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FLAC ?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I have decided to invest in an external hard drive since my ancient TiBook only has 40GB. My intention is to start ripping all new music I acquire in the best possible format. What is Flac? It seems to be the or one of the top formats. Can it be used with iTunes or will I have to set up and learn another player? Can Flac files be loaded onto iPod that already has 192kbps AAC's? I just got AKG 601's and know my current music files just won't cut it. If Flac is the way to go how do I start to utilize it without messing up my current files and or computer?

post #2 of 32

FLAC is just another kind to rip music to. The best for iTunes is 320kbps and i have 70% of my library at that. You can not put FLAC on iTunes but you can with foobar and possibly zune (not sure). Even ripping 320kbps to apple lossless is barely an audioble difference.

post #3 of 32

FLAC is a widely used "lossless" compression standard, meaning that converting a song from WAV to FLAC should result in a smaller file with no apparent loss in sound quality. iTunes does not recognize FLAC files, and neither does a stock iPod. If you're an iTunes/iPod guy (like me), you should seriously consider Apple's proprietary lossless file format, Apple Lossless (or ALAC).

 

I am very close to finishing ripping my 1000+ CD collection to ALAC, undoing the error of ripping most of it to 192k mp3s. If I had it to do all over again, though, I'd rip straight to AIFF (uncompressed) instead of lossless compression. Hard drive space is so cheap that compression isn't really necessary anymore, except for your portable player.

post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cifani090 View Post

FLAC is just another kind to rip music to. The best for iTunes is 320kbps and i have 70% of my library at that. You can not put FLAC on iTunes but you can with foobar and possibly zune (not sure). Even ripping 320kbps to apple lossless is barely an audioble difference.


The only lossless format supported by Zune is Windows Media Lossless.

 

And converting something that is already 320 to ALAC would result in no difference at all. I'm not sure I understand you.

 

Also, why AIFF? It has no tangible advantages in the listening world.

post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolink24 View Post



Also, why AIFF? It has no tangible advantages in the listening world.


It has the tangible benefit of not being ALAC. 

The proprietary world of ALAC is a world exclusive to Apple.

 

The difficulty with AIFF is tagging.  It doesn't have good tagging support.

 

Since the OP is doing iTunes and iPods the best choice is to just do it the Apple way and do ALAC.  iTunes can convert to AAC when syncing to the iPod if you want to fit more music on the iPod, or just put ALAC on the iPod.  As long as you stick with iTunes and iPods you'll be fine.

 

The ALAC files can always be converted to FLAC or WMA Lossless later if you decide to leave the iTunes and iPod world.  Converting from one lossless format to another has not loss, no harm.

post #6 of 32

WMA (Lossless) is the same as FLAC eh?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revolink24 View Post




The only lossless format supported by Zune is Windows Media Lossless.

 

And converting something that is already 320 to ALAC would result in no difference at all. I'm not sure I understand you.

 

Also, why AIFF? It has no tangible advantages in the listening world.

post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

Quote:

 

The best for iTunes is 320kbps

 

Oh..No.. I just started using Apple Lossless.

 

 

Quote:

 

I'd rip straight to AIFF (uncompressed) instead of lossless compression. Hard drive space is so cheap that compression isn't really necessary anymore, except for your portable player.

 

 

OK, but what is ripped into HD has to also fit iPod. Are you saying AIFF uncompressed will yield better sound quality than Lossless or what is the benefit of your choice?

 

 

post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-MONEY View Post

WMA (Lossless) is the same as FLAC eh?
 


 


They're both compressed lossless formats, so technically they're the same.
 

post #9 of 32

Ask yourself whether you want to maintain two libraries -- one for "reference" listening directly from your laptop and HD, and one for your iPod -- or if you want to keep it simple and just have one library.

 

If you go with two libraries, rip to ALAC first for your iTunes library, then convert to 320k AAC for your iPod. This is what I do -- I have a lossless "reference" that I listen to at home, and a compressed version for my iPod. You can use smart playlists in iTunes to manage different rips and sync your iPod.

 

If you go with just one library, then go with 320k AAC. It's nearly (but not quite) indistinguishable from ALAC and will facilitate fitting your whole library on your iPod.

 

Sorry if this is confusing.

post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by REDH0RN View Post

Quote:

 

The best for iTunes is 320kbps

 

Oh..No.. I just started using Apple Lossless

 

 

I dont know if you are being disrespectful or what, but now you cant change that into FLAC or any other formats.
 

post #11 of 32

Best for iTunes is ALAC not 320kbps. You can change the bitrate down but changing up does not restore lost info.

post #12 of 32
Thread Starter 

Quotes: 

 

 

If you go with just one library, then go with 320k AAC. It's nearly (but not quite) indistinguishable from ALAC and will facilitate fitting your whole library on your iPod.

 

Sorry if this is confusing.

 

Best for iTunes is ALAC not 320kbps. You can change the bitrate down but changing up does not restore lost info.

 

I am beginning to get confused. Is ALAC Apple's lossless format? I have only ripped in 3 discs lossless. Should I delete and then use 320 AAC?

 

Quote:

 

I dont know if you are being disrespectful or what, but now you cant change that into FLAC or any other formats.

 

No not at all. Trying to learn the formats available and make decision on what to use based on the experience you guys convey to me. I thank you...


Edited by REDH0RN - 8/31/10 at 12:48pm
post #13 of 32

If you go w/ FLAC I recommend not exceeding compression level 5.  Some boutique players can go a bit wonky.

post #14 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDH0RN View Post

 

I am beginning to get confused. Is ALAC Apple's lossless format? I have only ripped in 3 discs lossless. Should I delete and then use 320 AAC?


WAV/AIFF = Uncompressed lossless format.

ALAC = Apple compressed lossless format (similar to FLAC).

AAC = Compressed lossy format (similar to mp3).

 

You'll get different answers as to whether ALAC or AAC is a better choice (sound quality vs. file size). Just remember that once you compress to a lossy format like AAC, you can't get the lost data back.

 

If you're using a HD, I would strongly recommend using ALAC to create a master lossless library that you'll never have to re-rip. You can then add to your iPod as is, or compress to AAC when space becomes an issue.

post #15 of 32

Curious.  I've been out of the Apple game for awhile, thank goodness.  What's the difference between M4a and ALAC?  Why go from one lossless format to another?  

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