[Flac-dev] Git branch with compiling fixes for win32

Declan Kelly flac-dev at groov.ie
Mon Nov 21 08:43:52 PST 2011

On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 03:36:12PM -0800, brianw at sounds.wa.com wrote:

> > This will leave Apple with even less reasons to support FLAC ...
> You make some important observations, but I do not see how anything  
> can be done by the FLAC team about Apple's lack of support.

I think that only people who work for Apple can do anything to persuade
Apple to (ahem) think different about FLAC. I'm guessing there is a
strong "Not Invented Here" effect at work.

> As for FLAC, no news is good news.  That means the code is stable and  
> bug free.

I appreciate that, a lot. That's why I run mostly Debian or Ubuntu LTS
on machines that need to be stable (but don't need to have the latest
fancy stuff).
Unfortunately, most people tend to prefer the latest fancy stuff (in
devices and installed software) so for those people lack of change is
usually seen as a bad thing.

Although having said that, last time I had to install FLAC on a Windows
PC (someone else's) the GUI front-end that I downloaded came with an
older flac.exe than the current FLAC version at the time.

> It seems that all of the recent updates have been efforts to port  
> FLAC to operating systems like Windows and Linux.  In terms of your  
> comments above, Windows/Linux support does absolutely nothing to help  
> FLAC compete against ALAC on the OSX platform.

Not directly, no...
...but most people like New Stuff as opposed to not fixing something
that isn't broken. Enough to cause more interest in Apple Lossless as a
supported format (outside of Apple devices) and therefore less interest
in FLAC. It could even cause some music download sites to reconsider
their support of FLAC.

> It is indeed noteworthy that Apple has released the source for ALAC.   
> The power of FLAC is that it was designed for embedded systems from  
> the beginning, and that's why you see portable recorders like the  
> Sound Devices 700 Series supporting FLAC, as well as various optical  
> disc players (CD, DVD, etc.).  One question that remains for me is  
> whether Apple's ALAC open source can be ported to these kinds of  
> embedded systems with the same ease.

I wish I could afford a portable recorder from Sound Devices!
They record multichannel or stereo in FLAC aswell as playing it, right?

Obviously, FLAC requires much less horsepower to decode than to encode,
and that's OK (for most uses) because the decode will happen more often.

I can live with uncompressed recording, but when buying hardware, FLAC
support is always a deciding factor. However, almost every device that
can play audio (from el-cheapo DVD players, to almost every "pro" DJ or
broadcast deck) is able to play MP3 files. Most of them can also play
WMA and AAC (lossy), but FLAC support on mass-market devices is rare.

There is such a huge variety of chipsets and other hardware elements
that it's impractical to port Rockbox to them.

For example, OPPO do some very nice DVD and BD players for the home
theatre and audiophile markets. But only their top-range players can
play FLAC files. That is according to their own website, but it may be a
"hidden extra".  Similarly, CD DJ decks from Pioneer and Denon seem to
support every lossy compressed audio format, but not lossless. And to
make it even worse, Silvio Zeppieri (Denon brand manager) commented on
www.denondjforums.com (in Feb 2010) that their reason for not supporting
FLAC was that hard drives are cheap now, so just use WAV for "lossless"
instead, as it would cost Denon too much to develop FLAC support.

FolderPlay (app for Nokia S60) is what I listen to music with on the
move every day (mostly FLAC, some MP3) and the developer told me that it
took him half a day to add FLAC support. Whereas Denon were afraid that
the DJ features (scratch, loop in/out points, etc) that are already
possible on Denon hardware in WAV, will cost them too much development
time to support in FLAC. What impressed me most about the discussion on
www.denondjforums.com wasn't the overall defeatist attitude from a Denon
manager (he said "no direct FLAC sales" in Feb 2010), but that most of
the other people on the forum agreed that hard drives are so cheap that
lossless has no real advantage: digital DJs should either use MP3s (not
caring about sound quality) or WAV (not caring about storage space).

And now we find ourselves in a world where hard drives are suddenly not
cheap anymore...

"Mosaic is going to be on every computer in the world." - Marc Andreessen, 1994

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