NUGEN Audio has announced availability of v1.4 of MasterCheck Pro, adding FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) and Opus encoding support. Opus is one of the YouTube formats; FLAC is often used for downloads as it is a high-quality (lossless) format - exploited by self-styled High Fidelity Music Streaming service TIDAL, for example.
Why add a lossless codec?
Like other lossless formats, FLAC uses compression algorithms that preserve audio data so the audio is exactly the same as the original source (input=output). On the face of it, this is true... when encoding within the same bit depth, like for like. However, this is not what happens when audio exits a DAW destined for FLAC, as FLAC is usually used to encode at 16-bit, but this conversion from 32 to 16-bit is not guaranteed lossless. FLAC also uses integers while DAWs deploy floating-point representations, so there is an additional complication even when producing a 32-bit FLAC stream. MasterCheck Pro can now be used to audition those conversions.
MasterCheck Pro is available to purchase as a 32- and 64-bit-supporting AAX-, AU-, VST-, and VST3-compatible plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.7 and above) and Windows (Vista and above) directly from NUGEN Audio for £126.00 GBP (ex. VAT) / $199.00 USD / €155.00 Euro (ex. VAT).