Originally Posted by cel4145
It has been twenty years since I've studied operating system theory, but isn't that sort of file integrity a basic function of the operating system?
Actually no (the drive however applies error correction). But that is not the issue. In my description I assumed the file is read 100% reliably in both cases.
Windows must maintain the fidelity of a file regardless of where it is stored on a hard drive such that once it is pulled into ram, it remains the same bit identical file.
It does do that.
Too many software applications and Windows depends on constant read/writes to the hard drive needing to result in the same exact file.
True there. But still unrelated to the point I made
I'm not saying this could never happen. But a high enough error rate such that there were audible differences between wav files in multiple tests, well then a Windows PC would become non-functioning very quickly. In days of use if not minutes (lol).
Indeed it could lead to pretty hard crashes in no time. Again, unrelated to the fidelity factor in play here.
Moreover, if this were true, then testing the same wav file stored in different locations on the hard drive--one that hadn't even been converted to flac and back--would produce the same results.
Not quite. In the configuration the Authors tested, digital audio was extracted from the PC. The digital stream conveys the audio samples and timing for them. These *two* factors determine the analog waveform from the external DAC they used.
We have already agreed that the PCM audio samples are the same in the two cases. It is therefor the timing accuracy which could cause, in theory, some difference.
The accuracy of the timing samples can vary based on PC activity. It is a clock and like any other clock, can be impacted by environmental conditions. Reasons are complex and I won't get into them here. But for now, just take my word that it can happen. Once there, then one can get differing analog output from the DAC (see http://www.madronadigital.com/Librar...dioJitter.html