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ALAC importing from CD: 868kbps vs 24-bit, 96kHz limit of a DAC

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am confused by (1) the CD rips to ALAC using iTunes and (2) using the resulting ALAC files with a DAC.

 

First, when I use the most recent version of iTunes and rip to ALAC, there are no settings, just "Automatic". The resulting files are apparently 868 kbps

 

Second, I'm looking to use a DAC that can read ALAC files over USB, but this DAC is limited: "ALAC files were restricted to sample rates of 96kHz and below", presumably meaning 24-bit, 96 kHz.

 

So if I'm correct in my math, 24 bits/sample * 96000 samples/second = 2,304,000 bps = 2304 kbps. That limitation of the DAC apparently exceeds the 868 kbps rips produced by iTunes, so I'm good to go with these ALAC files using this DAC, right? And what would be the point of having a DAC that can handle 24-bit, 192 kHz ALAC files?

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttleboi View Post
 

I am confused by (1) the CD rips to ALAC using iTunes and (2) using the resulting ALAC files with a DAC.

 

First, when I use the most recent version of iTunes and rip to ALAC, there are no settings, just "Automatic". The resulting files are apparently 868 kbps

 

Second, I'm looking to use a DAC that can read ALAC files over USB, but this DAC is limited: "ALAC files were restricted to sample rates of 96kHz and below", presumably meaning 24-bit, 96 kHz.

 

So if I'm correct in my math, 24 bits/sample * 96000 samples/second = 2,304,000 bps = 2304 kbps. That limitation of the DAC apparently exceeds the 868 kbps rips produced by iTunes, so I'm good to go with these ALAC files using this DAC, right? And what would be the point of having a DAC that can handle 24-bit, 192 kHz ALAC files?


Obviously to play 24-bit, 192kHz files! :)

 

Also, your math is slightly wrong. It should be 96000 * 24 * 2 = 4608kbps. You can prove this because 44100 (CD standard sample rate) * 16 * 2 = 1411kbps, which is the bitrate for WAV files.

 

However, anything above 24-bit, 96khz files, or even standard CD rips is debatable to have any real differences to our ears. This is a good read if you're interested.

 

https://www.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

 

 

But to answer your question, yes, your DAC is fine.


Edited by GaryWA - 1/16/14 at 7:39pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the explanation.

 

I think you are right to multiply by 2, as that includes 2 channels (left and right).

 

So if most of my music is from CD rips to ALAC, 24-bit, 96 kHz should always be good, right? I know there is a lot of talk about 24-bit 192 kHz, but ALAC won't rip to those setttings, and I know ALAC is excellent for playback. How would I even produce 24-bit, 192 kHz rips, anyways?

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttleboi View Post
 

Thank you for the explanation.

 

I think you are right to multiply by 2, as that includes 2 channels (left and right).

 

So if most of my music is from CD rips to ALAC, 24-bit, 96 kHz should always be good, right? I know there is a lot of talk about 24-bit 192 kHz, but ALAC won't rip to those setttings, and I know ALAC is excellent for playback. How would I even produce 24-bit, 192 kHz rips, anyways?


You can't, CD's are 44.1/16, you can upsample to 24/96 or 24/192 but I believe the only way to get those are to either rip them from DVD-A's or buy them online (I could be wrong).

 

Don't worry about it, 16/44.1 is perfectly fine, though if you listen to a lot of classical music, some albums are better recorded than some which will affect the quality. Or if you listen to a lot of pop, they are overcompressed like hell.

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