AIFF VS FLAC VS ????

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Pez

AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« on: 4 May 2011, 12:13 am »
Hey all about to rip my entire cd collection to my Mac and use it as a music server via SB touch on my system.

For general ease of use and so I don't have to have 2 music libraries (one for iTunes and one for my squeezebox) I would like to rip everything to AIFF and be compatible across all my various apple devices. The other option is to rip to FLAC and have a secondary library.

The ONLY reason I would not do AIFF is if there is a quality difference that would make it undesirable.  I have heard anecdotally that FLAC is better than aiff, but I would like to hear from you guys what you think.

I do plan on trying both formats to see for myself, but wanted some feedback. Also if anyone likes a certain converter to rip my discs to that would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

jparkhur

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #1 on: 4 May 2011, 12:21 am »
P,  depending on your library size, you may not have enough drive space.  Remember aiff is just regular cd size, no compression.  Flac maybe smaller, but if you are using a ok dac, you are not going to be able to tell the difference IMO.  I have 35000 songs, all from CDs ripped o basic itune plus.  I have all my concerts from dat in aiff, but that is a total of 500 plus gigs. I have a apple tv2 that I stream to and then output hdmi to the integra right now and works great.

jparkhur

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #2 on: 4 May 2011, 12:27 am »
Use an external drive too, much faster, cd drive

toxteth ogrady

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #3 on: 4 May 2011, 02:14 am »
I compared the two and my conclusion was that aiff was the slightest bit inferior when ripped through itunes. When using Max from sbooth.org to rip my cds to aiff I could detect no difference between flac and aiff. I've been using Max and ripping to aiff ever since; it's simple, effective software and it's free.

I'm curious to read what you find when you compare the two.

SLC

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Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #4 on: 4 May 2011, 10:48 pm »
I have over 600 CD's on Itunes, ripped to AIFF and streamed wirelessly to an Airport Express and then through a MF V-Dac to my receiver. The AIFF's sound fantastic!

Tyson

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #5 on: 4 May 2011, 10:56 pm »
Can't you do lossless ALAC?  That gives you lossless files with better storage similar to FLAC.  If you already have a bunch of FLAC files ripped, you can convert them to ALAC via dbPoweramp.

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #6 on: 4 May 2011, 11:45 pm »
so dbpoweramp is windows only.  :wtf: Any good alternatives for mac?

brj

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #7 on: 4 May 2011, 11:59 pm »
XLD or Max.

Max hasn't seen active development in a while.  Both perform AccurateRip checks like dbpoweramp.

FYI, AIFF stores the audio data in the exact same uncompressed linear PCM format as WAV.  It simply has a different container structure that allows tagging information.  FLAC is lossless, but compressed.  If one of the two formats was going to sound worse than the other, I'd guess that it would be FLAC, rather than AIFF, with the likely cuplrit having something to do with procesing required to uncompress the data.

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #8 on: 5 May 2011, 02:00 am »
What about Apple lossless? That seems to be the way to go if I want file compression and iTunes compatibility.

stereocilia

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #9 on: 5 May 2011, 02:36 am »
I used to use Apple Lossless and I switched to FLAC.  It bothered me that I could not fast-forward or rewind on the squeezebox duet or classic.  IIRC Logitech didn't pay Apple enough to enable that feature (or something).

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #10 on: 5 May 2011, 03:16 am »
what? Ah man.... Sigh... I guess Apple lossless is out.  :duh:

Edit: Wait, does this apply to the Touch?

Edit 2: from Logitech website

"Squeezebox Touch supports fast forwarding and rewinding only on the following audio file formats:

Supported File Types:

AAC
Apple Lossless
M4A
MP3
FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
OGG (Ogg Vorbis)
WAV/AIFF (Waveform Audio Format /Audio Interchange File Format)
WMA CBR and WMA VBR (Windows Media Audio Constant Bitrate Variable Bitrate)"

mgalusha

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #11 on: 5 May 2011, 03:23 am »
If you decode the compressed file on the server and stream the WAV/AIFF to the device you likely won't be able to fast forward even though the format is supported for that function. Not sure on the touch but it was this way with the earlier SB products. Pretty likely this hasn't changed since it's being unpacked by the server and not on the fly.

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #12 on: 5 May 2011, 03:57 am »
I guess I'll just have to give it a shot, any chance I can still drag the progress bar back and forth? I usually do that anyways rather than FF/REW.

lcrim

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #13 on: 5 May 2011, 04:10 am »
You can fast forward selections w/ a Touch sending PCM from the server and storing the files as flac. 
I have returned to using EAC to rip and setting the compression to level 1 as I have found it sounds slightly better.  This was another suggestion by Soundcheck. 
You get metadata tagging which I feel strongly is an essential and less use of resources when expanding to PCM on the server.
If you are in the middle of a playlist, you can jump all over in that list, even if the selections are 24/96.  I do this all the time by setting it on Random and then using the remote to skip around.
Remember, if you go to another playlist then there'll be no packets in the buffer and you'll hear a stumble.   There is a built in utility called convert.conf that will automatically will down rez 24/192 to 24/96 or 24/88 if you edit it.  I played w/ resampling 16/44. to 24/96 w/ this utility, there are a number of other parameters involved but I went back to native resolution.  May try that again though.
Larry

Thump553

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 509
Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #14 on: 6 May 2011, 07:02 pm »
Given a choice between a propriety lossless format and an open one, I'd have to have a really compelling reason to choose Apple Lossless over FLAC.

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #15 on: 7 May 2011, 01:43 am »
iTunes compatibility is a big reason for me, but I suppose I could go to FLAC and have 2 libraries.  :scratch:

Has anyone compared apple lossless to FLAC regarding sound quality?

jparkhur

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #16 on: 7 May 2011, 01:47 am »
I have come to the conclusion that most listening for me is not specific, but when I really want to listen to great music, I get the original cd off the shelf.  iTunes plus and all my live dat concerts from the dead etc in aiff, work great.  A great dac is nice too.

Pez

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #17 on: 7 May 2011, 01:56 am »
I've already determined that the bolder modded squeezebox with upgraded power supply pretty much beats the pants off of some of the best cdps out there. so it will replace my cdp very soon.

I Found this on macworld, I think this test was brilliant on the part of the individual who came up with it!

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=311789

wgscott

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #18 on: 7 May 2011, 01:57 am »
iTunes compatibility is a big reason for me, but I suppose I could go to FLAC and have 2 libraries.  :scratch:

Has anyone compared apple lossless to FLAC regarding sound quality?

All lossless files have the same data and can be interconverted.  Compressed lossless files are decompressed by the player software.

I cannot hear any differences.  Some people claim wav sounds the best.  They have better hallucinogenic drugs than I do.

I rip everything I care about to Apple Lossless.  If I download FLAC, I keep those, and use XLD to convert to Apple Lossless.  If for some reason I need AIFF or anything else, I can always use XLD (or similar) to covert to (back) to AIFF or FLAC or whatever.  I've checked the md5sum of a wav file generated from a FLAC generated from an ALAC generated from a wav, and both are the same (wav has no embedded metadata to fool a checksum).  They all have the same information.  If one sounds better, then it suggests the software has a bug.

Finally, Audirvana, Decibel, and many of the other third-party players will play FLAC.

jparkhur

Re: AIFF VS FLAC VS ????
« Reply #19 on: 7 May 2011, 02:07 am »
I'll be interested to see what everyone does when iTunes offers original 24 bit songs this fall.  To me tune is a way to organize me and the entire musical family o iPods, pads, apple tvs.