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Scepticalscribe
Nov 14, 2011, 06:32 PM
I've been reading some of the older threads on related topics, (and checked iTunes Help for "help"); I have recently bought some good in-ear phones and wish to re-organise my iTunes library (which is rather large and unwieldy).

I understand that Lossless is a lot better than the standard AAC format; is there any way - such as a shortcut - to transfer an entire iTunes Library (which consists entirely of ripped CDs) to Apple lossless or will I have to spend weeks and weeks re-ripping CDs, or re-formatting songs which have been already downloaded in the older format to a lossless format?

Thanks in advance for taking the time and trouble to reply.

Cheers



Blue Velvet
Nov 14, 2011, 06:44 PM
There are no shortcuts. You need to re-rip.

It took me about 18 months to work through about 1500 titles, scanning artwork, cleaning the scans up and double-checking the tags. However, there are CD ripping services that can do the entire lot for you, if time is more precious to you than money. Believe me, it may seem like a chore, but when it's all done, it's fantastic to have a high-quality library; ideally, it's the kind of thing you only want to do once in your life.

If you're going to do it yourself, then you can do through iTunes, but it's better archival practice to use an app like XLD so you can store logs, do rip-checking, batch processing and so forth.

Scepticalscribe
Nov 14, 2011, 06:51 PM
Ouch. Thanks for taking the trouble to respond; I must admit that I had a horrible feeling that this was the reply I was going to get.

The "problem" was that my first iPod was only a 30GB and so I felt (back in 2006) that storage space was at a bit of a premium and decided to rip using the standard. Well, standards change, and these days, I think my preference is for quality over sheer quantity. Indeed, nowadays, with 80GB iPod and a 64 GB Touch, I have ample space to put an emphasis on quality.

Might I ask what XLD is as I've never actually heard of it.

Blue Velvet
Nov 14, 2011, 07:03 PM
The "problem" was that my first iPod was only a 30GB and so I felt (back in 2006) that storage space was at a bit of a premium and decided to rip using the standard. Well, standards change, and these days, I think my preference is for quality over sheer quantity. Indeed, nowadays, with 80GB iPod and a 64 GB Touch, I have ample space to put an emphasis on quality.


Completely understandable. I was exactly the same once... but 2TB drives have unlocked that possibility.

Might I ask what XLD is as I've never actually heard of it.

XLD (http://tmkk.pv.land.to/xld/index_e.html)
Useful place to start reading (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=78837)

When it's all done, back your library up in as many places as you can.

Scepticalscribe
Nov 15, 2011, 09:21 AM
Thanks for taking the time and trouble both to post and to add links. Sigh. It seems that I have quite a bit of work, over many evenings, ahead of me.

And yes, lesson learned......perhaps I should have ripped in Lossless from the start, but, thought it would take up far too much space.

If anyone has any short cut at all to suggest, it will fall on happy (and listening) open ears.......

Cheers

Bluefusion
Nov 15, 2011, 10:00 AM
By definition, if you were to take a "shortcut", you would be losing any advantage of the lossless format.
Your files as they are now are in less-than-Lossless quality.
To make a Lossless file, you'll need the highest-quality original media you can get -- which is probably the CD, unless you've ripped to AIFF.
Some people did do that years back-- that or WAV, both of which are essentially CD-quality, but produce MUCH larger files than Lossless.

Blue Velvet
Nov 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
If anyone has any short cut at all to suggest, it will fall on happy (and listening) open ears.....


A CD ripping service like Riptopia, for instance. There are others, too. Usually about a $1.60ish per CD for lossless rips, proper artwork and good tags.

One small consolation in doing it yourself, is that you don't have to nanny the process while it's doing its thing. Often, I could rip a few while working or doing other stuff around the home... but the real killers, for people who like to do things right, are the big compilation boxes with varying artists, mixes, release dates etc. The History Of The House Sound Of Chicago took me a week to put together properly.

If you don't pay someone to do it, it's a long-term project, best taken one small step at a time with a couple of organised piles of CDs, working through them methodically until they're done. Totally worth it in the end, though.

gnasher729
Nov 15, 2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks in advance for taking the time and trouble to reply.

Three tips to save time: 1. Laptop drives are relatively slow, so you might want to get an external CD reader. 2. Conversion to lossless obviously takes time, so you could rip uncompressed (AIFF encoder), and then convert from uncompressed to lossless over night. 3. You can set up iTunes to automatically start ripping and eject the CD when its done.

Scepticalscribe
Nov 16, 2011, 08:06 AM
Thank you both, gnasher729, and Blue Velvet for responding; much appreciated, and now I have to contemplate how to set about this.

Do you suggest that I simply re-rip all CDs in a lossless format, (it is almost completely a ripped CD library; I'm old fashioned that way, and prefer buying CDs to getting or buying music on line) or should I try to convert those already in iTunes (thousands) one by one to lossless? Or even start with playlists?

Cheers

Julien
Nov 16, 2011, 10:26 AM
...Do you suggest that I simply re-rip all CDs in a lossless format...should I try to convert those already in iTunes (thousands) one by one to lossless?...
Cheers

You seem not to understand what you have been told so I will try too.

The ONLY way to get lossless quality is to re rip your CD's using Lossless.

You can NOT convert a lossy file to lossless and "magically" replace the data that was thrown away to begin with. That information is GONE forever. If you take your lossy files and convert to lossless it is like filling in the unknown data with "Styrofoam". Sure it takes up the same space but the "Styrofoam" is just data filler and not useful information. That "missing thrown away" information exist only on the CD now.

gnasher729
Nov 16, 2011, 11:00 AM
Do you suggest that I simply re-rip all CDs in a lossless format, (it is almost completely a ripped CD library; I'm old fashioned that way, and prefer buying CDs to getting or buying music on line) or should I try to convert those already in iTunes (thousands) one by one to lossless? Or even start with playlists?

Converting what you have to lossless would be totally pointless.

Here is how it works: When you convert to AAC, you get a loss in quality. The loss happens during the conversion. Convert to AAC 128Kbit, you lose a lot of quality. Convert to AAC 256Kbit, you lose less quality. Convert to mp3 at the same bit rate, you lose a bit less. Converting to lossless or AIFF (uncompressed) means you don't lose during that conversion.

However, if you go CD -> AAC -> lossless, then the loss of quality has already happened when you converted to AAC. The lossless version is exactly as good or bad as the AAC version. It's not better, just bigger. You have to convert directly from CD to lossless to have a copy that is identical to CD.

orpheus1120
Nov 16, 2011, 11:01 AM
Scepticalscribe, what everyone is trying to say is, when you import your music into iTunes, the only "CD quality" option you can use is "Apple lossless". Any other options convert your songs into lower bitrate versions. Since you didn't choose the Apple lossless route initially, your current songs are down sampled. Therefore you cannot upsample these songs to Apple lossless quality.

The only option is reconfigure your import setting in itunes preference, and choosing Apple Lossless instead, and import all these music all over again, from CDs. You just can't output CD prestine music from an already down sampled music. It will be a miracle.

njgeek
Nov 16, 2011, 12:01 PM
Lossy music has lost information. Lossless music has never lost information. Lossy can't become lossless because never means never.

Scepticalscribe
Nov 16, 2011, 12:18 PM
Converting what you have to lossless would be totally pointless.

Here is how it works: When you convert to AAC, you get a loss in quality. The loss happens during the conversion. Convert to AAC 128Kbit, you lose a lot of quality. Convert to AAC 256Kbit, you lose less quality. Convert to mp3 at the same bit rate, you lose a bit less. Converting to lossless or AIFF (uncompressed) means you don't lose during that conversion.

However, if you go CD -> AAC -> lossless, then the loss of quality has already happened when you converted to AAC. The lossless version is exactly as good or bad as the AAC version. It's not better, just bigger. You have to convert directly from CD to lossless to have a copy that is identical to CD.

Scepticalscribe, what everyone is trying to say is, when you import your music into iTunes, the only "CD quality" option you can use is "Apple lossless". Any other options convert your songs into lower bitrate versions. Since you didn't choose the Apple lossless route initially, your current songs are down sampled. Therefore you cannot upsample these songs to Apple lossless quality.

The only option is reconfigure your import setting in itunes preference, and choosing Apple Lossless instead, and import all these music all over again, from CDs. You just can't output CD prestine music from an already down sampled music. It will be a miracle.

Thanks a million; gnasher729, I thank you for taking the time to explain why I have to do it the long, slow way. I get it now. Basically, I start from scratch and re-import all my CDs setting the rip format at "lossless". And thank you, too, Orpheus, for taking the trouble to explain why this is the way it needs to be done.

Cheers

Blue Velvet
Nov 17, 2011, 08:38 AM
Scepticalscribe, what everyone is trying to say is, when you import your music into iTunes, the only "CD quality" option you can use is "Apple lossless". Any other options convert your songs into lower bitrate versions


Apart from AIFF or WAV options, that is.

Also, Scepticalscribe, check the 'Use error correction when reading Audio CDs' option under the Import settings in iTunes. It's not as thorough as using a proper ripping application like XLD which does test rips, has drive offset settings and returns AccurateRip logs amongst a host of other batch settings and can export to Apple Lossless anyway, but it's better than nothing.

Personally, I'm super-meticulous about this process, because I don't want to do it ever again in my life; storing all the ripped flacs, logs and scanned high-res artwork in a separate place. Yes, it takes up twice the amount of space, but if anything happens to my iTunes ALAC files, like when someone accidentally deleted a track recently, it's reassuring to have that convenient data redundancy in case of backup problems.

Also: To keep track of your ripping progress, I recommend setting up two smart playlists: one that selects Apple Lossless files, perhaps also with a comment that you've added to the file tags... and the other smart playlist to select what's not on that first playlist. This will show you what's been done and what hasn't.