AIFF Vs. Apple Lossless?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by rockthecasbah, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Moorestown, NJ
    #1
    Audiophiles please help me out :)

    Here's the situation. In a few days, my band will be receiving a CD from a place that recorded our live set on pro equipment (don't know what any of it is so please don't ask :eek: ). They record you rather than pay...anyway...

    I will be making copies of this to distribute to friends, family, and fans. Furthermore, i want to have a pristine quality copy in case the CD is misplaced or whatever, as well as for anyone listening on high quality stereos. I don't however have unlimited of HD space and will not be upgrading (i have enough for the 6 songs but you know... :) ) So i pose the question, for my needs will Apple Lossless suffice or will it be better to just bite the bullet and go full out AIFF for encoding? If there is a difference, is the compromise noticable at all?

    Thanks.

    PS if this was discussed somewhere else i'm sorry, i searched in both the MR searchbox and google...
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    afaik, apple lossless codec does use a compression scheme. i'd go with AIFF.
     
  3. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #3
    Apple Lossless is just that, lossless. It does use compression but it acts more like zip (with no data loss). That's why it's called lossless :)

    AIFF or WAV may still be better choices for archives, only because much more software on many more computers support them.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    yeah, i think i've got a trust issue. i shall do some research.
     
  5. rockthecasbah thread starter macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Moorestown, NJ
    #5
    ya the archiving is mainly for myself because the other people would have it on CDs so the compatibility would be the issue. Though i guess God forbid i had to use a machine without iTunes/ a player that could play Lossless that issue could come about. Let's just say its not very likely. I really just don't know much about audio formats and im more concerned about quality and the lasting overtime.

    EDIT: and to Zimv20, thanks for your research. To all in fact thanks again.
     
  6. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #6
    I'd go with AIFF for the long haul. Seriously, how do we know that Apple will still exist as a computer company in 20 years? 20 years ago DEC was the second-largest computer maker in the world, and now they are long gone.
     
  7. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    i haven't really turned up anything, other than the kinds of future-proof concerns imeowbot brought up.

    still an AIFF fan here.
     
  9. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #9
    I think it's pretty safe to say their music formats will still be around. Think about the billions of songs that will be sold on iTunes, all of those people are going to need a method to play their music. Besides, have some faith, Apple isn't going anywhere ;)
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    fwiw, i've been recording my own music since 1981. various formats on various media and there's a lot of stuff i no longer have access to. i'm a lot more conscious these days about future-proofing. AIFF is part of that scheme.
     
  11. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #11
    I'd go with AIFF as a source copy. You could always use a .shn or .flac program to compress it a bit if space is an issue.
     
  12. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    As a rule of thumb, all archiving is done at a higher resolution that the original if possible, i.e. 16-bit 44.1Khz audio is archived at 24-bit 96Khz etc.

    Archiving at a lower resolution is pointless, and Apple Lossless, whilst a true Lossless codec (i.e. it returns the same waveform as the original from less data) is also not an industry standard and may not be here for ever.

    It'd be a shame if you couldn't play your tunes 10 years from now because no-one supports Apple Lossless anymore.

    Go with aiff.
     
  13. rockthecasbah thread starter macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Moorestown, NJ
    #13
    AIFF it shall be! Thanks for the imput people :)
     
  14. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #14


    Ya....what he said...

    Wintermute knows.....
     
  15. DudeAsInCool macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    #15
    What programs are you referring to? I was able to compress a cd quality album to 650 mbs (all aiff files) of a band I am working with, but I need to compress if further before I send it. Where can i find those programs and how do I uses them and maintain the quality at the same time>
     
  16. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #16
    You can use 'MacFLAC' to encode into flac. For SHN try 'Shorten'. I'm sure there are more professional apps and ways to go about it, but the two applications I mentioned above are free, and easily found on macupdate or versiontracker.
     
  17. DudeAsInCool macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    #17
    Thanx, I will check them out. Will people with PCs be able to open them?
     
  18. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #18
    Yep. They'll have to find the correct application, but searching .flac or .shn on versiontracker's pc side will come up with lots of hits.
     
  19. DudeAsInCool macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    #19
    macflac is no longer updating--i downloaded xAct, which has take over their functionality, but the instructions arent very good...yet. They have sections for decoding, encoding, checksum, shntool, fix sbe, flac tags, and utilities, but im not sure where to being. There is no mention of bit rates, and i know it should be at 192, but I assume that is what the aiff is for. Is there a process, you usually go thru, when you compress using one of these programs? Sorry for all the questions

    I decided to use their .flac app. It's takiing the aif files and shortening them in half--but the end file is picking up the VLC label to open. I have the program and so do the people im sending it to. But will they be able to covert from there.

    What i was looking to do was find an application similar to .zip that would take what i have and compress it and the contents...this doesnt appear to do that, although it does compress
     
  20. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #20

    BLASPHEMY!!!!
     
  21. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2002
    Location:
    Brockville
    #21
    FLAC is loseless compression. It is better then a .zip. It shrinks an AIFF or WAV file to about half the size and makes it easier to transport. I download lots of live shows from Etree (archive.org) and they are in FLAC or SHN. You can open a FLAC file and it will decompress itself and become identical to the source.
     
  22. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Look, if Apple dies, there are a number of open source tools to convert ALAC to any other lossless format. ALAC is lossless, so you have all the information in tact, it works on iTunes, iPod and AirTunes. Don't worry about getting orphaned. You will never be stuck with ALAC if you should need to change formats, and you can change to other lossless formats at any time without losing a thing.
     
  23. scottlinux macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #23
    Yes, as the previous person mentioned: FLAC. You can go from a flac file back to the original wav/aiff file. It's like a zip folder.

    If you have the original masters on a disc, just keep that as the original and why worry about what to encode your stuff to?
     
  24. xPismo macrumors 6502a

    xPismo

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    California.
    #24
    I agree AIFF is the safe way to archive. I use apple lossless for my digital audio needs. It eats a bit more cycles but I can hear the difference, ususally.

    WinterMute, interesting point on the oversampling for archival. I did not know that. Any links you recommend to related info?
     
  25. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Don't worry. Apple Lossless (ALAC) is absolutely lossless. You can recreate the original files from it bit for bit.
     

Share This Page