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I noticed that the iAudio x5 (and possibly iPod) hardware allows for 24bit playback . My question is, what would need to be done to get Rockbox to play 24bit FLAC files on this player? I'm prepared to do it myself if need be, just need a little guidance on where to look in the source code etc.
Before people ask, yes I can hear and appreciate the difference between 16bit and 24bit, and I have a need for this functionality in a portable player.
I will try and contact preglow and see what needs to be done.
My 24bit material is from DVD-Audio and DVD-Video rips, also I have been listening to some taped live music in 24bit format (see www.flacmusic.com) which sounds amazing and more is becoming available every day. I also intend to rip my vinyl collection to 24bit FLAC.
24bit doesn't just provide a better snr than 16 bit, it also provides more resolution (16777216 discrete levels for 24bit as opposed to 65536 levels for 16 bit i.e. much closer to analogue performance), and a higher signal to quantization distortion ratio.
Even though the SNR may not be limited by 16bit, the higher resolution will still be noticable (in the same way that vinyl provides very good resolution in spite of poor SNR).
Im using and listening to ripped albums at 24 bit 96 khz in flac on my sansa e200. Large but fantastic...
Thanks for chiming in preglow. Â Just one stupid question, why is the DMA transfer limited to 16bits? Â
Be careful here. No concert recording is going to have even close to 16 bit resolution, so these should probably be kept at 16 bit. Likewise, vinyl cannot do 16 bit either, so 24 bit is silly. DVD-V is just AC3, DTS or MP2 lossy compressed audio, so theres no point in 24 bit playback. That really just leaves DVD-A, and even that is not always 24 bit.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on those points. I have compared the 24bit FLAC concert recordings with the 16bit FLAC and the 24bit sounds a lot clearer and defined than the 16. I'm happy to upload some examples to megaupload for your perusal.
There are also many DVD-Video discs that contain 24bit LPCM audio (although only a small percentage). 99% of the DVD-Audio discs I have seen contain 24bit 2ch audio, some of which store the 2ch audio on the DVD-Video section. (dualdisc however is a different story, with all sony releases 16bit only). And with the recent introduction of MVI discs with compulsory 24bit stereo, we have more reason to consider high res playback.
As for the vinyl rips I haven't ripped one yet, but through my system vinyl sounds better than it's CD counterparts, worth archiving to 24bit imho.
Well, I'm sorry, but its not possible to exceed 16 bit resolution during concert recording. Just think about what that would require. You'd need ~100dB above the noise floor. Ever been to a concert with less then 40dB ambient? I haven't. Even at that level, you'd need peaks 20dB above the threshold of pain. This doesn't happen. Most of the concert recordings I have would fit in 8-12 bit nicely.
24bit doesn't just provide a better snr than 16 bit, it also provides more resolution (16777216 discrete levels for 24bit as opposed to 65536 levels for 16 bit i.e. much closer to analogue performance), and a higher signal to quantization distortion ratio. Even though the SNR may not be limited by 16bit, the higher resolution will still be noticeable (in the same way that vinyl provides very good resolution in spite of poor SNR).
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