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Apple Lossless?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by dummptyhummpty, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    I can't decide if I should use Apple Lossless or ACC to rip all my cds to my new powerbook. On my PC I used a program that ripped to MP3 with VBR. I consider my self some what of an Audiophile but i'm not all out into it. So what should I do? Thanks guys!
  2. macrumors 6502a

    go Lossless, im an audiophile and im doing so..etc
  3. macrumors 601


    All depends. How much free space have you got? Can you tell a difference? How good is your stereo? Etc.

    I rip everything in Lossless for my ext. HD (for my stereo and for it to be future proof)and convert it to 224 AAC for my Powerbook and my iPod.
  4. macrumors regular

    Well the reason i'm doing this is im going to college and don't want to bring a ton of CDs. I have my Powerbook with 100gb but right now it's around 50gb (all my cds are on there in MP3 format). I might get an external HD soon though. Also I'm not sure what kind of speakers I will get for college...something good I hope.
  5. macrumors 601


    See, then it wouldn't even fit on there in Lossless. You might want to decide on an AAC format (as I said, for me 224 is all right, even on a decent stereo). It is up to you if you want to rip all in Lossless to an ext. HD as a backup so you can go higher/lower whenever needed (i.e. reconvert the Lossless to a lower AAC). I'm doing it this way.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    I riped all my cds using AAC Encoder @ 128 kbps, sounds good to me i dont see any reason to use anything else. Maybe if i was a DJ or used music in radio i might up the quality but for me it works great :)
  7. macrumors 6502


    Well besides the fact that music is a bit subjective, 128 isn't that great. It will sounds decent on an ipod or through a "standard" stereo. I'm becoming much more of an audiophile than i was before. I played around with different bitrates when ripping CDs. I ripped in a few formats 128, 192, 256 and 320 AAC. Then went even further and burned them back to a cdr. so i essentially had 6 version of several different songs. I then took them to my car since that stereo happens to be much better than my home stereo, (eclipse deck, Boston acoustics pro series speakers and arc audio amps for those of you who are curious) and basically played with each. My opinion for all bitrates covers the AAC file..and Cd burned from it. In my opinion 128 was crap, 192 really was crap too, but more livable With both of those there is a huge loss in sound, highs lows and mids suffer, but really it's fine for cramming music into a shuffle when you're working out. 256 was definitely much better a fair amount of vitality is restored. If you have the room though definitely go with 320 AAC. I'll never use anything less than that again. Basically i would say minimum requirement 192 because it maintains "enough life" and is still pretty small; recommended requirement of 256+. But this is just my humble opinon. :)
  8. macrumors 6502


    I'd get an external drive and go with Lossless.

    Once your are lossless, you do not need to have the CD ever again...
  9. macrumors 6502


    I rip all my stuff in lossless as well its basicly the best quality you can get in itunes I think.
  10. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    How big (in megs) is that average song encoded in lossless?
  11. macrumors 6502


    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure an Apple Lossless song is half the size of the same song on an audio CD.

    So I figure you need to allow 4.39 MB per minute of Apple lossless; 17.57 MB for a 4-minute song.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    I have quite a large lossless library. The file size is usually between 20-30 mb. It is much better, but really takes up the HD space. I would recommend it only if you get that external. If not use 256 AAC.

    The great thing about lossless is you get an exact copy of your CD. If you ever lose or damage it, you have it archived exactly on your computer. Very nice!
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Yep, ive got some lossless on my hd and will be deleting it all very soon, or moving it to an external. Each file is between 20-30mb like previously stated so they are pretty big. 224AAC files for me as far as my itunes files go.

  14. macrumors 68020


    Most audionphiles (and I mean hardcore) rip LAME VBR --alt-preset standard MP3s at about 200 kbps. Some of the more paranoid ones use --alt-preset extreme (~240 kbps). I did some testing and everything above 224 AAC was impossible to distinguish. I would suggest ripping at 224 AAC or 256 AAC. I feel that Lossless is just plain overkill...
  15. macrumors regular

    Thanks for the info (nice system by the way). I guess it's time for that HD.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    It may seem like overkill now. I have a feeling that in a few years once HD capacity goes way up you will be glad to have lossless files when space isn't such a big concern.
  17. macrumors 68020


    Other than the fact that I cannot, and I doubt too many can, honestly tell the difference between an Apple Lossless file versus a 224 AAC + file on a studio album in multiple blind tests. Why do more than you have too?
  18. macrumors 6502

    honestly...i just use AAC at 160 for most things. some overly complex stuff i will top it off at 192. but for the most part i dont require higher than that. i know there is a difference...and i can here it, but i dont much care.

    i think that the files availible at the iTMS are better than if you just rip the same song at 128 AAC, this can be atributed to the higher quality of the master copy that Apple uses. I think a higher bit rate version of those would rock supreme. but maybe in the future.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Backup lossless to DVD-R

    What I did was put all my CDs into lossless and burn them onto DVD-Rs (given that most audio CDs aren't "full" I can fit about 9-10 CDs onto one DVD-R) and then I use 192Kbps AAC (in iTunes) or Ogg Vorbis (in WinAmp) on my computer. This way I have a full quality backup in case something should happen to my CDs, I can listen to them right off the DVDs if I want, but they don't take gigabytes upon gigabytes of my hard drive space.
  20. macrumors regular

    RAS admin

    I import all my CD's as Apple Lossless. I recommend it if you have the space.
  21. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    This coming from a person with 1.2 TB of hard drive space :eek:
  22. macrumors 68000


    If I had more space all of my music would be lossless. Unfortunately I only have enough room to keep my favorite music in lossless form. The rest is high quality MP3. Hard drive size needs to catch up a little though. If I wanted to have all of my music stored in lossless, and be able to use my Mac as a Tivo and storage for everything else I would need a lot more space.

    Hard drives will need to quadruple (from the average size) to be able to allow computers to become media storage centers as well.

    iTunes could improve on 128kb as well, the only reason I don't buy all of my music from iTunes is the limitations when it comes to the quality of the downloads. I wish iTunes offered a lossless download option. CD quality music downloads.... oh yeah!

    /sorry Duffman, seemed appropriate.
  23. macrumors 68020

    Some thoughts...

    I rip at 320 AAC, I think the size/quality is great. I would import with Apple Lossless, but since I only use a PowerBook and an iPod that would be overkill.

    MP3 is a very old format now... over 10 years old. AAC is vastly superior, but some audiophiles may dispute that.

    Also, it may be hard to tell the difference between say 160 and 320. Here's the difference: after three hours of 160 you'll have a splitting headache, and won't know why. At least for my ears, those indistinguishable sounds add up, and the lower the bitrate the faster my ears become fatigued.
  24. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I've said this in more than one thread, but if you have a portable computer HD space will always be an issue. I've found that AAC@128 gives me the best space/quality ratio there is. I use an AirPort Express to stream my music to a Onkyo amplifier that is fairly high quality (a great low-end receiver), and all music is more than good enough for me (except for Metallica's ...And Justice For All for some insane reason sounds like s**t when I import it, no matter which encoding, but that's another discussion).

    An added bonus is that the iPods are optimized for AAC@128 and the battery will hold the longest if the majority of your music is encoded that way. ;)
  25. macrumors 65816


    Well, since I have all my music on the original CDs, I don't see why I need to bother ripping to Lossless, and as far as anything my computer might play through... I doubt I could possibly hear a difference.

    The point is the format and bitrate depends on each person and the conditions under which they expect to listen to their music. In my case - crap speakers or iPod (which has poor "sound bandwidth" in my opinion) seem well matched with 128 or 192 AAC.

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