Wav to Flac conversion

All my CD rips were done on my HDX, and are therefore in Naim’s proprietary version of Wav.

I’m considering have the HDX convert them all to Flac, so that they make sense on my Synology NAS, should the HDX ever fail.

I want to start by converting just a couple of albums to compare the sound of Flac with Wav, but I’m unsure as to whether the HDX will create an additional Flac file, or simply replace the original Wav one, leaving me unable to do a listening comparison.

Any thoughts, folks?

The HDX will convert them. It won’t keep a WAV copy. If you convert to flac and transcode to WAV it will sound the same as the WAV originals. To my cloth ears anyway.

1 Like

Cheers, Nigel, I’m assuming you’re referring to the transcoding to WAV taking place on my Synology NAS, as I don’t believe this can be done by the HDX?

If I do go down this route, what server software would you suggest for the Synology?

When I had a unitiserve it did the transcoding so I assume the HDX can do it too.

For the Synology, Asset is your friend here. Flexible and highly capable. They only introduced a Synology version relatively recently so you’d need to check that your model is compatible. The dbpoweramp website should tell you.

Not sure if the HDX varies from the UnitiServe in how it converts and transcodes but when I converted all my WAV files to Flac the US did this with no problems but it did not keep a WAV copy. The US does convert Flac to WAV on the fly, as does my QNQP NAS. As HH says, Flac converted to WAV on the fly sounds the same as an original WAV file, well to this mere mortal anyway. It is a good idea to try it out with the HDX on a couple of albums.

I use Asset on my QNAP and I like it. Never has any issues with Asset so as there is now a version of Asset for Synology, I would recommend it.

Just had a look at the HDX manual, and it does offer transcoding to WAV on the fly, after all.

Looks like the sensible approach would be to convert a couple of albums to Flac, using the desktop client on my MacBook, and have the HDX transcode them back to WAV for replay.

Thanks, everyone.

If you want to test this on an album or two first, in N-Serve, control-click on the album and select the convert to FLAC option from the list. Set it to transcode back to WAV on the fly, and if you’re happy with the result, do the same for all albums. (If you have downloads, you’ll need to do those separately using your Mac, not N-Serve.)
If you’re using the HDX automated backup, the backup library will be changed to FLAC too. I run Minimserver on my Synology, but now that you can get Asset, that’s probably an easier option. Either can transcode on the fly if your streamer prefers WAV, although you may find your current gen. streamer is less fussy if you can set expectation bias to one side.

Can you direct Tidal files via Asset to be transcoded?

I recommend it! I did this when I owned a UServe, and was very happy I did. When I sold off the UServe I had files that, while tagged very rudimentary, at least were tagged and perfectly usable by MinimServer and Asset server.

A few oddities – for example the album art will be a TINY very low-res file. Like under 20kb. Over time I downloaded new album art for all of those rips.

Not unless there’s some workaround that I’m not aware of. Like any UPnP server, it’s there to serve locally stored files.

1 Like

I set my HDX to FLAC and it converted the entire library (took a while) and as mentioned, the automatic back-ups will also be converted.
I set the HDX to “Transcode” FLAC to WAV on playback and in doing so, I cannot hear any difference from the original WAV rips.
I could hear a difference (I believe I could anyway) when I initially played the FLAC files natively.
I’m pleased I made the jump to FLAC as it does play so much more nicely with 2nd systems, third party wireless speakers, NAS drives etc.

Tell me about it! I’m still finding low res album art four years later. The only problem with changing them later is that the album then shows as a new album in Asset, so I forget which are the real new ones.

I had the HDX convert 10 or so albums to FLAC, and then to transcode to WAV for replay, and as Blythe mentions above, I can hear no difference form the original rips either.

I don’t seem to be experiencing the issue of the album art having been changed to low-res, and it looks identical to the original … I must be doing something wrong!

1 Like

The issue I have with the flac/wav transcoding is that the files do not play as gapless, which is frustrating for live albums.
This is from a nas, so perhaps an hdx does not have such issues.

FLAC to WAV transcoding works just fine with gapless for me: QNAP NAS running Minimserver in to a ND5XS2

Which upnp server are you using?

I haven’t experienced this album art issue either. I converted my library to FLAC years ago and it looks fine when viewed from either the US or the Synology backup.

Me too, although I remember having to download art for a few albums that went AWOL after the conversion from WAV to Flac.

Dave, it might have been a later FW upgrade that fixed this. I am sure the album artwork being intact is fine, as it should be of course.

Thanks everyone, for all the advice.

Strangely silent, Chez Dave, as n-Serve slowly trundles through the task … started about 13.00, and we’re still getting through the letter “A” in artist view! :roll_eyes:

You can play music quite happily while it converts. It took over two days to do 2,000 albums when I did it.

1 Like