Final word on Apple Lossless / AIFF Question

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johnjeffrey
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Final word on Apple Lossless / AIFF Question

Post by johnjeffrey » Tue May 02, 2006 9:27 pm

Hey there, just discovered this program so thanks to all that have contributed to it.

From reading the discussions here it seems that there is some error in the way this program converts to the Apple Lossless mode (i.e. crashing the ipod, files containing audio glitches, etc). Is this true in all cases? Should I just avoid encoding to ALAC and instead to AIFF and then convert them within iTunes? This won't affect the quality at all, will it?

Also, was wondering what the distinction was between all the AIFF encoders--which is the normally used one? What's the difference between all the different Linear PCMs, bits???

Thanks for any help.

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sbooth
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Re: Final word on Apple Lossless / AIFF Question

Post by sbooth » Wed May 03, 2006 4:09 pm

johnjeffrey wrote:From reading the discussions here it seems that there is some error in the way this program converts to the Apple Lossless mode (i.e. crashing the ipod, files containing audio glitches, etc). Is this true in all cases? Should I just avoid encoding to ALAC and instead to AIFF and then convert them within iTunes? This won't affect the quality at all, will it?
I don't think that that Max produces errors in ALAC output- Max uses the CoreAudio encoder for ALAC which produces correct ALAC files. I think the issue is actually one of playback on iPods, which honestly stumps me. I'm not sure what the iTunes encoder does to ALAC files, but obviously it does something. The ALAC files generated by Max should play just fine with QuickTime or iTunes, just (unfortunately for everyone I suppose) not on iPods.

To answer the original question- if you encode to AIFF and then convert with iTunes, you will not lose any quality. You will lose all the metdata, though.

One possibility I haven't tried- could you encode to ALAC with Max and then convert the files to ALAC using iTunes? I'm not sure if this would work, but if so, would preserve the metadata in your files.
Also, was wondering what the distinction was between all the AIFF encoders--which is the normally used one? What's the difference between all the different Linear PCMs, bits???
It depends on what your source audio is which type of file will be best. If you are ripping from a CD, a 16-bit integer file will be best because that is the size of the samples as stored as the disc. More bits than that would be a waste, since the CD audio doesn't contain any extra information.

If you have a higher-quality source than a CD, you might want a different sample/frame/bit size.
Last edited by sbooth on Thu May 04, 2006 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johnjeffrey
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Post by johnjeffrey » Wed May 03, 2006 4:21 pm

You know, I think your idea of converting the ALAC file made from Max within iTunes might have done the trick. I haven't tested playing it on my iPod (nor did I the Max files, I simply read that they would cause trouble) but when you convert them within iTunes, the "Unknown" classification under the Bitrate column changes to its correct number. So...looks positive...

cluffydog
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Post by cluffydog » Thu May 04, 2006 7:27 am

Will it affect quality by encoding twice to ALAC?

"encode to ALAC with Max and then convert the files to ALAC using iTunes"

shanecavanaugh
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Post by shanecavanaugh » Thu May 04, 2006 9:41 am

cluffydog wrote:Will it affect quality by encoding twice to ALAC?
No, not at all. Converting from ALAC to ALAC is a lossless conversion.

johnjeffrey
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Post by johnjeffrey » Thu May 04, 2006 4:20 pm

Just to clarify, I did in fact end up converting all my ALAC's made with Max to iTunes ALAC's. Seems to work perfectly with the best of both worlds, the cdparanoia ripping capability of Max and the iPod functionality of the iTunes conversions...

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