So Apple Lossless isn't doing it for me

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by TheLimpOne, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. TheLimpOne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    #1
    Yeah, Apple Lossless isn't really Lossless when it comes to longer songs that are say 12+ minutes, the quality gets drastically lower. For instance, I just ripped a song that was 20 minutes long and the quality came out 300 kbps. Anyone who's done VBR knows this is the case with MP3's and such as well.

    So yeah, what do people do when you want CBR at the highest possible quality? Or is there an alternative where I don't have to deal with degradation of quality with long songs?
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Apple Lossless is exactly that, regardless of how long the file length is. The overall bit rate will vary depending on the file.
     
  3. TheLimpOne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #3
    No... VBR works to get good quality, but at the same time maintain a smaller file size. Unfortunately with real long songs it will kill the quality in order to retain the small file size, because file size is the biggest priority to it.
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #4
    AppleLossless doesn't work like this at all. File size has nothing to do with it. You're completely on the wrong track about this. Go do some reading; it's a perfectly lossless format much like FLAC. It doesn't reduce bit rates to fit into a given file size.
     
  5. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #5
    This is not how VBR works with MP3, and it's certainly not how Apple Lossless, or any other lossless codec works. The answer is in the name "lossless codec"...the information coming out when you decode a lossless file is bit-identical to the information that went in. Period. (as long as everything is functioning properly/the encoder supports the format you're putting into it)

    As I said, this is the case with Apple Lossless, FLAC, Windows Media Lossless...any and all lossless codecs operating normally.

    This is wrong. With VBR MP3, a longer track will not yield a worse sounding track. Take V0 encoding with LAME for instance. It's attempting to render a nominal level of transparency to the original audio throughout the material you put into it. The way it allocates bits is determined by the "complexity" of the sound, not the length of the track.
     
  6. TheLimpOne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #6
    Have you ever ripped CD's with lengthy audio files in VBR? You will notice a pattern: longer songs = lower quality, everytime. You don't believe me, give it a go on one of your own CD's.

    I'll give you an example with the couple songs I just ripped:
    Filter - I'm Not The Only One, 5:50 (919 kbps, 38.6 MB)
    Filter - Miss Blue, 19:49 (300 kbps, 42.8 MB)

    As far as the complexity of the tracks, that is true, but file size plays a factor as well... people will usually go VBR for decent quality AND to conserve space, I don't see why anyone would go with VBR otherwise.

    Either way, I don't want to argue anymore about it, I'd much rather have someone suggest some alternatives to me. P.S. By that I mean highest quality CBR, what would that be?
     
  7. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Portland, OR
    #7
    the only competitive alternative is FLAC and you're wrong, Lossless means lossless.
     
  8. TheLimpOne thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #8
    Really, lossless would mean ripping every song in 1440 kbps, period, none of the VBR they got going for it. There is no reason that a song of constant high complexity at 20 minutes should come out with 300 kbps, none.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #9

    ALAC, just like FLAC, uses VBR as standard. I have a number of CDs ripped in Apple Lossless with long tracks including some over 40 minutes. You're utterly confused and instead of listening to people telling you that you're wrong, you've decided not to listen to them or deal with the facts, or go check up the pros and cons.

    If a long track has lots of silent or quiet passages, then the bitrate will be lower. It doesn't reduce the quality. It's a true lossless format and if you think you know better than the people over at Hydrogen Audio, then there's no hope.

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    No. Think of a lossless codec like a zip file. It makes your Word documents smaller, but you aren't missing a bunch of text when you unzip it. It's the same concept.

    Lossless means NO LOSS. None. Think anything else and you are deluding yourself.

    HERE IS PROOF if you need it: You can test this by taking a wav file, converting it to any lossless codec, converting it back to wav and then comparing it against the original wav in a multitrack audio editor. You can invert the phase on either file and you will get digital silence which means the files are identical.

    You've already got your own answer. The highest quality CBR you can get is completely uncompressed AIFF or WAV etc. It would also be bit identical to a decode of any Apple Lossless/FLAC/etc encoded audio.
     
  11. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #11
    that's not true, you really can't go by the bitrate with a lossless encoder, it varies because it compresses that way. When it compresses, however, there is no loss of quality.
     
  12. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    Shanghai, China
    #12
    think you need to start just listening to wav's, but i feel sorry for you if you're really bothered about getting that kind of quality. i mean, i rip all my tracks in lossless just because i want a good copy of it incase i loose the cd, but you're getting abit over the top. just start listening to the music instead.
     
  13. c-Row macrumors 65816

    c-Row

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    Germany
    #13
    I already did that. :p

    @OP

    I guess you are doing something wrong then.
     
  14. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    #14
  15. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

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    #15
    The bitrate you see is just an average. That's why your longer songs are showing lower rates. Don't pay attention to it. It means nothing.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    You can't look at the bit rate to determine quality. The only way to is to a round trip conversion. Rip the CD to Apple losses and then convert it back to CD and then compare the original and the CD you burned bit by bit. They should be identical.

    If you are seeing 300K bits per second that just means the track compresses very well.


    The bit rate 300 vs. 919 is not an indicator of audio quality. The ONLY valid indicator is to uncompress the files and compare them to the original uncompressed file. An extream example of this is if you record 1 hour of silence. It will compress down to almost nothing using either VBR or lossless but the quality will be very good.

    If you want to tell us the quality is poor show us the difference between the uncompressed song and the CD track. Then people will listen.
     
  17. Luap macrumors 65816

    Luap

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    Jul 5, 2004
    #17
    Forget the numbers and forget everything the MP3ophile kiddies say on music torrent sites for a moment. Lossless is lossless. Flac, Apple Lossless, whatever, its all Lossless. So its identical to the source CD. Hence why it is called lossless. No point saying you wont argue about it when you are wrong and need to accept that basic fact right there.

    Apple Lossless not doing it for you because the numbers don't make sense to you is stupid. Listen to it. If it sounds good, it is good. And thats all there is to it.
     
  18. ItsJustDave macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2009
    #18
    A little late to the party, but I figured I ought to chime in.

    Have you tried actually listening to your music?

    If you had, you might have realized that "Miss Blue" is a track that happens to include an untitled hidden bonus track. That hidden bonus track is separated from "Miss Blue" by an extensive amount of silence. Lossless encoders eat silence for breakfast. As a result the average bitrate of the file (file size/track length) experiences a huge drop.
     
  19. Mattaut macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #19
    Did you actually listen to both of them and hear a difference in quality rather than seeing a difference in quality? What you can hear is a lot more important than some numbers, unless you are just interested in watching the bit rate for 20 minutes instead of listening to the music lol. I can't believe how stubborn you're being about this, you sound like a 2-year-old. Why even post if you aren't willing to accept advice?
     
  20. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Accept advice? What about accepting fact? ;)
     
  21. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    Shanghai, China
    #21
    maybe i should change my signature to:

    audiophile: one who listens to the stereo, and looks at the bit rate, rather than the music.

    :p
     
  22. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #22
    You're right. There are audiophile who don't really even listen to their equipment. For some reading spec sheets and review articles and collecting equipment is enough.
     
  23. Teej guy macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #23
    Your signature is a bit of a sweeping generalised statement though. I'm both a musician and an audiophile. I love hearing music reproduced really really well through a good system, but for me the point is to get closer to the music. I wouldn't waste my time listening to music I didn't like just because it was a fantastic recording.
     
  24. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Shanghai, China
    #24
    i totally agree, i too am a musician and want to hear good quality recordings. but some people just get too wound up in file quality, speaker quality, cables, etc and loose track of what it's really all about. they're the people i'm poking fun at.
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    OP: why are you using VBR if you want Lossless?? that doesnt make any sense to me. didnt even know you could use VBR with Lossless!!!
     

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