What the FLAC?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by supercooled, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Forgive my temerarious title, but I've always wanted to say that.

    Quickly what happened is I had some FLAC files and tried to convert it to my AAC format using Audiahub but some tracks strangely did not process. Didn't want to fuss too much so I fired up iSkysoft video convertor which does audio conversion as well and by mistake, I selected a preset called iPod Nano (MPEG-4) which has a .mp4 extension. Now to pictures to explain my confusion and my question.

    Played with VLC, it shows that it is an MPEG AAC Audio (mp4a), now is this the same as the codec used in iTunes AAC compression? I want to maintain continuity so I don't run into problems with future devices. Here's the shocker; the file size under iTunes says it's only 125kbps which is I guess the equivalent of 128kbps MP3 file? File size is pretty good but I've tested the audio quality with my headphones between the this and the original FLAC and I can't tell the difference at all.

    So the question again is; is MP4a the same as AAC with a different wrapper?
     

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  2. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    My concern is some files in my library seem to reject art work like this:

    Sometimes they show up in the art box but not the little thumbnail next to the playlist.
     

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  3. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #3
  4. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Max can also convert FLAC to Apple Lossless and has worked very well for me.
     
  5. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    I just don't see the greater value of doing lossless when my hifi system isn't going to discern the difference between lossless vs lossy.

    What's the lowest you guys would tolerate while going lossy? The majority of my collection is 192kb MP3s or if I rip them myself, they're 256kb AAC.
     
  6. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I'd suggest you rip a fresh CD to both lossless and AAC to compare, if I'm reading your posts correctly then it's not certain what your existing FLACs were encoded from. Obviosuly if a compressed MP3 or AAC was converted to FLAC, you're not going to gain quality that wasn't there in the first place.

    Personally I have Max rip the CD, then it simultaneously encodes to FLAC for streaming to my hifi and to a 320kbs AAC, which Max then adds to my iTunes library for iPod etc. Best of both worlds. :)
     
  7. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Thanks for your comments.

    The source files are FLAC which I've converted to m4a (Apple's Lossless) using Max and comparing this to a mp4a encoded using iSkysoft's video convertor software to 125kbps, low complexity and only 4.4MB versus 33MB, the sound quality is absolutely the same to my ears.

    I tried iTunes High Efficiency encoding at 80kbps then and only then can I tell a slight difference from say the sound of a high hat which comes out a little 'muddled' but I think I'll stick with 192kb AAC. Lossless, Apple or otherwise seems to be wasted on my ears and equipment.
     
  8. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Fair enough. Just wanted to be sure you weren't listening to a file that wasn't all it was FLACed up to be. :D
     
  9. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    :D

    Seems like my ears are going on me because now I can't tell the difference between 80kbps and lossless!

    I'm using AKG 240 connected to my Mac.
     

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  10. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Those AKG seem a decent pair of cans. I would have thought you'd be able to tell the difference between the files with those.

    Probably the lowest denominator in that signal chain is the DAC in the iMac, but it shouldn't be that bad.

    Maybe trying ripping a couple of different CDs to see if there's a noticeable difference with different music?
     
  11. jonk77 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2010
    #11
    My bjesus, all to play a file. I find I do the same with converting PDFs to ebooks for apple. They really do push their own media products. They take more than the record companies do whenever they sell a song on itunes. Evil monsters. Ubuntu rocks.
     

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