Best lossless encoder for iMac/iTunes?

clockworks

Novice Member
I rip all my CDs to wav files for use with a HDD media player on my main system. Now that I've got a decent sound system on my iMac (pair of Quad L-ites and a Linn Majik, plus a DAC), I want to use something better than 320kb/s mp3 with iTunes.

What's the best lossless format that supports ID tags & artwork, and will play with iTunes?
I plan to re-encode, using the existing wav files as the source.
 

Spy

Well-known Member
I have used flac, which is a lossless format.

It can work with iTunes, take a look here How to Play Flac in iTunes instructions

A little about Flac - "As a lossless scheme, FLAC is also a popular archive format for owners of CDs and other media who wish to preserve their audio collections. If the original media is lost, damaged, or worn out, a FLAC copy of the audio tracks ensures that an exact duplicate of the original data can be recovered at any time."

More here Wikipedia

Not 100% certain but I think it supports tags and covers - you will need to check
 
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spinaltap

Distinguished Member
What's wrong with choosing uncompressed/lossless AIFF in iTunes?

My Squeezebox plays back such files in excess of 1,400kbs.
 

amardilo

Distinguished Member
I use the Apple Lossless codec as it works with iTunes and all my other Apple stuff (iPod Classic, iPhone and Apple TV).

I haven't tried out other lossless or uncompressed audio codecs but it sounds better than most MP3 encodes I have heard (although I haven't yet heard 320kb/s mp3 of the same tracks I have).

The quality sounds good to me but it might be best to just rip a CD or track to that codec and test it out and see how it sounds to you.
 
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clockworks

Novice Member
What's wrong with choosing uncompressed/lossless AIFF in iTunes?

My Squeezebox plays back such files in excess of 1,400kbs.

Had a play with Apple lossless - seems fine. Problem is the inflexibility of iTunes when it's encoding. All my CDs (nearly 400) are ripped to wav. The filenames contain the track number, track name, artist and album. This works fine on my media player.

For iTunes, I'd like to re-create proper tags from the filenames - can't see a way to do this in iTunes.

Is there a better encoder fir Apple lossless? Failing that, an app that'll create the tags for me after I've encoded them in iTunes?
I've done this before, encoding from wav to mp3 on a Windows box, using a tag tool - mp3tag, IIRC.
 

jont

Well-known Member
Had a play with Apple lossless - seems fine. Problem is the inflexibility of iTunes when it's encoding. All my CDs (nearly 400) are ripped to wav. The filenames contain the track number, track name, artist and album. This works fine on my media player.

For iTunes, I'd like to re-create proper tags from the filenames - can't see a way to do this in iTunes.

Is there a better encoder fir Apple lossless? Failing that, an app that'll create the tags for me after I've encoded them in iTunes?
I've done this before, encoding from wav to mp3 on a Windows box, using a tag tool - mp3tag, IIRC.

Won't Max convert from wav to apple lossless retaining tags ?

Jon
 

clockworks

Novice Member
Won't Max convert from wav to apple lossless retaining tags ?

Jon

wav doesn't support tags, so I need to create them.
 

spinaltap

Distinguished Member
For iTunes, I'd like to re-create proper tags from the filenames - can't see a way to do this in iTunes.

I really can't see the problem. With your Mac connected to the web; on inserting a CD into your Mac, and iTunes open, the Gracenote database is automatically accessed, and all tags are downloaded. Also, if you have an account enabled in iTunes, all the artwork is automatically downloaded.
 

amardilo

Distinguished Member
Had a play with Apple lossless - seems fine. Problem is the inflexibility of iTunes when it's encoding. All my CDs (nearly 400) are ripped to wav. The filenames contain the track number, track name, artist and album. This works fine on my media player.

For iTunes, I'd like to re-create proper tags from the filenames - can't see a way to do this in iTunes.

Is there a better encoder fir Apple lossless? Failing that, an app that'll create the tags for me after I've encoded them in iTunes?
I've done this before, encoding from wav to mp3 on a Windows box, using a tag tool - mp3tag, IIRC.

Just to clarify you have all the tag data in the filename of the wav file and you want to convert your wav file to an Apple Lossless format? If that's the case I'm not too sure how you would do that, but maybe someone else here might have an app or script for you.

If you can re-rip all your CDs via iTunes then you can use iTunes built-in Gracenotes connectivity to get all the track data (i.e. artist, track name, album name) and if you have an iTunes Music Store account you can get the artwork too. Although this option might take a while with 400 CDs :rolleyes:.
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
Hi

You're missing the point.

Clockworks has his original files in WAV format (with no tags) and is looking for a way to re-encode them into Apple Lossless whilst at the same time rebuilding the tags from the filename.

He doesn't want to rip them again from CD.

I think the best way to deal with this would be to use some Applescript inside iTunes

Clockworks - let me know exactly how your filenames are formatted and I'll see if I can come up with a solution for you.

Steve
 

clockworks

Novice Member
Hi Steve

Each album is ripped to a folder called "artist - album title"

Inside each folder, the tracks are called "track number - track title - artist - album title"

I did it this way as it works best with my main HDD media player.
If it helps, I've got access to a Windows XP PC as well as the iMac.
 

stevelup

Distinguished Member
OK. Let me give it some thought - I'll have a play and get back to you sometime tomorrow.

Is your delimiter "[space][dash][space]"?

Can I double check that I can safely disregard your folder structure as each track has all the necessary information in the filename alone?
 

jont

Well-known Member
If you can set the artist or album on a batch tag then try SongGenie to fill in the blanks ?

Jon
 

clockworks

Novice Member
OK. Let me give it some thought - I'll have a play and get back to you sometime tomorrow.

Is your delimiter "[space][dash][space]"?

Can I double check that I can safely disregard your folder structure as each track has all the necessary information in the filename alone?

Yes, that's correct about the delimiter.

I suppose that the folder structure isn't really important once the tracks are in iTunes, as you can sort on the individual fields.
The "artist - album" folder structure makes life a lot easier in Finder, though. Obviously I need to keep the original wav files intact on my external HDD, and store the new iTunes lossless files in the iTunes library, also on the external HDD.
 

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