I’m using Roon and have a moderately sized library of CDs that I’ve ripped. Playback is via a MacMini into the IR port of an nDAC. An Allo DigiOne Signature is on the way that will be used as the transport to feed into the nDAC shortly.
I ripped to WAV using iTunes which, on reflection, was probably an error and I should have instead chosen FLAC so that the metadata could have been added to the track. But as long as I use Roon it’s not an issue I think.
I’ve got some spare time and am wondering if it is worth re-ripping my library (which continues to expand)
So, my questions are:
Apart from metadata and size is there any advantage/disadvantage of FLAC over WAV (presume not)
If there’s no audible difference between the two, would dBpoweramp be the software of choice for ripping to FLAC? Or something else?
If FLAC is as good would the default encoding of Lossless level 5 be appropriate?
If there are audible advantages from WAV, is iTunes as good as anything for ripping.
Think that’s it.
If there are other considerations I’ve missed please share!
1 Apart from metadata and size is there any advantage/disadvantage of FLAC over WAV (presume not)
I’ve found WAV does sound better than FLAC on my NDX, its not a huge difference & is something thats easy to try yourself on your own system. I understand the latest platform streamers are less affected
I’ve found a transcoded FLAC stream, which feeds the NDX with a WAV (PCM) file sounds the same as a WAV feed ‘as is’
2 If there’s no audible difference between the two, would dBpoweramp be the software of choice for ripping to FLAC? Or something else?
I’ve tried all the ripping software that is available & concluded that dBpoweramp (in my MS.Windows system) is the best with options & ease of use. I have not found any that had better/worse sound quality.
dBpoweramp has excellent format conversion software (FLAC to WAV or any other codec.
3 If FLAC is as good would the default encoding of Lossless level 5 be appropriate?
It makes no difference to SQ, its just packed to that level & unpacked for replay.
4 If there are audible advantages from WAV, is iTunes as good as anything for ripping.
Personally because of bad experiences I do not like or trust iTunes (Apple) with anything.
In addition I do not trust iTunes with WAV - this is Apple working with MS.
On 3), the encoding level involves a tradeoff between encoding time and compression. To quote from Illustrate. " For FLAC Level 5 is a good selection (a good balance between minimal compression time and reasonable compression)."
A. It doesn’t rip to FLAC
B. If you rip to WAV if stores metadata in a way that some other apps find difficult to read
C. It stores artwork in its own way
D. It doesn’t use Accurate Rip to validate its rips
E. It doesn’t report on the accuracy of its rips
I use XLD for Mac, which solves all these problems. I rip to FLAC level 8. XLD rips each track twice and compares the two, reporting if they differ. It also compares with Accurate Rip so it checks if my rips are the same as rips done with dBpowerAmp by others on their computers. So I’m confident of the integrity of my rips.
As my streamer is Linn, I prefer FLAC to WAV. I used to transcode to WAV with Naim as it seem to sound better.
Until recently I thought so too but I’d never done any comparisons. I decided to try several different tracks streamed from QNAP/Asset as both WAV and transcoded FLAC - the results were very surprising - WAV was significantly better.
A confirmation with my missus who as usual had no idea what I’d done put WAV head and shoulders above transcoded FLAC.
I also run Bubble so had the opportunity to try the transcode via that with the same outcome.
The transcode was only lightly using the 4 core CPU as shown by the Linux ‘top’ command. ffmpeg version used was both v3 and v4 and both performed the same.
It minutes of a job to try if you are using Asset, turn off FLAC transcoding and then you can select either WAV or FLAC via the ‘additional’ menu.