This week, something short. To run tests, I needed a selection of WAV files. Fortunately for me, I’ve got literally thousands of FLAC files lying around on my computer—yes, I listen to music when I code. So I wrote a simple script that randomly chooses a number of file from a directory tree (and not a single directory) and transcode them from FLAC to WAV. Also very fortunately for me, Bash and the various GNU/Linux utilities make writing a script for this rather easy.
In a previous post I discussed lossless audio encoding and presented a Bash script using flac to rip and process CD audio files. I also commented on how the psycho-acoustic model used in a MP3 encoder will dominate encoding as bit-rate increases, without much quantitative evidence. In this post, I present some.
In a previous post, I told you about a short script to rip and encode CDs using Flac, and I discussed a bit about how LPC works. In this post, let us have a look on how efficient Flac is.
Let us use a quantitative approach to this. Since I have a great number of songs, we can use statistics to give us a good idea of what kind of compression we can expect.
I am currently contemplating the possibility of recoding all my CDs into new compressed formats. I currently use MP3 but since I started my collection in a time when a huge hard drive was 4GB, a lot of those are coded at 96 and 112 kilobits/s… which doesn’t sound all that great. Although MP3 isn’t the greatest format around, it does offer the advantage of being compatible with nearly all players around, something neither FLAC nor Ogg Vorbis can claim.
Some of the most recent devices support the addition of codecs, but not all. My Sansa player doesn’t, although I could probably upgrade the firmware or something but my car built-in player is another story. So for the time being, I considered recoding everything in MP3 with a higher bit-rate, or maybe use FLAC and write some kind of script that transcode the files to MP3 for exporting to a player. I’m not decided yet. But let say I decide to stick with MP3 all the way. What bit-rate should I use?