Newbie Format Question

Discuss Max, an open source CD audio extractor and audio converter.
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Brakalasa
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 5:13 pm

Newbie Format Question

Post by Brakalasa » Sat May 31, 2008 5:24 pm

Hi folks,

I am a newbie with Max, and a bit afraid, that this question has already been answered. However, I was not able to find it, so here is my problem:

I have just bought a new 160 GB iPod. I am planning to attach it to my stereo system, using a new docking station by Wadia, that grabs the digital signal from the iPod, so that I can use an external D/A-converter, that has a lot better quality than the small builtin one.

Therefore I want to rip my CDs in a lossless format in the best possible quality (using Max in paranoia mode), and then import the file to iTunes. I obviously have three possibilities for formats, that are supported by iTunes: AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAVE.

Which is the one for me to choose? And are there specific configurations for Max, that I have to take care of?

Greetings from sunny Berlin,

Braka

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sbooth
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by sbooth » Sat May 31, 2008 9:10 pm

I would use Apple Lossless because the file size will be smaller for the same quality, and it supports metadata.

You'll want to use the MPEG-4 Audio (Apple Lossless) output format.

Brakalasa
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Brakalasa » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:11 am

Thanks for the quick reply. I do not understand, how the filesize can differ in a bit-by-bit-copy, but I guess, I don't have to understand that... ;-)

Have a nice sunday!

Braka

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krmathis
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by krmathis » Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:15 pm

Brakalasa wrote:I do not understand, how the filesize can differ in a bit-by-bit-copy
Data compression is the key (read more at Wikipedia -> Data Compression)

Brakalasa
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Brakalasa » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:19 pm

But that was just my point: I did not want any data compression. Just a bit-by-bit copy of everything, that is on the CD...

RonaldPR
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by RonaldPR » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:38 pm

Maybe you do not know what lossless compression is. It is compression (the file size is smaller), but all information is preserved (hence "lossless"). If a lossless compressed format is again converted to the original uncompressed format (like aiff or wav), the result is bit-by-bit identical to the original. Compare it with a zip or sit archive, the decompressed file is identical to the original. Lossless formats are ideal for archiving because the files are smaller (though not as small as files in lossy formats like mp3), but the information is preserved in all respects. There is absolutely no difference in generated data while playing uncompressed or lossless compressed formats. And if you rip a track from a audio-CD into a lossless format and then again burn a audio-CD from that lossless compressed file, the resulting data on the CD are identical to the original.

Most used lossless formats are "FLAC" and "Apple Lossless".

Mike1
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Mike1 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:05 pm

RonaldPR wrote:There is absolutely no difference in generated data while playing uncompressed or lossless compressed formats.
Quite. It's decompressed on the fly. I suppose that raises the question, why would you want uncompressed formats at all? AFAIK, the (or an) answer to that would be you'd use an uncompressed format when you want to directly edit the audio. That's something few people need to do.

Brakalasa
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Brakalasa » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:54 pm

That is extremly interesting, because it raises the question, if any information could "get lost" during the decompression.

CD-players must read out as much on the fly as they can, when playing music. They cannot read the same part of the disk several times, when it might have scratches or so. Therefore, storing music bit by bit on a harddisk, should lead to the better sound quality, and that should be hearable (at least in a high end environment).

So, my conclusion would be: If the docking station reads the data directly from the hard disk, I have to make sure first, that the D/A-converter "understands" Apple Lossless, before I can use this format.

Mike1
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Mike1 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:53 pm

Brakalasa wrote:... I have to make sure first, that the D/A-converter "understands" Apple Lossless ...
I just googled it:

wadia + dock + formats

There's this (which is the top hit):
Furthermore, MP3s will be insufficient [sic] and music goodness [sic] has to come from either .WAV or uncompressed [sic] .m4a Apple files.
http://electronrun.wordpress.com/2008/0 ... ipod-dock/

And this (from Softpedia) -- which looks like it is quoting publicity material from the company in question
The aim of such an endeavor is to be able to provide higher-class output signal, with a "clean and unadulterated" character and "providing CD-quality resolution from full-resolution file formats such as .WAV and .m4a (Apple Lossless)".
http://news.softpedia.com/news/A-New-iP ... 5324.shtml

Two sources mention it's being capable of using ALAC, and one of those sources seems to be quoting the makers. I'd take that as a yes.

Brakalasa
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Re: Newbie Format Question

Post by Brakalasa » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:00 pm

@ Mike 1:

Thanks for Your work, You have made my day. Now, that I know, that I can use Apple Lossless, I can save space and enjoy the sound of the Wadia docking station. You were all a great help.

Greetings, Tom

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