set up at the moment is as good as listening to a CD in my opinion, i have a decent d.a.c., and a great NAD amp. I've listened to high bit rate mp3's through this system and i can definitely notice the difference. The jukebox software i use is Album Player, it seems to be the best out there.
     
  12. summersdance

    summersdance
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    Oh, i have 1TB of memory, but hundreds of CD's too rip! So i guess at some point i'll have to buy an external hard drive.
     
  13. larkone

    larkone
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    FLAC compresses to 50-60% of the original CD size. You do have to remember that albums vary a lot in length and therefore size. Older albums that were produced for vinyl were usually 40-45mins long but modern albums that were produced for CD could be up to 75mins long so there could be a large variance in the final compressed size. At roughly 10MB per minute for wav you are looking at an original file size of between 400MB to 750MB and they would compress down to (at worse case - 60%) to between 240MB - 450MB. I use a rough sizing guide of 3 CDs to 1GB on average so your experience for 90 albums taking 35GB works out about right.
     
  14. Gallant Bess

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    I have renently bought a NAS and i am in the process of ripping cds to FLAC uncompressed using DBpoweramp, as this thread suggests. I am fairly new to this (and to AV forums, actually). I have a few related questions. These are:
    1. Is it necessary to use the uncompressed FLAC option or am i going overboard by opting for uncompressed?
    2. I want to be able to play these files wirelessly through existing amp and speakers. A friend has recommended a Sonos Connect. This does seem to fit what I am after but, from what I have read on up-to-date blu ray players (and mine is only about 3 years old but apparantly needs updating), I would be better off buying a new blu ray player that plays FLAC wirelessly as this would give me more functionality ie upgraded video, you tube etc in addition to the FLAC playing ability. Does this sound a better option or am i missing something that Sonos would give me that a blu ray would not? The only advantage that i can see is that with Sonos i can operate it and see a list of my albums from an ipad or smart phone; but surely there would be an app for a blu ray player to do this same thing?

    Can you help with these questions, please?
     
  15. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Flac is lossless , there are number of compression schemes for the format , but it remains lossless and makes no difference with regard to sound quality , the content is uncompressed for playback and always uncompresses to the original lossless content.

    There are plenty of players that can do flac , however with Blu ray players file based playback over a network is considered very much an "Extra Feature" and playback lists are usually text based , no cover art or anything "Fancy" like that. So in terms of Control and how the content is presented , they are very poor indeed.
    I think you will find that you need to go for more than just a basic BD player to get these features as well , you would be looking at 300-500 price bracket at least.

    I have an Oppo BD95 , and I wouldn't use it for flac based playback because the interface is so poor.

    Sonos and Squeezbox are the two file based players of choice when it comes to music. There is very little out there that can beat these two in terms of Control Sophistication and Sound quality. So I would go with one of those.

    I personally went for the Squeezbox Touch because it does High resolution content ( 24bit 96khz) , Sonos only goes to CD quality ( 16bit 44Khz ).

    Ipad and iphone control systems for both of these systems are very nice indeed , and no BD player gets even close.
     
  16. Gallant Bess

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    Excellent. This is just response I was after. I am now happy that I am going down the right path in what I have ripped so far (still a very long way to go).

    I was 90% there on my decision regarding Sonos but this, together with some other independent advice, have tipped it for me.

    Sonos is now set up. Very pleased and even enjoying the ripping - in anticipatation of the playing, of course.

    Thank you.
     
  17. FINGERS20

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    If you really care about how your music sounds take yourself round to a reputable dealer and listen to music on a proper system. It should be pretty clear fairly quickly the difference between quality components in the Hi-Fi chain and more importantly the signal source..........You will however need to dig deep to enjoy music as it should sound and lossless storage or original CD is the only way to go. Variable bit rate MP3 is O.K. for a cheap car system and nothing else. Have you never noticed just how poor some classic pop sounds over the radio? This has everything to do with how it is recorded and played back. On occassion I have been waiting for some part of a well loved track to burst forth and been sorely dissapointed when half of it seems to be missing. Maybe I am just spoilt listening to stuff on my Naim system.......but any dealer worth his salt will explain that the source is the most important part of the chain, not amps or speakers.:lesson:
     

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