Monkey's Audio: who uses it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas_Berg, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    this is a seriously cool piece of software for all you audiophiles. i am just starting to get into it and i can tell you that 'lossless compression' is not a false statement. this is very handy in keeping archives (.APE extension [​IMG]) of your CDs on the computer to make your own custom CDs (without losing sound quality). it's also surprisingly fast and efficient, and it comes with a Winamp plug-in that lets you mix it with your mp3's. i use it to make perfect-sounding custom CDs to demo speakers/other gear with while at hifi stores.
    anyone else here use it? coupled with Exact Audio Copy, it's a great way to protect the quality of your songs from the evil compression of mp3's. i now have a rather large amount of storage room available to me, so i'm re-ripping all my favorite CDs to enjoy on my computer (for personal use only of course). very cool! [​IMG]
    www.monkeysaudio.com
    www.exactaudiocopy.de
     
  2. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Thomas,
    I use the shorten format to do the same thing. It's a lossless compression, but I don't have any numbers as to how it's compression % compares to Monkey. One good thing is that it's freeware. For more information, see
    Etree's mkwACT page
    and
    the officail mkwACT website
    -Brett.
    edit: Oops, just checked out the link to Monkey's page and it looks to be free also. I was under the impression that it wasn't, maybe I was thinking that the source code wasn't available. There was some reason the powers that be at Etree decided against it, and I thought it had to do with price.
     
  3. Duncan Barth

    Duncan Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    After investigating various lossless audio formats, I settled on FLAC. (http://flac.sourceforge.net/index.html)
    I like it 'cause its free (both as in speech and beer ... its GPLed), and is very configurable.
    Whats really nice about it is how cross platform the tools are. I encode the files on my linux server, and play them back using the winamp plugin on my W2K based HTPC.
    Of course, you could run it all on Windows if you wanted to, or Mac OSX, or whatever.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Well, as long as hard drives are just cheap as opposed to nearly free [​IMG] I'll be sticking to my MP3/VBR. If I can't readily tell the difference between the original WAV and the encoded file I figure things are ok. This of course is a personal preference.
    Still, it's a natural progression as drive sizes and prices come down to move to a lossless format I guess. Meanwhile I'm having serious problems anyway keeping up with my storage needs.
     
  5. Duncan Barth

    Duncan Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to use mp3s to store audio. I've wanted a digital jukebox for ages. I started experimenting back in '95-96 with .mp2s (mpeg 1 layer 2 audio) and a pile of zip discs, just to see whether the technology was there or not. Obviously it wasn't so I waited.
    A bit later, I used a hard drive and mp3s. Which worked well, until I became an audiophile and realized that most of my mp3s sounded like crap.
    So back to the drawing board. High bitrate VBR mp3s became the new plan. Which meant reripping/encoding/cataloging all those CDs again. That sucked... Halfway through that process, I started to realize that lossless compression was the way to go. As algorithms advance, with lossy compression I needed to rerip/encode to take advantage of the space/quality improvements. With lossless compression, there will be no quality improvements, and to migrate to a new format, I just need to reencode. Or not bother.
    The cost really depends on your CD collection. Mine is relitvely small (350 discs or so), so I can get by with a couple 80GB drives. Which worked out to be cheaper than my cd changer [​IMG]
     
  6. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Well, doing lossless compression and getting the files smaller than MA doesn't seem physically possible to me, at least not more than marginally... new lossy compression schemes do keep showing up though, but for me VBR sounds absolutely superb.
     
  7. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Thomas, I wasn't so much commenting on sound quality as I was Duncan's comment about possibly re-encoding MA when a new version came out; I was trying to say (admittedly in a fuzzy way, sorry about that) that I don't believe you can improve very much on the level of compression MA accomplishes today if you want to stay lossless. So re-enconding probably won't be an issue if you already use MA.

    If one needs perfect quality compressed files, MA and its competitors are the way to go, I admit that. However, like Buzz, even on my main sound equipment I can't tell the difference between a ripped WAV file burned as an audio-cd (ie a virtually identical copy of the original) and a VBR file, so I don't need MA - at least for now. I'd rather save on the hard drive space, cheap as it is.
     
  9. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    thanks for clarifying! i wish i couldn't hear the difference! it would save me alot of time and disk space... [​IMG]
     
  10. Duncan Barth

    Duncan Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree; reencoding for better compression will probably have minimal net gains. But having a losslessly compressed source makes it a heck of a lot easier to convert an archive of music to a new format, for example, if MA stops being developed, and becomes incompatible with a new OS/media player/whatever. With a lossy compression mode, if you for some reason need to switch from VBR mp3s to a different format, you're going to suffer losses from the decompression/recompression cycle.
     
  11. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Very true. However, it will be many, many years if ever when it will be impossible to find some hardware to play MP3's.
     

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