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lossless music

 
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miTunes75
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: lossless music Reply with quote

My computer is very important to me as my music library. A couple of weeks ago, I started ripping my cds into a lossless format called flac. I have made a decision to purchase a mini at the end of June. I know that iTunes does not support this format.

My inquiry is, I want to know what apple programs or iTunes have to offer for me to do a 100% lossless rip of my cds. I know Apple Lossless exists, but doesn't it compress some and take some quality away?

Is there anything that an apple software application can do that is similar, if not the same as, flac????

I know this is a confusing topic - I hope that ya'll will be able to help.

I'm getting a mini regardless. I'd just hate to flip back and forth between osx and xp to rip a cd. It'd get annoying. Then again, iTunes can't play flac - so I'm screwed anyway, huh?

Again, thanks for your time....
any of you experts have advice??
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jbstingray
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it is not really compressed, I would consider it more 'optimized' in Apple Lossless. The files are about 55-65% the size of a completely lossless file, are easy to decode seeing as there is not heavy compression, and the difference between totally lossless and Apple Lossless is basically undetectable.
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miTunes75
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jb: sounds convincing...thank you......


....any other opinions????
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jbstingray
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me again Laughing

If you are not dead set on lossless, there is another option - AAC. At high bitrates (over 200kbps) in very advanced listening tests, the difference between lossless and AAC is completely unapparent - the compression is basically unnoticable.

That is if you are in a crunch for room, it is your next best option, mp3 is your worst and final option (haha).
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can import the file as a .aiff file (with iTunes) retaining its original form. I'm skeptical of Apple's lossless not losing "any" quality. If you have the space than you may wish to stick with the .aiff format. Also if the point is to make an exact replica of the original .aiff is the only way to go.

However that being said, I am very impressed with Apple's AAC at 320kbps. For a compressed audio it is excellent.

You may wish to give that a shot if your goal is just to get good sounding audio off of a hard drive.


Last edited by Bandit Bill on Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tenex
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a LAME plug-in for iTunes which will improve the qualty of the rips.

I really had to search to find it but I've lost the link, maybe someone here can help?
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:15 pm    Post subject: if deadset Reply with quote

if you can't stand using a non-lossless you can use AIFF which is 1536kbps and 4.77 times the size of 320Kbps ACC at 48kHz and Apple Lossless is 775Kbps and 2.42 times the size of 320kbps ACC at 48khz. There is also WAV which I personally don't like for music, but works great for sprites.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: if deadset Reply with quote

dungeon92 wrote:
if you can't stand using a non-lossless you can use AIFF which is 1536kbps and 4.77 times the size of 320Kbps ACC at 48kHz and Apple Lossless is 775Kbps and 2.42 times the size of 320kbps ACC at 48khz. There is also WAV which I personally don't like for music, but works great for sprites.


I don't understand the sprites joke Confused
What is wrong with .wav for music? What rate is it at?

I thought the originals on CD's were around 4000 kbps. and the new SACD's around 9000 kbps? Am I incorrect in saying AIFF will maintain the original quality? I put in a CD and it displayed the song titles as AIFF on the disk at around 50MB per song.
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devo
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do mine in iTunes with the MP3 encoder at 192kbps. I honestly can't hear the difference.
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warlock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Apple Lossless is as good as FLAC but personally for listening I stick to the CD..remember them? Very Happy
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warlock wrote:
I think Apple Lossless is as good as FLAC but personally for listening I stick to the CD..remember them? Very Happy


I never listen to CD's anymore. I like the fact that everything is on my iPod or hard drive. I like to listen to my music at random. My favorite band is Judas priest so I have a Judas Priest playlist and then I always listen to Priest it's random as well. An albumn like Pink Floyd the Wall should be listened to in sequence, but that's not the case with most.

I had considered getting a big CD/DVD changer but with the low cost of hard drives. Lossless is the way to go if you want convenience and quality.
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:


I never listen to CD's anymore. I like the fact that everything is on my iPod or hard drive. I like to listen to my music at random. My favorite band is Judas priest so I have a Judas Priest playlist and then I always listen to Priest it's random as well. An albumn like Pink Floyd the Wall should be listened to in sequence, but that's not the case with most.

I had considered getting a big CD/DVD changer but with the low cost of hard drives. Lossless is the way to go if you want convenience and quality.


I never buy albums from the iTMS. I still like buying CDs. I just buy'em and rip'em.

Oh yea..... Floyd rules! David Gilmour's new album is really good.
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drewd
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stereophile Magazine did a test a while back comparing a few different lossless codecs and found that all of them tested were bit-for-bit identical to the original, uncompressed source. That test included ALC.

That being said, obviously the hardware plays a pretty big role in what you hear. The decompression has to be done in real time (or faster), so the DSP has to be up to the task. I think that this was a problem with earlier iPods, but not so much now, at least by my ears. And I suppose that a PC as a source, with a good outboard USB or S/PDIF D/A converter would be just the thing for those who have a critical ear.

Also, 6 Moons had a pretty thorough examination of the performance of hard drives versus CD drives and came down pretty solidly on the side of hard drives as a more accurate source of digital audio. I don't claim to be a golden-eared audiophile (certainly not with these ears!), but the article that I read made some good technical points, particularly in the cost to performance category, if you're into spending big bucks on audio gear. The recommendation there was to rip to ALC and go with the external D/A converter.

I used to be into that scene, but now I'm just happy with my iPod and ALC. And I also think that Gilmour's new album is all that and a bag of chips.

-d-
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