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Apple Lossless

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by banyantree, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. banyantree

    banyantree
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    Can anyone tell me what the expected number of songs you can record onto a 20GB I Pod using Apple Lossless?
    How does this compare to the quality of ACC and is it THAT distinguishable when you are on the move?

    merry christmas
     
  2. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Banyantree

    Not home yet? :D

    I would suggest that you would get between 2,000 - 2,500 songs on there, as Apple Lossless takes up around twice the space as AAC

    the quality will depend on what head/ear phones you go for but I would suggest that AAC is good enough for head/ear phone listening
     
  3. banyantree

    banyantree
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    thanks....

    not home until next week.

    2500 songs sounds good enough ( about 200 albums) but is there a big difference between lossless and aac?
    I have been told that lossless is comparable to CD quality?

    cheers
     
  4. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Through your hi-fi, Lossless will sound better than AAC :thumbsup:

    If you are not going to play the iPod through your hi-fi/home cinema I'd stick with AAC as it gives you more "room".

    You will notice greater improvement with a better set of 'phones than the supplied Apple ones
     
  5. Dazza Cole

    Dazza Cole
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    I've only just got an ipod - what is apple lossless? I have a 40 gig and am looking for the best quality sound as possible. The ipod will be run through the Bose ipod speaker for most of the time....
     
  6. banyantree

    banyantree
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    Apple lossless is the new format for recording music which (i believe) is only being supplied with the G4 models. It is supposed to be sonically superior to AAC and when listened to , is indistinguishable from CD quality.
    I have yet to test this out since i have not got my I pod yet.
    The only drawback is that it take sup twice as much room as AAC.
    However with a 40GB model that will give you around 5000 songs.
     
  7. Dazza Cole

    Dazza Cole
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    Thanks - so simply a case of changing the import method on itunes then ?
     
  8. ailean

    ailean
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    In iTunes 4.7 under Preferances/Importing set the Import Using box to Apple Lossless Encoder, then rerip your CDs. The results should be something more a tone to zip compression, where nothing is thrown away. File sizes are simular to other lossless formats like FLAC, APE, etc. (average about 50% the size of original). Rough guess around 70 CDs on a 20GB iPod. However because of the increased size the harddisk will need to spin up more often and use a lot more battery.

    It does work on my 3G with the latest firmware and I did a breif test to compare it to my normal Lame MP3 Alt Preset Extreme encoding (~220VBR) but I couldn't hear any improvement even with high end phones.

    With £100+ phones it will probably sound better then 160kbs+ AAC but personally, to my ears I found 192kbs+ MP3 sounded far better then anything I could get out of AAC, even at max bit rates and although Apple Lossless sounded as good to me it's nearly 4 times the size.

    Portability a side using a lossless codec to rip to is a good idea thou (I have all my CDs in Flac on an external harddisk) as you can then re-encode to differant formats/bit rates and listen to them on a hifi without ever having to dig out the CDs again and still hear full quality sound.
     
  9. Waser

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    ailean, are you serious? For me AAC is the best compression format by far! The biggest problem I have with MP3 is the shrill on the high notes (symbols sound particularly bad even at 192 KBs.) Just goes to show how subjective these sorts of things are.

    Apple Lossless is as near to CD quality as you will get without just extracting the WAV files. WAV Lossless is comparable but not supported on the Apple iPods.
     
  10. ailean

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    Yep it's all very subjective, when I got my first iPod I redid all my tracks with AAC from lossless and used it for a couple of weeks. But I found every weekend I was redoing the tracks again but uping the bitrate till eventually I ran out of bits to add! ;) I just wasn't happy with the sound and nearly got rid of the iPod. Then I filled it with 192VBR mp3's and was happy again but a few tracks had issues so I moved them all to 220/240VBR (Lame Alt Preset Extreme).

    I always reconmend people to do there own testing when asked about compression, use a dozen varied style tracks you know well, do them with different encoders/bit rates and see what YOU'RE happy with using you're gear and ears. I try different things with each new box or phones I get as they vary a lot, even firmware revisions have made a big differance for me on the iPod.

    Shrill highs I've found very annouying at times but that's usually been down to the phones I was using or a poorly encoded file, certainly with the Lame mp3 encoder using the Alt Preset Standard or above (non fast) settings I've not had a problem on either Creative Zen or Apple iPod 3G using Koss PortaPros or Shure E1s / E3s.

    I'm evaluating an iPod photo at the moment and it's significantly different from the 3G, I'm not certain if it's for the better or worse yet and still need to do some playing with different files and a bit of A/B testing.

    Sometimes I do wish my ears still thought FM radio sounded good, it'd save me a lot of time, effort and dosh! ;)
     
  11. banyantree

    banyantree
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    Since I have yet to purchase the I pod i am unable to test out the various bitrates and formats.
    I had assumed that apple lossless would be the best with AAC next, then MP3.
    What are the different bitrates and formats available to I pod G4? and which ones would you recommend trying?
    I would like to purchase the 20GB but would like to store more than 100 albums on it. Lossless sounds as if it will fill my hard drive up too fast.

    So are 220/240VBR mp3's an acceptable sound and how will that affect the capacity of the hard drive?

    I was daft enough to get a sony Net Walkman and after getting so ****** off with the software I've finally decided to go ipod. The sony sounded great using atrac on MD but the software is a pain in the ar**. I have been told that Itunes is far superior.
     
  12. cwick

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    You might not have an iPod yet, but you've clearly got a computer - so downloading iTunes and trying out different formats and bitrates is something you can do now. And you'll have to - you're the only one who can decide what'll work for you.

    Personally, I rip everything to Apple Lossless, but I also convert those to 320Kbps AAC. Only the AAC files make it onto the iPod (I use playlists to manage all this) because I think lossless is overkill on the iPod (I suspect 320Kbps is overkill too - but I have enough space on the iPod that I don't care) - I'm either out and about when I'm using it, or there's enough background noise (in the office), or I'm not listening crtically - so I don't want or need lossless files. If I really want to listen, I don't use the iPod (it's good, but it's not that good :)

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  13. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Banyantree

    Avoid MP3 if at all possible! :thumbsdow

    Cwick is right that if you are only going to be using the iPod on the go, then stick with AAC, as I said before.

    A good set of phones will make more difference in sound quality on the go than choosintg Lossless over AAC - TRUST ME :smashin:
     
  14. banyantree

    banyantree
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    Thanks everyone.
    Well I eventually got my IPOD, a 40GB which was a nice surprise.
    Unfortunately I will need to wait until i get into the office on monday since I don't have user privilidge on my laptop.

    Ok so what i gather is that AAC is fine for listening to on the move great.

    One question

    1) If I burn all my CD's to my computer using lossless , is it then easy to convert to AAC when downloading to the IPOD. I will be using an 80GB external hard drive to store the music so space isn't really an issue.
     
  15. cwick

    cwick
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    Conversion is pretty easy. First, set the import preferences to lossless and rip your CDs. Then set the import preferences to AAC, select all the lossless files you want to convert, right-click, and select "Convert Selection to AAC". Then go and put the kettle on and have a cuppa while it's converting :)

    Then just makes a playlist, based on bitrate, and tell iTunes to only sync that playlist to the iPod. Job done.
     
  16. banyantree

    banyantree
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    Thanks for the advice. I managed to download a few CD's at the weekend using lossless and AAC 320kb.
    One thing which is pretty obvious is that Apple Lossless uses approx 12-50,000 kb per song while AAC (320kb) uses 9-14,000 kb per song.
    This takes up a huge amount of space on my hard drive.
    I have yet to download to the apple to test the quality however just wanted to check if lossless is supposed to use so much memory.
    My previous sony MD using atrac was excellent sound quality at approx 2-6000kb per song.

    any advice?

    merry christmas.
     
  17. jamesbulman

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    Audio compression methods are divided into two groups, lossy and lossless.

    Ones like MP3, AAC and WMA get such good compression rates (smaller files) because they are lossy, they throw some of the audio information away during the compression process. With lossy compression you could rip a cd, compress it, uncompress it and burn it to a new cd and the two cds would not be exact digital copies of each other, they would just sound the same (almost).

    Ones like Apple Lossless, FLAC and SHN get much worse compression rates (larger files) because they are lossless, they store and reproduce an exact digital copy of the original audio. With lossless compression you could rip a cd, compress it, uncompress it and burn it to a new cd and the two cds would be exact digital copies of each other.

    Here endeth the lesson :lesson: ;)
     

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