CD (wav) to apple lossless to CD (wav) again lose quality

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by umbilical, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. umbilical macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2008
    FL, USA
    if I have a original CD and import to apple lossless and later I want burn in a CDR or convert to wav dont loose quality? I think not beacuse apple lossless is like a zip... format for music right? like convert .flac to .wav is like a unpack

  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    No, the clue is in the word "lossless"...

    The waveform is unchanged by the conversion process, so provided your converter is an accurate WAV encoder (and CD's are actually .aiff files) there should be no discernable loss in quality.
  3. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2007
    CDs are not actually .aiff files, or WAV files for that matter. They're 16-bit PCM data sampled at 44,100 Hz, but as more of a bit stream than any kind of file format.

    As far as I've been led to believe, the interesting thing about an audio CD is that the data is more dense than a data CD, so audio CDs depend on CD players' error correction to play correctly.
  4. Fallinangel macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2005
    There's nothing more to add to the other responses, but I'd recommend you not to use iTunes for your ripping, but XLD on OS X and if you're on Windows EAC!
    Both apps are free and much more powerful in terms of error correction!
    Furthermore, you could for example keep the CUE files, which make it much easier to recreate the timing of the original CD.

    Also, don't worry when converting from one to another lossless audio format, because there never happens a quality loss!
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I currently use EAC but I am wondering why not to use itunes?
  6. MacGeek7 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 25, 2007
    These file formats are lossless: Wav, Aiff, flac, and Apple lossless
    Compressed files are: mp3 and AAC

    So if you ever convert a song to mp3 or AAC and then want to burn a CD, quality will be lost. As long as you stick with Aiff, Wav, Apple lossless or flac, you'll be fine.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    iTunes works well enough in terms of sound quality but it lacks the ability to keep information about the length of the gaps between tracks and I'm not sure about how well it does at recovering data errors on scratched discs. But you may not care about these issues
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Gotcha..... Well there is a reason I use EAC :D.

    Thanks, haven't used iTunes but I was wondering.
  9. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    In theory, but remember there will always be variations whenever you read or write a CD from what you actually want it to be, hence why CD transports incorporate error correction to try and compensate.

    So no, your CD after being copied will not be a bit-for-bit exact duplicate of the source disk as pressed from the factory. Will you notice the difference? That is debatable. If you're concerned about accuracy use software like EAC, and read and write at reduced speeds instead of your drives maximum write speed.

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