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iTunes to convert ALAC to AIFF


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Just in the interest of having non-compressed music files wherever possible, I'm considering converting the files I currently have in ALAC format to AIFF--in iTunes. Before I do, I have a couple of questions:


1) Is it worth doing at all ? ---I'm currently using iTunes and it handles ALAC files well (obviously), but I've gotten in the habit of ripping my newer files in AIFF and kind of like the idea of having non-compressed files in case I want to use another music player/library system later...I also have the feeling that the processor may have an easier time, not having to de-compress the files on the fly. Any thoughts about this?


2) Is it OK to just let iTunes do the conversion..ie "make an AIFF copy" or should I re-rip the music directly into AIFF files from the CDs?


Any feedback is appreciated!!







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1. There is no logical reason that AIFF sounds better than ALAC, however many people report that it does. There is the explanation that having the file uncompressed means less processing as you are playing back. Only way to decide of conversion is worthwhile is to test for yourself. Or just use AIFF as the only downside is extra storage needed.


2. Converting through iTunes will give same results as reripping (assuming original rip was good). ALAC is completely lossless and the original file can be reconstituted exactly.


Both of these are my own opinions and YMMV so give it a god and decide if it's worth your time to convert or re-rip.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I just read Chris' article on formats. Interesting. Wish I would have read it a while back but since I wasn't a member at the time, it doesn't matter. Anyway, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to format my music files when I purchased my laptop almost 2 years ago. Here's how misguided I was! Shortly after purchasing my laptop, I bought a Zune 80 as a portable server, probably because it wasn't an iPod! :-P It's a good unit but had I taken more time to study the specs of the iPod, I would have probably bought that mainly because some of Apple's formats are also compatible with Windows as well as the iPod's use of Wolfson audio chips. I ripped music using WMA with the downloaded tracks converted to MP3/320 via the Zune software (ZS).


OK, so far so good.


However, I always felt there was something "missing" with WMA. Whether listening to music through the PC via the ZS or directly through the Zune 80 (both plugged into CI Audio's VHP-1 headphone amp outputted to Grado 325i's), I didn't feel I was getting the whole picture, as it were. So I decided to download iTunes for listening to music through my PC because I really liked iTunes (at that time). I kept my ZS solely for syncing with the Zune 80 and started copying select tracks from ZS to iTunes to listen to music through the PC. Since iTunes had a great selection of formats (and it sounded much better than ZS), I decided for space reasons to encode selected WMA/MP3 tracks to Apple Lossless/AAC for importation to iTunes. So now, I had iTunes with select Apple Lossless/AAC files for my PC and a Zune 80 with WMA/MP3 files that can be sync'd with ZS as needed.


OK, still good (I think). Stay with me because this gets a little tricky!


Shortly afterwards, I began to have some volume issues with iTunes. For some reason, the sound was subdued and lifeless. I tried to do everything I thought I could from uninstalling/reinstalling iTunes, checking volume levels, gain, etc. It was only then when I posted these issues on the site did I discover that iTunes was probably not the best for Windows according to some. I didn't know if it was a compatibility issue or not but it was enough for me to seek outside advice. It was only after another member recommended ”J. River Media Center" as a good choice for Windows users. I tried it. I was very impressed. The sound was SO much better! I started using it. Now, I had the task of choosing the format I wanted for converting the Apple/WMA Lossless/AAC files. I really don't know why I felt the need to convert them since J. River is capable of playing these files but......well, maybe there is something a LITTLE better! :-) That's when I discovered FLAC (and LAME MP3 for everything else). And this may be another issue down the road.


FLAC is a superb lossless format which has fantastic meta-data and tagging capabilities. I began the process of converting the AL files to FLAC as well as the remaining WMA tracks to FLAC as well. This would leave my Zune 80 without a support system but it didn't matter since I was only using it for passive listening while exercising or some other mundane task. During this time, I was also thinking of replacing the Z80 with the iPod Classic since J. River can sync with this player and could easily hold all my files. Well, this may have been the “down the road” issue because FLAC, being an open-source format, isn't compatible with Zune or Apple. So, once I get around to purchasing an iPod, I could convert everything BACK to Apple Lossless and AAC. Or AIFF too, but for now, space is an issue. Besides, I don't know if J. River can play back AIFF files. I'm guessing it can since it can play other Apple formats.


Hindsight tells me that perhaps I should have just left everything in AL. That way, I could simply plug and sync a Classic right into J. River. Oy! If this keeps up, I may have to check myself into a local Audiophiles Anonymous group.




Group leader: “Hello everyone. I would like to welcome our newest member to the group who recently had the courage to come forward and share his “problem”. Please introduce yourself.”


Me: “Um, yes, uh..hello. My name is Randall and I'm an audiophile.”


Group members: (enthusiastically) “Hello, Randall!!”




Hmm...is there a 12-step program for this hobby???



Sources: iPad Air 3, iPhone 8+, Asus Chromebook C201-PA

DAC/AMP: Hidisz S8, Astell & Kern XB10 Bluetooth module

IEM's: Fiio FA1, Hidisz Seeds, Fiio FH1S, Shouer H27, BGVP KC2, KZ ZS10 Pro's, (and several lesser iem's and earbuds)

Accesories: Various MMCX and 2-pin cables.


Professional pianist, composer - master improvisationist.

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