If one wanted to convert an ac3 or dts file to a format that can be imorted into a DAW or NLE, with no quality loss, would you advise converting to wav or flac? I've been using eac3to to convert these kinds of files to flac, so I could bring them into Vegas, until I noticed MeGUI's HD streams extractor tool lets you convert ac3 and dts files to wav. The resulting wav file is much larger than the flac file, and mediainfo shows a higher kbps, however I'm not sure I'm gaining much by converting to wav. Now, in theory wav and flac should be uncompressed formats, so is there really any difference? It's weird because, for example, I converted a stereo ac3 file that was 384kbps to wav, and the resulting wav file was 2304 kbps. When I converted the same file to flac, it was 1321 kbps. Seems like both conversions should have had the same kbps as the source ac3 file. Ultimately, both the wav and flac files sound good, and they can be imported into my vegas project, so I'm happy, but my interest in using the highest quality audio possible makes me wonder. Any thoughts? Thanks, amigos!
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Both wav (PCM in wav) and FLAC are lossless. Both have 100% identical quality. But FLAC is compressed (think RAR or ZIP) while WAV (pcm in wav) is not. That's why wav is bigger than FLAC.
Lossy compressions schemes (ac3, mp4, aac, etc.) are much smaller (in exchange for being lossy). If you convert ac3 to wav you decompress the file. That's why it ends up bigger.
So, should you choose wav or FLAC? Doesn't really matter. Use what your software supports. FLAC will use less space but might need more CPU (for the compression/decompression).
MeGUI's HD Streams Extractor is a GUI for eac3to, so you're still using eac3to if you use it.
Wave files always have the same bitrate, according to the bit depth, sample rate and number of channels. Assuming stereo:
16bit, 44.1 kHz, - 1411.2 kb/s.
16bit 48 kHz, - 1536 kb/s.
24bit 44.1 kHz, - 2117 kb/s.
24bit 48 kHz, - 2304 kb/s.
When you're done editing, if you're not converting to another lossy format such as AAC or AC3 etc, downsampling to 16 bit should reduce the file size (for wave or flac).
Or you can extract the audio as 16 bit wave or flac by adding the appropriate option to the "+ Options" column of the HD Streams Extractor. Adding "-16" (without the quotes) will give you a 16 bit wave file. The full list of options can be found here: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Eac3to/How_to_Use#Command_Line_Syntax
For eac3to, the way you select the output type is by specifying the extension, so for example if you've been specifying "output.flac" as the output file when using eac3to via the command line, try "output.wav" instead.
Thanks everyone! I appreciate your responses.