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WAV vs AIFF vs FLAC
gdg
post Jul 8 2006, 07:55
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I ripped my library to WAV for use with my Squeezebox 2 before I realized FLAC was just as good and smaller. Since I want max audio quality for a high end sound system I use EAC ripping software because of it's ability to read and reread untill the rip is good. EAC labels the WAV files with artist and cd title info. This has worked out well and slimserver has had no problems at all organizing my library by artist and cd title. In terms of getting the best sound quality and a managable library this has worked out fine except that my file sizes have been a little larger than neccessary had I used Flac.
Anyway I just bought an Ipod and now I have a real problem because, while the WAV files can be transferef into the Itunes library, the artist and cd title info is lost so I can't organize the library. After a little research I've been advised that I should be ripping to FLAC (for slimserver) and converting to Apple Lossless (for Itunes) or...ripping to AIFF . It seems to me that AIFF would be easiest since it is supported by Slimserver and Itunes but does that mean that I can't use EAC and it's supperior ripping features?
Any advice on this issue would be appreciated.

Gerry
Ps Is AIFF as good as WAV in term of maintaining the full resolution of the cd?

This post has been edited by gdg: Jul 8 2006, 07:56
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OmniCbex
post Jul 8 2006, 09:20
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First, WAV and AIFF are almost exactly the same thing. They are both containers for RAW PCM audio. The only difference is that WAV originally was a Microsoft / IBM standard and AIFF originaly was an Apple standard. They both will preserve the resolution of the CD PCM audio perfectly and untouched. The downside is that the size of the files will be exactly the same as it was on the CD and thus very large (about 10MB per minute of CD audio).

FLAC and Apple Lossless are a little different. As lossless codecs, they still preserve the PCM perfectly, but they also use compression algorithims that, while still preserving perfect fedelity of the audio, will cut the file sizes down 30% to 60% depending on the audio, codec, and compression levels. These files can also be decoded to re-produce the original WAV or AIFF file again. Use these if you want to conserve a little space.

It really doesn't matter which choice you make here: They all have absolutely no loss in fedelity whatsoever. It depends on if you want to conserve some space by using a lossless codec or not. Just make sure your programs and players are compatible with whaever format you choose, and even if they're not, dont sweat it- you can easily incode between all of these fomats without worry about loss of sound quality, just don't try the same trick with lossy codecs like MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, ect.

This post has been edited by OmniCbex: Jul 8 2006, 09:21


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