Deciding on Better Music Storage

  1. joefig44
    I have all my music ripped to FLAC on my NAS.
    I have a subset of those files converted to ALAC in iTunes on my Macbook Pro which is sync'd to my iPhone X.

    I listen on a pair of Noble Encore CIEMs straight from my macbook or my iphone. I like being portable for even moving around the house easier rather than lugging my macbook around.
    I also just purchased an Audeze LCD-X + AudioGD NFB-11.28 which while I plan to listen from my macbook pro to the NFB11 for FLAC/DSD playback, using a portable device would be more ideal but not totally essential as since the NFB will be stationary my macbook pro can usually be plugged into it.

    I'm running out of space on my phone and would like to store more of my FLAC music library on it.
    As I don't want to upgrade my phone, I was considering ripping 320kbps mp3s from more of my FLACs and then storing that additional music on my iPhone instead of using ALAC.

    So my main question is: am I better off keeping my mobile music lossless rather than 320 mp3s and thus having to invest in a portable music player which I would use as main source to my NFB at home and portable; or am I ok to rip to 320kbps mp3s on my iPhone X and then use that as the device for mobile use as well as main player too for my LCD-X+NFB11 combo rather than using the FLAC player on my macbook?

    I'd like to avoid the cost of buying a dedicated mobile music player, but will do so if there would be a drop in audio fidelity with the 320 mp3s on my iPhone X rather than a dedicated music player.

    If I am to buy a music player, my max budget would be $800 or so.
     
  2. joefig44
    Due to overwhelming response, I thought I'd add another question:

    What's everyone using mainly to transport their HQ music (better than 320kbps mp3)?
     
  3. earChasm
    Synology NAS, all lossless because space is not an issue. My transport is an Aries Le. I also owned the SOTM and both bluesounds. All these transports/streamers are great but the Bluesound made my Bifrost crazy (click sound). I settled on the Auralic because I love the lightning OS.

    To answer your first question;
    Just do a quik "blind test". If you can't hear an obvious difference then switch to MP3, save your money and enjoy your music.

    I did some blind tests myself and when I needed to focus real hard and take my time, I decided it's not worth it to me. As in, I don't care. Some a/b's where so easy I could clearly choose what sounded best to my ears. And the latter is what matters.
     
  4. megabigeye
    I have ALAC stored on both an older Mac Mini and a MacBook Air. I stream to a Raspberry Pi with a HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro, or use a Dragonfly Red or old Fiio X5 as DAC to a Bottlehead Quickie+Quicksand setup.

    For portable, I use 256kbps AAC and, to my ear, whatever differences between that and lossless are so small as to be completely negligible and not worth worrying about. To be honest, I'm not convinced that there are differences.
    Also, agreed with @earChasm, do a quick "blind" test and see if you hear a difference. I've also read (though I don't remember where) that 256kbs AAC is comparable to 320kbps MP3. Doing brief tests confirmed that they're at least very, very close. iTunes will automatically convert your library to 256 AAC when you sync your iPhone, which would be way more convenient than converting everything manually. At least that used to be the case way back when, when I used an iPod.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018 at 9:06 AM

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