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Convert flac to apple lossless increases file size?


urakis
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hi everyone,

 

I recently downloaded some music in flac format, i managed to import them to itunes using a freeware called "fluke", i tried converting the flac files to apple lossless from within itunes, i noticed that it has increased the bit rate and the file size after the conversion is completed, i know its a different story when converting aiff and wav file to apple lossless format, it reduces the file size, but why does it increase when converting flac to apple lossless? i know it doest make the file better, or do they? hope you guys can give me some info regarding this subject. thanks

 

regards to all,

 

urakis

 

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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It's simply that FLAC uses a very slightly more efficient set of algorithms for compressing the file. It's analagous to converting from a ZIP file to an ARC file - the (once uncompressed) contents are the same but they are stored in a slightly different manner.

 

Eloise

---

...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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so it means that converting flac to apple lossless is basically like uncompressing a zip file? but does it affect the total output or would it sound identical to the original flac file? thanks for the quick response..

 

 

urakis

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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The sound will be identical.

 

Also, with many FLAC implementations you can select the amount of compression for each file. It's possible these particular FLAC files were compressed more than the ALAC compression in addition to the different algorithms.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Two years ago I switched from PC to Mac and had a lot of FLAC that I wanted to convert to ALAC. I used the same method--FLUKE/iTunes, but found the ALACs sounded 'FLAT', and somewhat muted. Then I did the whole thing again, but this time I found Max (and later XLD) now everything sounded much better and not only that, it also went twice as fast without all the pain of keeping the tags good in FLUKE.

 

Ruud.

 

~

 

 

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thanks for the helpful information guys, i will try listening to both files and see if there is a noticeable difference, although im fairly new to this whole thing, i appreciate every bits of information you guys can throw my way.

 

i would like to ask for suggestions regarding high quality speakers for my computer audio setup as well, i am currently staying in bahrain, and almost all the good brands are not available here, i have been searching for grado headphones, audioengine speakers but without any luck, the only familiar speaker brands here are bose,(i know.. duh?) yamaha, harman cardon, B&W, sony and pioneer, i would like to get some suggestions from you guys regarding which brand is good enough for a newbee like me? and is it ok to start with a decent AV receiver rather than buying a usb dac? and if an av receiver would be good enough, which models among yamaha and onkyo can you guys recomend? my budget is around 700-1000 dollars, hope i can get some good recommendations from you guys, thanks and more power..

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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There are a number of possibilities here which can vary depending on who you ask. First off, I have two questions:

 

1. Although you list your computer hardware, you don't say if you are already have any audio equipment (if at all). For example, you may already have a good receiver and speakers in which case you can simply use the funds to help enhance what you have.

 

2. Assuming that you do not own a receiver, DAC, or speakers, it will be quite challenging to find audiophile-level stereo equipment for the funds available to you. However, it's not impossible to find everything you want within your budget and still get a very satisfying sound.

 

3. Lastly, you mention that you have a Macbook and Dell PC. Which unit do you use to listen to your music? Not that it makes a huge difference but you'll find different opinions on what DAC works best with each system.

 

If you can provide more detail on your current set-up (including the type of music files you have/want to have) and what you specifically want to do (listen through speakers, headphones, etc.) perhaps we can narrow down what we think might be a good set-up for you.

 

Randall

 

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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interesting point you have there randall, i forgot to mention about it together with my last post, actually, im basically new to all of this and what i have can not really be considered audiophile quality equipment, to start with, i use my mac to listen to mp3s 320kb/s,aac and apple lossless music with itunes, i have a sennheiser px 100 headphone which i also use to listen to some music from my nokia 5800 express music phone, i have a good pair of pc speakers, (logitech z-2300) which is connected to my dell laptop for some easy listening in my bedroom using itunes also, as you can see, i dont really have that much to start with, thats why im really interested in buying some good quality entry level equipment just to get started, im seriously considering a good av receiver and a nice pair of stereo speakers, i hope you can recommend something from the brands i mentioned earlier that would fit nicely in my budget, thanks a lot and i hope to hear some feedback from you guys soon.

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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From the receivers available in your area, Yamaha and Onkyo, they are both very good brands although many in the audiophile world would consider these, and receivers in general, to be mid-fi. I know Yamaha makes a decent two-channel receiver with 75 watts per channel (RX-V565) for a very reasonable price. They make a less expensive model designed for home theater with 7 channels but I don't know if that is your thing. You can check out the Crutchfield website as well as the J & R World website for more bargain-priced receivers. Don't forget to check out Amazon.com too!

 

Unlike mid-fi receivers, you can actually find very good audiophile-quality speakers (mostly bookshelf sized) from makers like Polk, Paradigm, and Epos, to name a few. Having said this, these brands may not be available in your area so as long as you stick with established brands like the ones you mentioned, I think you will find something that has a good sound at a reasonable price. If the stores will let you try before you buy, that's the best way of determining what will work for you.

 

You also mentioned Grados in your original post. It just so happens that I'm a hardcore headphone audiophile who uses Grados exclusively and depending on if you want a main headphone system rig or a more portable one for your phone/MP3 player, you definitely can't go wrong with Grados. In fact, you could get an excellent all-in-one headphone amp/DAC with a high-quality set of Grados within your budget (the SR-60's would be a good place to start and I would also recommend a set of the iGrados as an addition for your portable needs) and still have enough left over for a good USB cable, or whatever type of digital cable you prefer or have connections for, and an RCA interconnect in case you wish to send the signal through a receiver with maybe a few high-quality downloads thrown in for good measure. You might also want to look at Klipsch or NuForce too as they make a few in-ear phones whose sound can rival their more expensive counterparts like Shure.

 

All of this, of course, is my opinion and other opinions are welcomed but whatever you decide, this is a starting point for you to start enjoying your music.

 

Randall

 

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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i see what you mean randall, i have read somewhere in the forum section that there are built in DACs in most av receivers out in the market, thats why i got interested in av receivers, which i can also use to set up a small home entertainment system for my house later on, would i be able to use an av receiver together with an external dac? or should i just stick to an external dac for listening music from my mac? it would be quite difficult to get my hands on one because non of the audio equipment shops here in bahrain doesnt even know what that is. anyway, in regards to speakers, i have been looking for a pair of yamaha HS50M or HS80M to start with, do you think i would be a solid choice for my first pair of speakers? the dealer here in bahrain said they would be expecting some hs series by next month, the price is well within my budget, but if you think it would be a waste of money for me, please feel free to let me know what you personally think.

as far as headphones are concerned, i really am very interested in getting a pair of grados for quite some time, i know i would not go wrong with them, i would probably get the ones you recommended, the sr 60 for home listening and the igrado for portable music, i would probably need to buy an ipod as well, so i will be able to bring some apple lossless files along with me wherever i go. i hope you can give me some more advice regarding this matter, thanks again.

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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First off, here's a link that can help you understand more about the quality of AV receivers/DAC:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/AV-receivers-quality

 

Also, concerning the Yamaha speakers you mentioned (HS50M/HS80M), I cannot comment on their sound quality since I haven't heard them before, but one thing I noticed is that they are powered speakers which doesn't require an external power source to drive them. If you want to get a receiver, you might want to look for passive speakers. Otherwise. you can simply send the output signal (from the receiver) to the speakers. If you have a DAC connected to your PC, you can send the output audio signal from the DAC (via RCA's most likely) to the speakers. Keep in mind that both of the speakers have a 1/4" jack and balanced XLR inputs so it's important to have the right cable/adaptors to connect them to the source.

 

Lastly, I want to add something to the Grado post I sent earlier. Grado says the iGrados have the same drivers as the SR-60's but there is enough of a difference in sound since the drivers in the SR-60 are within an ear cup versus the flat-mounted drivers in the portable version. I bought my wife a set of iGrados some time ago and although they sounds quite nice, they don't have the depth and soundstaging like the 60's. However, if you don't mind wearing the SR-60's for your portable needs as well as for your main rig, you won't need the portable versions. The 60's are terminated with a mini jack (3.5 mm) plug so they'll work very well with a portable player. You'll just need a mini-jack to 1/4" adaptor to plug it in to your receiver, DAC/headphone amp, or a dedicated headphone amp unless any of the aforementioned items only have 3.5 mm outputs.

 

For a few dollars more, you can also step up to the SR-80's which have larger drivers and a moderately better sound.

 

Randall

 

 

 

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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thanks for the highly regarded advice randall, i may have to try the speakers out before purchasing them, i think a few tracks in the listening room at the yamaha dealer near my area is enough to justify the quality of those speakers, i will check out the available av receiver models from yamaha and onkyo and will let you know my best 2 choices before i make the purchase, the link you mentioned is quite informative, i will take it into consideration when choosing my first av receiver, regarding the grados, i may have to go with the 60s first, my sennheiser px 100 is still quite new, im actually quite satisfied with its performance, since i only use them mainly to listen to music from my portable device, and occasionally on my macbook, its very portable as well with its folding design, again, thanks a lot for your expert advice, i will keep you posted and might ask you a few more questions before i make my final decision regarding the av receivers and speakers. thanks again..

 

some people call me urakis[br]late 2008 aluminum macbook running mac os x leopard 10.5.7, dell xps m1530 running windows vista sp2, itunes 8.

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Given your penchant for headphone listening, you sound like a perfect candidate for a Benchmark DAC1. They can be had used over at Audiogon for around $600.

 

MacBook -> DAC1 via Toslink -> headphones or powered speakers.

 

After that, I would consider upgrading your powered speakers. Lots of choices in the Pro arena. Mackie and Dynaudio come to mind. Available at your local Guitar Center.

 

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