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Apple Lossless vs FLAC: The better?
kornchild2002
post Mar 13 2011, 03:01
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ALAC is not natively wrapped in DRM but I believe it supports Apple's FairPlay DRM. Of course Apple only advertised ALAC as working with their hardware and software ecosystem, what is wrong with that? Apple isn't going to Sony and pushing ALAC on them. Microsoft has done nothing with WMA Lossless other than showing off that they have a built-in lossless encoding in WMP that works with some small amount of devices. Sony had ATRAC lossless that, much like WMA Lossless and ALAC, only worked in their universe. Taking the approach of "company x made no effort to market y lossless format outside of their world, that means they should just give up" would mean that most, if not all lossless formats would be taken away. We wouldn't even have FLAC as, way back in the day, there were really only a handful of software packages that supported it. So why did the developers even try if their format was only playable in a few software titles and on no hardware whatsoever (though that changed over time)? They should have just given up and gone with PCM WAV...
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DonP
post Mar 13 2011, 03:29
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Mar 12 2011, 21:01) *
. We wouldn't even have FLAC as, way back in the day, there were really only a handful of software packages that supported it. So why did the developers even try if their format was only playable in a few software titles and on no hardware whatsoever (though that changed over time)? They should have just given up and gone with PCM WAV...


1) There was more prospect of software and hardware supporting it, since they put it out as freely available and open source.
2) They did it because they wanted to. No expected cash return on a GPL product.
3) Flac had functional advantages over wav, and over shorten, it's then popular predecessor that does compress.

I'm not saying Apple was evil or anything for coming out with ALAC. Just that their approach points to it not developing wide popularity... as with ATRAC lossless (which I never hear of until your post) and that they could have had as good a compressor in FLAC (or some others if the license terms worked) for free.


This post has been edited by DonP: Mar 13 2011, 03:32
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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 04:03
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ALAC files are still playable in more places than FLAC, the fact is there are more Apple devices by a mile than any anything else.
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cpchan
post Mar 13 2011, 04:17
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 23:03) *
ALAC files are still playable in more places than FLAC, the fact is there are more Apple devices by a mile than any anything else.


Huh? Wasn't there a report that just came out that there are more Android based devices than IOS (at least in the US):

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archiv...-america/72184/

Also, Cowon (iAudio), Sansa and Samsung devices all support FLAC. Where is the ALAC support for these? ALAC is fine as long as you stay in the Jobsian ecosystem.


This post has been edited by cpchan: Mar 13 2011, 04:21
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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 04:28
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You're missing the point. But thats ok. This is a audio forum for the die hards. only going to see it one sided.
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A_Day_Without_Me
post Mar 13 2011, 04:34
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Don't most iPods play ALAC and not just the ones running iOS?
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Soap
post Mar 13 2011, 04:34
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 22:28) *
You're missing the point. But thats ok. This is a audio forum for the die hards. only going to see it one sided.

Google must be an audio forum for diehards as well.
wink.gif


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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 04:38
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That article proves nothing. iPhone, iPad, iPod, AppleTv, Squeezebox, Sonos and others all play ALAC even Android based devices can with the right software. It its just easier to find someone to play back ALAC files than FLAC. ALAC also doesn't suffer tag issues unlike FLAC on some devices. ALAC just works.

This post has been edited by Billytheonion: Mar 13 2011, 04:48
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kode54
post Mar 13 2011, 07:35
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Except that most of the people who have devices capable of playing ALAC probably aren't using them for that purpose anyway. For instance, my dad, who has an 8GB 4th generation iPod Nano, and he's already pushing it to capacity with V2 MP3s. I doubt he'd be interested in killing his space even more quickly with ALAC files.

Yes, we get it. iPod is the king, it supports ALAC, everyone has one, etc. You're probably still more likely to find that more people who are actually remotely interested in using lossless audio are better equipped to play FLAC than ALAC. Or at least equipped to play both.
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SonicBooom!
post Mar 13 2011, 08:12
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This should be short: If your device supports ALAC and not FLAC, then use ALAC. If your device supports FLAC and not ALAC, then use FLAC. If your device supports both, then it's your OWN choice on what to use (if you'll ask me, I still use FLAC. Why? The lossless word is music to my ears, what more when you add the word FREE? laugh.gif ) But seriously, the basis on being "better" here is depending on where you want to use it smile.gif

QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 13 2011, 11:38) *
ALAC just works.

Then, so be it smile.gif


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greynol
post Mar 13 2011, 08:29
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A lot of those iPods per square mile can be outfitted with Rockbox to play flac and all of a sudden the ubiquity argument doesn't look so good.


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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 08:57
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QUOTE (kode54 @ Mar 13 2011, 08:35) *
Except that most of the people who have devices capable of playing ALAC probably aren't using them for that purpose anyway. For instance, my dad, who has an 8GB 4th generation iPod Nano, and he's already pushing it to capacity with V2 MP3s. I doubt he'd be interested in killing his space even more quickly with ALAC files.

Yes, we get it. iPod is the king, it supports ALAC, everyone has one, etc. You're probably still more likely to find that more people who are actually remotely interested in using lossless audio are better equipped to play FLAC than ALAC. Or at least equipped to play both.


All the major audio devices used for hifi use like squeezebox sonos, Apple TV ect.... all play back ALAC. How are people better equipped for FLAC.

More people would use iTunes than EAC or DBpoweramp to rip cd's.
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cpchan
post Mar 13 2011, 09:13
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 13 2011, 03:57) *
All the major audio devices used for hifi use like squeezebox sonos, Apple TV ect.... all play back ALAC. How are people better equipped for FLAC.


Easy, here is an incomplete and outdated list:

http://flac.sourceforge.net/links.html#hardware

This post has been edited by cpchan: Mar 13 2011, 09:46
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kode54
post Mar 13 2011, 09:16
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 23:57) *
All the major audio devices used for hifi use like squeezebox sonos, Apple TV ect.... all play back ALAC. How are people better equipped for FLAC.

Also unlikely to use ALAC, for that matter. They probably don't even know what ALAC is.

QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 23:57) *
More people would use iTunes than EAC or DBpoweramp to rip cd's.

And they're probably using AAC with the default settings. People who are interested in lossless reproduction of their CD collection probably throw out iTunes immediately.

Also:

QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 23:57) *
ect


Argument over, poster is invalid.
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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 09:48
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You're still looking at it from the eyes of a selected few people. The majority of people just don't own those devices. Doesn't matter how you look at it, More hardware support for FLAC, fact is more people have hardware software that plays ALAC and ALAC and FLAC.
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jcoalson
post Mar 13 2011, 10:09
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QUOTE (pawelq @ Mar 12 2011, 18:16) *
QUOTE (DonP @ Mar 12 2011, 15:57) *
QUOTE (pawelq @ Mar 12 2011, 15:39) *
Obviously, an internet poll proves nothing. An internet poll conducted within this very special community proves, if I can say so, even less about the lossless codec usage in the general popualtion.


A poll in this community mostly gives you a concentration of people who do use lossless.


To make the results of the poll applicable to the world out there, you would have to prove that there is no overrepresentation of FLAC (or ALAC) users here, compared to the general population of lossless users.

If you want to talk about who is actually using lossless, it's pretty clear. When the Beatles released 14 remastered albums in lossless 24-bit, they did it in FLAC, not ALAC. When the Rolling Stones recently started releasing most (all?) of their catalog as lossless downloads, they did it in FLAC, not ALAC. Pretty much all lossless is sold in FLAC, not ALAC.

Why then would the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Metallica, etc etc etc be selling FLAC but not ALAC? The most successful acts of all time would have to be grossly misinformed about their fans if ALAC were important.
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wnmnkh
post Mar 13 2011, 10:33
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 13 2011, 03:48) *
You're still looking at it from the eyes of a selected few people. The majority of people just don't own those devices. Doesn't matter how you look at it, More hardware support for FLAC, fact is more people have hardware software that plays ALAC and ALAC and FLAC.



I think you just are not getting it. While it is true that there are more devices out there which can play ALAC files, most of them are not 'targeted' for the people who has use of lossless files (i.e audiophiles).



You really think people who are buying 24bit files want to play the files on their ipods? These music lovers buy standalone DACs music streamers which price tag is usually consisted of four-digit numbers for proper 24bit playback.** I mean, for example, there are some really cheap Transcend mp3 players that can play FLAC files, but no one really are interested in such features because hardware itself is too low for lossless play ANYWAY. Same goes for ipod and tons of many idevices that are 'incapable of playing CD-quality'** music in the first place. What's the point of more hardware support if the target audience is not interested in 95% of them?

It is very evident that ALAC has already lost the battle against FLAC if you go check on music selling sites which offer anything above lossy quality. Only remaining Apple format you can ever find is AIFF. Even WMA Lossless has more popularity than ALAC. In early days, some of them actually sold ALAC and FLAC at the same time. But soon most of them just ditched ALAC because..... well, no one bought music in ALAC format. Not to mention royalty concerns and legal issues bar online music retailers from selling music in ALAC format as well.


So, let's summarize important points.


1.) There are more devices that can play ALAC than FLAC (i.e Ipod)
2.) But there are just handful of devices that can properly play CD-quality sound, and with some of them only can play FLAC.**
3.) Those who care for sound quality only have interested in those handful of devices while completely ignoring rest of devices for their lossless playback (i.e ipods)
4.) With legal reasons online music stores also shy from using ALAC.
5.) Due to these points above, the foundation of FLAC market is much stronger than ALAC (which is now non-exist at this point).



**Remind you guys that the statements 'ipod cannot play 'CD-quality' sound and/or buying super expensive equipments for 24bit file playback' are written in order to show the perspective of audiophiles. It is not certain these claims are scientifically proven and arguing without proofs will be the cause of violation of TOS #8 on this site.
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Billytheonion
post Mar 13 2011, 11:00
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Many times i have seen people here asking what they should rip in and they have iTunes and iDevice and people here recommend to use ALAC. If what you are saying is correct then everyone recommending ALAC is contradicting the points you make.
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wnmnkh
post Mar 13 2011, 12:22
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 13 2011, 05:00) *
Many times i have seen people here asking what they should rip in and they have iTunes and iDevice and people here recommend to use ALAC. If what you are saying is correct then everyone recommending ALAC is contradicting the points you make.



You are indeed a hardcore troll as other people already mentioned, or you are utterly confused, and/or are completely ignoring points we made here.

First of all, as poll suggested here (and many people already pointed out that your view is really hallowed) FLAC is the majority format for several good reasons. Outside of MAC environment, ALAC just does not exist at all, period.

Second, if it is related to 'iDevice', the answer should be ALAC anyway because these devices cannot play FLAC but ALAC. Of course the answer will be ALAC for this case.


The question (that you are either confusing or ignoring) is that whether those people using iTunes and iDevice are the one who are the target audience of lossless audio format (ALAC, FLAC, TAK) in general.



You gotta answer for that bold part otherwise you are merely trolling here.
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wnmnkh
post Mar 13 2011, 12:33
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To add more information regarding 24bit playback, both ipod(and all other idevice) and Apple TV cannot handle 24bit. At best it will downgrade normal 16bit due to DAC limitation.

Apple's new Airplay can stream up to 24bit/96k, which won't handle higher samples such as 176k or 192k. And even for 24bit playback.
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DonP
post Mar 13 2011, 12:49
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 13 2011, 05:00) *
Many times i have seen people here asking what they should rip in and they have iTunes and iDevice and people here recommend to use ALAC. If what you are saying is correct then everyone recommending ALAC is contradicting the points you make.



There is a tendency in this group to advise ripping to lossless because it doesn't cost much to store on a hard drive and you have flexibility in choosing the lossy format/settings to send to a portable, cloudbank, whatever may be constrained for space or bandwidth. It's a different topic whether that part of the advice is best, but given that, ALAC is the easy answer for an "i" user who is unsophisticated enough to be asking.

Ripping to lossy instead of lossless is a permanent decision (aside from doing it all over). Choice of ALAC vs FLAC, monkey, TAK, wavepak can be changed later.

As an i-boy, ALAC is clearly best for you. Rest easy with that and don't worry about the rest of the world.

This post has been edited by DonP: Mar 13 2011, 12:51
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[JAZ]
post Mar 13 2011, 13:25
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I would recommend everyone to stop the debate just here.

My first answer was that, ALAC is better in the Apple ecosystem, and that outside of it, FLAC is the preffered format (Open source software, other devices than Apple. And note the fact that the ALAC decoder which is available outside of Apple devices is a reverse-engineered decoder. Apple did not release specifications nor authorized it).


This has been a moot discussion and we have ended back with the original answer: that the user chooses the format that best fits its usage. This is what the sentence above says after all.
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kornchild2002
post Mar 13 2011, 14:11
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QUOTE (Billytheonion @ Mar 12 2011, 20:38) *
ALAC just works.


I might be an Apple fan but the above quote shows that of a blind fanboy. Only Apple fanboys throw Steve's quote around like that to prove their point. There are multiple posts in this thread mainly because a fanboy decided to "crash the party." As previously pointed out (by myself and others), the decision to use ALAC or FLAC only depends on the software and hardware requirements of the OP. Period. It doesn't matter if 39847598734985798374957934759 different devices out there support ALAC if the OP is never going to use one of them. It doesn't matter if FLAC is open source if the OP is going to stay in Apple's universe. Billy's constant posting seems more like an attempt to stir the pot rather than inform anyone.
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Antigen
post Mar 13 2011, 14:21
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And AIFF?

Can I use to backup my CD?

Thanks for explanation
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[JAZ]
post Mar 13 2011, 16:03
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@Antigen: Do not crosspost.

You have already asked that http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=87428

I will only add that if you are using a Windows PC instead of an Apple PC, using AIFF is nonsense.

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Mar 13 2011, 16:05
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