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I am another newbie and have been lurking around for a couple of weeks. Currently I have most of my collection converted into ALAC and FLAC (about 100 GB each). I still have about 300 to 400 CDs left to process.

I have also converted all my vinyl into MP3 before I gave away all my records (another 120 GB).


I have done all of this using windows PC, iTunes or EAC. I listen mostly using iTunes or Win amp on my PC through Sound Blaster and a 2.1 powered speaker system. So there are lots of opportunities to improve.

I read that “windows based systems are not bit perfect” what does that mean? Have I wasted my time converting all my CDs using a PC? Would a Mac have done a better job for this conversion?


I also read that AIFF is the preferred format. With my current system I would probably not hear any difference in the quality of sound but I plan to use AIFF format going forward. If I use my FLAC or ALAC files to convert to AIFF would the end result be the same as if I used the original CD to convert to AIFF?


The first step for my hardware upgrade would be addition of a DAC to place between my PC and the powered speakers. My initial selection was Trends UD-10 USB DAC. Looking around the forum I don’t see anyone using just this unit most people also use another much more expensive DAC, I am guessing it is just used for its USB connectivity to carry signal to their main DAC unit. So I changed and now I am looking at PS Audio Digital Link III or Stello DA100, since I am not rich enough to keep upgrading I want to get a unit that I can use as my system grows. Any advise will be appreciated.





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I am relatively new here myself, but can probably help a little, so to your first question "does that mean? Have I wasted my time converting all my CDs using a PC"

The answer is no you have not wasted your time, the problem with windows is in playback not in file creation. The files you have created with EAC will be every bit as good as if you had created them on a Mac. They will just sound better played back using a Mac as opposed to a PC, you can install a piece of software called ASIO on your PC that will help improve the sound quality. I tinkered with this myself for a while but opted for the MacBook route in the end.

As to converting FLAC to AIFF, I do not see why they should not be every bit as good as the original CD. I have read some articles where people have converted CD's to FLAC then back again and then performed a bit for bit comparison, the resultant files where identical. I think this will be down to which software you use to do the conversion, not something I have done myself, I am sure some one else here can advise on this one.

The Trends UD-10 USB DAC was my starting point for tinkering with computer based audio; personally I would not use it as my main system DAC. This said when I first connected it to my PC and bypassed my motherboards on board sound processor I was completely blown away by how much better my PC sounded. Considering the price of the Trends (£100 here in UK) I think it does an excellent job.


I am pretty new to this stuff myself so my answers are a bit lacking in detail but I am sure the more knowledgeable members of this forum can add more detail to my answers (or correct them).







Are all audiophiles obsessive compulsives or is this just a Stereo Type? Yorkshire UK

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Thanks Paul for quick response. It’s good to know that I do not have to re do the work I have done converting my CD collection. I will most likely maintain it in the FLAC / ALAC until I am convinced that AIFF makes a difference for me. But I will convert new stuff to AIFF.

Thanks also for your recommendation on TRENDS UD-10. I am now certain that I should look for some other DAC.






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Hi sarfania - Welcome to Computer Audiophile.


Windows systems can be just as bit perfect as a Mac systems. It's just Windows is a little quirkier in my opinion. Your music ripped on a PC is just fine, no worries there.


I think AIFF is the preferred format because it is uncompressed and supports meta data / cover art better than WAV. AS far as converting your existing compressed files to AIFF goes, you should be fine doing this. There is some talk about converting from lossless compression to uncompressed and possible audible effects, but I am now neutral on this one. If you want to remove any possibility of problems you could re-rip, but I suggest trying a couple things and using your ears to make the decision. This way you'll be the happiest.


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