Better WAV support

Hi,

was wondering if possible to get better WAV support on Fuze as there is huge difference in sound quality between FLAC and WAV at least in my case and tested on three versions of Fuze (v1). WAV files give much more details, clarity and even lows, highs and soundstage are all better.

But there seems to be ocassional hickups (short breaks, like once every song) and no, they are not reproducable on the same place again. They just randomly happen.

And also dbpoweramp seems to write Tags to WAV files (according to them it is perfectly OK) and seems Fuze interprets them as 1sec noise before each song !? Any chance of supporting this - from dbpoweramp forums:

“… we write 2x tags WAVE LIST & Wave ID3v2, these are the two standards, but not hugely used…”

Anyhow Fuze is amazing. Happy New Year to all!

-velimir

FLAC is a lossless codec, that reduces the file size without sacrificing audio quality…that is if the ripping software does it’s job properly.  FLAC sounds and works fine with me on the fuze.  With FLAC available, I can’t really see a need to use .wav.

If your FLAC files sound different than their .wav counterparts, something is amiss.  I have have conducted clinical tests on numerous FLAC files; and encoding/decoding problems aside; they are bit for bit exact copies of the .wav files.

Message Edited by fuze_owner-GB on 12-31-2008 07:52 AM

thanks for the input. I can hear difference (not huge, but noticable) between FLAC and WAV files in FUZE and my guess is that WAV decoder is doing better job than FLAC decoder in FUZE. I tested all levels of compression for FLAC with dbpoweramp ultra secure ripping and encoding and also EAC …

I am not saying FLAC is bad or anything, just that I really can notice difference between those 2 and that WAV files have better clarity, highs and lows and soundstage. that is in my ears at least :slight_smile:

Happy New Year!

-velimir

@■■■■■ wrote:

thanks for the input. I can hear difference (not huge, but noticable) between FLAC and WAV files in FUZE and my guess is that WAV decoder is doing better job than FLAC decoder in FUZE. I tested all levels of compression for FLAC with dbpoweramp ultra secure ripping and encoding and also EAC …

 

I am not saying FLAC is bad or anything, just that I really can notice difference between those 2 and that WAV files have better clarity, highs and lows and soundstage. that is in my ears at least :slight_smile:

 

Happy New Year!

 

-velimir

Like I said, if you hear a difference, it is likely an encoder/decoder issue.  Using the official sourceforge codec as reference, my testing has concluded that FLAC and WAV are identical in their corresponding waveforms.

OK thanx. My subjective ear test shows me that on my home stereo FLAC and WAV sounds the same and on FUZE with Westone UM2 headphones they don’t. So I think we can agree it may be decoder issue on Fuze.

So maybe the thread title should be better WAV & FLAC support :). thanx for Your info and help - it is much appreciated.

-velimir

What is wrong with mp3? Can you really hear the difference between 256 kbps or 320 kbps mp3 files and wav files on the Fuze using the headphone you normally use with the Fuze?Be honest. While some might be able to distinguish 320 kbps mp3 files from wav files using high end full sized headphones driven by a high quality home system and a headphone amp, using small portable headphones driven directly from the Fuze it is doubtful one could discern the difference.

unfortunately yes I can hear the difference. I am not happy or proud about it. it is just like that - I can ABX it on Fuze, on my laptop and my home system everytime. Talking about Westone UM2 in ear headphones in all cases. It would be so much easier just to convert it to MP3s and enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to prove anything. I have all my music in FLAC. And I have most of the music on Fuze in MP3s. But I like to have few latest albums on my Fuze in lossless. And I tested it all for 2 weeks now since I have Fuze (3 actually - black, blue and pink for my wife) and I came to conclusion that WAV sounds best to me.

That’s why I am asking if there is chance for better WAV support. Nothing else :slight_smile:

Thanks for the answer!

-velimir

Message Edited by ■■■■■ on 12-31-2008 08:50 AM

@jk98 wrote:
What is wrong with mp3? Can you really hear the difference between 256 kbps or 320 kbps mp3 files and wav files on the Fuze using the headphone you normally use with the Fuze?Be honest. While some might be able to distinguish 320 kbps mp3 files from wav files using high end full sized headphones driven by a high quality home system and a headphone amp, using small portable headphones driven directly from the Fuze it is doubtful one could discern the difference.

YES!!!  Mp3 is the bottom feeder of all audio codecs and I can EASILY distinguish MP3 of any sampling rate with ogg, FLAC or WAV.  If there wasn’t such an acceptance of the format, there wouldn’t be too much reason to keep it around.

I just tested with my second player Sony S739 and it can read WAV tags with no problem and it was a big surprise to me. so if Sony can do it I am sure Sandisk can do it also. And Sony plays WAVs with no hick-ups … I hope this will be solved in Fuze in next firmware update because it sounds more accurate than Sony :slight_smile:

-velimir

@■■■■■ wrote:

unfortunately yes I can hear the difference. I am not happy or proud about it. it is just like that - I can ABX it on Fuze, on my laptop and my home system everytime. Talking about Westone UM2 in ear headphones in all cases. It would be so much easier just to convert it to MP3s and enjoy.

 

 

 

How did you run an ABX test on a Fuze?

 

Message Edited by donp on 01-03-2009 12:36 PM

I knew someone would ask … typo of course :robotsad: … how can I run ABX test on my home system?

anyway, the point was that I can hear a difference. any I don’t know why people would blame for just asking for better WAV support :robotsad:

-velimir

If you’re running off a PC there are various programs to run ABX tests.  You provide the sound files, the program randomizes, lets you listen to your heart’s content to A, B, and X, and pick whether X is really A or B.  Repeat 10 or 20 times and the program tells you how many times you picked right and the probability that your picks weren’t just random guesses.

IF your home system isn’t running off the computer, it wouldn’t be too hard to write a program that would create an album with however many copies of a track fit on a CD, randomly chosen from vorbis and wav (or whatever) and writes those choices to a file which you don’t see until you’ve listened to the CD and written your choices about which are which.   That might work on the Fuze as well unless there is some side clue like how long a track takes to start playing once selected, or you watch during the copy and see which take longer to transfer.  

You could also have a friend set up the album based on coin flips, but to be strictly double-blind, he should not have any communication with you between then and the test.

Message Edited by donp on 01-03-2009 04:52 PM

I read posts like this one and some others on this page, and I wonder what the big deal is really, The fuze is primarily an mp3 player, not a flac or Wav player. I understand the desire for it  and if a player says it supports them it should do so well. However I am a musician with a classically trained ear, I can hear the difference in quality but I bought an mp3 player to play just that mp3s (The bottom feeder of audio codecs[I agree]). I have my 2 gig fuze and 2 gig sd card loaded up almost 700 songs. Many of which are songs I may need to learn in a hurry, I dont care about quality I need performance. The Record label I used to work for gave me a wav player where I put my high quality stuff.

I apologize for the rant, I guess boil it down to say, better wav support would be cool but it needs to be optional, I dont want it if it will in anyway effect the performance of my fuze when it does what I bought it to do. If you want it go for it.

Assuming there is some difference between FLAC and wav  on the Fuze,  it could be interesting to record both from the phone jack back to the computer and run some statistics, overlay wave forms etc.  You might find something like the wav is just playing back a half dB or so louder.  Barring some replaygain tag it shouldn’t, but that’s a difference that often (really often) gives a perception of more detail without being perceived as louder.  On the other hand, if it turns out there’s a different dynamic range, or frequency profile, then it reveals a real problem.

@donp wrote:

Assuming there is some difference between FLAC and wav  on the Fuze,  it could be interesting to record both from the phone jack back to the computer and run some statistics, overlay wave forms etc.  You might find something like the wav is just playing back a half dB or so louder.  Barring some replaygain tag it shouldn’t, but that’s a difference that often (really often) gives a perception of more detail without being perceived as louder.  On the other hand, if it turns out there’s a different dynamic range, or frequency profile, then it reveals a real problem.

 

 

In all the clincal tests I have performed, and using the original FLAC codec, the waveforms are identical between FLAC and .WAV.

thanks donp for some constructive input :slight_smile: … I give up on this issues seeing Fuze is only ‘MP3 player’ and all the ‘clinical’ tests showed that FLAC and WAV sounds exactly the same on Fuze. Probably my ears are just screwed up and Fuze is perfect of course.

Thanks all for the time reading this!

-velimir

@■■■■■ wrote:

thanks donp for some constructive input :slight_smile: … I give up on this issues seeing Fuze is only ‘MP3 player’ and all the ‘clinical’ tests showed that FLAC and WAV sounds exactly the same on Fuze. Probably my ears are just screwed up and Fuze is perfect of course.

 

Thanks all for the time reading this!

 

 

 

 

 

-velimir

Just to be clear…my testing was done outside the realm of the fuze.  I was testing FLAC and WAV for a project I was working on at the time; which included comparing the two formats.  It is possible that you hear a difference, as the decoder engine within the fuze has to do it’s job correctly for the two formats to sound identical.  I’m not suggesting that fuze’s FLAC decoder is suspect, all I am saying is that it is possible that you hear a difference and it’s not a fault with your ears.

thanks for the reply. I just tried with Your codec and encoder of choice :slight_smile: at v8 and it is better than any mp3 I ever encoded, but I can hear little noise at the and of every song (gap I guess) and something is missing in SQ. But thanx anyway for the info.

-velimir

@■■■■■ wrote:

thanks for the reply. I just tried with Your codec and encoder of choice :slight_smile: at v8 and it is better than any mp3 I ever encoded, but I can hear little noise at the and of every song (gap I guess) and something is missing in SQ. But thanx anyway for the info.

 

 

 

 

-velimir

Keep in mind that ogg vorbis was never intended as a replacement for FLAC or WAV.  Ogg is a lossy format, while FLAC and WAV are not.  I use ogg mainly because it strikes a happy balance between size and sound quality.  Setting 8 is lower quality than I typically encode, so if you feel that it is reasonably musical at that setting, that tells alot.  I typically use v9 if I am using Version 1 of the encoder, which equals about 300kbps sampling rate, and v10 if I am using version 2 of the codec, which yields a sampling rate of around 500kbps.

Yes, it is probably the pre or post gap that is causing the bit of noise at the end or beginning of the tracks.  I use my audio restoration software to eliminate such gaps, but I know there are commercial programs out there that will eliminate these as well.

I think I have pretty good idea about lossy and lossless, but formats thanx :smiley: … I chose v8 vs v10 ogg vorbis because I read this on one of the forums:

“Vorbis is very good at lower bit rates (around 128 kbps), but introduces high frequency artefacts when you rise the bitrate and also rise the low pass.”

So I wanted to test if v8 sounds any better than Lame v0 MP3s and if I will hear those artefacts… I didn’t hear artefacts and it sounded better then MP3s, but still not what I wanted.

For me (or my ears) still WAV works the best and I like my Sony for playing WAV flawlessly and reading tags. But I think Sony SQ is a bit boring, artificial and not so accurate.

So it is hard choice and most of the time I choose Fuze and that is why I wanted that particular improvement.

-velimir