Apple Lossless on my Mac with AAC on iPod?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Blue Velvet, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #1
    Sorry if this should be in another forum but it seemed a mix of hardware & software issues...

    After getting all excited (temporarily) about the Shuffle I've decided I'm going to buy myself an iPod sometime before June. Probably the 60gb one or an 80gb model if one is released before then...

    I've got just over 300 CDs that are all currently ripped in iTunes MP3 320 but I'm becoming more than a little dissatisfied with the quality.

    So I've been thinking of re-ripping everything into Apple Lossless right after I buy some new hard-drives...

    After searching & reading a few threads on this forum and elsewhere, it seems that the iPods batteries take a beating using Apple Lossless.

    I had also heard that with the Shuffle you can recompress the songs that go onto the Shuffle without it affecting the library on your Mac... have I got that right?

    So my question is: In the latest incarnation of iTunes is it possible to keep a library in Lossless and automatically/easily have that same library in AAC on your iPod? Easily updateable and without reripping everything twice from the CD?
     
  2. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I was thinking about this today. Why can't iTunes convert music to a different format for your iPod on the fly? Windows Media Player 10 on Windows does. You can even specify the folder where the transcoded copies are stored, and the maximum size for this folder. Really useful. You are locked to WMA, and can only pick for 4 different bitrates for on-the-fly decoding, but it's still a very nice feature.

    Edit: Oh and to answer you question; No, iTunes cannot do automatic conversion of songs on the iPod.
    Edit 2: Well, at least not to my knowladge. Which stretches far and wide. Well, to a given value of "far and wide".
     
  3. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    Maybe this may become an iTunes 5 feature when Tiger comes out...

    So I'll have to keep 2 identical but differently-encoded libraries on my Mac?
    Is that the only way to do this?

    You would have thought that this would be a useful feature. Great quality on the Mac where storage space is less of an issue and portable quality on the iPod, all synchronized...
     
  4. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #4
    iTunes can in fact do this at the moment, though it is very limited. It is an option only for the Shuffle and only for 128kbit AAC. But it does convert it nicely on the fly. I'm wishing for a higher selection of bit rates and for the extension to the regular iPods in the future. We'll see about that.
     
  5. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    Ahh, thought I'd heard that somewhere... 128 AAC would be fine for commuting etc. Well maybe, they'll introduce it in iTunes 5...
     
  6. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #6
    Yes I hope so too. As awesome as iTunes is it is the app that I have the most requests for. There are so many things that could make it soo much better. I hope we'll see iTunes 5 soon and they enhance it as much as iPhoto.
     
  7. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    #7
    But which is a better and more stable app?? :rolleyes:
     
  8. justinshiding macrumors member

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    Chicago, IL
    #8
    Well, you could always try a different lossy encoder to make your mp3s when you rip them. I've heard a lot of bad things about the encoder that apple uses with itunes if you're converting to mp3. I would suggest using the lame codec. Which is available for the mac...

    http://mac.softpedia.com/get/Audio/iTunesLAME-Encoder.shtml

    I use a windows based verion and it sounds much better than the generic itunes codec. (but I cannot say anything about this particular implementation for the mac, etc) of course I'm not looking to record things at 320kb/s I think my 192 (and up) VBR rips sound just lovely.

    Just a suggestion :).

    Cheers,
    Justin
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    FWIW, 128 AAC is about as good as you'll hear on the Shuffle anyway, so any higher conversion rate would be excessive. Obviously, the disk-based iPods have better electronics, and better encodings would sound better with the proper hookups (i.e., FW line-out), but I'm afraid that you'll likely not hear any difference between 128 kbps and 320 kbps when you're getting it from the Shuffle's headphone jack.

    I love the Shuffle, but it has its limitations.

    But, in this case, that's a good thing, as the 128 kbps conversion fits ~8 hours onto a half-gig Shuffle without any perceived quality loss (well, meaning it sounds the same on the Shuffle).

    At least, that's my experience after trying 128kbps and 320 kbps versions (just as a test) using the Shuffle and Sennheiser HD600's. Of course, I might have just picked inappropriate songs for the test. But the sound quality was essentially the same. Of course, in real life, I don't hook up Sennheiser's to the Shuffle - I use the Apple 'phones, so, probably, 32 kbps would sound just as good. ;)
     
  10. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    Aha – but I've almost successfully weaned myself from Shuffle insanity.
    It was difficult, and certainly not helped by your gloating... :)

    I shall have my revenge when I get my new super-duper 80gb iPod (fingers crossed).
     
  11. Fredstar macrumors 6502a

    Fredstar

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    #11
    My mate (chimera) thought of this in another thread but we got v lil interest, http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=105673
    Anyways, could everyone post this on the itunes feedback http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunes.html because this is a must have feature for itunes 5, it works great with Shuffle but why oh why didn't they allow you to do it with the ipod!
    I want to encode my whole library at 256 but i can't afford to use that much space on my ipod and i won't really benefit at all between 256 and 128 on my ipod.
    I am hoping that if enough people ask for it we shall get
     
  12. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #12
    uh, and how?
     
  13. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #13

    Sorry for posting a duplicate thread – didn't find it by searching.

    But I took your advice and posted it on iTunes feedback... if I don't see it implemented in iTunes 5, I'll be most disappointed. I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in it... I'm a bit old-skool – I like to buy CDs and rip them myself, not buy from iTMS...
     
  14. Fredstar macrumors 6502a

    Fredstar

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    #14
    Hey no problem, i didn't mean to have a go about posting a duplicate thread or anything.
    I am quite old school as in 1600 of my 1800 songs are cd ripped (pretty much) but those 200 from itms are singles that i would never find in HMV say, but the point is i would love to encode at 256 or even some of my favourites in Apple lossless because my 160gb imac hd is only about 40gb filled atm. Just being able to not worry about taking up all the space on my ipod would be a great feature, as it is implemented in the Shuffle it is not that difficult to add.
    The only negative i can see is that the downcoding to 128 does take quite a while and kinda eliminates the quick 'sync-and-go' that made the ipod v popular (obv amongst loads of other stuff), but for those of use who actually care about the quality of our music and will use it it will be great.
     
  15. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #15
    I object. :D I think you can hear a difference when you use better headphones...

    I know I said better headphones but Senn's 600s? :eek: They need so much power, the Shuffle is not even close to be able to handle those. Hence the lack of quality improvement. Try some Etymotics or if these are too expensive even the Sony MDR-EX 71 sound worlds better.

    With this I definitely agree. :D
     
  16. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #16
    how what? If you meant the conversion I'd try the preferences. :rolleyes: :D
     
  17. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #17
    a previous poster stated that iTunes converts 128 aac files to a lower bit rate "on the fly". and i wanted to know how that works.
     
  18. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #18
    Suffering from loss of memory? :D The previous poster was me and I never said that it would convert from 128 AAC but rather to 128 AAC. Had enough sleep lately? :D :p
     
  19. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #19
    haha. how did you know that...
     
  20. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #20
    I've had to come up with a solution for exactly this problem BV, as I like Apple Lossless on the PowerBook, but I have a 2G 10gig iPod that doesn't play the codec.

    I ripped everything into lossless, then converted it all to AAC 160Kbps in iTunes, transferred the AAC to the ipod and erased all the AAC files from iTunes. Then I used one of the iPod manager apps to ripp all the AAC files off the iPod and onto a second HD as a backup, then trimmed the lossless stuff back to favourites.

    It's a long process, but it works. I can see iTunes being able to convert to whatever codec as it transfers files to the ipod, that'd be neat.
     
  21. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    Thanks WM.

    I feared that something like that would be the only way to do it for now and I suppose once the iPod is loaded it would be relatively easy to add new CDs... the big rip beckons.

    But first... new big f**k-off hard-drives. :)

    And if iTunes does add this feature at a later stage, then we'll all be happy... I would have had to do all the reripping to lossless anyway.
     
  22. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #22
    I'm with you on that... I don't buy bits. I buy containers that just happen to be full of bits.
     
  23. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #23
    My kinda gal... ;) :D

    Get the biggest one you can afford, Lossless doesn't always reduce the filesize by that much (haven't we had this conversation???).
     

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