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Working with FLAC

Discussion in 'iPod' started by bumfilter, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    Hello all,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with my FLAC escapades?! Basically, I'm moving all my music to Apple Lossless now, so if I have the CD's, I'll re-rip them.

    For some really hard to get stuff or live shows, I'm downloading FLAC versions. Problem is, as we all know. iTunes doesn't support it, nor does my iPod, so I'm converting the FLAC files to Apple Lossless, then managing through iTunes (thanks to Libra).

    I'm using Max 0.5.5 (I think) to do the conversion, straight from FLAC to Apple Lossless and it seems to work perfectly well, except for any track information. The process goes like this:

    - "Transcode" the file (one by one, not in a batch as it calls everything Untitled Track and I can't always determine the track by listening) to Apple Lossless.
    - No track information is available and the file isn't renamed in a smart way. I'll import into iTunes, manually edit the track number and name.
    - Repeat for all tracks
    - Finally, add in artist, album, year, genre and artwork once all files are imported.

    As you can probably guess, this takes freaking ages! Is there a better way of doing this, or anyway to get Max to get some tag information working?
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I archive to FLAC, but am also in the process of saving copies in Apple Lossless due to the better supported tagging. I simply use iTunesEncode on windows to help be the "glue" for this. Use flac to decode to WAV and iTunesEncode to recode to AAC or Lossless.

    I haven't played around with any command line tools on the Mac to see if they offer the same kind of flexibility.

  3. macrumors regular

    Is that Windows only? Does it preserve all the track information, like the usual ID3 tags etc?
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Unfortunately yes, windows only. It doesn't save the tags per se, but it lets you set them on the command line, so with judicious use of enviroment variables and some shell scripting you can get it to recreate the usual artist, title, album stuff.

    I have yet to find, or look for, an OS X alternative.

  5. macrumors regular

    Ah thanks for that. I've taken a fairly decent look and what I'm doing now seems to be the closest.

    I'm trying xAct at the moment, converting FLAC to AIFF then importing into iTunes, then converting to Apple Lossless. Is there any technical reason not to do this (quality issues etc)? I'm guessing that converting from one lossless format to another should have no effect on the quality but I'm not sure.

    This way seems to work slightly better as it at least maintains the track titles.

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