Flac to Lossless (itunes won't read)

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ag644
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Flac to Lossless (itunes won't read)

Post by ag644 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:10 am

Hi, I downloaded Max for the express purpose of converting a bunch of .flac files to apple lossless, (the format I use for storing my entire music library in iTunes songs.)

I was able to convert the tracks fine using the Apple Lossless setting, but for some reason iTunes won't read the resulting .caf files (although they play fine in quicktime.)

I'm tempted to convert the flac files into aif, which iTunes will read, and then have iTunes compress them into Apple Lossless once they're in iTunes.

First of all, assuming I'm willing to take that extra step, am I in danger of losing any information along the way with the two conversions?

More importantly, is there a simpler way to go from flac to iTunes readable Apple Lossless?

Thanks!

Mike1
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Re: Flac to Lossless (itunes won't read)

Post by Mike1 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:41 am

ag644 wrote:Hi, I downloaded Max for the express purpose of converting a bunch of .flac files to apple lossless, (the format I use for storing my entire music library in iTunes songs.)

I was able to convert the tracks fine using the Apple Lossless setting, but for some reason iTunes won't read the resulting .caf files (although they play fine in quicktime.)
Those aren't Apple Lossless files -- those would have the file extension .m4a (because, like AAC files they are in an mp4 container, and .m4a is the file extension Apple uses when an MP4 container contains audio only).

What you've got is the file extension for Core Audio Format:
Whereas AIFF, AIFF-C, and WAV files are limited in size to 4 gigabytes, which might represent as little as 15 minutes of audio, CAF files use 64-bit file offsets, eliminating practical limits. A standard CAF file can hold audio data with a playback duration of hundreds of years.
http://developer.apple.com/documentatio ... ion_2.html

IOW, what you've got there isn't something for end use.

Sometimes if Max fails to delete its temporary files before closing--perhaps because of a crash--files with that extension turn up in the trash on next reboot. Under normal circumstances, you shouldn't ever see them, because they're not the end result of the process.

Something is wrong in your settings, if Max is not putting out files with the extension .m4a.

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sbooth
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Post by sbooth » Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:12 pm

To select Apple Lossless for output, in the Format Preferences make sure that you have chosen MPEG-4 Audio as the file type, Apple Lossless as the data type, and that the extension is m4a.

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:28 pm

sbooth wrote:To select Apple Lossless for output, in the Format Preferences make sure that you have chosen MPEG-4 Audio as the file type, Apple Lossless as the data type, and that the extension is m4a.
And not only choose and configure this output format, but also select (check box) to actually use the configured output format.

ag644
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Preferences confusion

Post by ag644 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:45 am

Thanks, all, for the great info.

I chose the Apple CAF format since it was the only one that had Apple in the name, and when I saw Apple Lossless as a choice in the encoder settings, I figured I was homefree.

I didn't realize I could choose MPEG 4 and then set the encoder settings to Apple Lossless with the M4a extension. But I changed it to that and the conversions seem to be going beautifully. Hooray!

What an elegant program!

RonaldPR
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Re: Preferences confusion

Post by RonaldPR » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:19 am

ag644 wrote:I didn't realize I could choose MPEG 4 and then set the encoder settings to Apple Lossless with the M4a extension.
In my opinion, and I expressed this opinion several times before, this is a flaw in the user interface. The different encoding formats in the list should be labeled with their usual common names, not with expert references that many users do not understand. So, in this case it should not be called "MPEG4-audio", but it should be called "AAC/Apple Lossless (mp4)"

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:38 pm

I agree with Ronald PR. I don't use Max much (long story). When I do I am reminded of one of the reasons why not: Figuring out what I want. I'm smarter than the average bear (which reference shows my age, BTW) but I have had to go search these forums when I have not been sure. In fact I just saved the post here specifying the correct choice for AppleLossless. Not very elegant.

Otherwise, converting my whole collection to ALAC is in my near future and I will be very glad for Max, so THANK YOU.

ag644
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elegant operation

Post by ag644 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:39 pm

After surmounting the learning curve necessary to create my Apple Lossless (m4a, not CAF files) I'd concur that it'd be great if the various file output functions in Max could be labeled with the names an average user might recognize. But once you figure out what you're trying to make it do, the program sure does the job with a minimum of muss or fuss.

Mike1
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Post by Mike1 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:43 pm

I find this, Fuga. I have to keep learning new terminology and whatever concepts are moving behind the terms--and then when I get whatever it is (or think I do) I forget everyone else doesn't. I'd guarantee if you walked into a bar and said to someone at random, "Do you rip to lossy or lossless formats?" they wouldn't know what you meant, although they probably do do it.

How many CDs have you got waiting to be re-ripped, then? I've got a couple of hundred, and I'd quake at the thought of having to do them again.

I have to say, if you're planning to stream the files over an Airport Express or something I'm darn envious. :-)

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Fuga
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Post by Fuga » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:54 pm

I know verbiage is too often bandied about. I know well what you mean. Take a look at http://www.freewebtown.com/mac_lossless_faq (over a year old though) and you'll see. I presumed quite a bit on the readers' part.

As for ripping, we're talking a couple thousand. I'm about to retire and so will have the time. I just got an AE and it's absolutely wonderful. Get one! Good deals on eBay.

Mike1
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Post by Mike1 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:41 pm

Thanks for the link--looking now.

2,000 will be quite some work.

I think you're right about airport express--I'll have to succumb and get one.

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