Lossless audio formats?

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Raghav

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I am just starting to rip my song collection into a Lossless audio format. I have come across various formats discussed here and online. The popular ones seem to be Flac, wav, aiff, apple lossless, shorten, monkey audio. Please advise as i want to start in the correct format rather than switch midway.

Now how do these rate on the following parameters:

1. size of ripped files
2. quality of ripped files
3. iTunes support
4. iPod playback
5. Media player support (POHD, WDTV, Xtreamer)
6. sharing with others
7. batch converting into other formats without loss of quality
 

rams1977

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Well, i have been using flac for some time now and i could easily rip this into ACD format using wav files or into mp3s. But your question has made me think:confused:
 

Raghav

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even apple has 3 formats aiff, wav and apple lossless.

Also i need compatibility with POHD, WDTV etc...

Generally i want to choose a good audio format once and for all

If u r Apple person, then go with iTunes, else FLAC.
 

ashishkesarwani

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I am an Apple person and I have ripped all my music in Apple Lossless format, now there are few pros and cons of it:
Pros:
1. Good support from Apple and all its products, i.e itunes does it all which includes finding the database and album artwork of your content.
2. Supported in Ipod which you can easily carry with you wherever u go.
3. If you have a Ipod Touch or Iphone then with the integration of the free remote software you can control all the music in your itunes library through the touch screen remote.
4. Apple has devices like Airport Express through which you can stream music wirelessly for playing through your dedicated stereo system.
5. There is absolutely no loss in the quality of sound ripped in Apple Lossless format.

Cons:
1. The Apple lossless format is proprietery so it could be played on very few devices which have obtained a liscense from apple, and here most of these media players lacks the playback of this format due to the above mentioned issue.
2. Even if you have airport express which is a very useful device to play the contents in your computer's itunes library wirelessly, you always have to have your computer and itunes running.
3. Even logitech Squeezbox supports it but that also requires your computer to be running all the time.
 

malvai

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I am an Apple person and I have ripped all my music in Apple Lossless format, now there are few pros and cons of it:
Pros:
1. Good support from Apple and all its products, i.e itunes does it all which includes finding the database and album artwork of your content.
2. Supported in Ipod which you can easily carry with you wherever u go.
3. If you have a Ipod Touch or Iphone then with the integration of the free remote software you can control all the music in your itunes library through the touch screen remote.
4. Apple has devices like Airport Express through which you can stream music wirelessly for playing through your dedicated stereo system.
5. There is absolutely no loss in the quality of sound ripped in Apple Lossless format.

Cons:
1. The Apple lossless format is proprietery so it could be played on very few devices which have obtained a liscense from apple, and here nost of these media players lacks the playback of this format due to the above mentioned issue.
2. Even if you have airport express which is a very useful device to play the contents in your computer's itunes library wirelessly, you always have to have your computer and itunes running on it.
3. Even logitech Squeezbox supports it but that also requires your computer to be running all the time.

In my experience both FLAC & APE are equally good in quality. And both are equally cumbersome when it come to adaptability over various players.
 

Raghav

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So it is small files sizes, best quality, iTunes support, iPod support

No WDTV, POHD :mad: and no sharing with apple have-nots (they can have the mp3 version:eek:hyeah::eek:hyeah:)

what will i do with a wdtv/pohd if it will not play my audio?

I am an Apple person and I have ripped all my music in Apple Lossless format, now there are few pros and cons of it:
Pros:
1. Good support from Apple and all its products, i.e itunes does it all which includes finding the database and album artwork of your content.
2. Supported in Ipod which you can easily carry with you wherever u go.
3. If you have a Ipod Touch or Iphone then with the integration of the free remote software you can control all the music in your itunes library through the touch screen remote.
4. Apple has devices like Airport Express through which you can stream music wirelessly for playing through your dedicated stereo system.
5. There is absolutely no loss in the quality of sound ripped in Apple Lossless format.

Cons:
1. The Apple lossless format is proprietery so it could be played on very few devices which have obtained a liscense from apple, and here most of these media players lacks the playback of this format due to the above mentioned issue.
2. Even if you have airport express which is a very useful device to play the contents in your computer's itunes library wirelessly, you always have to have your computer and itunes running.
3. Even logitech Squeezbox supports it but that also requires your computer to be running all the time.
 

ashishkesarwani

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In my case I have found a workaround for playing my above Itunes music. I have a NAS (etrayz) at my place which stores all my music, also I have a dedicated setup based on Ipod too which is connected with an external DAC and then to my amplifier. I also have an Iphone in which I have installed the remote software, so here is how I use my system:

NAS -> Dual Band Linksys Router -> Apple Airport Express (Using the 5GHZ Band) -> With the Optical Cable conneted to my Beresford Caiman DAC -> Through Analogue IC connected to my AMP.

Now I just have to turn on my Laptop and connect it through my Network(wirelessly), thats it. Now I put the itunes software on my laptop running which automatically detects the music stored on my NAS, and I then control all this through my Iphone remote whereas my Laptop/Computer is used by anyone for anything else at my place.
 
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Raghav

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however much I admire apple, this is not my piece of cake. NAS, router and computer on and iPod touch as remote. That much of a headache.

I would rather play mp3 version on my iPod touch via bluetooth on my Marantz SR6004.

which brings me another question, which is digressing from the original subject:
How good is Apple TV compared to wdtv, pohd, xtreamer. I find too many cons in that format support is limited, only 160gb space, only 720p etc... Are they going to bring Apple TV upto date. I believe the interface is fabolous just like other mac devices.
 

ashishkesarwani

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How good is Apple TV compared to wdtv, pohd, xtreamer. I find too many cons in that format support is limited, only 160gb space, only 720p etc... Are they going to bring Apple TV upto date. I believe the interface is fabolous just like other mac devices.

Apple TV is a really good media player but once you hack it and install a third party software called : atvflash avaliable at aTV Flash -- The Ultimate AppleTV Enhancement for 49$. Once you have installed this software then you can do anything from apple tv that you could do with WDTV or Xtreamer.
 

mahiruha

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however much I admire apple, this is not my piece of cake. NAS, router and computer on and iPod touch as remote. That much of a headache.

I would rather play mp3 version on my iPod touch via bluetooth on my Marantz SR6004.

which brings me another question, which is digressing from the original subject:
How good is Apple TV compared to wdtv, pohd, xtreamer. I find too many cons in that format support is limited, only 160gb space, only 720p etc... Are they going to bring Apple TV upto date. I believe the interface is fabolous just like other mac devices.

Hi ashish,
that's a nice setup. Can you suggest me a good wireless router which can cover my entire house. with my current wirelss router the signal is very weak in the 2nd floor. It is a Linksys WRT54 G router which I installed 2.5 years ago. I guess things have moved quite a lot since then. Not sure what is current tehcnology in this front.
Thanks.
 

ashishkesarwani

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Hi ashish,
that's a nice setup. Can you suggest me a good wireless router which can cover my entire house. with my current wirelss router the signal is very weak in the 2nd floor. It is a Linksys WRT54 G router which I installed 2.5 years ago. I guess things have moved quite a lot since then. Not sure what is current tehcnology in this front.
Thanks.

If you are not looking at Video Streaming then your current router would suffice, now to strengthen the signal of your router for your second floor take a look at this signal repeater / or wireless signal booster : Linksys by Cisco Wireless-G Range Expander WRE54G < Home Networking < Computers & Accessories : Electronics - Shop in the US from India @ 20North

If you are into video streaming then you need to upgrade your router to a N band Router which has wireless data transfer rate of 300mbps.
 

stevieboy

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Hi ashish,
that's a nice setup. Can you suggest me a good wireless router which can cover my entire house. with my current wirelss router the signal is very weak in the 2nd floor. It is a Linksys WRT54 G router which I installed 2.5 years ago. I guess things have moved quite a lot since then. Not sure what is current tehcnology in this front.
Thanks.

hi mahiruha,

the various wireless alphabets are a/b/g these are old. then there's the new standard wireless n draft (the draft is almost finalised) this is 'n' version is much better/faster than the g that you have. considering your g spot aint giving you much pleasure you might want to move to n. try the apple airport express its very small device that you plug into the mains socket and it has an input for ethernet from your modem. it also has an optical/analog output so you can stream your music from the pc (yes pc apple has a set up disc for pc users). it supports upto 10 users. it just might do the trick for you. else if you want to stick to g, get repeater units and install them in the house so signal is passed along a tad better. there are other 'n' wireless routers in the market too. check ebay india for belkin 'n' + wireless router with usb port for attaching an external hard disk for your music. from many reviews i've read belkin's better than linksys.

regards

ps: i'm putting my money where my mouth is and getting the airport express :)
 

stevieboy

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ah valentine's day wooing eh suri? there i go a bashful pink :eek:

thanks for the generous offer! but right now am afraid the airport express won't be of any help cos my laptop is not 'n' so will have to get a usb 'n' to get the full benefit. was planning on getting the express along with the macbook in a while (prices rumoured to drop when new macbook announced in month or so) and the macbook's wireless 'n' so then i can experience the full benefit of 'n' :)

have even lined up an optical cable on ebay to buy when i get it :D

regards
 

jls001

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I am just starting to rip my song collection into a Lossless audio format. I have come across various formats discussed here and online. The popular ones seem to be Flac, wav, aiff, apple lossless, shorten, monkey audio. Please advise as i want to start in the correct format rather than switch midway.

Now how do these rate on the following parameters:

1. size of ripped files
2. quality of ripped files
3. iTunes support
4. iPod playback
5. Media player support (POHD, WDTV, Xtreamer)
6. sharing with others
7. batch converting into other formats without loss of quality

FLAC: lossless, about 990 kbps bit rate, per minute file size about 6 MB per minute for 44.1kHz sampling, compressed but lossless.
WAV: lossless, 1440 kbps bit rate, 10 MB per minute file size for 44.1kHz sampling rate, no compression.
Monkey's Audio: not an audio format per se - it is like Winzip for WAV files. Reduces a WAV file to about 50-55% or orig size.

For archival, I would suggest ripping your CDs to WAV then using Monkey's Audio compression. I know this increases your workflow by one more step but Monkey's Audio supports batch processing. Advantage is WAV has very wide support, including iTunes. There are much fewer software and hardware players that can straightaway play FLAC.

For ripping, use Exact Audio Copy - don't use Windows Media Player or iTunes both of which are not great for ripping.
Joshua
 

sam9s

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^^ I think FLAC algo is also much like Zip only for audio and my FLAC collection is all 1400kbps and usually half the original size. Also there are loads of players that support FLAC out of the box, though not common but very much better than Apple AFA ada[ptability is concerned. POHD and WD TV both support FLAC natively. Not sure about Xtremer.

Check out THIS PAGE for a gool list of FLAC Hardware/Software support.
 

sound and music

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I have ripped all my CD collections into FLAC. The size of files and bit rates differ from file to file as I use default compression level. I listen to FLAC files on Sansa Clip Plus 8 GB Player with add on Micro SD card of 8 GB. On computer I listen to FLAC files through wimamp.

For ripping, you could use Easy CD DA Convertor which I found the best in terms of various codecs and ease of use. It is available for one-month free trial.

Yes, most media players nowadays including the cheapest (Enter Media Player @ Rs.2000) play Flac files.
 
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