Hi Lou,

> On May 18, 2015, at 11:49 AM, Lou Judson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I will admit to not reading the entire post, but have a question:
> According to my understanding, FLAC is a non-lossy compression scene applied to WAV and PCM files,

A FLAC encoding isn't limited to PCM/WAV source, the input to the FLAC encoder is simply the raw audio with contextual metadata (bit depth, channel count, sample rate, etc) from another source.

For instance you could have

WAV ---demux---> PCM ---decode---> rawaudio ---encode---> FLAC codec ---mux---> FLAC file format

but you could have

MP3 ---demux---> MP3 ---decode---> rawaudio ---encode---> FLAC codec ---mux---> FLAC file format
S/PDIF ---demux---> PCM ---decode---> rawaudio ---encode---> FLAC codec ---mux---> FLAC file format

Most of my archival experience with FLAC involved no WAV file at all but the FLAC resulted directly from a digitization (analog source) or data migration (CD-R, DAT, etc).

It is just as technically feasible to digitize directly to FLAC as it is to scan documents to lossless LZW in TIFF or digitize video to JPEG2000 or FFV1. It doesn't matter what type of decoder is producing raw audio data but only the the raw audio data is the input to the FLAC encoder. NB I'm taking behind the scenes in the transcoding or recording process, it's rare that an operator would be connecting these pieces together without some form or programming.

> not a digital encoding format in itself.

I would consider FLAC as a digital encoding in itself.

> If that is so, then one must start with WAV (or other PCM format) files in order to get to FLAC. Therefore FLAC is an accessory, not a proper format.

I disagree. The raw audio data delivered to a FLAC encoder may come from any source that can provide raw audio data and the necessary metadata. This could be a WAV demuxer and PCM decoder but there is no such limitation that it must be. It could be from various digital audio transmission standards, other decoded lossless or lossy encodings, or other uncompressed audio encodings.

> If this is so, then it can only be seen as a storage format, not a recording format, and the argument is academic.

* head desk *

> Intelligent refutation is welcome.

I can refute, but the information above seems to be based on presumptions (correct me if I'm wrong). If you have a citation that claims that "FLAC is not a recording format", that "FLAC is not a digital encoding format", or that "one must start with WAV (or other PCM format) files in order to get to FLAC" than I am happy to refute.
Dave Rice

> <L>
> Lou Judson
> Intuitive Audio
> 415-883-2689
> On May 18, 2015, at 6:39 AM, Dave Rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I was very pleased to hear that the merits of FLAC as a preservation format were again being considered by ARSC List; however most of the discussion only considered a few of its advantages over PCM/WAV such as that the openness of the format and resulting storage requirements, but the thread hasn't yet covered FLAC's preservation and fixity features over PCM/WAV.