How To Spot a FLAC Transcode

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What is a Transcode?
Put simply, a transcode is any audio file that wasn't encoded from an original lossless source, such as a retail CD (not created from lossy files) or a properly made lossless rip.

Why is transcoding bad?
Whenever you encode a file to a lossy format (such as mp3, m4a(AAC), ogg, or mpc) information is permanently lost. It doesn't matter what you do, it's impossible to get this information back without making a new rip from the original lossless source. If you reencode it to a different format or bitrate, all you're doing is reducing the quality. This applies to any lossy to lossy conversion, so even if you convert from 320kbps to 192kbps, the final file will still sound worse than if you had just ripped to 192kbps in the first place.

Programs You can use:
Cool Edit
Adobe Audition (Best Pick)
Audacity

Example of a FLAC File (Note: this is for .5 of a second) FLAC Files usually have a 2100 Khz as a cut off to be considered Lossless :

Here is the same example compared with a 320kbps file and a 128kbps file (.15 of a second):


Bottomline: You want to see a nice flat surface when you zoom in otherwise its most likely a transcode

Notice: You Can Also Find out if .flac is a transcode by using Audacity

Just make sure you audacity is in spectrum viewing mode

5 comments:

cool said...

hmmm also some beatport or juno files are not smooth..WAV FLAC CBR ECT so only way to really check is if you buy the track and compare to lets say a youtube rip or soundcloud rip lol or you can compare from dl from crap blogsites that posts transcoded music.

IAN BALASABAS said...

EXPERIMENT:

I ripped an original CD into ACC HIGH quality FORMAT... then afterwards i TRANSCODE it into FLAC, i tested it and the result base on its spectral result analysis - it has some very slight LOSSES however its highest frequency still reach 22khz...

So if i am a simple user of the file how could i spot the transcoding process because it is possible that i truly believed the file was ripped as FLAC from the original CD?

tHANK U...

IAN BALASABAS said...

Once again I Ripped THE ORIGINAL CD directly into FLAC then i compared to the PREVIOUS ACC file format i have RIPPED earlier... The spectral result is 98% identical both have reach 22khz... i used, AUDACITY, SPEK, ADOBE AUDITION AND EAC and still both produced thesame result...

is it a new phenomenon... AN ACC FILE FORMAT almost lossless???

IAN BALASABAS said...

Lastly I tested the FLAC FILE - TRANSCODED FROM ACC - to auCDtech software the software proclaimed that the file is "LOSSLESS"

Please give me some clarity for this... Thank you... Best Regards Ian B.

IAN BALASABAS said...

I can send you my PNG's result if you mind base on my experiment... thanks...

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