Loss of quality converting from FLAC to AIFF?

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

  1. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    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 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2008
    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 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2011
    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 macrumors 6502a

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


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

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


    Jun 14, 2006
    No - you won't lose any data at all when going from one lossless format to another.
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    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 Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    If you're into independent quality electronic and alternative music, Boomkat is also worth checking out.
  10. sandman42 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    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 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    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 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    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 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    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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