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  1. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Germany
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    Hi everyone,

    I hope that I took the right sub-forum. I wouldn't refer to my question as an "advanced" one but it is about captured (not downloaded) video/audio. If necessary I would be thankful if an admin could move it to the respective category.

    I intend to archive my father's concert Laserdiscs (classical music only) using composite PAL video and uncompressed stereo-only LPCM audio via SPIDF as discussed in this post. Now that I get more and more comfortable with the capturing part, I ask myself which container format I should use.

    As video quality is of minor importance the H.264 codec should perfectly suit my needs and will allow for a nice compression. However, with respect to my father being probably more towards the audiophile end of the spectrum, audio quality matters much more. This is why I intend to capture (and keep) the uncompressed stereo LPCM directly via SPDIF.

    Eventually, the container files should be played on TV (SD only, no HD yet) and a high-end hifi via a media player device comparable to the WD TV by Western Digital.

    On Wikipedia's comparison of container formats I found that Matroska (MKV) and Enhanced VOB (EVO) could most probably support the combination of H.264 and LPCM.

    So, my questions are:
    1. Is Enhanced VOB something interesting for end user playback (as we would use it)?
    2. For Matroska, Wikipedia's comparison states that "virtually anything" referring to video and audio codecs is supported. It does not list LPCM explicitly and I couldn't find further information via Google. Do you know whether it supports LPCM?
    3. If Matroska didn't support LPCM, wouldn't FLAC (as stated by Wikipedia) be a great alternative for my purpose?
    4. For DivX, Wikipedia's comparison states that it supports PCM (LPCM is not mentioned. Would this be a viable option for me?
    5. For some other containers, Wikipedia states that LPCM is supported "only in private streams". What does this mean?
    If possible, I would probably prefer Matroska since it is simply a container format I am comfortable with. As it is an open free standard, it sounds pretty future proof.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Asia
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    If you want lossless, FLAC is all you need. Audiophiles regularly use it to store their CDs on their media servers. It's perfectly lossless like LPCM, just a lot smaller.

    Matroska is the way to go if you're using H.264 for video. I'm not sure if MP4 (the other modern alternative) accepts FLAC. Both are playable on the WDTV and other modern standalone players. The WD TV in particular has recently gained support for FLAC streams in MKV, so it'll be able to play back the files.

    edit: BTW, if video were a concern, you should still use H.264, because it's a more efficient codec that will preserve more quality for any given bitrate.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    We have added Apple Lossless to Matroska and will officially announce support for it later this week and/or before ****tails is announced.
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  4. I would just leave the audio LPCM.

    Divx7 h.264 saves as .MKV. Divx 7 ASP, and Divx 6 and below, is usually in .AVI (.DIVX is a minor extension to .AVI) which supports LPCM but h.264 doesn't work well in .AVI.

    I believe LPCM is the same as PCM as far as Windows uncompressed audio is concerned.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Asia
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I would just leave the audio LPCM.
    Hmm, why? Compatibility?
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  6. Originally Posted by creamyhorror
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I would just leave the audio LPCM.
    Hmm, why? Compatibility?
    Yes, compatability. And 2 channel, 16 bit, 44.1 or 48 KHz LPCM isn't all that big when you can buy a 1 TB hard drive for well under US$100.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    Fair enough. But it's always nice to save space where you can, if you know the codec is compatible with your player anyway.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Germany
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    Hi everyone, thank you very much for your comprehensive discussion!

    Everything seems to be clear. I will most probably go with FLAC. Apple Lossless is an interesting option. However, as FLAC is free, I would probably prefer it over Apple Lossless.

    @jagabo: Are you sure that LPCM/PCM is supported by Matroska containers?

    On matroska.org I could only find the following information and I am not sure whether this is what I am looking for:
    CODEC ID | NAME | Description

    A_PCM/INT/BIG | PCM Integer Big Endian | The private data is void. The bitdepth has to be read and set from KaxAudioBitDepth element | Corresponding ACM wFormatTag : ???

    A_PCM/INT/LIT | PCM Integer Little Endian | The private data is void. The bitdepth has to be read and set from KaxAudioBitDepth element |Corresponding ACM wFormatTag : 0x0001

    A_PCM/FLOAT/IEEE | Floating Point, IEEE compatible | The private data is void. The bitdepth has to be read and set from KaxAudioBitDepth element (32 bit in most cases). The float are stored in little endian order (most common float format). | Corresponding ACM wFormatTag : 0x0003
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  9. MKV definitely supports PCM: pcmtest.mkv
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  10. Member t0nee1's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2006
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    Originally Posted by BetaBoy
    We have added Apple Lossless to Matroska and will officially announce support for it later this week and/or before ****tails is announced.
    Interesting, thanks for the heads up!.. 8)

    I would have to agree with creamyhorror, it's hardly chump-space when flac compression is ~65% of original wav, it will save you hundreds of GB's, if you have large collection of audio file(s)..That said @ OP, you can use Itunes to convert wav to ALAC (Apple Lossless)...
    "I typed the word Google into Google. Guess what came up? Everything."

    "What we've got here is failure to communicate"
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  11. Originally Posted by t0nee1
    I would have to agree with creamyhorror, it's hardly chump-space when flac compression is ~65% of original wav
    It's close to chump space when you consider there will be video along with audio. What happens five years from now when it's time to replace a dead WDTV? Will the players then be able to play flac? What about 10 or 20 years from now? Sure, you can decompress back to uncompressed PCM but why put yourself in that position when the benefits now are minor.
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  12. Member t0nee1's Avatar
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    jagabo wrote:
    Will the players then be able to play flac?

    Yes, of course, and I see you made sure you answered as well...B/C in 10 -20 years if you want wav you can de-compress/decode the flacs back to it's original state..I'm not quite sure on flac going away anytime soon, however..It's becoming more and more popular/compatible/very tag-gable, etc..Some just don't like their audio compressed, even if it is LOSSLESS..
    That said, I was only offering an opinion and an alternative to the OP, and simply agreeing on the space issue..

    Cheers!.. 8)
    "I typed the word Google into Google. Guess what came up? Everything."

    "What we've got here is failure to communicate"
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    What happens five years from now when it's time to replace a dead WDTV? Will the players then be able to play flac?
    Of course they will. FLAC is getting very popular and mostly anything that plays MKVs plays FLAC. There's no way FLAC will disappear when it's the only free lossless codec around.

    If you're using MKV as a container, there's simply no reason to use LPCM - unless your player for some reason doesn't support FLAC in MKV.
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  14. vanished El Heggunte's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2009
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    Originally Posted by BetaBoy
    We have added Apple Lossless to Matroska and will officially announce support for it later this week and/or before ****tails is announced.
    At last!

    Originally Posted by t0nee1
    That said @ OP, you can use Itunes to convert wav to ALAC (Apple Lossless)...
    Code:
    ffmpeg -i input.wav -acodec alac output.m4a
    creamyhorror wrote:

    There's no way FLAC will disappear when it's the only free lossless codec around.
    What about TTA, WavPack, and APE
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  15. Member
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    Originally Posted by El Heggunte
    What about TTA, WavPack, and APE
    Oops I was thinking about this line:

    Originally Posted by HydrogenAudio wiki
    It is the first truly open and free lossless audio format.
    I don't know how I forgot about APE and the others.
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  16. Member t0nee1's Avatar
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    t0nee1 wrote:

    That said @ OP, you can use Itunes to convert wav to ALAC (Apple Lossless)...
    El Heggunte wrote:

    ffmpeg -i input.wav -acodec alac output.m4a
    Indeed!....However, using GUI/apps/tools such as iTunes or dBpoweramp make your toes wiggle and the converted audio file(s) are more danceable..
    "I typed the word Google into Google. Guess what came up? Everything."

    "What we've got here is failure to communicate"
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  17. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Asia
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    Originally Posted by t0nee1
    Indeed!....However, using GUI/apps/tools such as iTunes or dBpoweramp make your toes wiggle and the converted audio file(s) are more danceable..
    much like your $7k power cables make music more danceable :P
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  18. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Germany
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    Again a sincere thank you to all of you!

    It will probably still take some time before I can start the LD archiving. However, I will then add my experiences in an additional post here.
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