With more Square Enix blu-rays coming out this year, I thought it was worth reviving this thread with answers to last year's questions.
Adam Corn wrote:
Obviously there's SOME way to extract FLAC from Blu-ray given that you see rips floating around, so I think the question is whether it's as comparatively simple a procedure as with CDs.
It is entirely possible to extract FLAC from a Blu-ray disc. Unfortunately, it's not as straightforward as extracting audio from a CD.
The first point which deserved mention is that, in most countries, extracting audio from a DVD or a Blu-ray is actually not legal. This is the case even if you own the disc yourself. The reason for this is: to extract the audio, you need to bypass the disc's copy protection, and this is never allowed. My understanding is that every commercially-produced Blu-ray and DVD is copy protected.
However, if you have a disc that was not commercially produced, such as a wedding Blu-ray produced by a videographer, it likely will not have copy protection. This is where my experience with Blu-ray audio extraction stems from.
With that disclaimer, there are two steps to extracting audio from a Blu-ray. I'll outline both below.
HOW TO EXTRACT FLAC FROM BLU-RAY
1. Extract the disc contents to MKV format
First, the full disc contents need to be converted to a machine-readable format. The most popular file format to use here is MKV, which is a generic multimedia container. Free software called MakeMKV can do this easily.
Basically, on a disc with several "chapters," each chapter will be stored as a separate MKV. These MKVs can be played by many media players, including Windows Media Player (in Windows 10) and VLC. Playing an MKV is just like watching a Blu-ray on a television.
2. Extract FLAC audio from MKV
With an MKV file in hand, there are many programs which can extract the audio tracks to FLAC. MKVcleaver seems to be a popular one.
That's all there is to it.
James O wrote:
Well Square Enix makes the claim that the sound on the blu-ray is in 96 kHz/24 bit audio. I'm inclined to believe them but other people on some other forums I've visited seem doubtful of the claim.
The Square Enix Blu-Rays are all 24-bit, 96 kHz. You can see this by looking at the back cover of each album.
I'm not familiar with Blu-Ray's audio capabilities, so apologies for my ignorance here, but I'm wondering if there's even that noticeable of a difference between CD and Blu-Ray audio?
Regardless of whether it is or not, unless you have a quality audio setup you won't be able to distinguish the difference between BD audio and CDDA.
My opinion is that there is a noticeable difference, but that it's only apparent on a full stereo system. I think you'd struggle to hear a difference on a portable audio player, through computer speakers, etc.
I can say that on my stereo, at least in other music genres, some of my high-res music (24/96 and 24/192) sound clearly better than any CD in my collection. However, it is admittedly difficult to separate the benefit of high-res from an album's recording and mastering quality. Usually, only albums which are well-produced in the first place will be issued in high-res, and so the two effects are hard to disentangle.
That said, there are cases where true A/B testing is possible. For example, I happen to have both the CD and the 24/96 versions of Distant Worlds I, II and III. However, I personally don't have the inclination to run the experiment
I will say that, as someone who does all listening through a stereo, I welcome any high-res releases we can get. If all of my listening were instead on a computer or a portable music player, I'm sure I would feel differently.