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suitti's Avatar
Posts: 96 | Thanked: 7 times | Joined on Sep 2007
#11
I have xmms installed on my n800, with the flac module. Don't have any flac files handy to test... Works on the desktop, so why not?
 
Posts: 52 | Thanked: 25 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Stockholm, Sweden
#12
Originally Posted by qviri View Post
The N800's audio chip is pretty good as far as mobile devices go, but without a dedicated quality sound card I assure you you won't be able to hear a difference between 320 kbps MP3 and FLAC, no matter what kind of headphones you use.

The only real reason I see for trying to play FLACs is to avoid the hassle of transcoding into a lossy format if your main collection is in FLAC.
Not everything is about what you consiously hear though... I find myself enjoying the music more when listening to lossless formats rather than lossy. Try it. Play a few songs in say 320kbps mp3 and then as a flac and go back and forth a few times. (Same songs in both formats of course) Then ask yourself, "Which would I listen to for a whole day?" and "Which is more/less annoying, which is more/less pleasant on the ears and to my body." and "Which makes me tap my foot and hum along?"

Vague? You bet! Same questions are good when buying stereo equipment btw... Would you rather buy the system with the brilliant mid-range, or the system that makes you tap your foot?
 

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Capt'n Corrupt's Avatar
Posts: 3,524 | Thanked: 2,958 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Delta Quadrant
#13
There are benefits to lossless audio.

With a usb-snd kernel module and something like the Headroom Total Bithead (a portable amp), it should be possible to output digitally perfect sound to a HIGH QUALITY pair of headphones, earbuds, or even a home entertainment system (with the appropriate amp). Once you've listened to high quality audio, there's no going back to iPod-grade earbuds!

There are other types of audio that generally suffer from lossy compression. I frequently listen to binaural beats, which contain frequencies outside of the consciously perceptible spectrum of sound, but are apparently still 'heard' by the brain. I've read that compression tends to eliminate these frequencies or distort them sufficiently for them to lose effect. This is why I *need* FLAC/WAVE for certain types of listening.

Individuals looking encrypt data into an audio stream may also run into new challenges with a lossy format.

Also, I have noticed that lossless audio has a less harsh effect on my system. For some reason I find MP3's mentally draining to listen to after a while (even if I can't hear the distortion, which I often can), but a well amplified lossless format is a different story: it's softer somehow. For my favorite tracks/albums, FLAC is must. Generally half the size of WAVE and all of the quality.

One last benefit is computational cost. FLAC is supposed to be very computationally light to compress and decompress (eg. stores predictable functions in the codec for quick decompression). It's less of a benefit when compared with specialized hardware used to handle common lossy computations, but it's still is nice to know that it requires few cpu cycles. Of course, the larger file size equate to more drive seeks, so this isn't an intuitively reliable measurement of implied battery life conservation.

Here's a link to the FLAC FAQ which has a very comprehensive breakdown of the format.

Of course, for casual listeners, the mp3/ogg/aac/etc formats are quite acceptable. But for those that listen a lot, I recommend you to find a good audio setup and have a listen. You may be jolted (like me) out of low quality audio country, into pure listening bliss!

Maybe then FLAC may seem just a bit more appealing!


}:^)~
YARR!

Long-shanks Corrupt
 

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Posts: 52 | Thanked: 25 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Stockholm, Sweden
#14
Originally Posted by Capt'n Corrupt View Post

Also, I have noticed that lossless audio has a less harsh effect on my system. For some reason I find MP3's mentally draining to listen to after a while (even if I can't hear the distortion, which I often can), but a well amplified lossless format is a different story: it's softer somehow. For my favorite tracks/albums, FLAC is must. Generally half the size of WAVE and all of the quality.
Seems the capt'n and I are on the same page

//Bow
 

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benny1967's Avatar
Posts: 3,747 | Thanked: 5,390 times | Joined on Mar 2006 @ Vienna, Austria
#15
I have to admit I don't really hear any difference between FLAC and high quality lossy compression. But: I do experience problems converting from one lossy format into another. (For example I used to have MP3-files, converted them to OGG one day, then later I found AAC is better for my mobile phone etc etc ...)

So I now keep music as FLAC on my computer and can - if necessary - always re-encode to other formats without quality loss. (Without any quality loss that I notice, that is.)
 
Posts: 13 | Thanked: 4 times | Joined on Jul 2008
#16
Originally Posted by qviri View Post
The N800's audio chip is pretty good as far as mobile devices go, but without a dedicated quality sound card I assure you you won't be able to hear a difference between 320 kbps MP3 and FLAC, no matter what kind of headphones you use.
The matter of fact that some people can hear the difference is psychoacoustic processing involved in MP3/VORBIS coding. If there weak guitar string touch and the drum are simultaneously go in my ear, I can concentrate on the guitar and hear it. But If such a music is processed with MP3, I could not hear guitar even if I concentrate all my attention, because it has been swept out.
 

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pycage's Avatar
Posts: 3,391 | Thanked: 4,385 times | Joined on Oct 2005 @ Germany
#17
I have recently started ripping new CDs to FLAC, and I think it really feels better. It could just be imagination, but the sound got so clear. Placebo or not, I think I'll stay with FLAC.
 
Posts: 52 | Thanked: 25 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Stockholm, Sweden
#18
Originally Posted by pycage View Post
I have recently started ripping new CDs to FLAC, and I think it really feels better. It could just be imagination, but the sound got so clear. Placebo or not, I think I'll stay with FLAC.
That's what it boils down to though... if it feels better, it is better.

My only problem is that I can't find a good flac-solution on the n800. Using mediabox, it sorts and tags correctly from the flac-tags, but the interface is sometimes a bit slow, and there's occasionally a crackling or popping when listening to flacs (might be processor-load or something, dunno). When I listen through the built-in mediaplayer with the flac-plugin, I get no crackling, but some songs stutter for no apparent reason, and I don't get any tags or sorting. Have to go to "all songs" and just step back and forth.

Annoying. But worth it, for the more pleasant aural experience of flac
 
Posts: 2 | Thanked: 0 times | Joined on Feb 2007 @ Boston
#19
I have an n800, a total bithead, and Grado SR225s. The DAC and amplification on the total bithead is phenomenal when listening from my PC. Headphone amps aren't about being loud, it's about correctly amplifying the waveform and not running out of energy when some bass note hits and uses up all the available power in the measely output stage of the amp.

If I can get the USB audio working on the n800 this will be awesome. Has anyone actually played FLAC back from the n800? It can be pretty CPU intensive to playback.
 
Posts: 99 | Thanked: 63 times | Joined on Jul 2008
#20
Originally Posted by freat View Post
Has anyone actually played FLAC back from the n800? It can be pretty CPU intensive to playback.
Yes, use "mplayer," as opposed to "media player." mplayer is the player they're talking about in the previous posts.

Joe
 
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