Best audio Codec's for lossless encoding of CD's

  OU812 00:56 04 Jun 2004

Having finally solved the ground loop problem that was blighting any attempt to connect my PC (using an Audigy 2) to my Hi Fi in another room (by using an Xitel groundloop isolator)I would now like to set about LOSSLESSLY encoding my entire CD collection (300+) for playback via my hard drive.

I have a decent Hi fi and don't want to compromise on audio quality so I want to use the best lossless audio codec I can.

Hard disk space is not an issue (within reason) since I have set aside a dedicated 70 GB partition on my 160GB HD for this purpose. If I need more space (as I think I might) i'll buy a HD solely for this purpose.

However I only want to do this once if possible. I have experiemented with encoding using WMA lossless which has given good results and is apparently mathematically lossless.

However I am aware there are other lossless encoders out there such as FLAC (Free lossless Audio Codec) and Monkey's Audio Codec (great name but why?). However these seem to be somewhat less user friendly and esoteric than WMA. Therefore I would be interested to hear opinions from those of you out there how have used these (or other) codec's to encode your CD's losslessly.

  Epocs 01:00 04 Jun 2004

I personally use WMA variable, but I have limited space. WMA is one of the more widely used, whether that is because it is Microsoft or because it is better I am sure other members will have an opinion on.

  OU812 15:14 07 Jun 2004

Since posting I have done some research of my own and now know for instance why Monkeys Audio is so termed, which is because files have the suffix .ape (geddit) however I have had limited luck re determining the best candidate for lossless encoding.

The problem is because many sites focus on speed of encoding and level of CPU usage when running files but give scant attention to the actual listening experience. I frankly don't give a stuff about saving a few seconds here and there or a couple of CPU percentage points, music is the thing and I know that running WMA lossless files is no big deal for my system.

The final problem is that many of the people who seem to post on the sites I looked at have an obvious anti-Microsoft agenda so it's impossible to get a fair opinion of codecs such as FLAC, Monkeys Audio etc versus WMA lossless since Microsoft is clearly regarded as the Great Satan!

All I am looking for is opinions from people who have losslessly encoded their music, what you used and your opinion as to the listening quality of the finished product (as it where).

As it stands WMA lossless is probably the way I'll go but I'll leave this post open and see if anyone wants to venture an unsided opinion.

  OU812 01:50 11 Jun 2004

WMA lossless wins it!!

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