Replacing Purchased AAC files with ALAC files for an iTunes LP?

mnmlist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 12, 2011
13
0
Columbus, Ohio
Okay, so here's the situation. I have a handful of iTunes LP's and I LOVE the layout but I'm also fond of using ALAC (Apple Lossless) when ripping my CD collection.

I had this light bulb moment recently and the question occurred to me: would it be possible to successfully use ALAC rips in place of the Purchased AAC files and do so successfully? Will the iTunes LP still recognize the files? After all they will still be .m4a files.

Any guidance is appreciated.

Thanks

:apple:
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
...
I had this light bulb moment recently and the question occurred to me: would it be possible to successfully use ALAC rips in place of the Purchased AAC files and do so successfully?
...
And where would these ALAC versions be coming from? If you're talking about converting the AAC files to ALAC, it won't gain you anything (not even sound quality) and just wastes some disk space.
 

Roy G Biv

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2010
328
25
It's important to recognize that AAC is a "lossy" format, while ALAC is a "lossless" format. People will lose bits most commonly with lossy formats by something called "drippage".

AAC is like a spaghetti colander, and ALAC is like a bucket. Which one do you think is going to drip more? ;)

Put it another way, music is like the "flow". AAC is like a itty stream, and ALAC is Niagra Falls.
 

mnmlist

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 12, 2011
13
0
Columbus, Ohio
Guys I totally understand the difference between AAC and ALAC. The ALAC's would be ripped by me to replace the iTunes purchased AAC's...
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
The site I linked has tutorials for making your own iTunes LPs that should help you figure out what needs to be down to accomplish your goal.

e.g.

iTunes uses a set of unique identifiers on their iTunes store. Each artist, each album (referred to as a playlist) and each track has a unique id. Every purchased audiotrack from the iTunes store contains a set of these ids. It is these ids that are used to connect the code in the iTunes LPs to the tracks in your music library. This however is not done directly. The played tracks and playlists are referenced through XIDs. In the manifest.xml is a list of these XIDs and the track ids to which they are linked.

It would be possible to write these ids to your own .m4a tracks (the tags however are not compatible with id3 for mp3 files), but it requires a specifically modified version of AtomicParsley, which is too much hassle to be worth it. Also it could create conflicts with music purchased on the iTunes store. If for example you use a currently unused pid (playlist id) which later is used for a new album release, if that new release has an iTunes LP it could be referencing your songs, or your LP referencing their songs.

This approach is therefore problematic for any music that is not purchased from the iTunes store. If your intent is to use an LP with purchased music exclusively it might be an option to look into this, however for everyone else there is another option.

iTunes exposes several functions to search the music library for tracks. One is findTracksByXID() which is the default method used in currently published iTunes LPs. Another is findTracksByTextFields() which we will be using in our tutorials and downloadable LPs. This second method allows us to search and play tracks in the music library based on Albumname, Trackname and/or Artist.
B