Loss of quality converting from FLAC to AIFF?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by emaja, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. emaja
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    macrumors 68000

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    #1
    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?
     
  2. justaregularjoe
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    macrumors 6502

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    #2
    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).
     
  3. MacMike81
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    macrumors member

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    #3
    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...
     
  4. andymodem
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    macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Lossless to Lossless conversion does not sacrifice any quality, they will still be bit for bit identical in output.
     
  5. hollerz
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    hollerz

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    #5
    Slightly OT, but which sites have you found? I've been looking or a good place to buy FLAC.
     
  6. emaja
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    thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    So far HDTracks.com and B&W's Society of Sound. HDTracks are also available in AIFF.
     
  7. Killyp
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    macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #7
    No - you won't lose any data at all when going from one lossless format to another.
     
  8. gnasher729
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    gnasher729

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    #8
    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.
     
  9. Blue Velvet
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    #9

    If you're into independent quality electronic and alternative music, Boomkat is also worth checking out.
     
  10. sandman42
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    sandman42

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. KeithPratt
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    macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Where have you heard this? There's no room for being inferior if it's "lossless".

    I think MacMike81 meant 'lossless' whenever he wrote 'lossy'.
     
  12. 173080
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    macrumors 6502

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    #12
    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).
     
  13. rhett7660
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    rhett7660

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    #13
    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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