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AIFF Vs. WAV

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even though AIFF is an Apple product. However like you and others I do not use WAV as I am not willing to give up album artwork.

 

4est said: "Lastly, I could hear a smaller improvement with ALAC vs AIFF."

At 16/44.1k I found Apple Lossless to sound warmer than either WAV or AIFF and have concluded it has something to do with the real time unpacking. However at 24/96k I could not hear any difference between Apple Lossless and AIFF.

 

The absolute strangest thing I have found on my Mac Mini is that MP3 sounds much better than AAC (another Apple product). I find AAC dry, cold and strident while MP3 is considerably warmer. However both MP3 and AAC are both very low resolution, and I no longer listen to music in either codec.

 

So in short Apple Lossless is my favorite Apple codec.

 

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enough differences in the positive for WAV that I put up with a pretty ridiculous process to tag and get album art (see Silverlight wav tagging pdf thread). Over FLAc it is quite startling, really, to these ears, but AIFF vs WAV is very close, but WAV wins with slightly lower noise floor and more space-between-notes kind of thing. I still claim that it has to be somewhere in the ride these two codecs take. The are obviously identical digitally (i.e Barry's null example)..not sure why everyone keeps harping on that...YES WE ALL KNOW...they are identical digitally!! But as identical twins with same DNA, their upbringing is different. One is an Apple codec that must go through a different "encoder" than WAV, and that must be the difference maker...cuz cpu load is insignficant and not a factor.

 

And yes, I a/b'd them blindly, with a random naming convention and shuffle play..have done it a few times and always been able to tell the differences, say, 80-90% of the time (i.e significant). And as I've typed here before, I'm not sure this anomaly isn't individualized, i.e. some people can hear it, some can't. It's like inverted phase, some are quite sensitive, some not. Dunno...but WAV is staying my preferred codec and I'm not all that happy about it. :)

 

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i vote for WAV. to me also WAV had that slight openness to it compared to AIFF. You'll need a program that will read and write Tags on WAV though, if tags are what you are after. AIFF tagging is much easier using a Mac, itunes does it. on windows machine, J river works perfectly for tagging WAV.

 

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Been playing and listening to them all evening, and AIFF sounds just slightly more engaging to us. Actually, to my better half. Just slightly. We could live with WAV files. But the slightly better sound coupled with the ability to embed metadata and artwork easily wins out for us. This was through Amarra Mini 2.2.3.

 

J. River MC also sounded slighlty better with AIFF files.

 

-Paul

 

 

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wow Paul, I had the opposite observation. guess also system synergy will also have influence. and yes it is such a slight difference that most wont notice.

 

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Thank you, Chris, I was hoping you would bring some perspective to what I as a reader and contributor find distasteful when the thread turns into exchanges that you described accurately. I go to this forum most often because as a recent member I did not experience these exchanges at first. They appear every so often and I appreciate your thoughtful stewardship of the forum.

Best,

Richard

 

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It's such a close thing, it may be listener expectations. Or it may be that we have in some way tuned our system to be more affable with AIFFs. There is a difference, but the way we eventually decided was "which cut sounded more fun and kept our interest?"

 

It's the same way we choose among different players- which one made the music more "engaging", which for us means "fun!"

 

By the way, we used both Pure Music 1.8a (Integer Mode) and Amarra Mini 2.2.3 with "Default" equalization to test, as well as J. River Media center setup with Waspi Event, 100 ms, and no resampling, plugged into the same DAC as the Mac. (A Wavelength Proton.) Any of that might have had some effect. We eventually settled on Amarra as producing the most difference, and used that as the player to make a decision on.

 

But I would have no qualms at all about listening to some music in WAV format! That sounded very good too!

 

YMMV!

 

-Paul

 

 

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thanks for the correction. You're right. I should say more accurate.

When someone says better, it seems to suggest more accurate as well. We should really say better, IMO:) I know I've concluded some things as better to me and I hope that's the way I come across.

 

 

4est, I don't think you're delusional, and you do have a very impressive music setup. I wanted to suggest a jitter device to place before your Weiss DAC2 but apparently there is no such thing as a firewire jitter reducing device. USB has pretty much obliterated the firewire. Shame.

 

CD

 

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Hi Codifus,

 

"...The only way we can really know which sounds better is to compare the AIFF to the master recording, then compare the WAV to the master recording. The better format would be the one which sounds closer to the master recording...

 

Actually, I believe what you are describing is which is more accurate. In my experience, what sounds "better" will vary from person to person; I don't believe there is a "right" or "wrong" with personal preference.

 

That said, after reading reports of sonic differences between .aif and .wav, I ran some comparisons and my ears did not detect any sonic difference. Further, I was able to null an .aif file against a .wav file. In every test I've done, they will null against each other, 100%, to the sample and if they are copies, they will null against the original master, whether it is an .aif or a .wav.

 

This of course, is just my own experience.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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Hi Codifus,

 

While I would agree I consider accurate better, in my experience, different folks define "better" differently, sometimes without a reference for accuracy.

 

I like having a reference but I understand that not everyone feels the same way.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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Thanks for the thought. It also is noticeable using an M2Tech Evo (with shunt regulator) async USB>SPDIF converter as well into a Buffalo DAC. Different player programs too! Some of which use memory play such as Audirvana that pre-decodes at the beginning of a track before saving into memory. Yet still I prefer WAV even though doing so sort of pisses me off due to metatagging issues. I hear "Max" may help with that some- we'll see. I am not settled on one particular player, and I expect they will all handle things differently.

 

 

 

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Hi Barry,

 

Last night I made two rips: One to AIFF, and another to WAV, from the CD “kuniko Plays Reich”, from Kuniko Kate, where she play Vibraphone and Marimbas. Marimba is very common in my country where we play with this, folklore music. Even the best wood to make the keyboard and resonance tubes are from my country: Dalbergia (Cristobal in my country). Then the sound of this instrument is very, very familiar, to me. When I played the AIFF something was lacking in the Marimba sound, the I played the WAV’s everything was correct!

 

What was lacking on the AIFF? Overtones and harmonics, as you know the different harmonic content is the way we recognize each human voice. Each of my 3 daughters talk more or less the same (with very similar voice), but I know which of the 3 is calling me by phone, since the small differences harmonic content of their voices (and overtones).

 

By the way, I made the two rips with XLD, with my Plextor Plexwriter Premium drive (C2 errors, cache off, etc.) but It wasn't any file in the two databases (FreeDB & MusicBrainz ) to match (and verify) my rips of this CD...

 

My 2 cents.

 

Best regards,

 

Roch

 

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.....you make a very good point. My question to you, then is, how good does your CD sound ripped to AIFF using iTunes? Assuming, of course,iTunes is set with error correction on, custom AIFF settings to 16 bit, 44.1 Khz, and stereo.

 

CD

 

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Roch - can you repeat this using rips from dbPoweramp? I tried XLD a few months ago and preferred dbPoweramp. But both were superior to iTunes rips.

 

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Thanks Roch.

Nice to know we share same thoughts on WAV vs AIFF. after having AIFF files, then changing to WAV, i will not go back. WAV seems the best at keeping to the original source.

 

 

 

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.........since you can hear differences with the EVO:)

 

Although I haven't experimented to determine a difference in my setup, I plead ignorance and will stick with AIFF. I never really cared for album art, but once I got an ipod touch and remote.app, the new interface made my iTunes server look eerily naked without it:)

 

CD

 

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Codifus I ripped this CD to AIFF with iTunes with error correction on, custom AIFF settings to 16 bit, 44.1 Khz, and stereo, previous the use of XLD, but I didn't found accurate the Marimba sound from AIFF, both, from iTunes & XLD.

 

kennyb123 I'll try dbPoweramp someday, but remember that XLD was updated on July 03, 2011, and XLD is the more close to EAC.

 

But I'm not talking only about rippers, but music track format as the name of this thread: "AIFF Vs. WAV"

 

Maybe I could be biased to WAV, but I don't think so, since (at least on a Mac) AIFF metadata is very nice. Also there are some other people on this forum that prefers WAV, but not the majority.

 

But it could be a never ending discussion, like speaker cables, USB cables, DSD vs PCM, etc., etc.

 

Best regards,

 

Roch

 

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I know the subject is AIFF vs WAV, but certainly if a difference is heard between the two formats it could be due to the ripper and not the format. The reason I suggested dbPoweramp is because it is a mature and highly-regarded ripper. XLD is still the new kid on the block.

 

Also it matters not that XLD was updated recently. XLD has been updated 9 times this year. As best as I can tell, dbPoweramp has only been updated once this year. This speaks to the relative maturity of the two products.

 

I don't doubt that you find WAV to be superior to AIFF. But, I'm not so sure that would be the case if you ripped with dbPoweramp.

 

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AIFF. But I'm not so sure that would be the case if you ripped with dbPoweramp."

 

I rip and convert everything (except DSD to PCM) with dbPoweramp. WAV still reigns.

 

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Kenny I'm a Mac user, XLD I have is for mac, dbPoweramp could be great but no Mac version, that's why I told you I'll try it sometimes.

 

The only Windows 7 PC I own is a NoteBook that I power it on only when I have to rip DVD-Audio with DVDAudioExplorer, but even this app has now a Mac version, and I will sell my NoteBook. Then I believe NoteBooks could be bring more noise for ripping (and as music player) proposal.

 

When I used some years ago EAC (Windows only until today), it was great, but I was not on computer audio by that time, my main goal was to rip to CD, because this app gave me a more accurate sound (with the correct CDR media). And I don't want to talk about Parallels Desktop and similars, a couple of years ago it destroyed my Mac HD, from the 'virtual' HD (then no so virtual at all).

 

Best regards,

 

Roch

 

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There is no analog component to it, so I have serious reservations that any rip with the same parameters is going to be much different from any other rip. And pretty high confidence that the digital data in the ripped file will be accurate from the CD. iTunes, XLD, MAX, dbPowerAmp, whatever.

 

All in the digital domain. At no point is the data every converted to sound, so I think it is unlikely that the ripper software is what is causing a difference, unless of course, you are having the ripping software do something like equalize the volume or something like that.

 

-Paul

 

 

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Paul - I would encourage you to read up on AcurrarteRip and secure ripping in particular. This will give you insight into why rippers can differ. Also I'd encourage you to use your ears and compare the rips yourself. I once believed as you did. But after finally comparing these rips, I heard a significant enough of an improvement to encourage me to re-rip everything using dbPoweramp. It's been a little over a year since that discovery and I have nearly finished re-ripping.

 

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Roch - I'm a Mac user too. But, I use a Dell I purchased in 2002 for ripping CDs. Ripping optical media is really the only thing I use Windows for at home these days. And this it does very well.

 

I can totally understand your desire to want to stick with a Mac application. XLD will soon enough catch up to dbPoweramp - both sonically and feature-wise. I will likely switch to XLD when that happens.

 

When I last compared them, they were very close sonically. Your description of the difference you heard between AIFF and WAV from XLD was similar to the difference I heard from AIFF from XLD and dbPoweramp. So I figured maybe the problem is with XLD's AIFF implementation. I was curious if the AIFF from dbPoweramp would be more to your liking.

 

Ken

 

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I tested rips from iTunes, XLD, and dbPowerAmp. The digital data in them was identical, and they all sounded the same, both to my ears and to several other sets of ears more capable than mine.

 

To me that is pretty compelling evidence. Further, if digital data were subject to being unintentionally changed in any way when copied from one format to another, I would have some serious issues in my professional life. ;)

 

I'm quite open to any theory that someone proposes to explain how a difference can exist, but it will have to account for the data being identical. Data does not change in the digital domain, sans errors.

 

This is not like using a USB cable to a DAC, where timing makes a difference. The data is never converted to or sent along a digital data stream as music during a RIP.

 

-Paul

 

 

 

 

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