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ALAC vs. FLAC - Page 6

post #76 of 84

Headphone amps and external DACs are often not needed at all. It's possible to get everything all in one package.

post #77 of 84
Thanks for the knowledge!
post #78 of 84

Another reason to use ALAC, Google Play Music doesn't convert them to MP3: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1100462?hl=en

post #79 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jHoNDoE View Post
 

Another reason to use ALAC, Google Play Music doesn't convert them to MP3: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1100462?hl=en


How weird

post #80 of 84
So today I ripped a CD in XLD both in FLAC and in ALAC. Both at same bit rate as CD.

My FLAC is a monstrous size compared to ALAC. One FLAC file came out to 95 mb while the ALAC file came out to 56.5 mb. What gives?

I also heard a difference between the files, FLAC had a little more "ump" to it.
Edited by DTSxJP - 6/26/14 at 2:27pm
post #81 of 84

Isn't it amazing how just knowing a file is bigger it makes you think it sounds different? Expectation bias at work.

 

Both files are lossless and bit perfect. They sound the same. Use the format that your equipment supports and is smallest in file size.

post #82 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTSxJP View Post

So today I ripped a CD in XLD both in FLAC and in ALAC. Both at same bit rate as CD.

My FLAC is a monstrous size compared to ALAC. One FLAC file came out to 95 mb while the ALAC file came out to 56.5 mb. What gives?

I also heard a difference between the files, FLAC had a little more "ump" to it.


first, just use another compression level on flac if you want the file to be smaller. flac and alac are pretty much the same actually so pick anyone, they're good at making files about 50% the size of the original. and last time I tried flac could do slightly better than alac (but really not a difference that mattered it was a few kilos).

just know that with flac, the file size going down when you chose a bigger compression, also means the cpu having to work a little more to extract it.

 

second, you just experienced first hand a good old placebo effect. by definition both flac and alac being lossless mean that they're actually reverted to the exact same pcm file before being read by the dac. think zip file, once extracted it is the original file and nothing else.

post #83 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jHoNDoE View Post
 

Another reason to use ALAC, Google Play Music doesn't convert them to MP3: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1100462?hl=en

 

I had to test this out for myself, as this didn't seem right to me.  

 

What I found is that Google Music does transcode ALAC files to a 320 CBR Lame (3.98r) mp3 file.

 

I used dBpoweramp to rip a CD to ALAC.  Uploaded this song to Google Music All Access, and then downloaded the file from Google Music back to my PC.

 

Here are the results, visually represented.

 

 

 

 

Basically, the file was uploaded as ALAC (left screen capture), converted by Google and playable as a 320 CBR mp3 (middle screen capture).  When I downloaded this file back to my computer, it remained in the Google transcoded format (right screen capture), apparently using Lame. (see below)

 

 

 

This is fine as an option, since Google is transcoding from a lossless format using Lame, which is basically what I do, but my lossless format is the CD itself.  There is an unnecessary step involved to get the music on Google, the upload process is much slower, and it would not be ideal to use Google for archiving if you expect to keep the ALAC format.

 

 

When I rip a CD to a Lame VBR 0 file, Google does not change the file at all.  I can play my files in the same format that they were uploaded.

 

 

And when I download these songs back to my PC, you can see that Google does not alter the file at all, as it still has the same bitrate and even the same version of Lame used to initially create the file.

 

 

For now, I will continue to use Lame VBR 0 to upload my own music to Google.  

 

I have read that a FLAC song can have the extension changed to ".mp3" and these will upload to Google Music without any transcoding, but they will not play.  However, as a tool to archive up to 20,000 songs, this might be useful to some people, even if only for a temporary solution or to assist in transferring music from one computer to another at different locations. 

post #84 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraken2109 View Post
 


How weird

They do actually, the page was confusing so they changed it: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1100462?hl=en

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