Sign in to follow this  
nonoitall

Suggestion: FLAC remixes?

Recommended Posts

Either my download for cotmm's just-linked flac mix keeps corrupting or the file is corrupt. It won't play past a certain point in my Winamp or even load in Audacity.

If you're still having this problem, download the latest version of WinAmp. (Evidently FLAC 1.2.1 accidentally included a new encoding method that should've been kept strictly in the development pipeline, one that breaks compatibility with decoders based on pre-1.2.1 FLAC. WinAmp v5.5 updated FLAC support accordingly.)

As far as Audacity, we'll have to wait for them to release a new compatible version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I know that there has been, and probably will be discussions around sound quality and the "need" for lossless music.

Here are my opinions around the subject and some arguments why OCRemix should concider FLAC torrents of their remixes.

In my personal opinion, regular people on regular sound equipment will have a really hard time telling a 320kbps MP3 from a FLAC file. But as you all are aware of, the average bitrate here at OCRemix is probalby 160kbps. This might be a good enough bitrate for some music content, but higher quality recordings, instruments and synths will definitely sound much better at a higher bitrate or in a lossless setting.

Storing remixes in FLAC will also preserve the quality for the future. One of my main problems with game music today is the low quality on non-electronic music created in the mid 90's and early 2000's. Even though they used high quality equipment for the music performance, the lack of disk space and compression technologies practically killed the quality. Today, most of us can easily afford a 1.5TB harddrive, which will store almost a 1/3 year of uncompressed music.

I know bandwidth is an issue. But distributing FLAC collections via bittorrent only will prevent bandwith "abuse" by casual listening. There are plenty of people out there (including me) with somewhat good bandwidth that wants to help seeding your bittorrent files 24/7. High bandwith content also tend to find it's way to people via news services/Usenet and private FTP sites. So I doubt distribution will be a problem once the official torrents are up and running.

As you probably understood, I want a future OCRemix with FLAC files . I therefore ask you to concider this, and even though you have reasons for keeping the MP3 I would strongly recommend you to requrire, or accept and encourage optional submissions in FLAC.

Cheers for a lossless/high quality future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we're talking remixing of video game tunes. The quality of sample source material will always be a challenge. I don't see any problems with low quality source material, but I think it's our responsibility to make sure that the sound quality of the distributed music is of the highest standard possible. This way, we give the future users of the material a better starting point when it comes to mixing, remixing, broadcasting or just pure simple playback.

I guess that what I'm saying is that low quality samples should be covered up during production, not distribution (if that's really necessary to get the right feeling from a composer's point of view).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not going to get FLACs of all the remixes, particularly the older ones, but it would be nice if more artists offered lossless downloads for their stuff and then gave everyone a link to that in the review threads. However, OCR is pretty resistant to offering lossless options, mainly because yeah, the bandwidth consumption would go through the roof, but having it be torrent only would work, I suppose. Most people who can play lossless files probably also have bittorrent clients. How else are you going to get flac files, really?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are talks atm addressing the (admittedly old) quality rules, however:

The reason FLAC won't be brought in officially (although there is a thread where someone is organizing a lossless remixes site which is fine) is because its a hella lot more bandwidth storing files that are essentially lost on everyone but proper audiophiles. In economic terms, demand will never be high enough for the cost of supply to justify it. The site can only just stay free due to the donations we get from that yearly drive BGC started, throw in FLAC and this site might not be so free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As long as we're talking remixing of video game tunes. The quality of sample source material will always be a challenge. I don't see any problems with low quality source material, but I think it's our responsibility to make sure that the sound quality of the distributed music is of the highest standard possible. This way, we give the future users of the material a better starting point when it comes to mixing, remixing, broadcasting or just pure simple playback.

I guess that what I'm saying is that low quality samples should be covered up during production, not distribution (if that's really necessary to get the right feeling from a composer's point of view).

He was joking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He was joking.

Thank you.

I think the main problem is just the amount of work that would have to go into creating a new FLAC torrent, collecting all of the FLAC files, plus it would make submitting songs to OCR much harder because the submitter would have to find a place to submit FLAC to, not to mention more work on the judges, and while it doesn't seem like all that much it really adds up considering this is a volunteer-driven site and most everyone (if not, everyone) who makes this site what it is has more important things to be doing.

Plus, a lot of the old remixes it wouldn't even be worth trying to get FLACs of them considering the amount of contacting one would have to do, not to mention the fact that a lot of remixers may not even have the original project files (I know I don't). Also, and I mean absolutely no disrespect to the community at all as it applies to me as well, but for a lot of remixes it wouldn't be worth doing because any samples used may be running at 44.1/16, or their sound card may not be capable of anything higher, or anything else that may degrade the overall sound quality and having FLACs is only minimally better than a "high-quality mp3". Relatively little recording is done on this site, aside from guitars and the occasional woodwind or something, and typically that is where one would want a FLAC.

If you want FLAC files your best best would probably be to contact the artist directly and I highly doubt any of them wouldn't give you one unless it was just generally inconvenient for them (like they don't have all of the parts, missing plugins, etc.), but its really not OCR's problem to deal with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hehe. Will try to team up with other lossless enthusiasts and get hold of FLAC versions of OCRemixes. I've shared my thoughts with the OCRemix community, hopefully the admins will concider them. Thanks for opinions and jokes :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're forgetting that sometimes "bad" quality can actually be enjoyable. Take the soundtrack to Fallout 3; mostly 40/50s music. The recording quality adds a great character and maintains the cohesive feel of the ost as a whole. The old music in fallout 3 is what made it stand out to me as a whole.

eg.

In other words technical quality ain't everything, and it isn't even always wanted. Why do you think people put digital music through tape reels? It sure isn't so that they have to resample and dither it all again loosing technical quality, its for the feel and the sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creating music with filters isn't my problem at all. As you say it in some situations essential to.

I wish to ensure that the quality of the music is limited only by the intention of the componser, not technical limitations in lossy compression formats and due to bitrate restrictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never really understood why OC remix remixers(amazing people) never upload their work in a lossless format? I'm getting a box soon to help with the seeding of the files but most of them are 128Kbps? is this to save file size?

Lossless can go to lossy without data loss whereas lossy to lossy loses info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From 'Submission Standards and Instructions':

1. Submissions must be MP3 format audio files.

  • Bitrate must not exceed 192kbps.
  • Bitrate must be high enough to convey detail; a 128kbps average is suggested as a minimum.
  • Audio must be 44.1kHz Stereo.

2. Submissions must be 8MiB (8,388,608 bytes) or less.

A really big part of this is bandwidth. OCRemix hosts these at no charge to the people who listen, and they get an enormous amount of bandwidth, which they have to pay for. This also helps ensure that the audio is of consistent quality site-wide. I'll defer to anyone else who has better reasons, though, cuz I'm not a judge, so there are likely other reasons I don't know about.

Oh, and like Atmuh said, artists will sometimes render high-quality versions as well, but it's a case-by-case basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Space, bandwidth, etc. Keep in mind OCR was started in 1999... space and bandwidth were even more at a premium then, and very few people relative to today had broadband. But even today, it's not feasible for most people to render everything they do as lossless and share it like that. MP3 is just more convenient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see. Costs/bandwidth/standards. Thanks.

The reason I ask is because I come from an audiophile community and lossless is key whereas 128Kbps mp3 is frowned upon because of 'low quality' and it does not retain the music's original like a cd does.

ty!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand, and luckily with our site projects, bandwidth/space is less of an issue thanks to torrents, so there are basically always lossless files. Also, as atmuh said you can ask individual artists for lossless versions - they might give them to you if they have them. For example, while I keep lossless versions of a lot of my more recent material, my old stuff is essentially lost over the course of various hard drive crashes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this