Loss of quality converting from FLAC to AIFF?

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

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #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. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #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. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #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. macrumors 6502a

    andymodem

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #4
    Lossless to Lossless conversion does not sacrifice any quality, they will still be bit for bit identical in output.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    hollerz

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #5
    Slightly OT, but which sites have you found? I've been looking or a good place to buy FLAC.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    So far HDTracks.com and B&W's Society of Sound. HDTracks are also available in AIFF.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    No - you won't lose any data at all when going from one lossless format to another.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #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. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9

    If you're into independent quality electronic and alternative music, Boomkat is also worth checking out.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #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. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #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. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    #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. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #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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