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ALAC sounds bright/harsh compared to FLAC?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello,

A few months back I took on the task of converting some of my CD collection (about 200 discs).
I converted each disc into iTunes and then into MediaMonkey.
I use iTunes for convenience, but seem to enjoy and listen longer to FLAC recordings.
To me it just sounds better.
Going back and forth with listening tests, it seems the ALAC recordings are very bright and harsh compared to the FLAC.
The only setting I can think of in converting the CD's in iTunes was to check the box for error correction (and Apple Lossless, of course).
I am pretty sure I chose default settings in MediaMonkey (convert to FLAC).

Has anyone else noticed this playback trait from iTunes compared to the same track on a FLAC player (same disc/track converted for FLAC playback)?

My budget allowed for this basic audio rig:
AudioEngine D1 external DAC
Sony MDR-V6 headphones

Any thoughts, suggestions or links are appreciated.

Kind regards,
James

post #2 of 10
No.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

No.

lol this. they both decompress to the same bit-for-bit data.

post #4 of 10

Hi James

 

The two files are essentially the same (both lossless).  The only difference may be if you are comparing the ALAC in iTunes vs the FLAC with MediaMonkey - maybe one of the players is adding colouration.

 

Here's an easy way to prove it's not the file format anyway .....

 

Download and install Foobar2000

Install the abx comparator plug-in

Rip the CD with something like EAC

Use an encoder to encode to FLAC and ALAC (dbpoweramp is good for this)

Load both files into Foobar, level match (the software does it), and run the abx plug-in

 

Two files, same ripper, same encoder, same playback software - I guarantee if set-up properly you won't be able to tell the difference.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi Brooko,

 

Thanks for your time and this info.

I am all for taking the proper steps, settings and software in order to get the best sound.

I will follow the steps you provided and reply back in a few days.

 

Sincerely,

James
 

post #6 of 10

Hey i have but alac and flac format and i cant see alac as being harsh. aac codec is preety good (+1 for apple), maybe you got a remastered version? i had enrique iglesias greatest hits and i compared a track that i rip from his original 1999 album enrique (rip in alac) and to my surprise it sounded better (clearer and hence it my ears more engaging) , i was shocked. so i had to rip over everything. this make me sceptical when buying greatest hits albums 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxDobermanxX View Post

Hey i have but alac and flac format and i cant see alac as being harsh. aac codec is preety good (+1 for apple), maybe you got a remastered version? i had enrique iglesias greatest hits and i compared a track that i rip from his original 1999 album enrique (rip in alac) and to my surprise it sounded better (clearer and hence it my ears more engaging) , i was shocked. so i had to rip over everything. this make me sceptical when buying greatest hits albums 

Different albums may very well have different remastering.  ALAC and FLAC should sound exactly same when:

 - ripped from same CD with same ripper/encoder

 - played with same dac/amp

 - volume matched to same level

 - with same headphones

post #8 of 10
Greatest Hits albums traditionally use the compressed radio mix rather than the album mix. I remember how shocked I was when I compared songs on the Stones' High Tide and Green Grass to the album versions.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Different albums may very well have different remastering.  ALAC and FLAC should sound exactly same when:

 - ripped from same CD with same ripper/encoder

 - played with same dac/amp

 - volume matched to same level

 - with same headphones

-heard from the same ears ? lol thats where it gets tricky 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Greatest Hits albums traditionally use the compressed radio mix rather than the album mix. I remember how shocked I was when I compared songs on the Stones' High Tide and Green Grass to the album versions.

LOL, it is frustrating because i thought i had my flacs in perfect condition, but thats all fixed now wink.gif , *hears the japanese release of the album*

"wait why does this sound better than my US release version"'  tongue_smile.gif


Edited by XxDobermanxX - 11/22/12 at 3:16pm
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