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Best way to Convert FLAC files to Apple Lossless without losing your t
Johnnyplay
post Jul 23 2009, 10:50
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When I was going through this forums, I found that they are many topics posted by users having problem converting Lossless Audio files to Apple Lossless.
And whenever you convert them one or the other thing is always missing or unsatisfying, like when you convert to Apple Lossless using dBpoweramp, iPod skips and many other.

But by using this simple way you can easily create your Apple Lossless Library keeping all your tags intact in audio files.

So here we begin:

1. Import all your library or songs to MediaMonkey, it decodes every format possible, because of Winamp plugins.
2. Make sure all the tags are present in the audio files and if they are not I mean any file is not tagged then tag it with the web option.
3. Select each and every file and then left click and select Send To->Rip/Convert->Destination.
4. On the next dialog box, choose the format to WMA Lossless, and change the destination something like any of these two:
a. <destination>\<artist>\<album>\<track#> - <album> - <tittle>
b. <destination>\<album>\<track#> - <album> - <tittle>
By doing this mediamonkey will automatically organize your files according to Artist or Album as you choose.
5. Close mediamonkey, and open itunes, then choose the default CD Ripping format to Apple Lossless, from preferences.
6. Then Import the folder where you've converted the WMA's, and then itunes will ask you to convert those WMA's to Apple Lossless, then choose yes.
7. After/before conversion there will be an option dialog popping up, asking for deleting the WMA tracks from the library, choose yes, but I think think this option is useless as itunes doesn't support WMA tracks, it just converts them and adds them to the library.

That's it, you're done, what you just need to do now is add those files to your iPod and you'll notice each and every tag is there, even Albumarts of your audio files are present(That's the Cream Of every iPod).


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probedb
post Jul 23 2009, 13:40
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Can't you convert *directly* from FLAC to ALAC with the plugins available for fb2k? Doesn't dbPoweramp also do direct conversion as well? Then it would just be a case of importing into iTunes rather than having it have to convert. Saves one conversion if you can do that smile.gif
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spoon
post Jul 23 2009, 15:45
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QUOTE
like when you convert to Apple Lossless using dBpoweramp, iPod skips and many other.


Only if your dBpoweramp Codec is about 2 years old, this was fixed long ago...Compatibility with the current encoder is 100% (AFAIK), and we are extending the encoder to support 24 bit ALAC encoding.


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kornchild2002
post Jul 23 2009, 16:40
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spoon, I used dBpowerAMP to archive my CDs to ALAC back in 2007 and I haven't had any issues with my files playing on all of my Apple devices. I am glad that 24-bit ALAC encoding will be added to dBpowerAMP. I have a 24-bit ALAC file encoded with iTunes that I would like to convert to Nero AAC using dBpowerAMP (I am just assuming that 24-bit encoding will mean 24-bit decoding).

QUOTE (probedb @ Jul 23 2009, 06:40) *
Can't you convert *directly* from FLAC to ALAC with the plugins available for fb2k?


I believe that the ALAC plug-in for foobar2000 is for decoding only. There is an open source ALAC encoder but it is still going through extensive bug fixes. So I don't think that foobar2000 can encode FLAC files to ALAC.
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probedb
post Jul 23 2009, 16:49
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jul 23 2009, 16:40) *
I believe that the ALAC plug-in for foobar2000 is for decoding only. There is an open source ALAC encoder but it is still going through extensive bug fixes. So I don't think that foobar2000 can encode FLAC files to ALAC.


Fair enough, I wasn't 100% sure smile.gif
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Canar
post Jul 23 2009, 21:09
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Yeah, last time I checked, the ffmpeg ALAC encoder had length mismatches.


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antman
post Jul 23 2009, 23:08
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Simplified:

Transcode to WMAL. Import and convert with iTunes.

Why not just use Winamp's plugins with Winamp? Winamp doesn't get as much attention as a transcoding utility but it can convert to WMAL as well.
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Omnicron
post Jul 31 2009, 04:04
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yea this is bugging me too. on my mac i can just set xld to move files to itunes after conversion. so i just drag the flacs into it and it's done. now i'm trying to set the same system up with dbpoweramp but there's not 'add to itunes' option anywhere that i can see. lame.

*edit*

I've also noticed that since i upgraded to snow leopard, xld has stopped adding tags to my encoded files. double lame.

This post has been edited by Omnicron: Jul 31 2009, 04:06
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spoon
post Jul 31 2009, 09:15
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Normally if you convert to the Music Folder on your PC, iTunes will pickup the new tracks (you might have to prompt it to look for new tracks).


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chu121su12
post Feb 4 2010, 13:35
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Just convert them to WAV and ask iTunes to make the ALAC version. Then find the converted tracks in iTunes library folder, put them to foobar and copy the tag from the original FLAC files.

Quite a hassle, but you can save some registry by not installing additional program / codec.
And it's faster than doing multiple transcoding from FLAC > WMA > m4a.

Edit: I just realized, the album art wont get copied, so you have to do it separately.

This post has been edited by chu121su12: Feb 4 2010, 13:42
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kornchild2002
post Feb 4 2010, 15:11
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Any reason for bumping a 7 month old thread? Both dBpowerAMP and foobar2000 support the encoding of ALAC files. Things change, that is the problem when bumping old threads as the information stated in them changes over time. No need to jump through different hoops by converting the FLAC files to WAV and thus loosing the track tags when there are programs that can directly convert FLAC to ALAC.
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chu121su12
post Feb 4 2010, 15:53
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Just stating my way of doing things.

I was stuck around 3 hours ago, figuring out how to do this by finding simple CLI program for ALAC conversion and found nothing useful. I was just doing what I used to do with computer and I think I'll keep doing this until I found a better way to do FLAC > ALAC conversion.

And, I think its just a matter of free space that make this may of transcoding inefficient. As how my logic can tell me, any compressed audio format should be converted back to the raw wave format before it can be encoded into another format. Any program that does direct conversion format from X to Y convert chunk-by-chunk X audio fragments to wave and to Y format in real time by just using the memory.
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kornchild2002
post Feb 4 2010, 16:27
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Well, you will have to forgive me if logic dictates that it would be easier to convert the FLAC files directly using a program such as foobar2000 (with a command-line ALAC encoder) or with dBpowerAMP (with either the built-in ALAC encoder or a command-line one). I see no point in converting all of the tracks to PCM WAV. It doesn't matter if programs do this on a small "chunk-by-chunk" basis. The programs also make sure that the resulting files have the appropriate tag information. I just see no need in converting a series of FLAC files to PCM WAV, converting those to ALAC, and then opening up another program/command-line that will tag the ALAC files on the basis of the FLAC files. Why jump through all of those hoops when there are much easier options that require less input and time?
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chu121su12
post Feb 6 2010, 06:18
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As I said before, its just my habit, plus I didn't really get a useful CLI for ALAC encoder.
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jeirich
post Apr 13 2010, 22:53
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xrecodeII can do this.
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Light-Fire
post Apr 14 2010, 00:50
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QUOTE (Omnicron @ Jul 30 2009, 22:04) *
yea this is bugging me too. on my mac i can just set xld to move files to itunes after conversion. so i just drag the flacs into it and it's done. now i'm trying to set the same system up with dbpoweramp but there's not 'add to itunes' option anywhere that i can see. lame.

*edit*

I've also noticed that since i upgraded to snow leopard, xld has stopped adding tags to my encoded files. double lame.


Well. I just direct XLD to output the files in the iTunes music folder an then import it with iTunes, which is set to organize the folder. It works fine for me. I don't lose any tags. However iTunes has a "gapless playback option" for each album that has to be added with iTunes (at least I haven't found any other way so far) but that is not too much trouble because you can do that to your whole collection at once if you need it.
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rockmaloins
post May 29 2010, 05:21
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I am another mac user. My current process is

Step 1:
lossless -> AIFF
MAX
As Max does not support AIFF tags you need to check the option 'add to itunes library' and tag information is added to the itunes library metadata file.
Make sure you set Max to output the correct bit rate eg. 16/44.1 or 24/192 etc as Max does not do this automatically.
To make life easier get Max to add the new files to a new itunes playlist.

Step 2:
AIFF -> ALAC
iTunes
Find the playlist Max has created and select all of the items and 'convert to Apple Lossless'.
I tunes will put the ALACs in its itunes/media/music/artist/album directory and make an absolute mess of compilations.

Step 3:
ALAC Tagging
Musicbrainz Picard
I do not store my music in the itunes/media/music/artist/album directory therefore all that is in there is the new ALACs iTunes encoded in step 2. I import the whole itunes/media/music folder into picard. If the original lossless files were tagged ok picard will find most stuff in the musicbrainz database.
I select the 'move' option and when the files are saved, they are then moved to the directory of my choice with a structure of my choice.
In iTunes select all of the new ALACs (or all of your music) and select 'get info', do nothing and click continue. All of the tag information will be re-read and updated in iTunes.

Step 4:
Cleanup
'OPTION' + 'DELETE' the all of the songs in your AIFF itunes playlist to remove them from your itunes library.
Move to trash the AIFFs.
Do what ever you want with the original lossless files.


I began using MAX to convert directly to ALAC but I was having problems. ( I don't remember what it was as I have been using the above process for 1 year now.)
No offense to the hard work people have done to reverse engineer the ALAC encoder but I prefer to use iTunes for encoding.

The biggest problem is that album art is not sent to iTunes by Max and therefore is lost in this process. Musicbrainz Picard will add the art if you have the correct pluggins. If you have the iTunes store you can use it to get art too. or you can do it manually.

This post has been edited by rockmaloins: May 29 2010, 05:39
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Kiddomike
post Jun 25 2010, 17:01
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QUOTE (chu121su12 @ Feb 4 2010, 20:35) *
Just convert them to WAV and ask iTunes to make the ALAC version. Then find the converted tracks in iTunes library folder, put them to foobar and copy the tag from the original FLAC files.

Quite a hassle, but you can save some registry by not installing additional program / codec.
And it's faster than doing multiple transcoding from FLAC > WMA > m4a.

Edit: I just realized, the album art wont get copied, so you have to do it separately.


I've done this and I have no problems with it. I just noticed something, my songs were 1411 kbps in WAV form then it became 754 kbps when in ALAC. Is this a significant decrease or is it just because of Apple's compression? (Newbie here.) biggrin.gif
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pdq
post Jun 25 2010, 17:10
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QUOTE (Kiddomike @ Jun 25 2010, 12:01) *
I've done this and I have no problems with it. I just noticed something, my songs were 1411 kbps in WAV form then it became 754 kbps when in ALAC. Is this a significant decrease or is it just because of Apple's compression? (Newbie here.) biggrin.gif

Don't worry. The lossless compression has made the files smaller, but because it is lossless, the audio that it contains is identical to the audio in the wav files.
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trout
post Jun 25 2010, 18:37
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QUOTE (pdq @ Jun 25 2010, 12:10) *
... because it is lossless, the audio that it contains is identical to the audio in the wav files.

Yes, and it is not just identical as in ''essentially the same'', but identical as in ''100% exactly the same''. If the source material was 1411 kbps then no matter what the compressed bitrate is, it will be played back at 1411 kbps.
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Billytheonion
post Jun 25 2010, 20:32
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For the Mac users XLD will go from FLAC to ALAC, keeping all tags, artwork and add the files to iTunes. I find it far superior to MAX.

This post has been edited by Billytheonion: Jun 25 2010, 20:33
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db1989
post Jun 26 2010, 17:19
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QUOTE (Kiddomike @ Jun 25 2010, 12:01) *
my songs were 1411 kbps in WAV form then it became 754 kbps when in ALAC. Is this a significant decrease or is it just because of Apple's compression?
QUOTE (pdq @ Jun 25 2010, 17:10) *
Don't worry. The lossless compression has made the files smaller, but because it is lossless, the audio that it contains is identical to the audio in the wav files.
QUOTE (trout @ Jun 25 2010, 18:37) *
Yes, and it is not just identical as in ''essentially the same'', but identical as in ''100% exactly the same''. If the source material was 1411 kbps then no matter what the compressed bitrate is, it will be played back at 1411 kbps.
As an addendum, any such quoted bitrate of a lossless file is an average only, as they are VBR by nature. Uncompressed files, on the other hand, play back at a constant bit rate. If this distinction didn't exist, lossless files couldn't possibly be any smaller than uncompressed ones.
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