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Does converting to Apple Lossless from MP3 do anything?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I've recently been convinced that Apple Lossless is the way to go for music quality. But, all the music I have is in MP3 or MP4 right now.

I know I can choose to import future music directly to Apple Lossless, but does converting my current MP3 files to Lossless actually add any playback quality(I always listen on my iPod or direct from the laptop), or will it just make the files bigger? Thanks!
post #2 of 12
No point trying to do that - the only way you can 'put back' what compression has removed is with an upsampling DAC, and I'm sure there will be plenty here who will debate just how successfully that can be done. You can convert a lossless format to a lossy format like MP3, but it doesnt work the other way.
post #3 of 12
can't add, only take away.

And, if you've been recently convinced, download MAX for osx and fiddle with the AAC encoder settings. Maximum quality 256 kbps VBR is pretty much overkill, and it uses the same coreaudio encoder that iTunes does. (setting iTunes to "iTunes plus" under import settings in preferences is similar quality)

Give high bitrate mp3/aac a whirl before you commit to lossless for a portable.
post #4 of 12
That's why lossy formats are not a good solution for storing music on anything except a portable. EVERYTHING should be backed up in FLAC or ALAC or WAV! The only reason to have MP3 files is if you have limited storage space or your player will only play MP3's.
post #5 of 12
You would end up with larger files, that is it.
Most of the audio data were lost during encoding to MP3 and can not be recovered.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDDL-UP View Post
That's why lossy formats are not a good solution for storing music on anything except a portable. EVERYTHING should be backed up in FLAC or ALAC or WAV! The only reason to have MP3 files is if you have limited storage space or your player will only play MP3's.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I don't have limited space, I have 100gb of MP3's ranging from 192 - 320 and I am more than happy with the SQ.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnote678 View Post
So I've recently been convinced that Apple Lossless is the way to go for music quality. But, all the music I have is in MP3 or MP4 right now.

I know I can choose to import future music directly to Apple Lossless, but does converting my current MP3 files to Lossless actually add any playback quality(I always listen on my iPod or direct from the laptop), or will it just make the files bigger? Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post
No point trying to do that - the only way you can 'put back' what compression has removed is with an upsampling DAC, and I'm sure there will be plenty here who will debate just how successfully that can be done. You can convert a lossless format to a lossy format like MP3, but it doesnt work the other way.
Yes you will only make the files bigger, not gain any sq, and an upsampling dac wont add any sq either
post #8 of 12
Once you rip something to a lossy format, converting it to a lossless format will only waste space and time. When you rip with a lossy format, audio is lost. Once this audio is lost, it can never be replaced. You'll have to re-rip everything if you want true lossless.

Quote:
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I don't have limited space, I have 100gb of MP3's ranging from 192 - 320 and I am more than happy with the SQ.
I was happy with 192 WMA until I went back to lossless (I like it better than 192 MP3). My hearing improved and I noticed a whole layer of sound that was missing with lossy. If you're happy with lossy, that's fine, but I encourage you to do a compare lossy and lossless every few months. For the gym or subway, lossy is probably fine. Of course, YMMV.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I figured this was the case. Thanks a lot, everybody! I'll import future essential items in Lossless. ANOTHER question, however, is this:

If I'm importing a file that I downloaded from the internet, say from zshare or something (I dl a lot of free indie rap), will it have any effect to import these as lossless files? Or are they usually already in MP3 format in the .zip file, and turning them to Lossless just makes more space?
post #10 of 12
cnote, once again you are captive to whatever compression has already been applied to the original files. If the publisher is ripping the music at, for example, 256K AAC (current iTunes bitrate), then that is the BEST you can hope for from those files from that point forward. You could convert the files to lower bitrate or a different format, but nothing will ever be able to recreate the original 'masters' that Apple used to create your iTunes download. I dont know what other publishers use, and I'm sure there are lossless files out there for those with the bandwidth, but I remain very happy with 320K vbr (256 AAC is quite good too, IMO).
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnote678 View Post
I figured this was the case. Thanks a lot, everybody! I'll import future essential items in Lossless. ANOTHER question, however, is this:

If I'm importing a file that I downloaded from the internet, say from zshare or something (I dl a lot of free indie rap), will it have any effect to import these as lossless files? Or are they usually already in MP3 format in the .zip file, and turning them to Lossless just makes more space?
^ As explained numerous times above. Transcoding from lossy (AAC, MP3, ...) to Lossless is just a waste of time and space.
Don't do it!
post #12 of 12
When I did not know better, I had all my music as MP3 files. I have since re-ripped all my CD's ad they are now in ALAC.
Apple Losseless->MP3/AAC=yes
MP3->Apple Losseless=no. Can't be done
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