International Herald Tribune talks FLAC and Shorten

I picked up a copy of the International Herald Tribune today (which is sorta the internationally targeted version of The New Your Times). On the front page these was a small entry called ‘The End User: A revolt against MP3’ pointing to an article inside the paper. The article talks mostly about how increased bandwith and storage is causing a lot of people to look at lossless audio formats for the music collections. While the article mentions that both Apple and Microsoft have such formats available most of the article talks about FLAC and mentions some tools available for creating FLAC files.

The article made me think a bit as I have been pushing for a bundling of a surround sound tuned version of Vorbis with Dirac to create an open source ‘killer combo’. But reading this article, which also mentions that Dolby and DTS are offering lossless codecs for surround, I started thinking that maybe I was thinking of a response to yesterdays challengers, and what should be done is work on surround sound with FLAC and then create a killer bundle of Dirac and FLAC. I mean FLAC is already the leading lossless codec, and while the iPod only supporting ALAC might help make that format relevant, we might have a good chance to build upon the success of FLAC going forward by putting it to use in a wider array of usecases.


#1 Adam on 09.06.07 at 12:17

Multichannel FLAC, that would rock!

#2 Maik Merten on 09.06.07 at 16:28

Although multichannel FLAC for sure would be nice to have I don’t quite see the point of combining a lossy video codec with a lossless audio codec. Multichannel FLAC may happen to use as much bandwidth as the video itself and I’d say that wastes some precious bits you may otherwise use on improving video quality.

Having a multichannel-tuned Vorbis AND having a multichannel FLAC – that would rock ;)

#3 Tim Muller on 09.07.07 at 11:18

This is the article in case anyone’s interested:

The End User
The Web is awash in anti-MP3 audiophiles
by Victoria Shannon
Published: September 5, 2007

The IHT seems to be quite open source / linux friendly in general, a few months back they even had an article with ‘Linux’ in the headline on the front page.

#4 Luca Barbato on 09.11.07 at 23:11

I’d have a look in getting flac working in hybrid mode as you can see wavpack does.

This way you can just stream something like this using h264 SVC (I hope Dirac will provide similar feature soonish since it’s planned iirc) and wavpack or other hybrid codecs (I’m not sure if ghost would provide something like that or would worth adding this feature to vorbis)

– main video stream lossy
– secondary video stream providing enhancement layers

– main audio stream lossy,
– secondary audio stream providing lossless residues.

if you don’t care about the highest quality you can just fetch the main streams, if your devices can handle the enhanced stuff you can get everything.