Compressing CDs - FLAC compression level 0 or MP3 320kbps

Should I encode in FLAC 0 or MP3 320Kbps

  • FLAC compression level 0

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • Mp3 320 Kbps

    Votes: 5 62.5%

  • Total voters
    8

OSDrums

Well-known member
You could also use higher FLAC compression rates, there's no difference in the decoded signal, it just takes more time to compress. Don't go too high, because the time consumption for compression is going up disproportionately. 5 should be a good compromise.
Just to give some numbers to this ^^:

My Test Wave-File in 96/24 was 109.07 MB. Encoding it to Flac was 69.33 MB with 127x Speed in Level 0 - 65.7 MB with 72x Speed in Level 5 - 65.43 MB with 23x speed in Level 8. All of these files are lossless and will playback to the bit exact the same as the original wavefile. I've proven this by importing the original wav in a DAW (Samplitude) together with the three different level of compression flacs which were converted to wav during import to the DAW. Then playback one of the "flac-waves" together with the original wave and flip phase on one track. The result is an absolute zero output which means the files are bit identical, thus sounding the same!

For me there is no use for compression levels above 5 because the effect on the file size is minimal, but the encoding time more than doubles. I could even live with the sizes of Level 0 files...

If I were to rip CDs I'd always go FLAC. Using a good software like db poweramp converter you can always go to any other format needed later without loosing the original wave quality. Put the FLACS on a HDD and convert them to MP3 (with 192 kbps upwards) for car use.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I don't understand what I am reading here, encoding in Mp3 takes about 5x more CPU time then FLAC for me. I tested it 5 minutes ago, using a 44.9mb WAV file.

With Asunder:
It takes 13 second to rip the file, extract it from the CD, for MP3 or FLAC.
It takes 5 seconds to encode it in Mp3 225VBR
it takes 1 second to encode in FLAC 0
It takes 1.5 seconds to encode in FLAC 8

It's MUCH faster to encode FLAC
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Left the hospital on Saturday after various complications (another inflammation in the guts and a severe intestinal paralysis over 5 days) and am able to sit again \o/

I don't understand what I am reading here, encoding in Mp3 takes about 5x more CPU time then FLAC for me.

Unfortunately there's no clear answer to this. It depends on the library you're encoding with (e.g. MP3 proprietary Fraunhofer, liblame, libxing, ...), on the architecture of your CPU and (in case of MP3) on the material you're trying to encode. Also some libs/programs are able to use multiple CPUs, some don't.
 
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