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Thread: Converting Apple lossless to flac

  1. #11
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin2040 View Post
    I have a back up hard drive which uses appl3 lossless flies and was the main source for my Raspberry pi. I am going to introduce the raspberry into my main system with the hard drive and use Volumio. Now what’s the simplest way of converting around 300 to 350 gb of files into flac . I am sure this is somewhere within Art of Sound but simple solution would be good

    Colin
    Colin, a couple of things, one already pointed out is if they are already ALAC (Apple Lossless) then converting to FLAC will be of little benefit. Second if you ripped these from CDs using iTunes to get them to ALAC then the quality may not be as good as it could be, by that I mean that iTunes does not do the level of error checking and re-reading of CDs to ensure a true rip that other software does. So you may want to consider re-ripping your CD's using something like XLD, there are others that are free.

    You might want to consider keeping them as .M4P anyway rather than FLAC so you can still access from iTunes easily and put on any Apple devices you have.

    Time consuming I know but I had the same issues where I had ripped to with MP3 or AAC and so spent many weeks re-ripping 600+ CD's to ALAC.
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  2. #12
    Join Date: Feb 2008

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    I'm Neal.

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    Yeah but, hold on. iTunes supports C2 level error checking which a lot of other rippers do as well. True theres no accurate rip feature but IME that’s not necessary for 90% or more of rips. If you have a really stubborn CD that won’t rip then by all means use EAC. Over on audio talk Nick compared ripped files from iTunes that Strat sent him, apart from the differing offsets the PCM data was the same in every case. I’ve given up being anal about rip accuracy for the majority of CD’s it’s a none issue IMO.
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  3. #13
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    I’ve given up being anal about rip accuracy for the majority of CD’s it’s a none issue IMO.
    Probably true, but it depends on how you feel about it, do you want what is actually digitally on the CD or not. To be honest IMO some from the 80's are pretty poor anyway due to the process at the time they were produced, but if you have some special ones or favourites you might like to get the best from them.
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  4. #14
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Hampshire

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    I'm Mel.

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    Error checking is one of those arguments nobody will win unless you are undertaking an image copy or a copy which will defrag the file during a bit copy. Only during one of these copies can you truly check the resulting file mirrors the starting file.

    The minute you rip a file to an alternative format it has changed according to the algorithm used for the rip. Any check can then only ever re check the conversion process and never the initial file to the resulting file.

    You choose your preferred rip program and the process it uses and then live with it.

    i am also one who is happy using the apple process though I have no issue with anybody who chooses another but nothing to my ears is any better or worse at delivering the file format i want.


    Mel

  5. #15
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    I just converted an alac file to Flac and all metadata transferred over just fine.

    Used JRiver - super easy.
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  6. #16
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Argyll and Bute

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    I'm Colin.

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    I had assumed that the flac file was an improvement over the Apple lossless , and as the raspberry was going into the main system to feed it better files. But from what I read it makes little difference. Or is it a better file if produced direct from a cd rip?

    Colin

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2019

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    I'm Andrew.

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    What we all want is a true digital exact copy of the original file . Any lossless format (alac,Flac etc) will provide this. As they both offer exact digital copies when unpacked and played there is no reason to feel that one is superior or indeed different to the other.

    No come the personal choice part , I do not and actively avoid all Apple products so I use Flac and have no need for any Alac files. Using DbPoweramp when I make a rip that rip as a digital filoe is compared to other identical rips made by other users and they report this as an accurate rip . None of this is essential but for me personally I find it gives me some assurance and peace of mind . If you files have been ripped correctly and they play well I would leave them as they are and just make sensible back up copies in cse your main HD fails . Keep your current codec and stop worrying too much about formats.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: London, UK

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    I’m slightly interested in this thread as I have moved most of my operations over to Apple kit, and haven’t touched a Win PC except when I’ve had to for someone else for years.

    A few years ago I ripped a lot of CDs using iTunes, and I ripped them into Alac. At the time I checked out whether iTunes can play FLAC files. It couldn’t then - probably still can’t without modification or a plug-in. I did find some software to convert FLAC to Alac and vice-versa, and tested it. It worked fine with the tools I found.

    I’m not sure whether some of those tools have now died the death, but I could revisit this. Sometimes - for example for speech files - I just go straight to mp3. I know it’s probably not the best, but it’ll mostly play on anything. If I’m sticking with Apple I target AAC if I’m not too bothered about quality. Serious stuff I always encode to Alac, and in the fairly unlikely event that I need to play on another device, or send a file to someone I use whatever conversion software I have, bearing in mind the kit recipients may have, and the quality levels needed.

    I don’t believe there is any quality loss in converting between FLAC and Alac. If the files are 16 bit, then wav or aiff could be used - though would be larger. However higher resolution files do need to be kept in one of the hi-res lossless formats, which should be interchangeable.

    I came to the conclusion that mostly it wasn’t worth worrying about whether all the bits were/are perfect, unless the sound clearly suggests that they aren’t.
    Dave

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2016

    Location: Argyll and Bute

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    I'm Colin.

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    Well thanks for all the input, it was useful. I have both files generated now so I can keep an open mind. I will use both and see if either is an improvement . Hopefully if I have some time this weekend I will reconnect the raspberry to my broadband and set it up as a source.

    Colin

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