I and many others have found that when converting to and converting from FLAC format from/to WAV format there is a sound quality degradation even though file size remains the same and accurate rip comparisons in EAC show no differences. Performing these conversions on two different PC computers of differing OS (Windows 7 64 bit vs Vista 32 bit), differing RAM (4 vs 8 GB), and differing CPU's (2.66 GHz quad-core vs 3 GHz duo-core) indicated that the effect was present in both systems but smaller in the better computer, thus indicating processing power was one source of the problem. We also found that differing software programs also contributed to the problem. Finally, by repeating WAV to FLAC to WAV conversions 5 to 10 times, it appeared that the files themselves were somehow cumulatively degraded in sound quality. We have been told that these results are impossible since FLAC compression is lossless. We have no reason to doubt that this is true yet we have repeated our listening tests several times with different listeners and with strictly single-blind procedures and find our results to be reproducible. We suspect that jitter is the explanation but question how this can be propagated through several WAV to FLAC to WAV conversions. Can any Guru out there explain our findings, please!?

Are you sure you've used flac codec?
It's probably some other lossy codec supported by .flac files.

Please check and redo the experiment,
and if the result come up again,
please think about and prove why it is

Dannyniu,

One thing I forgot to mention, we consistently used the 0 compression setting for minimum compression possible (0 does not equate to no compression, just the minimum software setting). We, and now many others have found similar results and a good part of the problem undoubtedly lies with the background processes running in the computer. However, the persistence and increase in degradation occurring with multiple generations of files is quite a bit more difficult to explain. As far as whether we were actually using the flac codec, I really don't understand what you are saying. We went to the appropriate website, downloaded the flac codec, installed it, used it. In addition, the various software programs we tried all indicated the flac format. What did we miss and why wouldn't using any lossless compression codec be....uh....lossless?

It's just my standard process to check and see if every step of mine is going right, and I was actually shocked to see this.
Did you went to this site:http://flac.sourceforge.net/, it's the only proper place because, you're not sure if you will get the right thing if you go to another website.
Are you sure you used PCM encoded WAVs as test, because WAVs support many other codecs in addition.
What was you testing sound?
And which part of the testing sound is "damaged"? Is it louder lighter, or the phase is smaller or bigger?

This article has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.