iTunes LPs Should be ALAC Lossless

korowa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2009
10
0
Australia
I currently purchase TV shows for the kids and rent movies (Apple TV) but until the Apple iTunes store offers the choice of lossless files (like other online music stores).. I'll continue to purchase CDs.
Chris Jacob is correct the "LP" series should be ALAC - Apple Lossless.
Its an interesting article, published last year;
http://gizmodo.com/5356005/itunes-lps-should-be-lossless

If Apple really wants to recreate that "feel" of buying a record, I have to feel like I'm buying something that isn't just higher quality, but also permanent. If I buy a lossy AAC file from the iTunes store today, not only do I know that it's inferior to the same $15 CD, but also that I'll have to chuck it once AAC is put out to pasture. — Chris Jacob
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
So you purchase TV shows in a lossy format, but for music it's a dealbreaker? Also, where are these online sites that allow lossless purchases? I only use iTunes and Amazon, so my curious mind would like to know.

I don't really get your concern with AAC being "put out to pasture." It's an open standard supported by Sony, Nintendo and some new Android-based phones. It's not going anywhere soon. Don't forget that audio CDs pretty much haven't changed since inception, which I want to say was in the mid-1980s.

Where I think I'll agree with you is I think Apple should offer lossless audio tracks. I also wish we could get DTS output because of how awesome DTS audio DVDs are. I bought a couple, which I can't locate right now, that blew away any other audio format even 10 years ago. A friend had a DVD of The Eagles, including one song in which each channel was a different singer. I would LOVE to buy digital versions of that on certain albums.

Ironically, I don't buy many movies or TV shows on iTunes because the files are so inferior to Blu-ray Disc. They're not bad, but if I'm patient I find BD versions of the same movies and TV shows for less.
 

ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
704
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I don't really get your concern with AAC being "put out to pasture." It's an open standard supported by Sony, Nintendo and some new Android-based phones. It's not going anywhere soon. Don't forget that audio CDs pretty much haven't changed since inception, which I want to say was in the mid-1980s.
Well so were MP3's.
But now theyre being put out to pasture; or atleast not so much of the standard.

Rip a CD you like into AAC vs Apple Lossless in iTunes.
you will notice a significant difference.
AAC 128Kbps (the highest i believe apple offers) is very compressed compared to the Apple Lossless m4a that varies on the actual album (with album quality sound).

AAC is just for file size & compression rates esp for their mobile music devices (ie; iPods).
BUt with the size of them expanding and harddrives expanding at dirt cheap prices complete lossless (ALAC) is the way to go.


iTunes movies are another thing too..some are okay, some are iffy.
generally when i convert my movies say with handbrake and compare them to the iTunes version the audio is generally comparable, as is video quality...
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,677
1,183
New Zealand
Apple has been offering 256 kb/s on selected tracks since 2007, and has subsequently expanded that to cover the entire iTunes shop.

Personally, I could only tell the difference on a few 128 kb/s tracks and can't tell the difference at all with 256 kb/s. However, I do believe that customers should have a choice if there's sufficient demand.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
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Singapore
compressed audio should never have been invented. the internet would be a faster place :p

nermal: as a drummer i can really clearly hear the differences in tracks. 256kb to me sounds terrible, there is distortion (word?) everywhere! it annoys me so so much lol
 

ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
704
51
thats the problem though with iTunes, and many other digital music services they cater to the lowest common denominator; people who probably dont pay much attention to the music or quality, if it sound slike the song they want it doesnt really matter.
some of the compressed songs also sound lower in volume compared to direct cd rips.

ive encoded over 1200 albums that i owned into apple lossless and couldnt be happier with the results. it also is way nicer to know to have that exact copy right there as opposed to some very low quality garbage mp3s (either through digital vendors or downloads)


I dont really consider myself a total audiophile/professional but i can tell the difference and much rather opt for the best quality of music without any loss in the original source quality.
hence why ive only bought a select few tracks on iTunes.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
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Singapore
some of the compressed songs also sound lower in volume compared to direct cd rips.
thats a result of the encoding though. so its to be expected :(

ive encoded over 1200 albums that i owned into apple lossless and couldnt be happier with the results. it also is way nicer to know to have that exact copy right there as opposed to some very low quality garbage mp3s (either through digital vendors or downloads)
holy crap! thats alot of music!

I dont really consider myself a total audiophile/professional but i can tell the difference and much rather opt for the best quality of music without any loss in the original source quality.
hence why ive only bought a select few tracks on iTunes.
no me neither, but yea its quite easy to hear the differences.

have you heard blu-ray audio discs? i really wanna hear that. *anticipation*
 

ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
704
51
thats a result of the encoding though. so its to be expected :(
Yea true, unfortunately. i compared a 128kbps aac itunes song, a downloaded mp3 song, and the cd version...the itunes version was slightly better than the mp3 rip (but then again idontknow the source or who/how they did it, which is why im primarily against music torrents mainly quality not per se the other stuff, but yeah..anyhow)


holy crap! thats alot of music!
been having a field day on dirt cheap albums over the past few years. have a problem collecting discographies of bands i like.
Definitely a music hoarder.

no me neither, but yea its quite easy to hear the differences.

have you heard blu-ray audio discs? i really wanna hear that. *anticipation*
I heard of them, never heard one...im definitely interested, since ive been getting more into audiophilia(?) lol.
 

AndyMoore

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2008
302
2
I'm having an issue moving from CD to MP3/AAC as well but it's an ownership thing. I like to feel as though I've bought a physical item, it's an age thing I think :)

I have two iTunes libraries, one is a copy of all my CD's in Apple Lossless format purely as a backup for my CD's, the other is for AAC 256kb conversions of my CD's and for music I've purchased online.

I wrote about it on my blog.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
Yea true, unfortunately. i compared a 128kbps aac itunes song, a downloaded mp3 song, and the cd version...the itunes version was slightly better than the mp3 rip (but then again idontknow the source or who/how they did it, which is why im primarily against music torrents mainly quality not per se the other stuff, but yeah..anyhow)
yup aac is a pretty superior format compared to mp3. its my choice of "compressed" music (for ipods etc).

the only music i torrent these days is flac audio (then i convert into :apple:lossless) :D

been having a field day on dirt cheap albums over the past few years. have a problem collecting discographies of bands i like.
Definitely a music hoarder.
hehe yes i think you are. i only have 20GB (3200 songs) on my mbp. started my collection again on my iMac, only getting uncompressed, full album music for it (or 320kb). very picky haha

I heard of them, never heard one...im definitely interested, since ive been getting more into audiophilia(?) lol.
hahaha put it into urbandictrionary ;). yup im interested too. watching BDs (and listening) sounds absolutely amazing! so im sure music recorded onto them sounds incredible too! cant wait until i get some (amazon will have them i guess).
 

GermanSuplex

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2009
959
9,885
It should be an option (lossless downloads), but it shouldn't be the default. Most people don't care, a small percentage think they can hear a difference, and an even smaller percentage actually can hear a difference.
 

SactoGuy18

macrumors 68030
Sep 11, 2006
2,737
242
Sacramento, CA USA
While is sounds like a good idea (pun intended), no. Reason: a single album maxed out at the old 74 minute limit Compact Discs in Apple Lossless format would require a download over 300 MB in size for a single album--and that's just for the music! Unless you have the fastest cable Internet connection or a Verizon FIOS connection, that could really tie up your connection for quite some time.
 

xpipe

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2008
145
1
I'd buy way more if lossless were an option. As it stands, I can often get the actual CD for the same price or less than iTunes.

While is sounds like a good idea (pun intended), no. Reason: a single album maxed out at the old 74 minute limit Compact Discs in Apple Lossless format would require a download over 300 MB in size for a single album--and that's just for the music! Unless you have the fastest cable Internet connection or a Verizon FIOS connection, that could really tie up your connection for quite some time.

The HD+SD download size for a ~50 minute TV episode is pushing 2GB. People buy them all the time.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
a single album maxed out at the old 74 minute limit Compact Discs in Apple Lossless format would require a download over 300 MB in size for a single album
With a modest 4 Mb/s connection, that would take 10 minutes. It's still faster than picking up the physical CD.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,217
2,246
Sunny, Southern California
been having a field day on dirt cheap albums over the past few years. have a problem collecting discographies of bands i like.
Definitely a music hoarder.
You and me both. I first did my collection in MP3 @320kbs. I am now going through and re-doing my collection in Appleloss and AAC @320. Two complete library's.

I have just about 1200 cd's also. I have been having a field day with the used market. 3-5 bucks a cd you can't beat. And I agree with having a field day on collecting complete discographies. It is an addiction...lol

We can dream with the new server farm Apple is building we might just get something along these lines...... We can dream. But I have a feeling the music industry doesn't want this.
 

ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
704
51
yup aac is a pretty superior format compared to mp3. its my choice of "compressed" music (for ipods etc).

the only music i torrent these days is flac audio (then i convert into :apple:lossless) :D
True, the only reason I end up torrenting is to create a "must have/check list" of albums to get...so its not done in vein ...though i do support mass music distribution..just not low quality...so hopefully more flac / applelossless = less mp3s and low quality audio rips.

Do you use XLD for Flac to M4a?
my method goes; Flac -> XLD -> m4a -> itunes -> create applelossless just to be sure its ID Tags and everything else is good to go...might be over the top but kind of a habit.


hehe yes i think you are. i only have 20GB (3200 songs) on my mbp. started my collection again on my iMac, only getting uncompressed, full album music for it (or 320kb). very picky haha
I'm even doing this with films, although albeit a bit more tedious and difficult considering how goofy handbrake is (mainly with audio), otherwsie love converting DVDs to digital copies..the audio in the universal preset just are lacking..but back to audio =P

[/QUOTE]hahaha put it into urbandictrionary ;). yup im interested too. watching BDs (and listening) sounds absolutely amazing! so im sure music recorded onto them sounds incredible too! cant wait until i get some (amazon will have them i guess).[/QUOTE]

Yeah the audio ive heard even on z5500's are just phenomal, eventually im going to get a solid speaker system...something alittle more pro audio.



You and me both. I first did my collection in MP3 @320kbs. I am now going through and re-doing my collection in Appleloss and AAC @320. Two complete library's.

I have just about 1200 cd's also. I have been having a field day with the used market. 3-5 bucks a cd you can't beat. And I agree with having a field day on collecting complete discographies. It is an addiction...lol

We can dream with the new server farm Apple is building we might just get something along these lines...... We can dream. But I have a feeling the music industry doesn't want this.
You cant go wrong amazon or ebay.
i just got most of my collection of Siouxsie &The banshees on ebay for under 100$ which amazed me...plus earning ebay bucks is a plus.

it also helps since somewhere along the lines i lost alot of my albums, which bothered me, then i downloaded them and just couldnt bear the quality of mp3s much longer. especially not mixed with lossless.


I'm hoping apple comes up with somehting new and unique with the quality and the space they can build to.

I really like iTunes LP, its really great to have interactive music right there.
itd be alos a nice addition if they offered it for albums you import yourself too in some way...atleast a digital booklet of some kind of artwork, lyrics, etc.

Idk, itd be cool ot have a service that offered downloadable music like iTunes / torrent esque where it will be one centralized location...and the more people download it the more its distributed and less space taken up on a main server/storage unit.
like if itunes was similar to a torrent based application/set up, but also offered ways to purchase cds alng with downloading them (similar to like how i believe nine inch nails and radiohead and other independent artists have done...who made a pretty good profit off it that way as well).

but since music is still abusiness, i dont think thatd come to fruition...well not with the apple/the record companies.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
True, the only reason I end up torrenting is to create a "must have/check list" of albums to get...so its not done in vein ...though i do support mass music distribution..just not low quality...so hopefully more flac / applelossless = less mp3s and low quality audio rips.
i sure hope so! lossless for everybody!!! i wish limewire would start using flac (thats who i get the "popular songs", new releases etc. 320kbps only of course.

Do you use XLD for Flac to M4a?
my method goes; Flac -> XLD -> m4a -> itunes -> create applelossless just to be sure its ID Tags and everything else is good to go...might be over the top but kind of a habit.
nope never heard of that program. normally i use Audacity to open the .flac, then save as .aiff, then import into iTunes (i dont copy it in, just link), then convert .aiff to lossless within iTunes - then delete the .aiff/.flac files! it generally keeps most of the track info and stuff, i just have to get the track cover.

I'm even doing this with films, although albeit a bit more tedious and difficult considering how goofy handbrake is (mainly with audio), otherwsie love converting DVDs to digital copies..the audio in the universal preset just are lacking..but back to audio =P
since purchasing my ps3, i now only hire BD movies (and rip them with the ps3, YDL installed). i dont compress them at all. quite picky i know but it just looks so darn good!!!!

Yeah the audio ive heard even on z5500's are just phenomal, eventually im going to get a solid speaker system...something alittle more pro audio.
im looking at purchasing some z5500s! how are they? i currently have x530's and they are slowly going. :( would love some z5500s to accompany mah imac :D
 

androiphone

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2009
1,000
1
isn't it a bit harsh stealing music and movies, how would you feel if you spent the time and produced an album and then got no money because everyone just illegally downloaded it
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
isn't it a bit harsh stealing music and movies, how would you feel if you spent the time and produced an album and then got no money because everyone just illegally downloaded it
i do spend time recording tracks for my various artist friends (most are still in uni at this stage, but something might come up). i get paid a bottle of vodka or something similar for my duties. the songs are uploaded to youtube/myspace/music sites/etc and can get thousands of plays.

is that fair on me? i dont think so.

seriously, if my songs were getting torrented - i wouldnt care! id just be happy that im getting somewhere with my music because people would take the time to search through for the appropriate torrent to download MY music. i would hope that those artists have the same ideology.

please dont tell me how to live my life.
 

korowa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 19, 2009
10
0
Australia
So you purchase TV shows in a lossy format, but for music it's a dealbreaker?
As I said, I buy the tv shows for the kids..

Also, where are these online sites that allow lossless purchases?
HD Tracks in the US, and Quobuz in France are two which spring to mind.

Ironically, I don't buy many movies or TV shows on iTunes because the files are so inferior to Blu-ray Disc. They're not bad, but if I'm patient I find BD versions of the same movies and TV shows for less.
Yes, the new Blu-ray lossless audio formats (DTS HD Master Audio & Dolby TrueHD) are far superior to Dolby Digital AC3.