TAK

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Description

Tom's lossless Audio Kompressor (TAK) is a lossless audio compressor which promises compression performance similar to Monkey's Audio “High” and decompression speed similar to FLAC.

Features

  • High compression
  • Fast compression and decompression speed
  • Streaming support (necessary headers for decompressing the audio are written to the stream every 2 seconds)
  • Piping support for encoding
  • Error tolerance (single bit error will never affect more than 250 ms)
  • Error detection (each frame protected by a 24-bit checksum (CRC))

Pros

  • Fast encoding speed (while providing better compression TAK encodes as fast as FLAC -8 in TAK's “Insane” and several times faster in “Turbo” mode)
  • Fast decompression speed (on par with FLAC / WavPack)
  • Good compression levels (on par with Monkey's Audio High)
  • Error Robustness
  • Fast Seeking

Cons

  • Closed Source (at the moment)
  • No hardware support
  • Very limited software support (playback: Winamp & foobar2000 plugins, tagging: Mp3Tag)

Hardware and Software That Support TAK

Hardware

  • None

Software

Windows

  • TAK SDK 1.0.5 – Software Development Kit for TAK here
  • Winamp Plugin 1.0.7 here
  • foo_input_tak, TAK decoder for foobar2000 here (supports tagging and Replay Gain)
  • Mp3tag – universal tag editor with support for TAK
  • shntool (since version 3.0.6)

Linux

  • The TAK reference applications (GUI as well as commandline) are known to run on Linux via Wine.

Recommended Settings

  • Default compression: “-p2” (formerly Normal) is the most attractive setting, providing an excellent compromise between compression and encoding speed. (At compression levels close to Monkey's Audio High (<0.4% difference), it is able to encode more quickly.)
takc -e [input file]
  • Highest compression: “-pMax” (same as -p5m) (This will create files which are comparable in size to file created using Monkey's Audio High. Decompression speed is comparable to WavPack Normal.)
takc -e -pMax [input file]
  • Fastest compression: “-p0” (This will create files which are comparable in size to Monkey's Audio Fast or WavPack High. Decompression speed is comparable to FLAC 0.)
takc -e -p0 [input file]

TAK Performance Graph

Graph showing encoding and decoding rate against compression, using data from Synthetic Soul's test on TAK 1.0.1
(see External Links)

Using TAK

TAK with foobar2000

  • Copy the takc.exe to your foobar2000 directory
  • Go to File → Preferences → Tools → Converter
  • Set it up as shown:
TAK Encoder with foobar

Note: replace the -p4 with the desired compression level.

  • Use APEv2 tagging (will be used as internal tagging)

TAK with EAC

Please read the wiki guide, which details how to create TAK files with EAC.

Future Features

  • Unicode support
  • MD5 audio checksums for verification and identification
  • A German version
  • Embedded cue sheets
  • Embedded cover art
  • Multichannel audio

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the codec safe for use?
Yes. To check, convert a WAVE to TAK and back and compare the two (or use foobar's bitcompare tool).
Why should I use TAK?
TAK offers high compression ratios with great decoding rates.
What can I compress with TAK?
TAK 1.0 can compress any integer-format (up to 24 bits per channel) PCM RIFF WAVE file (.wav). Piping support as of v1.0.3 is implemented, so converting lossless files to WAV first is not necessary.
What about hardware support?
None at the moment. Although, -p0 (Turbo), -p1 (Fast) and -p2 (Normal) are the candidates for hardware playback.
When will the source be opened?
Yes, TAK will be open-source, as soon as the code is ported to C or C++ and documented. However, Thomas has mentioned that he would like to improve the codec before opening the source.

External Links