UnitiServe Flac to Wave decoding

I wonder how is done Flac to Wave decoding on UnityServe SSD during the playback?
Its Software or Hardware based?

Strange question, its always software.
Hardware is the hard stuff that you can touch, metal, plastic, etc.

I mean software emulation vs electronics

if its software only - why this option is not implemented in UnityCore?

There are hardware implementations of things that can also be done in software, in particular in the codecs area. They are faster. Many video codecs have hardware support, or encryption algorithms, for instance. Though of course the border is blurry, see FPGAs

For flac, I doubt it is a hardware implementation, and also doubt that it matters as decoding effort is so low

Sorry I still don’t understand, I suspect language

The encoding format in both your concerns, FLAC or WAVE are both PCM (Pulse Code Modulation)
PCM has to be encoded (contained) in some sort of file format that is readable by the machine that’s going to read it.
On Windows (& others) this is typically WAV, on Apple its AIFF, a general purposed played by all is FLAC and as you know a whole load of other formats, lossless & lossy
Transcoding is the conversion of an encoding format to another, its normally done in the media server firmware/software OS & changes the PCM encoding format from one to another during replay (on the fly as its called).

And this (uncompressing the flac in this case) could theoretically be implemented in hardware, but most likely is not as it probably makes little sense

Several possibilities, one being that the new streamers seem largely unaffected by sending them flac. Some discussion here:

or here

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Voila…Its just that in case of the hardware implementation the quality usually is supposed to be much better, that’s why I am asking.

I really think you are misinformed with this.
There is no real difference with transcoding one PCM format to another

WAV sounds better than FLAC though

I don’t think that’s necessarily so. It is code, whether it is executed as software by a general-purpose processor or implemented in hardware transistors.

Some codecs definitely benefit from hardware being faster, but the decoding effort for flac is tiny even in software. Furthermore, flac is lossless and when compressing a wav to flac and then uncompressing again, the result is the exactly same wav file, regardless of how the uncompressing is implemented

The only proposed mechanism for this is that the old Naim streamers may have been stressed more by letting the streamer uncompress the flac, with the higher cpu load possibly influencing the audio circuits.

Except for an apparently small minority still reporting small differences, the new streamers don’t seem to have this issue.

In any case, fundamentally and apart from implementation issues on particular devices, wav and flac sound the same, as the flac uncompresses to the exact same wav before going to the DAC

That depends on what machine you are playing it on, in most cases with latest technology, there is no difference.
I hear a difference on my NDX, that’s why I transcode, however on my friends with latest Naim, Linn or Cyrus there is no difference.


There you go :slight_smile:

The question is - shall I keep the US SSD that I am testing at home now as it has this flac to wav decoding ability, or give it back to my dealer and keep my NAS…that doesn’t have that ability, and then get Qnap or Synology with Asset, that does that decoding with its software?

I think what Teslik is enquiring is akin to eg the capabilities of raspberry pi 4 vs 3. Which is something like built in hardware decoding ability of h265 at 4K/30fps which the pi 3 couldn’t do. Or something, it’s from memory.
So is flac to wav decoding baked into the hardware?
In reality even in software this decoding flac to wav is pretty trivial. And on new platform streamers they do it without even noticing. Kind of like solving a Rubik cube in your left hand while watching tv.

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Or do nothing and keep my WD NAS? ) and relax)

Are you sure your WD NAS can’t do it and cannot have an app installed that can? E.g., on the Western Digital My Cloud Home can enable the Plex media server, which I believe can transcode

WD has only Plex yes, I have to check it.