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Old Jan 13, 2011, 05:24 PM   #1
emaja
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Loss of quality converting from FLAC to AIFF?

I have found a few sites that offer FLAC files and might buy from them if there is no loss when converting to AIFF. I use the AX to stream from my MBP and am very happy with the quality I get from the lossless AIFF and ALAC files.

I know both FLAC and AIFF are lossless. When converting a lossy MP3 file to another lossy format you will lose quality. Does the same hold true if going from one lossless format to another?
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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Not sure about AIFF specifically, but ALAC files can be used to create the original, uncompressed WAV files. In most cases, the WAV files constructed from FLAC are bit-to-bit identical to those constructed from ALAC.

However, I had heard from a few audiophiles on the internet that the ALAC codecs built into iTunes are inferior to others. If you are really that paranoid about this, then I suggest either XLD (Mac) or dBPowerAmp (Windows).
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 02:50 PM   #3
MacMike81
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The way i understand it is you can go from lossy to lossy with nothing lost...

I regularly convert FLAC to Apple Lossy (.m4a) I have no complaints, i would consider myself a bit of a audiophile...
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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Lossless to Lossless conversion does not sacrifice any quality, they will still be bit for bit identical in output.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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Slightly OT, but which sites have you found? I've been looking or a good place to buy FLAC.
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Old Jan 15, 2011, 03:18 PM   #6
emaja
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Originally Posted by hollerz View Post
Slightly OT, but which sites have you found? I've been looking or a good place to buy FLAC.
So far HDTracks.com and B&W's Society of Sound. HDTracks are also available in AIFF.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:26 AM   #7
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Does the same hold true if going from one lossless format to another?
No - you won't lose any data at all when going from one lossless format to another.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by emaja View Post
I have found a few sites that offer FLAC files and might buy from them if there is no loss when converting to AIFF. I use the AX to stream from my MBP and am very happy with the quality I get from the lossless AIFF and ALAC files.

I know both FLAC and AIFF are lossless. When converting a lossy MP3 file to another lossy format you will lose quality. Does the same hold true if going from one lossless format to another?
That's the whole point of lossless formats: When you convert _anything_ to a lossless format, the result is identical to the source. If you convert a rubbish 128Kbit MP3 to AIFF, you get an AIFF that is _exactly_ the same as the rubbish 128KBit MP3, only a lot bigger. If you convert FLAC to AIFF, you get an AIFF that is identical to the FLAC.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 04:54 AM   #9
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I've been looking or a good place to buy FLAC.

If you're into independent quality electronic and alternative music, Boomkat is also worth checking out.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 09:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MacMike81 View Post
The way i understand it is you can go from lossy to lossy with nothing lost...
Any time you convert to a format that isn't lossless something (more) gets lost in the process, regardless of what you're converting from. The losses get compounded with repeated iterations.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 11:03 AM   #11
KeithPratt
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Originally Posted by justaregularjoe View Post
However, I had heard from a few audiophiles on the internet that the ALAC codecs built into iTunes are inferior to others.
Where have you heard this? There's no room for being inferior if it's "lossless".

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman42 View Post
Any time you convert to a format that isn't lossless something (more) gets lost in the process, regardless of what you're converting from. The losses get compounded with repeated iterations.
I think MacMike81 meant 'lossless' whenever he wrote 'lossy'.
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Old Jan 16, 2011, 03:45 PM   #12
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I do just that, buy FLAC and convert to AIFF or ALAC.

They are perfect bit for bit. Just make sure to convert 16-bit to 16-bit and 24-bit to 24-bit (for studio masters).
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 08:36 PM   #13
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Does this hold true if you are converting a 96kHz/24bit FLAC file to AIFF or Apple Lossless file? Just want to make sure.
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