Convert DVD Audio Files to Lossless Audio

TopicsAll ForumsGeneralThe Corner PubConvert DVD Audio Files to Lossless Audio

This topic has 6 voices, contains 14 replies, and was last updated by  mrmojohalen 281 days ago.

February 2, 2017 at 2:35 am Quote #55733

Panamaniac
(178)

I’m a little confused on the topic’s subject so wondering if someone can chime in. I have a number of DVDs from which I’d like to convert to lossless audio files but it seems every time I try, they always end up being lossy. These DVDs were all converted from original VHS analog. Is it more likely that the original conversion of VHS analog to digital DVD files used encoding that caused the audio portion to result in a lossy digital format or could it be I’m just doing it wrong? I’m using a piece of freeware called “SUPER” which converts almost anything. Appreciate any help on this.


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February 2, 2017 at 3:29 am Quote #55737

guitard
(7354)

First things first – you can’t convert audio into a lossless format, because by its very definition, if you’re “converting” audio, then you’re doing something to it that involves changing it. And “lossless” audio suggests the audio hasn’t been changed – rather it’s in its original, pure state.

There are different bit rates for audio that are still considered lossless. To keep it simple, however, I’m just going to use the lossless 1536 bit wave file that you can capture from a VHS tape as standard for this discussion of lossless audio. Note: the audio in a video on a VHS tape recorded in EP (extended play) mode can be captured as “lossless” 1536 bit audio, however, it will not sound nearly as good as audio in a video recorded in SP (standard play) mode.

Almost all DVDs that I author that are sourced from video tape have 1536 bit lossless audio – because I choose to capture the audio in a lossless format – and make the DVD with lossless audio. The only difference between the lossless audio in a DVD that I author and the audio in a regular CD is that the DVD audio is 48kHz and the CD audio is 44.1kHz. I don’t think there is any discernible difference between the two when you listen to them, but in order to play properly, DVD audio has to be 48kHz.

You can also make DVDs with .ac3 audio, which is a much lower bit rate than wave audio, and ranges from 192 bit to 520 bit. A very simple test to hear the quality difference is playing 1536 bit CD audio and then playing 192 bit mp3 audio on a decent stereo – the difference is like night and day (and mp3 and .ac3 audio are very similar in terms of them both being low bit rate forms of audio). It is quite common for DVDs to have .ac3 audio – and this is especially true for DVDs created using set-top DVD burners that a lot of people use to capture video & audio from VHS tapes. I capture the raw video and audio (1536 bit) from video tapes using a computer – and that’s how I’m able to create DVDs with lossless 1536 bit audio.

So unless the audio bit rate used when the DVDs were made was 1536 bit – you can’t rip the audio from a DVD to a lossless format. Some might argue that having to convert 1536 bit 48kHz audio to 1536 bit 44.1kHz (CD) audio degrades it somehow and thus, even that isn’t really “lossless.” I don’t know how much it changes (if at all) when you make that conversion.


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February 2, 2017 at 7:32 am Quote #55743

ron
(8971)

Point of clarification: “DVD-Audio” is a specialized form of DVD. What you seem to be asking about is the audio on a regular DVD, but not “DVD-Audio

You can tell what’s on your DVD before you rip it by using VLC. While the DVD is playing in VLC, click the TOOLS menu, and then CODEC INFORMATION. Look for the Stream that is listed as “Type: Audio”, and then look under that. You’ll see “LPCM” for lossless audio, and “AC3″ for lossy.

There are exceptions of course, but that’ll get you started.


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February 2, 2017 at 6:51 pm Quote #55755

jroundy
(1366)

Isn’t the “Live Without A Net” DVD in this audio format? 192 bit .ac3 audio?

I was surprised a Professional DVD had such a low bit rate for audio.


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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February 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm Quote #55762

guitard
(7354)

jroundy: Isn’t the “Live Without A Net” DVD in this audio format?192 bit .ac3 audio?

I was surprised a Professional DVD had such a low bit rate for audio.

I don’t know about the bit rate, but I believe the 2004 version of the DVD has 5.1 surround sound. 5.1 surround sound is indeed still sourced with .ac3 audio, but it’s typically 520 bit and it’s five streams of audio that I think sounds every bit as good as stereo wav audio – if not better (especially if it’s done right). If you listen to it in stereo, however, it might not sound as good. Obviously, the key to taking full advantage of 5.1 surround is to have something like a home theater setup with a nice sound system.


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February 3, 2017 at 12:56 am Quote #55767

Panamaniac
(178)

Thanks for the replies; this is super helpful


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February 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm Quote #55769

jroundy
(1366)

guitard: I don’t know about the bit rate, but I believe the 2004 version of the DVD has 5.1 surround sound.5.1 surround sound is indeed still sourced with .ac3 audio, but it’s typically 520 bit and it’s five streams of audio that I think sounds every bit as good as stereo wav audio – if not better (especially if it’s done right).If you listen to it in stereo, however, it might not sound as good.Obviously, the key to taking full advantage of 5.1 surround is to have something like a home theater setup with a nice sound system.

If the original audio source was just “stereo”…. how could the DVD be 5.1 surround sound?

My DVD just says “stereo” on the back cover. Is there a version where they remastered the audio into 5.1 surround sound?


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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February 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm Quote #55770

frankm
(4758)

It all really depends on the source. DVDs can be encoded with PCM (lossless) or ac3 (lossy) and at various bit rates. I think the previous posts have gone a long way to demonstrate this. If the DVD just has ac3 you’ll never get lossless from lossy :) . If you are doing it for personal use, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I’m guessing you just want to get the best possible result. When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve looked to see what is on the disc (PCM or ac3) and then rip that stream. I’ve then used headAche or whatever to convert the ac3 or PCM to WAV. I’ve then split the WAV into track using EAC and either burned an audio disc (CD) or split the WAV into separate file to convert to FLAC, M4A or whatever for listening. This has all been done for personal use and never traded or shared but I’ve been pretty happy with the results.


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February 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm Quote #55773

guitard
(7354)

jroundy: If the original audio source was just “stereo”…. how could the DVD be 5.1 surround sound?

My DVD just says “stereo” on the back cover.Is there a version where they remastered the audio into 5.1 surround sound?



I’m sure they used several mics while recording this – so creating 5.1 surround was easy.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Without_a_Net_(Van_Halen_video)

Originally released on VHS and Laserdisc, Live Without A Net was re-released on DVD in 2004 with both Stereo and Surround Sound – Dolby 5.1 and DTS mixes.


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February 4, 2017 at 11:54 am Quote #55791

jroundy
(1366)

guitard: I’m sure they used several mics while recording this – so creating 5.1 surround was easy.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Without_a_Net_(Van_Halen_video)

I looked on Amazon, and the “Live Without A Net” DVD they are selling lists Dolby 5.1 and DTS mixes on the back cover in the empty space that is on my DVD.

Has anyone ever compared the audio quality and thought it was worth having the surround sound versus the stereo version?

One reviewer on Amazon said it wasn’t worth the upgraded audio. Claimed it was poorly mixed.

I am also surprised that Van Halen, or the record company decided to spend the money to go back and remaster the audio into 5.1.


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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February 4, 2017 at 4:52 pm Quote #55794

guitard
(7354)

jroundy:I am also surprised that Van Halen, or the record company decided to spend the money to go back and remaster the audio into 5.1.



They might have just created a 5.1 surround track from the original streams without actually re-mastering the audio. I’ve created 5.1 surround tracks for blu-rays that I’ve authored. It’s not a complicated process.


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February 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm Quote #55799

jroundy
(1366)

guitard: They might have just created a 5.1 surround track from the original streams without actually re-mastering the audio.I’ve created 5.1 surround tracks for blu-rays that I’ve authored.It’s not a complicated process.

In order to get true 5.1 audio…. doesn’t the original recording have to be made with multiple mics, and multiple tracks, to get the true separation of audio?


The poor folks play for keeps down here…They’re the living dead. Nobody rules these streets at night like Van Halen!!


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March 12, 2017 at 6:29 am Quote #56108

Panamaniac
(178)

Thanks again for everyone’s input. Let’s shift gears to converting a VHS source to lossless audio. Let’s just say I have a show I captured on a VHS camcorder (using SP, LP, or SLP setting on the camcorder). First, can I convert the audio captured from any of those formats, regardless of sound quality, to a community-accepted lossless audio file (like Dime or others) and, if so, how?

I guess what I’m really asking is what specific equipment you guys recommend I could/should use that would capture the audio from a VHS-sourced live show losslessly in a digital format and the specific settings I should define in the software to do so. Maybe there’s a different process to go through for each VHS setting (SP, LP, or SLP)?


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March 12, 2017 at 10:10 am Quote #56109

ron
(8971)

The simplist way is to connect the audio outputs of the VCR to your Line-In jack on your computer. Set the software for CD sample rate (44.1Khz, 16bit, stereo) and go to town. You’ll probably need one of these:


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March 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm Quote #56113

mrmojohalen
(5454)

ron: The simplist way is to connect the audio outputs of the VCR to your Line-In jack on your computer.Set the software for CD sample rate (44.1Khz, 16bit, stereo) and go to town.You’ll probably need one of these:

With USB type cables & wireless being the main way of connectivity today,

there’s a new generation of kids who will not have a clue as to what this is. 8-O


When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?


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