Please begin sharing multitrack files as FLAC files. Read more here!



What format would you like tracks to be posted in?

I prefer FLAC
9 (64.3%)
I prefer WAV
4 (28.6%)
I prefer another format (please indicate in post below)
1 (7.1%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Author Topic: Should we start using FLAC or another format for tracks?  (Read 11407 times)

  • *****
July 24, 2013, 04:24:40 PM
As you all know, downloading a huge .zip file takes a long time, as does uploading it in the first place. And if you're using Dropbox or another service with a capacity limit, smaller would certainly be better.

FLAC files are lossless, and are generally at least 50% smaller, though tracks with a lot of silence compress much more, I just compressed a 58mb vocal track to 2mb.

There are some good free apps for batch converting the tracks to WAV or whatever you prefer for use in your DAW, if FLAC isn't supported.

If you have a favorite conversion program, please post a link below, and indicate if it's a mac or windows application, too!

Hopefully, if everyone is onboard with this, we can make the file exchange process faster and not too complicated.

  • ****
July 25, 2013, 05:26:35 AM
I voted for FLAC for the above reasons.

I use my DAW (Cool Edit Pro 2.1, yes, I been doing this along time) to batch-file convert FLAC downloads to 32 bit float WAV before use.

FWIW, I've uploaded a lot of stuff at bandcamp, etc.; FLAC seems to be about 2/3 the size of WAV when dealing with full mixes.

  • ****
July 25, 2013, 04:02:00 PM
I think either way is fine. The track files are not really that huge in most cases, so downloading never bugged me, personally. For uploading, flac is more interesting.
Having to convert to wav before mixing might be tiresome for the people whose DAW does not play flac directly though.
For me, it's an option, but I never "longed" for it.

  • *****
July 29, 2013, 02:18:29 AM
The conversion program I used took about 2 seconds to compress one track, I can't imagine uncompressing would take any longer. Maybe if you were doing a lot of dense tracks, it could take  a few minutes, but no more than you use up/downloading, I don't think.

Anyway, I'll let this go a little longer, it seems FLAC is winning but there are a few WAV lovers, too...

  • ****
July 29, 2013, 09:02:28 AM
I also think at the end of the day it doesn't really matter to me. Few extra minutes of waiting with WAVs vs few extra minutes of organizing the files. For those who live in an area of low internet speeds the FLAC would obviously be helpful. That is why my vote went to FLAC.

I have been using a free lightweight mac software called xACT to decode any FLAC files I've needed to deal with. Even 100MB+ hi-resolution (96k samplerate, etc.) files get uncompressed in a matter of seconds.
"You don't go to a record school to go to courses, you go to record school to record there!"

  • ****
July 30, 2013, 11:31:04 PM

Quote from: Spede on July 29, 2013, 08:02:28 AM For those who live in an area of low internet speeds the FLAC would obviously be helpful. 

You mean, like, the U.S.A.   ;D

August 02, 2013, 09:12:27 AM

My vote would be for APE files however I'm fine with uploading and downloading Wav files as well.

  • *****
August 02, 2013, 08:53:50 PM

My vote would be for APE files however I'm fine with uploading and downloading Wav files as well.

Not real familiar, what are the advantages versus FLAK?

August 02, 2013, 11:06:25 PM

Not really sure what the advantages of APE over Flac are(If any)

I'm sure someone can tell us.

Monkeys Audio for APE files

I mostly use APE because I have very little issues compressing and uncompressing APE files...Works great.

I've tried using Flac in the past and had issues with Flac files not working or having errors.

  • **
August 03, 2013, 08:43:01 AM
APE often yields (even) smaller files than FLAC, but sometimes they can also get bigger. The differences are not huge though.

The problem with APE is that almost no DAW supports it (I think only REAPER does), while FLAC is supported by most major DAWs. FLAC is also more widely accepted in general, i.e. it's easier to find a FLAC encoder/decoder for both Windows and Mac than an APE encoder/decoder. If you have Linux, you can, of course, use any format you like.

Here are some free tools:

APE encoder/decoder for Windows:

APE/FLAC/... encoder/decoder for Mac:

FLAC command line tools for Windows:

GUI for FLAC command line tools for Windows:

Converter and CD ripper for Windows with FLAC support:

Great Audio Editor with FLAC support for Linux, Windows and Mac:

I use Switch, a multi-format converter for both Windows and Mac, which is not free though ($30 currently):