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ALAC vs. FLAC...my very first impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 48
Thread Starter 
What I used to rip:

ALAC: iTunes (lastest version 6.0.-)

FLAC: Free CD-DA Extractor 4.8

idk, maybe the FLAC encoder in that program is jacked up? I certainly notice the sound is 'lively' compared to the analyzing sound quality of the ALAC.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed
'Any Lossless file is exactly the same as any other Lossless file of the same song.'
I would say 'Any lossless file offers the exact same sound quality as any other lossless file of the same song ripped from the same source'.

I mean, aside of SQ, they do have their perks

[But I know what you know that - just knitpicking - someone can fix my quote in case I neglected something xD]
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheisticFreedom
What I used to rip:

ALAC: iTunes (lastest version 6.0.-)

FLAC: Free CD-DA Extractor 4.8

idk, maybe the FLAC encoder in that program is jacked up? I certainly notice the sound is 'lively' compared to the analyzing sound quality of the ALAC.
maybe you didnt set itunes encoder right.
Lossless compression is like using winzip or winrar. If you compress a .txt file and you then uncompress it you get the exact same .txt file at the end. Same goes for lossless compression.
So if you compress the same wave file with itunes and another flac compressor you get the same sound quality.
post #34 of 48
Are you sure you're not applying different EQ and volume-levelling to the two files? Check your EQ settings in your iPod or whatever other program you're using...also check if there are EQ presets or gain applied to the ALAC files in itunes.. Everything should be set to flat.
post #35 of 48
Why are you quoting me

Oh wait, perhaps I wasn't clear with the terms 'aside of SQ'. What I meant was, the various lossless formats have perks that are not SQ related, and may affect your choice of lossless format.

Otherwise, I think my definitions stands: two lossless file would sound the same, if they were extracted from the same source. It's self-evident, but not explicit in Chri5peed's definition.
post #36 of 48
Oh come on!
post #37 of 48
This is hilarious...
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooNice
Why are you quoting me
My mistake....sorry. Removed it now. Meant to quote OP.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed
Beatles albums are not the best albums to do these sorts of comparisons with. They were recorded and produced with 1960s technology.

I have no idea why they haven't been remastered? I'd buy them.


The greatest factor in the FLAC V ALAC debate is that ALAC is not that versatile, i.e. not all players play it.
On the other side of the coin, the most popular player on the planet does not play it by default, and requires an unfinished and thus somewhat buggy software in order to play. You also completely forfeit the possibility to play video, which is imperative to my iPod use.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheisticFreedom
What I used to rip:

ALAC: iTunes (lastest version 6.0.-)

FLAC: Free CD-DA Extractor 4.8

idk, maybe the FLAC encoder in that program is jacked up? I certainly notice the sound is 'lively' compared to the analyzing sound quality of the ALAC.
It's all in your head.
post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheisticFreedom
Yes, as soon as I started the topic, I was all, "Ah, I get why they have different bitrates!"

Anyway, I find FLAC superior in that I finally get true gapless playback; yay for FLAC...

Edit: Ah, so it is also the way it is decoded by the program as well...darn it, things just got a little more complicated here for me.

What is 'default' for FLAC? For me, 0 compression = true lossless; am I wrong?

Different bitrates are due to the different design decisions the designers of the codecs made. One might be optimzed for fast compression and decompression at the cost of a bigger file. It could just be that from a technological point of view the format that has the larger file doesn't employ all the techniques available to make smaller file sizes some of which might be very complex and/or proprietary.
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtheisticFreedom
icic. However, this does affect portable players (their CPU). Thus, isn't 0 compression the best overall for players like an iPod in terms of battery life?
Not true. Even more important than processing time and the resultant battery consumption is the number of times the hard drive needs to be accessed during a song. A bigger file will require more hard drive accesses.

The iPod achieves its power efficiency by reading the music data and putting it in a buffer (of 24MB size) and playing from the buffer to keep the hard drive off most of the time.

For lossy files playing a playlist with no interuptions you get a hard rive access once every 4-5 songs. For lossless files you could get 2 accesses per song. For non-compressed files you might even get 3 accesses per file.

That will kill your battery far more than a little extra CPU usage.
post #43 of 48
So why is it okay to say "all in your head" regarding one mathematically and empirically indistinguishable concept (lossless audio) and yet certain others will get you nearly hanged around here?

Selective science
post #44 of 48
Ripping and encoding are different processes. Using two different rippers can affect the sound quality (error rates and correction). Using two different programs for playback can DEFINITELY affect the sound quality. Here is a useful test:

1) Rip from CD to a .WAV with a high quality ripper (i.e. EAC in one of the paranoid modes).

2) Encode from WAV to FLAC, and encode from WAV to ALAC (or APE or whatever).

Listen the FLAC vs ALAC to your hearts content with the same player. Default configs of Foobar vs WinAmp vs iTunes will sound different with the same MP3 so that is a meaningless test.

3) Decode the FLAC back to WAV2 and decode the ALAC back to WAV3.

4) Do a binary comparison of WAV2 to WAV3. If they're the same, you are hearing things. If they are different, see step 5.

5) Compare WAV2 and WAV3 to the original WAV to see which one (or both...) are off from the original.
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotJeffBuckley
So why is it okay to say "all in your head" regarding one mathematically and empirically indistinguishable concept (lossless audio) and yet certain others will get you nearly hanged around here?

Selective science
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