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Bandcamp and Dither
Old 13th September 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Bandcamp and Dither

I couldn't find a post directly speaking to this topic, so here I go.

Bandcamp offer to load 24bit and 16bit WAV files then allows the customer to choose which file format they want to download (FLAC, 320MP3 WAV etc). My concern is if I upload a 24bit WAV file and the customer chooses to download a 16bit WAV, will the bit conversion on the site be an issue? Or, would it be preferable that I dither it down to 16bit and just upload a 16bit WAV?

I guess my question summed up is: is a 16bit dithered better than a 24bit upload that will be converted by bandcamp?
Old 13th September 2012
  #2
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aleatoric's Avatar
 
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31 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Can you upload two file sets?

One being dithered to 24 bits and the other being dithered to 16 bits? That would be the most ideal solution.

If not have you tried emailing Bandcamp about this? Those guys seem to be pretty on top of things. I would not be surprised if they do indeed dither when truncating from 24 bits to 16 bits. Sure this eliminates your ability to choose the dither algorithm but I wouldn't stress about it much as long as they do indeed dither during 24 bit to 16 bit conversion.
Old 13th September 2012
  #3
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Bandcamp FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions | Bandcamp

"We don't do any audio processing to your uploaded files except whatever's necessary to fit into the download format. For example, for MP3 downloads the audio is resampled to 44.1kHz. FLAC downloads on the other hand are bit-for-bit identical to the audio you upload, all the way to 24/192."

So the ideal is to upload from full-res (whatever that is in your situation) for FLAC downloads.

Then ask Apple to at least offer the choice of ALAC downloads from the iTunes store, made from the 24 bit sources they've been requesting and getting.
Old 13th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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sat159p1's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleatoric ➑️
Can you upload two file sets?
I think it's not possible with BC. They ask for one set and offers multiple downloads like MP3, WAV, FLAC...
Old 13th September 2012
  #5
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
can you download .wav files from BandCamp?
i do not see that option on my page...
SoundCloud, yes...
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey ➑️
Frequently Asked Questions | Bandcamp

"We don't do any audio processing to your uploaded files except whatever's necessary to fit into the download format. For example, for MP3 downloads the audio is resampled to 44.1kHz. FLAC downloads on the other hand are bit-for-bit identical to the audio you upload, all the way to 24/192."

So the ideal is to upload from full-res (whatever that is in your situation) for FLAC downloads.

Then ask Apple to at least offer the choice of ALAC downloads from the iTunes store, made from the 24 bit sources they've been requesting and getting.
I had read this and that was my concern. If I load a 24bit file then it's great if a person chooses to download is as a FLAC or AAC file. But, isn't this statement by Bandcamp implicitly saying that if a person chooses a 16bit format they are converting the file for you?

So, in this case, wouldn't it be better to upload a 16bit dithered file? This is where my confusion lies. I guess the only way to really find out would be to publish the page privately, download it myself and check the difference in quality of each.
Old 14th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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huejahfink's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reflektem ➑️
I had read this and that was my concern. If I load a 24bit file then it's great if a person chooses to download is as a FLAC or AAC file. But, isn't this statement by Bandcamp implicitly saying that if a person chooses a 16bit format they are converting the file for you? .
No - It won't ever convert rate or depth on the lossless files, flac / alac will be the same depth and rate as the file you feed it. It will only convert rate for the lossy formats should that be required.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
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Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers ➑️
can you download .wav files from BandCamp?
i do not see that option on my page...
SoundCloud, yes...
Yep, Wav, Flac, Mp3

Bandcamp is brilliant!
Old 15th September 2012
  #9
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
how do you get the option for .wav download...?
i upload .wav file but there is no option to download .wav...
it's driving me nuts...can't find it... :(
on the website it says "Downloads are available in MP3 320, FLAC, MP3 VBR (V0), AAC, Ogg Vorbis or ALAC format."
thanks
Old 15th September 2012
  #10
csl
Lives for gear
You can't. There's no wav download.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by csl ➑️
You can't. There's no wav download.
No sorry you are right.

There is Flac though. Which is great!
Old 14th September 2015 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey ➑️
[...]
So the ideal is to upload from full-res (whatever that is in your situation) for FLAC downloads. [...]
I know it's an old thread but the topic is still valid.
It's very nice that Bandcamp supports high res audio formats but there's actually a big problem with only offering 24 bit FLAC (or wav and aif for that matter) if that was uploaded by the artist.

I just came accross this problem when trying to play such files on my Sonos system. The won't play, and I think there are other systems with the same limitations. Only 16 bit (and 44 or 48 kHz) will play.

There are some converter software out there that will produce 16 bit FLAC from 24 bit (like Bigasoft Audio Converter) but it doesn't do this properly with dithering. Which renders the whole point of high res audio useless for many serious listeners. There are of course some pro apps that will do the conversion (sometimes by converting via wav or aif) but they usually discard all tags.

I end up having to either make combersome conversions, possibly with less ideal results than good 16 bit files or having to download a lossy version of the music. Instead of conveniently downloading high quality which of course was the artists intention in the first place.

In my opinion there should always be a "cd-quality" verision of the music available for providers of great audio content. It's the industry standard since the eighties, it sounds great and it's VERY compatible.

Bandcamp had a great idea here but they ought to think one more time about providing proper conversions to cd-quality of high res audio.
Old 18th September 2015
  #13
Deleted 691ca21
Guest
If you're really concerned with hi res audio, you'll just buy a player that supports 24 bit. My Fiio X5 has played everything I have thrown at it so far! Bandcamp is great, the lossless downloads are whatever is uploaded by the artist. If your system won't play them, bitch at the system maker, not Bandcamp.
Old 22nd September 2015 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 691ca21 ➑️
If you're really concerned with hi res audio, you'll just buy a player that supports 24 bit. My Fiio X5 has played everything I have thrown at it so far! Bandcamp is great, the lossless downloads are whatever is uploaded by the artist. If your system won't play them, bitch at the system maker, not Bandcamp.
Maybe I was a bit unclear, my post was not primaliry about my own music system.

My point is that the consumer of the music will risk getting inferior quality than intended by the artist and Bandcamp. There are a lot of users with Sonos, making car cd:s and similar. Only offering linear audio in 24 bit is counter productive if the goal is that as many users as possible should get great audio. The result being instead they download something lossy since the 24 bit flac:s won't play or convert.
Old 22nd September 2015
  #15
Deleted 691ca21
Guest
Ah OK, sorry, I get you. Maybe drop BandCamp support an email?
Old 23rd September 2015 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 691ca21 ➑️
Ah OK, sorry, I get you. Maybe drop BandCamp support an email?
No problem, and yes I did. They'll "pass it on to the developers" as they said.
Old 25th September 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Actually, here's a very good reason why 24-bit might not be 24-bit in the end anyway on a great deal of units:

Quote:
The canonical formats in Core Audio are as follows:
iOS input and output Linear PCM with 16-bit integer samples
Source: Apple - Core Audio Overview
Google search

I don't know if the same is true for Android.
So, again. If the goal is best possible audio, better do the conversion to 16-bit properly and let the user download it.
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