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ALAC, is it here to stay?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I originally imported all my cds to AIFF on my MBP because I read somewhere that ALAC is still relatively new compared to AIFF and may potentially "die out" as a recognized codec.

I have the hard drive space to store all my albums in AIFF, but I am planning on backing it my music up on my pa's and bro's hard drive. They have limited space on theirs so my only option is to either get a second external HD for music backup or compress my tunes into ALAC.

I know that the quality of playback is the same between AIFF and ALAC. I was wondering if anyone has reason to doubt that ALAC will be "gone" in our near future. Thanks.
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrewe View Post
I originally imported all my cds to AIFF on my MBP because I read somewhere that ALAC is still relatively new compared to AIFF and may "die out" as a recognized codec.

I have the hard drive space to store all my albums in AIFF, but I am planning on backing it my music up on my pa's and bro's hard drive. They have limited space on theirs so my only option is to either get a second external HD for music backup or compress my tunes into ALAC.

I know that the quality of playback is the same between AIFF and ALAC. I was wondering if anyone has reason to doubt that ALAC will be "gone" in our near future. Thanks.
Unless you know something about Apple that I don't, you have nothing to worry about. And if you are really worried long term, there is plenty of 3rd party software that can convert ALAC to flac, AIFF, or WAV with no loss to the data. So I doubt you'll ever be locked into format you can't play.

It also looks like we finally have online music stores selling in ALAC format. Rhino Records Rhino | Home is now offering them, along with flac for a premium price. Seems they are doing 50% off all digital until the 6th but can't see this mentioned anywhere. It will show up in your cart with the discount. I just bought a few things today and had a little trouble with a couple tracks downloading a bit slow but worked in the end. So lets hope iTunes eventually starts offering lossless tracks as well.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the website. It's only the second one I've seen that offers ALAC along with FLAC downloads. I have MAX for my mac so I guess that I really won't be "locked into a format I can't play."
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrewe View Post
Thanks for the website. It's only the second one I've seen that offers ALAC along with FLAC downloads. I have MAX for my mac so I guess that I really won't be "locked into a format I can't play."
What's the other site with ALAC? I've bought a few things from HDtracks and converted them from flac to ALAC using MAX. Not a real hassle but if you can save a step and buy directly in ALAC, why not. The great thing about HDtracks is they offer 96/24 tracks and MAX can convert those just fine, keeping the sample rates intact.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
What's the other site with ALAC? I've bought a few things from HDtracks and converted them from flac to ALAC using MAX. Not a real hassle but if you can save a step and buy directly in ALAC, why not. The great thing about HDtracks is they offer 96/24 tracks and MAX can convert those just fine, keeping the sample rates intact.
The other website unfortunately is a site only for one band (sts9) and they ended up getting rid of live show downloads from their website. They now go through Digital Downloads | 1320 Records which just does FLAC and mp3. Bummer, but if you are into electronica they are putting out some fresh music. There are a few free downloads too.

Live Phish is also offering 96/24 downloads on their live shows which is pretty sweet. Haven't used it myself, but is awesome that they are getting into the hi-def of hi-def recording.

I should try HDtracks sometime. The only thing is that I have a very modest system at the moment that wouldn't benefit from 96/24 stuff. In the future though...
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgrewe View Post
The other website unfortunately is a site only for one band (sts9) and they ended up getting rid of live show downloads from their website. They now go through Digital Downloads | 1320 Records which just does FLAC and mp3. Bummer, but if you are into electronica they are putting out some fresh music. There are a few free downloads too.

Live Phish is also offering 96/24 downloads on their live shows which is pretty sweet. Haven't used it myself, but is awesome that they are getting into the hi-def of hi-def recording.

I should try HDtracks sometime. The only thing is that I have a very modest system at the moment that wouldn't benefit from 96/24 stuff. In the future though...
Yeah, even on my system, it's not that big of a difference. I believe Nine Inch Nails was also offering ALAC, but I could be wrong. I do know they had their latest album in 96/24 online.

If you do improve your system, Amarra mini software, made a bigger difference with just 44/16 tracks on the Mac. I don't know how it works but I'm a believer. It also improves the 96/24 tracks as well and saves you the trouble messing with the midi settings. Still, this is only recommended for really highend systems just because the cost alone. They do have a free demo that lets you listen for a bit but then throws in the occasion pause until you buy it. Sorry, this has nothing to do with ALAC.
Amarra Computer Music Player

Yeah, I was right about Nine Inch Nails, you can get "The Slip" for free in M4A lossless (ALAC), FLAC, or 96/24 WAV. Here's the link: http://dl.nin.com/theslip/signup
They also have their previous instrumental album for $5 in ALAC as well. http://ghosts.nin.com/main/order_options
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Haha thats alright. I may check that out, but the occasional pause would annoy me.

Thanks for the free stuff. I'm always keepin my eyes out for a good deal, and anything free is a steal.

More bands and labels should start offering high quality recordings. Both for people like us who can benefit and for a business ploy. It could be a good trick to get a little more money from the average listener by presenting it as "Higher quality."
post #8 of 11
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it going away at all. It's probably going to be the second-most popular lossless format, if it isn't already. I don't know if it will ever overtake FLAC, but it should grow in popularity as more people switch to lossless using iTunes/iPods and the like, and as Apple starts offering iTunes downloads using the format.
post #9 of 11
The bigger issue is just making sure you have everything backed up. Once Time Machine came out, I picked up a huge hard drive and then headed to record store and sold all my cds. Now whenever I buy new ones, I use my previous purchase as a trade in. And once more online stores start selling lossless, I'll buy my music that way. Probably still hit up the record store from time to time. Kind of nice physically browsing and the clerks always have good recommendations.

I was actually getting worried that online music would only be sold as lossy and at some point in the future, there'd hardly be any record stores around. So it will be sad as more and more stores go out of business but at least it looks like lossless and even 96/24 files will be sold. I wouldn't be surprised if iTunes even starts selling ALAC files next year. They need a reason the average person would be interested in a 128g ipod touch beside just videos. This is just a guess based on the touch and iphones doubling storage every year.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamoneagain View Post
The bigger issue is just making sure you have everything backed up. Once Time Machine came out, I picked up a huge hard drive and then headed to record store and sold all my cds. Now whenever I buy new ones, I use my previous purchase as a trade in. And once more online stores start selling lossless, I'll buy my music that way. Probably still hit up the record store from time to time. Kind of nice physically browsing and the clerks always have good recommendations.

I was actually getting worried that online music would only be sold as lossy and at some point in the future, there'd hardly be any record stores around. So it will be sad as more and more stores go out of business but at least it looks like lossless and even 96/24 files will be sold. I wouldn't be surprised if iTunes even starts selling ALAC files next year. They need a reason the average person would be interested in a 128g ipod touch beside just videos. This is just a guess based on the touch and iphones doubling storage every year.
Really? I've always like having the CD as both a backup and something too look at when I'm listening. I enjoy reading the liner notes, but it probably saves lots of money in the long run.

I wonder when Apple will stop their iPod hard drive size at. Seems like each year they get more ridiculously HUGE, even though their are so few people who I've met who fill it all up completely. They just came out with a new gen 160gb classic that very tempting to these eyes..
post #11 of 11
I am 99,9% sure it is here to stay.
Apple have invested a lot into it the codec, and since its release some 5 1/2 years ago put out hundreds of millions of units supporting it.
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