Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › FLAC to AAC vs. WAV to AAC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

FLAC to AAC vs. WAV to AAC

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hello.

 

I have a large music collection (1TB) that is stored in FLAC format. Unfortunately many portable players like iPods do not support FLAC.

 

So I've decided to convert my FLAC collection to AAC, so I can play my music on an iPod. I have chosen the dBpoweramp program to do this.

 

It would be less time consuming to directly convert my FLAC files to AAC.

 

However, would it be better (higher quality sound) to rip all my original CDs to WAV files and then convert from WAV to AAC? Or to convert my FLAC files to WAV files and then convert to AAC? Obviously this would be way more time consuming and involve multiple steps. But I might be willing to put in the extra time and effort if the sound quality is better.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 38

Just convert AAC straight from FLAC. No loss of SQ there compared to other alternatives. Remember to store those FLACs after the conversion.

post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuglyPhones View Post

Just convert AAC straight from FLAC. No loss of SQ there compared to other alternatives. Remember to store those FLACs after the conversion.

 

There are two types of compression involved here FLAC compression is data and AAC is psychoacoustic

 

There would be no loss of quality in any case unless the new CD rips are flawed which is possible with older or not correctly aliogned drives but even then the error rate is normally extremely low and normally well outside audible, But redoing the CD rips is unnecessary.

 

 

....but to get from FLAC to AAC there will be an intervening conversion anyway as FLAC compression is not psychoacoustic like MP3 it is algortithmic data compression - to be able to encode the music data correctly to AC it has to be recovered first i.e the data compression needs to be undone (any FLAC player has to do this on the fly anyway) , whether you do this manually or the converter does it is irrelevant as long as the converter itself is not faulty

post #4 of 38

I have all my music as MP3s in my iTunes library - will converting to AAC do anything for the SQ? 


Edited by kineticwave - 8/5/12 at 9:08pm
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticwave View Post

I have all my music as MP3s in my iTunes library - will converting to AAC do anything for the SQ? 

Converting from one lossy format to another will further lower the SQ. I can't see any benefits of converting MP3 to AAC.

post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuglyPhones View Post

Converting from one lossy format to another will further lower the SQ. I can't see any benefits of converting MP3 to AAC.

 

I see, thank you for the help. Another question, if some of my music are FLACs and I listen to all my music via a pair of headphones that are moderately detailed/revealing, will there be an SQ difference?

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DireWolf314 View Post

Hello.

 

I have a large music collection (1TB) that is stored in FLAC format. Unfortunately many portable players like iPods do not support FLAC.

 

So I've decided to convert my FLAC collection to AAC, so I can play my music on an iPod. I have chosen the dBpoweramp program to do this.

 

It would be less time consuming to directly convert my FLAC files to AAC.

 

However, would it be better (higher quality sound) to rip all my original CDs to WAV files and then convert from WAV to AAC? Or to convert my FLAC files to WAV files and then convert to AAC? Obviously this would be way more time consuming and involve multiple steps. But I might be willing to put in the extra time and effort if the sound quality is better.

 

Thank you.

 

the easiest route for you is to install a flac player from i-store.

if u wanna convert then converting from flac to wav   and then your preffered format will be better.

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticwave View Post

 

I see, thank you for the help. Another question, if some of my music are FLACs and I listen to all my music via a pair of headphones that are moderately detailed/revealing, will there be an SQ difference?


No,  i usually listen flac with similar headphones and compared with 320kbps mp3,i do not notice a difference.

my library is flac and i do not convert because i like large files, but i tried converting my ACD to 320 mp3 and Flac ,,,and with budget headphones ,they sounded same,[not a grain difference,,aside from placebo]

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pornstarxkr View Post


No,  i usually listen flac with similar headphones and compared with 320kbps mp3,i do not notice a difference.

my library is flac and i do not convert because i like large files, but i tried converting my ACD to 320 mp3 and Flac ,,,and with budget headphones ,they sounded same,[not a grain difference,,aside from placebo]

 

Oh, I see, thanks. So FLAC takes up more space than MP3s?

post #10 of 38
FLAC's file sizes are considerably larger.
post #11 of 38
Is there a way to retain lossless audio quality while reducing file size?
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticwave View Post

Is there a way to retain lossless audio quality while reducing file size?

 

Depends what you mean, but the answer you're looking for is probably a "no."  There are mathematical limits to how much data can be compressed.

 

Different audio file compression algorithms / settings / formats will compress different files by slightly different amounts.  Maybe you could save a couple percent on a song's file size with APE as opposed to FLAC, or something like that.  Of course, all of these are compressed considerably compared to the original lossless WAV, but I don't think you're talking about that.

 

But if you're talking about "lossless audio quality" in the sense that you want something with audio quality as good as lossless to you, then you could do a lossy (psychoacoustic) compression to MP3 / AAC / Vorbis / whatever.  As people have been discussing, high-bitrate lossy encoding can reduce file size by a lot compared to lossless, yet it may sound identical (to you, under certain circumstances).

post #13 of 38
I use AAC 256 VBR. I'm very picky and I have good equipment. Sounds identical to the original CD.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I use AAC 256 VBR. I'm very picky and I have good equipment. Sounds identical to the original CD.

 

I did that for a long time. Though, I went with 320. Either way, for the vast majority of music I listened to that was fine. But there were some recordings I had where the music would feel more rich, more full when it was lossless. By no means the majority, though.

post #15 of 38

Should I rip my CDs into AAC or an MPEG (both 320kbps). 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › FLAC to AAC vs. WAV to AAC