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Old 4th July 2010, 09:37 PM   #1
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Talking question about multi-gen WAV or FLAC files

Hi everybody,

I'm new to this forum, but seeing other posts when Googling for my question convinced me this was the place to go.

My question is this: Is there any loss in quality if you create a WAV or FLAC file from an audio CD, and then rip another WAV/FLAC file of that copy? In other words, is a WAV of a WAV of a WAV of lesser quality than the first WAV file created?

I'm in the process of backing up a couple hundred discs of live recordings, and in some cases I have 2 or 3 generations of copies -- for those cases, I'm wondering if it makes more sense to back up the original disc from which other copies were made, or if there's no difference at all.

In advance, many thanks!

Gregor
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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No there is no loss of information, if there was the entire foundation of computing would collapse.
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleidophponics View Post
Hi everybody,

I'm new to this forum, but seeing other posts when Googling for my question convinced me this was the place to go.

My question is this: Is there any loss in quality if you create a WAV or FLAC file from an audio CD, and then rip another WAV/FLAC file of that copy? In other words, is a WAV of a WAV of a WAV of lesser quality than the first WAV file created?
Dithering to 16-bit does reduce some quality, whether this is audible or not it is debatable. Mastering engineers have a rule that says "only render to 16-bit once", so if you're using 24 or 32 bit there is DEFINITELY zero quality loss.
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:23 PM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Why would there be dithering to 16 bits in this case? Isn't the CD file already 16 bits?
Even if you rip-burn-rip-burn-rip, there should be no dithering involved, no change in the file content. Right?

Or is there something they aren't telling us?
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Old 5th July 2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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Just curious about your terminology. Why are you ripping from the WAV/FLAC? Or do you mean simply copying the file like any other file?
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Old 5th July 2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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Default re: question about multi-gen WAV or FLAC files

Maybe I am using the wrong terminology. I'm copying audio files (mostly bootleg recordings on CDR, but also official CDs) so I can back them up onto a 2TB external hard drive. I've been using a program called Exact Audio Copy which copies everything as a WAV file, 44.100 kHz, 4-bit stereo, Microsoft IMA ADPCM CODEC.

I guess the larger question is am I doing the right thing to keep them as lossless files for the long term? After going through about 100 discs in the above manner, I'd hate to have to start all over again, but if that's what it means, so be it -- I just want the audio to sound as good as it can, say, 10 or 15 year from now (I'm into things sounding the way they should be heard, though I'm not one of those $5,000 needle audiophiles).

Many, many thanks!

Gregor
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Old 5th July 2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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Just sounds like you got your terminology wrong You rip from the CD then copy the WAV to different hard drives. That's fine. You can't improve the quality from what you do now so feel free to carry on the same way.
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Old 5th July 2010, 07:18 PM   #8
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleidophonics View Post
a WAV file, 44.100 kHz, 4-bit stereo, Microsoft IMA ADPCM CODEC.
CD's are 16 bit/ 44.1kHz, not 4 bit.
16 bit is a max theoretical 96dB Signal to Noise ratio.
4 bit files will have max 24dB S/N ratio.
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Last edited by Ron E; 5th July 2010 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 6th July 2010, 03:25 PM   #9
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Time to re-rip with 44.1/16. Kaleidophonics has chosen an ancient non-hifi codec, that was never intended for music.
This is the problem with wav - it is just a container format and does nothing to prevent mistakes like this
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Old 6th July 2010, 03:37 PM   #10
BrianVG is offline BrianVG  Belgium
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There are also compression levels if you rip a CD. You should take at least level 5. Level 8 is the maximum but it takes ages with a normal home computer.
If you want to play these files on a portable player it's not recommended to use FLAC.
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