which lossless codec, and why?

I’m about to re-rip my entire CD collection for the fourth time. I don’t want to do it again, so have decided to invest in a small(ish) array and use a lossless codec to create a reference set of my music. From the reference, I plan on transcoding to a variety of bitrates (depending on where the final product will end up i.e. ipod, media centre, etc.) and whichever format of the week suits the device(s) the transcoded content will ultimately sit on.

I don’t particularly care about encoding time, but would like something that transcodes nicely to mp3, wma, ogg, and other formats in a reasonable length of time. I would like to ensure that track metadata is maintained in the reference, and is easily transferrable when transcoded. I also want something that’s not proprietary to an individual’s or small group’s whims. I’m thinking FLAC, but was wondering if other people had better experiences with other codecs.

If you were to use a lossless encoding format, which would you use, and why?

6 thoughts on “which lossless codec, and why?

  1. if its lossless, it shouldn’t matter. Everything should transcode identically, as you can restore the original bitstream.

  2. For the fourth time!?!?! Nutter. Just out have curiousity, did you manage to encode _whole_ collection on _any_ of the three previous run throughs?

  3. On all three, yes. First was at 128kbs, second was at 192kbs, third was at 320kbs.

    I want the lossless for home, 320 for cds I make, and 128-160 for portable audio. So, re-encoding kinda makes sense in a very kev way.

  4. kj – I agree, was just wondering if anyone had worked with them before, and had any that tended to be better supported. I understamd flac is quite decent, but was wondering if anyone else had any experiences.

  5. I’ve used FLAC on my Myth box, but I’ve never bothered to transcode. I think this is an area where there may not be a lot of experience. Usually if you’re willing to go lossless, you’re willing to put up with any other hassle.

    Kjell’s kinda right tho, because it’s lossless the only reason it wouldn’t transcode as well as the original is bugs in the software. And since Ogg can wrap FLAC, the way QT can wrap whatever, provided you choose something that has all your tags, there’s no reason other than bugs in the s/w that the output tags would be any worse than the original.

    (And in terms of implemenation, I can’t help you… Sorry!)

    This might help tho. flac site:slashdot

  6. i’m somewhat of a noob when it comes to mp3 players nowadays, but doesn ipod support aac, and if so, you should consider ripping to that for your ipod. and if so, then you might wanna take into account whether you can take your lossless format and turn it into that. Probably not a problem.

    The only lossless audio format (my studies took me more in the image and video domain) I’m aware of is shorten. So I can’t help you there.

    My suggestion is to drink scotch. But then that’s my answer for everything.

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