FLAC ?
Aug 31, 2010 at 4:50 PM Post #16 of 32

sp70

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M4A is the file container for the ALAC format.
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Curious.  I've been out of the Apple game for awhile, thank goodness.  What's the difference between M4a and ALAC?  Why go from one lossless format to another?  


 
On the subject of what format to go with - go FLAC all the way. Unless, you absolutely must use itunes. There are other great players out there that can take advantage of FLAC (a superior format) as opposed to being stuck with apple's software. As for your iPod, if your willing to, you could Rockbox it and then use it with your newly ripped FLAC files. :) sp70.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 4:55 PM Post #17 of 32

Olias of Sunhillow

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Quote:
Curious.  I've been out of the Apple game for awhile, thank goodness.  What's the difference between M4a and ALAC?  Why go from one lossless format to another?  


ALAC files bear the .m4a extension. I think it's an Apple-specific way to indicate that something uses MPEG-4 audio coding.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM Post #18 of 32

Olias of Sunhillow

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Quote:
On the subject of what format to go with - go FLAC all the way. Unless, you absolutely must use itunes. There are other great players out there that can take advantage of FLAC (a superior format) as opposed to being stuck with apple's software. As for your iPod, if your willing to, you could Rockbox it and then use it with your newly ripped FLAC files. :) sp70.


This is true if you're not an Apple user.
 
On the flip side, if you already use iTunes and have an iPod (or four, like I have), going with ALAC is a no-brainer. I do like my Rockboxed 5.5gen iPod Video for BitTorrent downloads in FLAC, of course...
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM Post #19 of 32

REDH0RN

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On the subject of what format to go with - go FLAC all the way. Unless, you absolutely must use itunes.
 
Have grown comfortable with iTunes. What I'm now trying to understand are the options within iTunes and which would be best for quality and ease of use on iPod.
 
AAC Encoder - 99% of my music is 192 kbps in this format
AIFF Encoder - Has Sample and Rate size choices and am not at all familiar with this format
Apple Lossless Encoder - Started using this choice
MP3 Encoder - Seems to be a poor choice from what I read. Know it is very flexible though
WAV Encoder - Also has Sample and Size choices and am unfamiliar with
 
It appears there is more than one way to skin this cat. I want to switch to a better quality format acoustically and utilize it with new music I get. I will then re-rip my major collection of songs when my CD's are again available (stored currently). Should I go with Apple Lossless or what is advisable? If some one could list the formats in order of performance quality (know this is subjective) it would help me place things in perspective. Apple laptop has tiny drive but intend to move entire iTunes library to an external so space should not be an issue.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 6:27 PM Post #20 of 32

Olias of Sunhillow

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From a pure quality standpoint, WAV, AIFF and ALAC (and FLAC, FWIW) are theoretically indistinguishable from one another. AAC is next, with mp3 a distant last (in my opinion).
 
I believe you are right to continue using the Apple Lossless Encoder in iTunes. Best sound quality, good compression and can be used on an iPod without conversion.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 8:35 PM Post #21 of 32

K-MONEY

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I don't know why everybody is only talking about iPods only when clearly there is an astounishing Zune HD as well...Besides, itunes is just awful, I will never purchase an iPod ever again because of it. I will never use itunes unless apple configures it to work and sync artists names like the Zune HD does. For example, in itunes, if you have an aritsts featuring another, itunes will give them a new slot...so if you have Jay-Z and then a song with Jay-Z Featuring Lil Wayne, itunes will not put every song under jay-z...one would manually have to put Jay-Z under Artist and Contributing Artists in the song's properties if he's like all songs by Jay-Z to be under only the name Jay-Z...that is the most annoying thing in the world...not to mention, it just messes up everything especially when there is featured artists on there. Have anyone ever used the Zune software? It's simple and fantastic.
 
WMA (Lossless) is the way to go for the Zune HD if you ask me.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 9:23 PM Post #22 of 32
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Read this: http://www.head-fi.org/wiki/a-quick-guide-to-lossless-versus-lossy-music-files
 
If you're using a Mac, it's easiest to stick with what Apple uses.  There is no disadvantage, except the inconvenience of re-converting the music if you decide later to use a device that doesn't support it.  
If you like iTunes, use iTunes.
 
I don't understand the idea of trying to persuade someone to use something that would be a: inconvenient (FLAC usage requires a plug-in for iTunes in Mac OS X that is unreliable) and b: unnecessary (he is happy with iTunes).
 
The only thing useful that might be considered when choosing formats is, AIFF will probably require less CPU usage than a compressed format.  How much this will be relevant with that old TiBook I don't know, but if all it is doing is playing music, probably not much.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 10:45 PM Post #23 of 32

REDH0RN

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How much this will be relevant with that old TiBook I don't know, but if all it is doing is playing music, probably not much.
 
So far the Book is only for storage of iTunes. Try to keep HD use as low as possible. Basically spin the tunes from iPod. When an external drive enters the picture I assume I can set my library on it exclusively to allow it to bear the wear and tear if I ever play from computer. Thank you for your thoughts.
 
Aug 31, 2010 at 11:56 PM Post #26 of 32

REDH0RN

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 he should get a Zune HD then.
 
No thanks. My $50 4th gen perfect condition 20GB works fine for my uses. Plus I like iTunes... 
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