[OT]Software patents end? ??:) light at the end of tunnel

Dale Maggee antisol at internode.on.net
Fri Nov 28 11:35:00 CET 2008

Denis Johnson wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 6:59 PM, Dale Maggee <antisol at internode.on.net> wrote:
>> * It's my Hard drive that doesn't support FLAC! If I used flac, my music
>> library (I guess "mp3 collection" will soon become a misnomer!) would be
>> *enormous*! Yes, I realise it's lossless etc etc, but 320kpbs mp3s are
>> close enough for me.
> I understand and agree that from a quality pov MP3 @ 320kpbs is
> sufficient for most, and the amount of space required for your library
> matters, but I was under the impression that FLAC is also a compressed
> format. However I must admit I'm not sure how it compares to MP3 @
> 320kpbs
> cheers Denis
FLAC *is* compressed, but it's lossless compression, meaning that there 
is no change to the sound when you encode it to FLAC, Whereas when you 
encode to MP3 or ogg, you're losing audio information. Usually it's not 
noticable, and the higher bitrate you choose the less you lose, but 
there is a difference. Personally, I can't hear the difference between 
an audio CD and a 320kbps mp3 on my equipment, but ymmv.

In terms of file size, FLAC is bigger than 320kbps (not sure exactly how 
much bigger, as I don't have much experience with flac, but It's 
substantially bigger). If you have unlimited HDD space and really care 
about audio quality, FLAC is the way to go. If you want some free HDD 
space and decent sounding stuff, 320kbps mp3s (or, more precisely, since 
abandoning mp3 is the whole point of the discussion, the ogg equivalent 
of a 320kbps mp3 - I haven't figured out how ogg's quality scale thing 
works yet) are a very reasonable compromise, and if you can hear the 
difference it pretty much means you're a) using expensive equipment and 
b) a freak of nature. ;)

But really it all comes down to personal taste. If you have a nice big 
HDD, you might even want to encode everything in FLAC and then re-encode 
it at 256kb for burning CDs for use in your car / mp3 player / clock 
radio / fridge / whatever...


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