I've encountered some funny behavior with Max and Apple Lossless (ALAC). I'm trying to move my library from FLAC to ALAC. Here's what I've experienced:
So, the upshot is that the ALAC files Max creates can't be transcoded to another format using Max. They appear to be mostly valid, though, since they can be put into an iTunes library and played. As other threads have mentioned, using iTunes to re-convert the Max-ALAC to iTunes-ALAC seems to be necessary to produce files that other apps are happy with. Even then, Max is unable to read in ALAC files, though.
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1. Start with FLAC file 'Flac.flac' a. Loads fine in Max 2. Convert to ALAC via Max -> 'FlacToAlacViaMax.m4a' a. Max behavior i. Cannot be loaded. 'An error occurred while converting the file "FlacToAlacViaMax.m4a". Sample size not supported.' b. iTunes behavior i. Loads and plays fine. ii. Bit rate = "Unknown" iii. Can be transcoded to WAV -> 'MaxAlacToWavViaITunes.wav' c. Cannot be read by foobar2000 (Windows) d. Cannot be read by dbPowerAMP (Windows) 3. Convert to ALAC via iTunes -> 'AlacToAlacViaITunes.m4a' a. Max behavior i. Cannot be loaded. 'An error occurred while converting the file "FlacToAlacViaITunes.m4a". Sample size not supported.' b. iTunes behavior i. Loads and plays fine. ii. Bit rate = "812 kbps" iii. Can be transcoded to WAV -> 'ITunesAlacToWavViaITunes.wav' c. Can be read by foobar2000 (Windows) d. Can be read by dbPowerAMP (Windows) i. Can transcode to WAV -> 'ITunesAlacToWavViaDbPowerAmp.wav'
Luckily, the actual data is fully intact. Converting 'Flac.flac' to a WAV file produces a bit-identical result to the WAV files outlined above.
Can the CoreAudio ALAC be so different from whatever black magic is happening inside iTunes?
Please let me know if you can propose any 'fixes' for this behavior. I'm willing to be a test subject. I'd volunteer to help out with code, but being new to Mac means I'm still low on the learning curve!