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File format for multiple music management approaches


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I am an old school guy with vinyl and CD's and decent but not super high end equipment (Bryston, B&K, Aragon, B&W, NHT). The only CD ripping and digital storing I have done is with iTunes, mostly to support early portable players. Its time to start re-ripping, go lossless, get a decent DAC and retire my CD players. I have been reading up on JRiver, Roon, Foobar ... and the different lossless file types both compressed and uncompressed. I have multiple Windows computers/laptops in multiple locations along with IOS phones and iPads. What are the best file formats to consider so that I only have to rip to lossless once and can switch between storage, management and playback solutions as I figure out what I like

 

Thanks,

 

George

 

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9 minutes ago, GeorgeG said:

I see here and elsewhere that FLAC is arguably the most common lossless encoder choice. Because it is not supported by iTunes does that mean that most of you here have abandoned any use of iTunes at this point?

 

George

 

I use the TEAC HR Audio Player which I believe works only with Teac DACs, I have the UD-501. I use FLAC with no compression for PCM music files, and DSF for DSD music files.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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7 hours ago, GeorgeG said:

I see here and elsewhere that FLAC is arguably the most common lossless encoder choice. Because it is not supported by iTunes does that mean that most of you here have abandoned any use of iTunes at this point?

 

George

 


iTunes is a nightmare to use.  It was ok when it first came out but once Apple wanted you to buy stuff it has become impossible.  I have to validate my log in every time I load music on my wife’s iPod.  iTunes is the antithesis of simple.

 

dbPoweramp has a nominal cost but for ripping cds or changing formats it is brilliant.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear RAX43 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->SABAJ A10d->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

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I tired of EAC and its problems quickly and moved on to dbpoweramp. Nice program, thanks for the suggestions. Now its on to music management software and streaming. I'm looking at Tidal, JRiver, Roon and Foobar. Any suggestions there? I have multiple locations and PC's.

 

Thanks,

 

George

 

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49 minutes ago, GeorgeG said:

I tired of EAC and its problems quickly and moved on to dbpoweramp. Nice program, thanks for the suggestions. Now its on to music management software and streaming. I'm looking at Tidal, JRiver, Roon and Foobar. Any suggestions there? I have multiple locations and PC's.

 

If you have yet to do so, might want to consider how to backup your files. Don't want to spend the time and effort to rip everything only to lose it. Suggest keeping one backup copy off-site to protect against theft or fire.

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On 4/25/2020 at 10:43 PM, GeorgeG said:

I am an old school guy with vinyl and CD's and decent but not super high end equipment (Bryston, B&K, Aragon, B&W, NHT). The only CD ripping and digital storing I have done is with iTunes, mostly to support early portable players. Its time to start re-ripping, go lossless, get a decent DAC and retire my CD players. I have been reading up on JRiver, Roon, Foobar ... and the different lossless file types both compressed and uncompressed. I have multiple Windows computers/laptops in multiple locations along with IOS phones and iPads. What are the best file formats to consider so that I only have to rip to lossless once and can switch between storage, management and playback solutions as I figure out what I like

 

Thanks,

 

George

 

You have the advantage these days of not having to worry about storage size or cost.  A lot of us ripped hundreds of CDs as MP3s so they would fit onto a monster sized drive available at the time, like a 250 MB.  

 

I ended up doing them all over, and after much consideration ended up with FLAC using the default compression of 5.  I know a lot of people believe that some formats sound better than others but that just doesn't compute with me.

 

The basic criteria should be that it's lossless and that metadata tags are embedded.  There are a few formats that support that.  And, of course, you can use something like dBpoweramp's Batch Converter to change from one format to another if you like.  

 

FLAC, being open source is likely to be around for some time and the codec is available for pretty much all players.  

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On 4/26/2020 at 10:44 AM, ted_b said:

+1 

Both DSF (DSD) and FLAC (PCM) have almost (except Apple, for example)) universal metadata/tagging flexibility, and if you use dbPoweramp (and have plenty of storage) the FLAC option becomes more interesting, in that it allows for a no-compression option (which is not "0" setting).  This noncompressed FLAC is a panacea for those that believe ANY compression adds artifacts, theoretical or otherwise (the major ingredient in the ad nauseum debate of wav vs flac).

I thought the issue with FLAC compression wasn't one so much of the sound being changed but rather the additional cycles needed to decompress - and that supposedly adding to processor loading.  I hadn't heard that compression could change the sound.  That should be measurable, no?

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19 minutes ago, SJK said:

I thought the issue with FLAC compression wasn't one so much of the sound being changed but rather the additional cycles needed to decompress - and that supposedly adding to processor loading.  I hadn't heard that compression could change the sound.  That should be measurable, no?

Even if you are able to hear differences, you won't be able to measure them because the Binary data will be identical if done correctly.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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On 4/26/2020 at 10:44 AM, ted_b said:

Both DSF (DSD) and FLAC (PCM) have almost (except Apple, for example)) universal metadata/tagging flexibility, and if you use dbPoweramp (and have plenty of storage) the FLAC option becomes more interesting, in that it allows for a no-compression option (which is not "0" setting).  This noncompressed FLAC is a panacea for those that believe ANY compression adds artifacts, theoretical or otherwise (the major ingredient in the ad nauseum debate of wav vs flac).

 

The ZFS filesystem which I use on my NAS can auto-compress AIFF and WAV files (and auto-decompress during access) the overhead is not substantial. Moreover I run Roon on the NAS which also converts both FLAC as well as my old iTunes ALAC library and pipes this as RAW to HQPlayer (on another machine), so HQPlayer sees no difference regardless. I don't worry about these different file formats nor types of compression at all. For new usage I strongly recommend FLAC and DSF and spend zilch time worrying about the levels of compression -- basically whatever the download is ;) 

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I have begun ripping to FLAC and of course I notice a substantial improvement from my old MP3 iTunes library. I want to search the used market for a decent starter DAC (under $500) for my file/computer playback. Any suggestions? For now I am messing around with a Chord MOJO to work things through. I also need a DAC for a CD transport, I don't know if they can be the same.

 

Thanks,

 

George

 

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