Does the ear hear the difference - WMA Lossless - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 03-29-2007, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Does anyone know if WMA Lossless is as good as uncompressed WAV ripped directly from a CD? I have read what the bit for bit/zip file arguments are, but want to hear from a true audio enthusiast as to what their ear thinks.

Thanks! randallp
randallp is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 03-29-2007, 06:05 PM
Advanced Member
 
WallyWest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Amish Country, PA
Posts: 653
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The two formats are identical. Anybody who hears a difference needs to get their ears examined.

Having said that, there is one possible issue. If you're playing these from a computer the lossless format requires decompression during playback. It doesn't require much CPU power to do this, but I suppose on some older computers it might be an issue.
WallyWest is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 03-29-2007, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the feedback! I have a higher ed audio system, Martin Logan Ascent i's, with Denon receiver. With this setup, would a person be able to hear the difference in your opinion? Sorry for drilling this one down a bit, but am curious?

Thanks!
randallp is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 03-29-2007, 06:44 PM
Senior Member
 
boondocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Can you hear the difference (with the same music) between DTS & MLP (DVDA)?

Just curious.

boondocks
boondocks is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 03-29-2007, 08:35 PM
Advanced Member
 
scooterdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocks View Post

Can you hear the difference (with the same music) between DTS & MLP (DVDA)?

Just curious.

boondocks

oh yeah, I myself can hear the difference. Thats why I buy dvd audio disc in the first place.
scooterdog is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 03-30-2007, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
From an audio quality sound standpoint (think 2 channel stereo to keep it as basic as possible), in your opinion is the sound quality of the WMA Lossless audio file compromised with the compression from the original uncompressed version? In other words, in 2 channel stereo playing on a higher end audio system can an audiophile hear the difference? Sorry to belabor this topic...just trying to make sense of it
randallp is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 03-30-2007, 05:47 AM
KMO
Advanced Member
 
KMO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: England
Posts: 937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
If there's a difference, it's not because it's packed. You could unpack it and get a bit-identical WAV file out.

If there was any difference, it could only be because you were playing the packed version on different hardware, or with different software.

Although, come to think of it, I suppose a player program might have some sort of quirk whereby the extra processing power required to unpack on the fly interfered with its audio output somehow. Or maybe audible interference from the PC's circuitry could be marginally worse if it was unpacking. Although in the latter case, you'd have a similar problem if you were downloading porn in the background, or whatever.
KMO is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 03-30-2007, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I wonder if the Xbox 360 platform would have a problem with the WMA Lossless format? I don't believe the current version of 360 supportw lossless, but perhaps Elite? Any thoughts on this scenario? I appreciate the information
randallp is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 03-30-2007, 09:35 AM
Member
 
(l)user's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallp View Post

Does anyone know if WMA Lossless is as good as uncompressed WAV ripped directly from a CD? I have read what the bit for bit/zip file arguments are, but want to hear from a true audio enthusiast as to what their ear thinks.

Thanks! randallp


YES. Lossless, by definition is a compression that after compression / decompression produces a file mathematicaly identical to the original. For the compression to be considered lossless there cannot be any diferences betwen the original and decompressed files. Noone can detect a difference as you cannot detect a difference between a CD and an exact, bit for bit, copy of that CD.

Now, keep in mind that both uncompressed wave files and decompressed wave files have to go through an digital/analog converter (A/D) to be heard and you have to be carefull to use a high quality A/D in both cases. The best secenario is to feed your decompressed PCM stream to a quality hardware A/D converter such as the ones used in quality audio equipment. You can easily achieve that by feeding your amp digital audio through S/PDIF connection and letting the amp convert the signal. With an exception of few high quality PC audio cards you should never let you PC convert PCM to analog signal. There are also a few Digital Media Players on the market that can play lossless audio (decompress and convert, or just decompress as in my setup) so you can eliminate the PCs and their sound cards from the equasion altogether.

HD: TOSHIBA HD-A2
TV: PHILIPS 50PF9731
SACD: SONY AVD-S50ES
DAP: PHILIPS Streamium SL-400 (LOSSLESS)
MEDIA SERVER: TwonkyMedia/Buffalo Linkstation
(l)user is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 03-30-2007, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Wow! Great information. With the release of Xbox 360 Elite, what are your thoughts on the following scenario:

PC and NAS with audio and video stored sent via wired network to Xbox 360 Elite using the Elite as network media player and/or pulling audio and video of the hard drive then connecting via digital toslink output (fiber connection) to receiver (in this case, Denon AVR-4800)?

The assumption here is the Elite can play Lossless files.

I appreciate your response!
randallp is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 03-31-2007, 06:34 AM
Member
 
(l)user's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallp View Post

Wow! Great information. With the release of Xbox 360 Elite, what are your thoughts on the following scenario:

PC and NAS with audio and video stored sent via wired network to Xbox 360 Elite using the Elite as network media player and/or pulling audio and video of the hard drive then connecting via digital toslink output (fiber connection) to receiver (in this case, Denon AVR-4800)?

The assumption here is the Elite can play Lossless files.

I appreciate your response!

Good start. If you are going to store files on the NAS (and why not since they offer much more storage than an average PC) I suggest you choose a NAS that can run a media server software such as TwonkyMedia that I use.
There are others of course but I can only speak of what I have experience using.
Interesting setup is NAS such as Buffalo Linkstation or Maxstore (go to twonkymedia.de for details) running media server software as it allows to eliminate the PC from the setup alltogether, provided that your 360 can cooperate with a standard DLNA/UPNP media server such as Twonky. DLNA/UPNP are standards so I believe it can but you have to verify that. You can download twonky for free to evaluate for 30 days. I am pretty happy abuout my setup and besides SACDs disk do not have to fiddle with CD's since my entire 500+ collection is stored on a NAS as lossless files (WMA Lossless) and can be accessed within second thorugh the remote...

Using media servers and NAS is a very appealing prospect but you have to research this to make sure the equipment you have will interoperate..

HD: TOSHIBA HD-A2
TV: PHILIPS 50PF9731
SACD: SONY AVD-S50ES
DAP: PHILIPS Streamium SL-400 (LOSSLESS)
MEDIA SERVER: TwonkyMedia/Buffalo Linkstation
(l)user is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 03-31-2007, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
randallp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you for the link and the additional information. I've been happy with what I have been reading about the Buffalo TeraStation Home Server 2.0TB. RAID 5 helps with data loss and now that we have more and more electronic data, I'm trying to build in as much redundancy and failsafe as possible .

What are you using as your media extender? What are your thoughts about the product?

Thanks!
randallp is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 03-31-2007, 08:21 AM
Member
 
(l)user's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by randallp View Post

Thank you for the link and the additional information. I've been happy with what I have been reading about the Buffalo TeraStation Home Server 2.0TB. RAID 5 helps with data loss and now that we have more and more electronic data, I'm trying to build in as much redundancy and failsafe as possible .

What are you using as your media extender? What are your thoughts about the product?

Thanks!

Randall,


If by an extender you mean media player I use Philips Streamium Sl-400 which can play MP3, wav, wma, divx and jpeg/gif. An interesting feature of SL-400 is that it has an S/PDIF output which means that I can make it decompress WMA Lossless files from the NAS and then feed my amp a clean PCM signal and let it's D/A converters do the job. Most A/V receivers contain much better D/A converters than any media players, PC's etc. SL-400 is also equipped with wi-fi which means less cable to run in the house and that Buffalo linkstation can be placed anywhere you want, although in proximity to the router.

My setup is: Buffalo Linkstation as a NAS storage but also running the actual media server (Twonkymedia). Twonkymedia reads the WMA Lossless files from Linkstation's hardrive and "serves" it to Streamium. Streamium decompresses WMA Lossless to standard PCM which it then feeds to the receiver, which in turn converts PCM to analog and amplifies it driving the speakers. Buffalo is connected via ethernet to a wireless router which via Wi-Fi (G) connects to Streamium. Streamium is connected to my SONY receiver via S/PDIF and to my TV via component (progresive) which allows to see its menu on the big screen and also to watch DIVX'd movies if you want that. (my kid has 120GB of cartoons stored on the NAS).

Bufalo LInkstation HDHLAN does not offer any advanced RAID capabilities but if has never failed in two years and if you are really looking for security/redundancy of RAID you can always attach a USB Hardrive to it and schedule automatic backups. Backups via USB 2.0 are pretty fast and when scheduled at night will interfere with operation of the device.

I think RAID is a little bit of an overkill for media, also not all of the Linkstations have been "opened" (or hacked) allowing to install custom software, such as Twonkymedia.

I suggest you look up these two websites:

www.linstationwiki.net
www.twonkymedia.de

There is a lot of info there regarding both NAS and DLNA media servers...

HD: TOSHIBA HD-A2
TV: PHILIPS 50PF9731
SACD: SONY AVD-S50ES
DAP: PHILIPS Streamium SL-400 (LOSSLESS)
MEDIA SERVER: TwonkyMedia/Buffalo Linkstation
(l)user is offline  
Reply Surround Music Formats

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off