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Old 4th January 2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default WAVing, not drowning

So, I tried ripping some CDs to .wav, mp3, FLAC and AAC using EAC, iTunes etc. for the different formats. Generally I'm pretty happy with the sound. Whilst replaying one of my favourite torture tracks, I noticed it distorts on computer stored or pen drive stored media. BUT it sounds fine if I copy the file to a disc as either AAC or .wav and replay it using the optical drive on a PC. I've tried it out on a number of PCs of different ages, including very modern Core2Duo machines, with the same result. All listened to through the onboard sound card and accurate headphones for comparison
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Old 5th January 2010, 12:16 AM   #2
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WHAT EQUIPTMENT DID YOU USE TO LISTEN


















What was you headphones?



/
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Old 5th January 2010, 01:15 AM   #3
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Hi Mike. Thanks for your response. I used no 'hi-fi' as such. I just replayed the tracks using the output from the on-board sound cards for each PC, listened to through some good headphones. Basically, I'm recounting an experience which doesn't make sense. There's no difference between audio tracks or equipment, only in the method of replay, either from stored file on a hard drive or pen drive compared with the same file replayed from a disc. It doesn't make any sense, but I've tried the same process out on 6 different PCs now with the same result. Headphones were Sennheisers, if that helps.
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Old 6th January 2010, 07:27 AM   #4
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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Is it the exact same file in both cases?
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Old 6th January 2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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The track was ripped to hard drive using EAC for the .wav file and iTunes for the AAC version. This was copied to pen drive and a DVD, on which I was compiling a number of music files. It would be highly unusual to do this normally. I was just dismayed by the fact the track failed to reproduce properly as a sound file, when the original CD had replayed perfectly on any kind of optical device I trialled it on. Sorry if this explanation is getting rather drawn out!
Well, surprisingly, the AAC and .wav played back perfectly from the DVD, whichever PC I used, when the exact same file always distorted as the synthesizer fades on my torture track as a hard drive or pen drive stored file. The AAC is obviously of poorer quality than the .wav, but still passes the test on DVD.
I can only imagine there's some difference in replay from hard drive compared with optical drive. I know nothing about computer audio really, but would be interested to hear any kind of explanation or similar experience.
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Old 6th January 2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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It's -very- unlikely, but there are reasons this can happen - if, for instance, your hard drive was not operating in DMA mode, but the DVD drive was.

However, all files that are played back will be buffered to some extent in RAM. From there, the playback should always be identical, unless the system is under very high load or the buffer is insufficient to keep up with the playback.

As I noted above, a drive operating in PIO mode instead of DMA mode will do just that - it's too slow to keep up with audio playback, and places the CPU under heavy load to do any drive operations at all. I'm just going to advise that you google for it.
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Old 6th January 2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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All hard drives running at least dma5 oldest using a 133 pata drive. As I mentioned some of the machines I've tried are ultra modern top spec core2duo Sata equipped units.
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Old 6th January 2010, 05:27 PM   #8
Key is offline Key  United States
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You have to list out your entire signal chain if you want an answer. What software are you using and what API is it playing the file through? ASIO, DirectSound? Do you have replay gain on or bypassed - this happened to me once and I thought I was hearing a difference between FLAC and wav but it was simply processing the files differently.

You need to lookup the definitions for three words - lossy, lossless, and uncompressed. And understand that these concepts when applied to digital audio are not subjective - there is NO grey area. Most likely you are doing something wrong or your playback system is doing something wrong and you don't realize it. Understand I am not attacking you lol I am trying to help you here.

What I would do - You said you are using EAC right? So I am assuming you are using a PC. Download foobar 2000 and the ASIO plugin. If the soundcard doesn't have ASIO drivers then download ASIO4All and use that.

Last edited by Key; 6th January 2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 6th January 2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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Look I've tried all this. Foobar asio etc. It produces the same issue why can't anyone get over the software side and explain why a .wav works on DVD and not on hard disk. This is obviously a universal issue as I've seen this on 6 very different pcs. It's not a problem for ME really. But its brought about the question of how audio rips replay. The track also distorts on my iPod.
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Old 6th January 2010, 06:01 PM   #10
Key is offline Key  United States
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I really can't tell you. You haven't told us enough information except that you think you are doing it correctly. What are your settings in EAC? Are they secure or just ripping in burst mode? There are so many things that can go wrong in the chain you are talking about I can't begin to guess. You have to deduce it. But as far as I can tell the variables should point to the opposite - optical media having a problem with reproducing itself from system to system.
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