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how to convert 'FLAC' to 'ALAC' for iPod Classic ?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

It's about an iPod Classic 6G (late 2009) 160GB.

I looked up in many places including in head-fi here, about how to do 'what's mentioned in the title'. I found thousands of ways to convert flac into apple lossless (alac) format (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=82278). I use foobar2000. with a component 'alac decoder' it can decode/play .m4a(alac) files. 

 

but is there any simple way (like encoding mp3 using lame.exe) to encode alac using foobar2000 keeping the album art & the metadata same as source ??

any detailed description is very much appreciated.

 

P.S. please don't advise to RockBox the iPod Classic.

post #2 of 16

I use xrecode - it keeps all the metadata intact.

 

http://xrecode.com/

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamnine View Post

I use xrecode - it keeps all the metadata intact.

 

http://xrecode.com/

I've used that too. A dizzying number of formats available to play around with....my version dates back a little while, before it became a paid app.

post #4 of 16

I'm surprised how quick it is for flac to alac...I think my only other transcoding experience is converting wma to mp3 or aac to mp3 which took a bit longer.


Edited by Dreamnine - 12/29/12 at 7:26am
post #5 of 16

I use dbPoweramp to convert my files from FLAC to ALAC, mp3, converting 24bit to 16 for my phone etc.  Really good program, and it uses each core of your computer's processor for each song, so it's pretty fast too.
 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am gonna compare two conversion methods here. One with foobar2000 & other with dBpoweramp. the settings I went for foobar2000 is quoted below.

 

 

Quote:
1. Download & Install 
A. Foobar:
http://www.foobar2000.org/download

B. QAAC 
http://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet
You want the TOP zip folder
Extract it to a plac that's easy to find.
Copy the address ( for example C:\Users\Jonnah\foobar components\qaac_0.18_2\qaac_0.18_2\qaac.exe)

C. Get these 2 DLL files if you don't already have them
http://www.dlldll.com/msvcp71.dll_download.html
http://www.dlldll.com/msvcr71.dll_download.html
I put them in my 'c:\windows\syswow64' folder, but you may get away with putting them in the qaac folder.
D. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE QUICKTIME INSTALLED ON YOUR SYSTEM! The free version is sufficient.

3. Once you get foobar installed, go to PREFERENCES > CONTEXT MENU, and on the RIGHT SIDE, you will check the box for CONVERT

4. Right-Click any one of the songs you wanna convert. JUST ONE, tho. Select CONVERT.

5. In the dialog box, select "..." 

6. For OUTPUT FORMAT 
A. ADD NEW, then pull down the option to CUSTOM
B. for ENCODER, press CTRL + V to paste the address of QAAC
C. EXTENTION is m4a
D. PARAMETERS 
1. for Unconstrained VBR at about 300kbps-350kbps, enter this 
-V 127 --quality 2 -o %d - 
The 127 adjusts bitrate. Changing it to 59 will yield about 128kbps
2. For Apple Lossless, enter
-A -o %d - 
E. BIT DEPTH CONTROL] change these options to LOSSY if AAC, or LOSSLESS if ALAC and 24
F. ENCODER NAME is QuickTimeAAC
G. BITRATE (kbps) is 320; for ALAC, just leave it blank.
H. SETTING is True VBR Quality 127(or whatever you choose); or ALAC
7. For DESTINATION
A. Output Path This one's entirely up to you. I use SPECIFY FOLDER, then something like this: 
C:\Users\ASSFACE\Music\999\03 - AAC CONVERSIONS
(I keep a shortcut to 999 on my desktop for easy access.)
B. Output Style and file name formatting
I do this:
%album artist%/['['%date%']']%album%/[%discnumber%-]%track% - %title%
Which yields, something like this
C:\Users\ASSFACE\Music\999\03 - AAC CONVERSIONS\Joe Satriani\[1987] Surfing with the Alien (Remastered)\1-01 - Surfing With the Alien.m4a

8. For PROCESSING
A. TURN THAT OFF!

9. For OTHER
A. I set it to do nothing when finished. 
10. SAVE Save your preset so you don't have to do this again.

 

I used the parameters "--no-optimize --alac --silent --ignorelength - -o %d"

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

I purchased the dBpoweramp Registered Reference Release 14.3 & compared a same flac lossless track converted to 'ALAC'. the media info of both the files are quoted below.

 

the alac converted by dBpoweramp

 

Quote:
General
Complete name                            : C:\Users\Redlah\Desktop\01.Lost In The Echo.m4a
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Format profile                           : Apple audio with iTunes info
Codec ID                                 : M4A 
File size                                : 26.0 MiB
Duration                                 : 3mn 25s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 1 061 Kbps
Album                                    : Living Things
Album/Performer                          : Linkin Park
Part/Position                            : 1
Part/Total                               : 1
Track name                               : Lost In The Echo
Track name/Position                      : 1
Performer                                : Linkin Park
Genre                                    : Alternative
Recorded date                            : 2012
Cover                                    : Yes
Comment                                  : vtwin88cube
LABEL                                    : Warner Bros.
LABELNO                                  : 9362-49504-8
 
Audio
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : ALAC
Codec ID                                 : alac
Codec ID/Info                            : Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Duration                                 : 3mn 25s
Duration_LastFrame                       : -48ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 1 052 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth                                : 16 bits
Stream size                              : 25.8 MiB (99%)
Language                                 : English
 

 

the alac converted by foobar2000

 

Quote:
General
Complete name                            : C:\Users\Redlah\Desktop\Lost In The Echo.m4a
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Format profile                           : Apple audio with iTunes info
Codec ID                                 : M4A 
File size                                : 25.8 MiB
Duration                                 : 3mn 25s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 1 053 Kbps
Album                                    : Living Things
Album/Performer                          : Linkin Park
Part/Position                            : 1
Part/Total                               : 1
Track name                               : Lost In The Echo
Track name/Position                      : 1
Performer                                : Linkin Park
Genre                                    : Alternative
Recorded date                            : 2012
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-12-29 18:33:21
Tagged date                              : UTC 2012-12-29 18:33:24
Writing application                      : qaac 2.10, CoreAudioToolbox 7.9.8.2, Apple Lossless Encoder
Comment                                  : vtwin88cube
LABEL                                    : Warner Bros.
LABELNO                                  : 9362-49504-8
 
Audio
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : ALAC
Codec ID                                 : alac
Codec ID/Info                            : Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Duration                                 : 3mn 25s
Duration_LastFrame                       : -48ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 1 052 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth                                : 16 bits
Stream size                              : 25.8 MiB (100%)
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-12-29 18:33:21
Tagged date                              : UTC 2012-12-29 18:33:24
 

 

DIFFERENCE: The main disadvantage I noticed that, the foobar2000 conversion doesn't keep the embedded artwork(artwork) whereas dBpoweramp keeps the album art & metadata tags intact. As there is no difference in main audio stream bitrate, I think I'll stick along with the dBpoweramp for lesser efforts. :)

I think my problem is solved.

 

Thank you guys for quick replies . .

Regards . .


Edited by Redlah - 12/29/12 at 10:55am
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMan2k2 View Post

I use dbPoweramp to convert my files from FLAC to ALAC, mp3, converting 24bit to 16 for my phone etc.  Really good program, and it uses each core of your computer's processor for each song, so it's pretty fast too.
 

thank you for mentioning such a great application. If the purchase system had any redirection procedures, I'd have surely mentioned that you referred me, for your credit. fully registered version of dBpoweramp is an incredibly useful application for noob ipod users.

post #9 of 16

You're welcome.  It's been a fantastic addition to my music hobby.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlah View Post
P.S. please don't advise to RockBox the iPod Classic.

Uhhm Why? tongue.gif

post #11 of 16

Well, since you already have foobar, check this out :

http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_dop

 

You simply 'send' the tracks to your pod and they are automagically transcoded !

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKG240mkII View Post

Well, since you already have foobar, check this out :

http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_dop

 

You simply 'send' the tracks to your pod and they are automagically transcoded !

It maybe kinda funny for you guys but I don't know why I can't find the download option of that component. Another thing, the last update release of that component was July 2011 which I think is kinda laid back.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ev0lution View Post

Uhhm Why? tongue.gif

I'm dying to answer that question. Thing is, here in my county Apple even restricts using non-apple headphones. :)

ha ha. kidding . .

actually servicing or refurbishing an old/disabled iPod isn't that flexible around here. besides, I've never done it before. PLUS there is a cautionary quotation in 'freemyipod' that ".. it can permanently damage your device" :)

 

If I knew someone who did, i'd have tried. Why else anyone would use Apple firmware instead of RockBox in iPod classic. It has enormous collection of useful features.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMan2k2 View Post

You're welcome.  It's been a fantastic addition to my music hobby.

iPod classic owners who haven't tried 'dBpoweramp' yet, doesn't know what they are missing. Impossibly incredible useful set of features.

I'd be glad to share this software with any head-fi'er here who wants it.

post #15 of 16

i'd be very interested! :) pm me if you want! thx

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