Do you use flacs?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Hypernia's Avatar
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    Default Do you use flacs?

    I was djing at a small party that a friend of mine puts on every once in a while and a friend of his came up to me asking if I used flac's instead of mp3's and the like. I told him no, I'm not very experienced, I've only been doing this a couple months, and he gave me some input on why I should convert the music I play to flacs. I'm just curious to see if any of you out there do the same. I've made attempts to convert quantities of files, but the sound quality doesn't sound all that much better coming out of my speakers anyways (noticeable, but not very). I figure that if I ever got into actual gigging rather than entertaining drunk college kids at a party I would take his word more seriously. As for now, I'm sticking with some space on my hard drive and sticking with whatever files I download.

    Once again, to reiterate, do you guys use flac files for the music that you play?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    It doesn't help if you convert FROM mp3 TO flac. Flac is a "lossless" storage version of audio. So if you went from .wav to .flac, it would keep the file integrity, and bring it down to a smaller size for storage.

    Personally I think Mp3's are fine, and I like to stick with what is easier to get. I keep my collection at 320 kbps Mp3's, and that's fine. If I ever wanted to go FLAC, I'm sure I'd want all my music in that format, so that's where I'd head. I just don't think it's worth the extra cost/hassle.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    Yup, converting your lossy compressed mp3 files to .flac will just preserve their lossy sound. You can't add magically add the information that has been lost.
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  4. #4
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    Well I'm a noob to djing but I always had this question whether the sound difference of FLAC and mp3 320kbs was anyway noticeable on like a huge speaker system

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    It's not something you can hear, but I've noticed that on TRULY good systems, you can FEEL the difference.

    That being said, I've only seen a few truly good sound-systems setup at huge festivals, and the chance of myself ever playing on one of those is realistically small. So I am fine with Mp3's, which most people use anyhow. If I ever started producing and getting anywhere with it though, it might be worth making the full change.

    That's my opinion anyhow.
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    The sound difference will be noticeable if you have a genuine FLAC file (not upconverted). But if you converted from mp3 to FLAC then no you won't have any sound quality difference because as everyone else pointed out, you can't restore information that has been lost to compression. So yeah flac would be great if you start out with flac or wavs or CDs, but if you are starting with mp3s you should stay with them. Of course you can make all future music purchases in FLAC or WAV if you choose to go that way.

    Personally I'm ok with mp3s at 320kbps and that's the format I buy stuff in when I buy digital. Mp3 is easier to deal with for a lot of reasons -- it's smaller files, it's easier to tag and keep track of, and it's recognized by every player software I've ever seen. FLAC is a pain if you use Apple and iTunes and apparently Traktor even has some problems with it. If I were truly an audiophile badass I would buy CDs and vinyl only, rip to FLAC, keep my FLAC files on a couple redundant backup hard drives, and rip parts of my collection to 320 mp3 for "everyday" use. And they'd all be well organized in folders and well-tagged and the vinyl would be alphabetized by genre.... But I don't have time or energy for all that and 320 mp3s are perfectly acceptable even on big funktion one speaker systems. Yes you'll definitely hear a difference if you listen to the same song in FLAC side by side with mp3, but you wouldn't do that in most DJ situations.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    FLAC is a pain if you use Apple and iTunes and apparently Traktor even has some problems with it.
    nope, not anymore. NI fixed the bug about 1 1/2 years after I submitted it. (i submitted the flac bug on 11/27/09 and it was fixed in 2.0.3 which was released in late June '11. ofc, possibly it was a known bug even longer in case somebody filed a bug report before me--idk.)

  8. #8
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    heh... glad to hear it finally got fixed
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  9. #9
    Tech Convert cosmodrome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassline Brine View Post
    Personally I think Mp3's are fine, and I like to stick with what is easier to get. I keep my collection at 320 kbps Mp3's, and that's fine. If I ever wanted to go FLAC, I'm sure I'd want all my music in that format, so that's where I'd head. I just don't think it's worth the extra cost/hassle.
    It is: basically there's no extra cost. FLAC is free. MP3 is not. You also pay for decoding from psychoacustic compression to PCM: cpu load and loss of signal integrity. MP3@320kb/s is fine, but it's not lossless. FLAC is.
    Finally you can always create MP3 (or AAC, OGG, WMA, punch-cards...) from FLAC in any quality you like - you still have the FLAC files in perfect quality. You can even synchronize cue marks and tags from DJing software that runs MP3s back to your flac library, as FLAC supports any metadata that MP3 provides.
    MP3 technically was the only way to store digitalized music when hard disks were 4-12GB large and the only alternatives were magnetic tapes or floppy disks. Nowadays it's only a matter of compatibility mostly with portable devices. But for archiving (or your general music collection) nothing beats FLAC.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    FLACS/WAVs generally cost more from most e-tailers.

    I thought about going FLAC but it's a pain in iTunes. Maybe I'll use Apple lossless; The good thing about lossless is that you can convert them from one to the other. The only bad thing is that I'd lose the cue points and grids in Traktor.
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