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		<p>Many lossless audio codec comparisons look at only compression ratio and encoding speed.  FLAC decoding is the fastest among lossless codecs and its compression is within 3% of even the most complex codecs.  Note that the compression ratios of all lossless codecs falls in a quite narrow range; the difference between the very best and very worst is only around 7%, and only 4% for the practical codecs.</p>
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		<h3>feature comparison</h3>
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		<p>The evaluation of lossless codecs typically depends mainly on features other than speed and compression, which is what our first table shows: features like how well it is supported in devices and software, licensing, etc. For more information on this matter, take a look at <a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison">the comparison at Hydrogenaudio</a>. Additionally, as archiving is one of the main applications for a lossless codec, of chief importance is the ability to use and recover data in the future.  FLAC stands out as the most widely supported codec, and the only codec that at once is non-proprietary, is unencumbered by patents, has an open-source reference implementation, has a well documented format and API, and has several other independent implementations.</p>
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					<font size="+1"><b>Codec</b></font>
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					<font size="+1"><b>Source Available?</b></font>
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					<font size="+1"><b>Player Support?</b></font>
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					<font size="+1"><b>Hardware Support?</b></font>
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				<td bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					<font size="+1"><b>License Cost</b></font>
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					<font size="+1"><b>OS support</b></font>
				</td>
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					<font size="+1"><b>Last official release*</b></font>
				</td>
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					flac v1.3.0
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				<td>
					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
				</td>
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					YES (<a href="links.html#software"><b>see links page</b></a>)
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					YES (<a href="links.html#hardware"><b>see links page</b></a>)
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					NONE
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				<td>
					Linux, Windows, Mac&nbsp;OS&nbsp;X, *BSD, Solaris, OS/2, BeOS, Amiga&nbsp;OS, others
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				<td>
					10 Jun 2013
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				</td>
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					WavPack v4.70.0
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				<td>
					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
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					YES (Winamp, XBMC, foobar2000, CorePlayer, lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>, <a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=WavPack#Players">more</a>)
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					SOME (with <a href="http://www.rockbox.org/">Rockbox</a> firmware, see <a href="http://www.wavpack.com/#Hardware">WavPack</a> website)
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				<td>
					NONE
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				<td>
					Linux, Windows, Mac&nbsp;OS&nbsp;X, *BSD, Solaris, others
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				<td>
					28 May 2013
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					Monkey's Audio v4.12
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					YES (non-<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> license)
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					YES (Winamp, XBMC, MediaJukebox, dBpoweramp, lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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					SOME (<a href="http://www.cowonglobal.com/">Cowon</a>, old Philips GoGEAR, QNAP, Synology, with RockBox firmware)
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				<td>
					NONE
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					Windows
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				<td>
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					26 Jun 2013
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				</td>
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					Apple Lossless
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				<td>
					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
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				</td>
				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
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					YES (<a href="http://www.apple.com/itunes/">iTunes</a>, XBMC, dBpoweramp, foobar2000, lavc<sup>1</sup>)
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				</td>
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				<td>
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					YES (most iOS-devices,
					<a href="http://ue.logitech.com/en-us/smart-radios">Logitech</a>,
					<a href="http://www.sonos.com/">Sonos</a>,
					<a href="http://www.myoliveone.com/">Olive One</a>, some RockBox-devices)
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				</td>
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				<td>
					NONE
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					Windows, Mac&nbsp;OS&nbsp;X
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					?
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				</td>
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
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					Shorten v3.6.1
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					YES (non-<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> license)
				</td>
				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					YES (Winamp, XBMC, XMMS, lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					SOME (with <a href="http://www.rockbox.org/">Rockbox</a> firmware)
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
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					non-<br />commercial only
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				<td>
					Linux, Windows, Mac&nbsp;OS&nbsp;9, Mac&nbsp;OS&nbsp;X, *BSD, Solaris, others
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					19 Mar 2007
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					The True Audio 3.4.1
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				<td>
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					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
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					YES (XMMS, Coreplayer, Foobar2000, Winamp, lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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					SOME (iconBIT, with RockBox firmware)
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				</td>
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				<td>
					NONE
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				</td>
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					Windows, Linux
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					27 Jul 2007
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					optimFROG 4.910b
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					no
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					YES (Winamp, XMMS foobar2000, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					?
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					Windows, Linux
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					Windows 12 feb 2011, Other 26 apr 2006
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					WMA Lossless
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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					YES (lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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					SOME (XBox, Zune, few other)
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					?
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					Windows
				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					?
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				</td>
			</tr>
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					Real Audio Lossless
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					no
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
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					FEW (RealPlayer)
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
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					no
				</td>
				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					?
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					Windows, Linux, Mac
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
					19 jan 2009
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				</td>
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					La 0.4
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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				<td bgcolor="#D4D4C0">
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					YES (Winamp, XMMS, foobar2000)
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					?
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					Windows, Linux, Mac
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					8 feb 2004
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					Tak 2.3.0
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					no
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					YES (foobar2000, lavc<sup>1</sup>, DS<sup>2</sup>)
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					no
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					free for non-commercial use
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
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					Windows, Linux via Wine
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				<td>
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					18 Jun 2013
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				</td>
			</tr>
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					Ogg Squish 0.98
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				<td>
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					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
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				</td>
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					no (?)
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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					NONE
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					Linux, Windows, other UNIX
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				</td>
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					Discontinued 2003 in favor of FLAC
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			</tr>
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				<td align="right" bgcolor="#F4F4CC">
					Bonk 0.5
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				</td>
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				<td>
					YES (<a href="http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.html">OSI</a> approved license)
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					FEW (XMMS)
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					no
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				</td>
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				<td bgcolor="#BCBCAC">
					?
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				</td>
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				<td>
					Linux, Windows, other UNIX
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				</td>
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					somewhere in 2002 (now recommends FLAC)
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			</tr>
		</table>
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		</td></tr></table>
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		<p><i>
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		*At the time of writing, which is 3 okt 2013<br/>
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		<sup>1</sup>lavc = libavcodec-based applications<br/>
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		<sup>2</sup>DS = DirectShow-based application (filter available)
		</i></p>
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		<h3>speed comparison</h3>
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		<p>The machine used for running the test has an Intel Core2Duo T9600 with 4GB of RAM and is using Kubuntu 12.10. The tests are run from ramdisk, as the harddisk is a bottleneck in certain cases. For the codecs that only have Windows-support, the binaries are used through WINE. Measured is the so called cpu time used, not the real time used, except for WMA Lossless and Real Audio Lossless which were timed by hand.</p>
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		<p>The audio corpus currently consists entirely of CD albums. These are 29 CDs whose genres range from rock to pop to metal to classical to world. The following graphs display the results of these tests: the compression ratio as a function of encoding and decoding speed for the currently most used lossless codecs for all their recommended compression modes.</p>
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		<p>In the graphs below you can see both the compression and decompression performance of all tested codecs by their speed relative to 'playing speed' on the x-axis and their compression relative to WAVE on the y-axis. The connected dots for each codec are its different presets. For more information on the test environment, codecs and settings, please see <a href="comparison.pdf">the exhaustive report here (PDF)</a>.</p>
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		<p>Please keep in mind that the differences considering archieved compression are exaggerated: in fact, the difference between the best and worst compression is <b>a factor 1000 in time, but only about 7% in space used.</b> So, please mind the axes.</p>
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		<table align="center" border="1"><tr><td align="center"><img src="images/all-tracks-decode.png" alt="all-tracks-decode" /></td></tr></table><br />
		<table align="center" border="1"><tr><td align="center"><img src="images/all-tracks-encode.png" alt="all-tracks-encode" /></td></tr></table><br />


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		<p>The CD's used in this test are listed below, with a very general indication of the kind of music it should represent.</p>
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		<ul>
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		  <li> 30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War (rock)</li>
		  <li> Abba - Gold: Greatest Hits (1992) (pop)</li>
		  <li> Albert King - Years Gone By (blues)</li>
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		  <li> Alicia Keys - The Diary of Alicia Keys (R&amp;B, soul)</li>
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		  <li> Alison Krauss Union Station - New Favorite (country, bluegrass)</li>
		  <li> Armik - Rain Dance (flamenco/jazz)</li>
		  <li> Caf del Mar - Volumen nueve (chill-out)</li>
		  <li> Coldplay - Parachutes (pop)</li>
		  <li> Confido Domino Minsk - Sacred choral music from White Russia (choral, religious)</li>
		  <li> Daft Punk - Alive 2007 (electronic)</li>

		  <li> Dan Brown - Angels and Demons (audiobook)</li>
		  <li> Enya - Amarantine (new age)</li>
		  <li> Fanfare Ciocarlia - Baro Biao: World Wide Wedding (world music, brass)</li>
		  <li> Gilberto Santa Rosa - Esencia (salsa)</li>
		  <li> Giuseppe Verdi - Messa da Requiem (Berliner Philharmoniker feat. conductor Claudio Abbado) (orchestral, romantic)</li>
		  <li> Howard Shore - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (orchestral, OST)</li>
		  <li> Iron Maiden - Brave New World (metal)</li>
		  <li> James Brown - Love, Power, Peace (Live at the Olympia, Paris, 1971) (funk)</li>
		  <li> John Coltrane - Live at the half note, vol. 1 (jazz)</li>
		  <li> Joss Stone - Mind, Body &amp; Soul (soul)</li>

		  <li> J.S. Bach - Magnificat (orchestral, baroque)</li>
		  <li> Koninklijke Militaire Kapel - [no name] (military brass)</li>
		  <li> Kraftwerk - Autobahn (electronic)</li>
		  <li> Lana del Rey - Born to Die (pop)</li>
		  <li> Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (hip hop)</li>
		  <li> Martin O'Donnell &amp; Michael Salvatori - Halo: Reach (ambient-ish, OST)</li>
		  <li> Metallica - Death Magnetic (metal)</li>
		  <li> Michael Bubl - meets madison square garden (pop, jazz)</li>
		  <li> Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (2000 remaster) (not classifiable)</li>
		  <li> 'N Sync - Home for Christmas (pop)</li>

		  <li> Nicholas Hooper - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (soundtrack)</li>
		  <li> Peter Tosh - Equal Rights (2011 legacy edition) (reggae)</li>
		  <li> Rosenberg Trio - Djangologists (jazz)</li>
		  <li> Rush - Grace under Pressure (1997 remaster) (rock)</li>
		  <li> System of a Down - Mezmerize (metal)</li>
		  <li> Szakcsi - Virgom, virgom (world music)</li>
		  <li> Tisto - In Search of Sunrise 7: Asia (dance)</li>
		  <li> The Lumineers - The Lumineers (folk)</li>
		  <li> Various - Jeff Waynes Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (radio drama-ish, rock, orchestral)</li>
		  <li> Waylon Jennings - Honky Tonk Heroes (country)</li>

		  <li> Various - Latin Village, CD 1: Salsa (salsa)</li>
		  <li> Xzibit - At the Speed of Life (hip hop)</li>
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		  <li> Yann Tiersen - Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amlie Poulain (minimalism)</li>
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		</ul>
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		<br />
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		<a name="alternate_links"></a>Some other lossless audio codec comparisons can be found here:
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		<ul>
			<li><a href="http://www.synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/">Synthetic Soul</a> lossless comparison</li>
			<li><a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison">Roberto Amorim's</a> lossless comparison on Hydrogenaudio</li>
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			<li><a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=97310">"Lossless Compression test"</a> thread on Hydrogenaudio</li>
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		</ul>

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