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Apple lossless?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by carve, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I have a question, What is apple lossless? Is it like iTunes format or is it something different? I am wondering because I was thinking about getting an ipod shuffle. So I went on the ilounge ipod caculator and it said: Apple lossless: 38 songs. I was confused and I can the ipod shuffle only hold 38 songs if you use iTunes or something different. I know this is a "silly" question but I really want to make sure it can hold more then 38 songs. Thanks for the help, macluver101
  2. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Apple Lossless is a compression that claims to sound exactly like the original CD at about 60% of the file size. Virtually no one would consider using this for an iPod, and even less so for an iPod shuffle. People use much higher compression rates that will enable an iPod shuffle to hold 200+ songs. The quality may suffer slightly, but the vast majority of people barely even notice it, especially when listening to it on the types of headphones and in the types of environments you'd be listening to an iPod in.
  3. macrumors G4


    The iPod shuffle holds 1GB of music - the "songs" capacity is entriely dependant on how large your files are. Apple Lossless is a format that compresses the original music file down to about 50% of its original size. You can't play Apple Lossless files on the iPod shuffle as it doesn't support this format - AL is primarily designed for people who want to keep their music in pure CD quality but have it take up less space.

    For your shuffle you'd be better off using iTunes to rip your CDs into either mp3 or AAC format which will reduce the files to manageable sizes and will work on a shuffle. Apple bases its "songs" capacity on 4 minute, 128kbps encoded files. So, if you have lots of short songs you can get more than 240 on a shuffle and if you use a higher bitrate you'll get less.

    The main number you should look at is not the "songs" but the actual storage. A shuffle will give you 1GB of storage - it's up to you how you want to populate that space. I use 160kbps mp3 encoding for my music - it gives me less than 240 songs on my 1GB nano but the quality I find to be better than 128kbps (I can't tell the difference above 160kbps) and that's more important to me than packing heaps of songs on there.
  4. macrumors 6502a



    So does itunes have loaded on it right away or do you have to select it to use this feature? Thanks for the help
  5. macrumors G4


    Don't really understand your question.

    iTunes by default is set to rip CDs using AAC at 128kbps. You can change this to the format/bit rate you prefer in the Advanced -> Importing section of iTunes preferences.
  6. macrumors 6502a



    Thanks chundles that was my question... I'm not very good with words!
  7. macrumors G4


    No worries mate, glad I could help.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Essentially, Apple Lossless is just a higher bit rate of AAC - it's VBR with a set minimum, I believe, though I'm not sure what that minimum is.
  9. macrumors 6502

    AAC is a lossy codec, Apple Lossless is obiously a lossless codec. So no, they are very different.
  10. macrumors G4


    Yeah, AAC/mp3 etc toss out a lot of information from the music file (hence the term "lossy") and then compress it down to make the smallest file possible. It does the elimination of parts of the music intelligently so that it still sounds very good - of course, the higher the bit rate you use the better the music sounds but even 128kbps sounds pretty good for music, for simple spoken word stuff you can get away with 64kbps or even 32kbps.

    Apple Lossless just does the compression, it doesn't eliminate any of the information from the music. It's great for those people who have good enough ears and equipment to be able to tell the difference between a reasonable bit rate AAC/mp3 file and the original CD but still want to keep their files relatively small - about half the size of the original file on the CD but maintaining every bit of information.
  11. macrumors G3


    iTunes can automatically re-encode songs for the shuffle anyway, so it doesn't matter if you rip in Apple Lossless. Also, the shuffle doesn't even support that format.

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