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Thread: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

  1. #1

    FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Hello

    Just trying out dBpa after getting a pair of Sennheiser HD650's and realizing that I have nothing but .mp3 files.

    I got ahold of some FLAC files and used dBpa to convert them to ALAC. I then tried to load those ALAC files onto an iPod but they wouldn't play. I found this thread

    http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthre...C+to+ALAC+ipod

    which tells me that to get it to work, I need to adjust the Bit Depth and specify Resampling during the conversion process. This worked - the resulting converted files are much much smaller, going from about i.e. 103 MB to 17 MB, and they play on my iPod. They sound better than the .mp3 files, for sure. Setting for Bit Depth were

    Fixed Bit Depth: 16 bits
    Apply Dither: none


    and for Resampling

    Resample to Frequency: 22050

    My question is this - isn't the whole point of lossless formats that you don't want to 'squash' the songs down so far? Is this the only way for me to use dBpa to convert a FLAC file so that it will play on my iPod? The original files that dBpa produced when I asked it to convert FLAC file to ALAC (without using Bit Depth and Resampling) were a lot closer to the original file size, and when I asked it to convert a FLAC file to a .wav file, I think it even got bigger.

    I want to hear the full 107 MB file on my iPod. Is this possible?
    Last edited by tradernik; 10-02-2012 at 01:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Resample to Frequency should be 44.1KHz the same as a CD.

    The issue is the ipod cannot play 24 bit or high frequency files, such as 192KHz, the format is not at issue here.

  3. #3

    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    Resample to Frequency should be 44.1KHz the same as a CD.

    The issue is the ipod cannot play 24 bit or high frequency files, such as 192KHz, the format is not at issue here.
    Okay, got it, thanks for the reply. I'll try that, but at some point I figured out that a better solution for me might be to get a portable player that doesn't force me to go through these steps. I am currently getting information on the Sandisk Clip+ and the Cowon J3. I don't yet know whether there's a portable player that will allow me to play these FLAC files at their fullest resolution and highest bitrate (not even sure if that's the right terminology). I just want to try to accumulate some extremely high resolution audio files and play them through these headphones.

    Maybe I'll have to wait for Neil Young's new proprietary audio format : )

  4. #4

    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Update: Not sure why this happened, but when I converted the FLAC file to ALAC with the 44.1 KHz setting, the resulting audio file is actually less hi-fi than the one I converted at 22050. For some reason there's way more high-end response off the first one, and it just sounds better, more full-range. I must have done something wrong because that clearly shouldn't be the case, right?

    Anyhow, I think the solution for me is to find a player that can handle the FLAC files.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    Resample to Frequency should be 44.1KHz the same as a CD.

    The issue is the ipod cannot play 24 bit or high frequency files, such as 192KHz, the format is not at issue here.
    This is only half correct. itunes & ipods WILL play 24 bit songs , but sample rate support maxes out at 48khz. I have been downloading 24/96 FLAC albums, converting them to 24/48 AIFF and importing them into itunes where I convert them to ALAC files so they will play on my ipod control Alpine car stereo. I have a 13 speaker, 3 amplifier system in my car, so 24 bit tunes sound pretty incredible! 32 bit will also play in iTunes, but won't sync to your ipod.

    I have also noticed that 16/44.1 ALAC music sounds very flat. I have been ripping my cd's to 24/44.1 AIFF and then converting them to ALAC in itunes. The resulting 24 bit ALAC files sound MUCH better up high and have more depth overall. They are also very large files, so that may be a turn-off for some. I have a 160gb ipod that I will be converting to 240gb soon as I am running out of space.

  6. #6

    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by SQ Freak View Post
    I have also noticed that 16/44.1 ALAC music sounds very flat. I have been ripping my cd's to 24/44.1 AIFF and then converting them to ALAC in itunes. The resulting 24 bit ALAC files sound MUCH better up high and have more depth overall. They are also very large files, so that may be a turn-off for some. I have a 160gb ipod that I will be converting to 240gb soon as I am running out of space.
    If there really is an audible difference, something is wrong with your system and you should let it be checked. The music on CDs is 16 bit / 44.1 KHz and you cannot add any depth and high frequency content by ripping to 24 bit. All that happens when ripping to 24 bit is to add 8 bit full of redundant zeros.

  7. #7

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    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    I also have a question about this subject.
    First I converted a 24/96 flac file to 24/48 AIFF (without dsp effects) and that to 24/48 ALAC.
    After that I converted the same 24/96 flac to 24/48 ALAC by using dsp effects. This file was a little bit smaller than the one where I used AIFF inbetween. What makes this difference? Which one is higher quality? Is there a way to downsample with even higher quality?

  8. #8

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    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    I did a bit comparison in foobar2000 and it didn't find any differences. So what's the difference in size then?

  9. #9
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: FLAC to ALAC for iPod - BitDepth and Resample necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCVXD View Post
    I did a bit comparison in foobar2000 and it didn't find any differences. So what's the difference in size then?
    bitcompare is looking at audio stream only. the files themselves could be different sizes because of differences in metadata, headers, etc.

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