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Thread: Roadmap ahead - ALAC or FLAC w/ Roon. Please help me decide!

  1. #1
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast Nubben's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    London, UK
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    Roadmap ahead - ALAC or FLAC w/ Roon. Please help me decide!

    Hi all,

    Was wondering if anyone has had experience with choosing FLAC when on macOS and then regretting it.

    I have been on a Mac for the last 15 years and built my music collection around the Apple eco system using iTunes. In the past I have ripped all my CDs to ALAC using dBpoweramp and I also subscribe to Apple Music and iTunes Match (the latter in case I decide to leave Apple Music at some point.)

    I have always found iTunes as a music cataloguer and experience to be seriously lacking and by coincidence I stumbled across Roon about a month ago; signed up for a year to begin with.

    This has opened my eyes to what a music experience should be like (even if Roon has its own foibles...) I will continue to subscribe (for the time being) to Apple Music but am looking to get a DAP (the new Fiio M11 coming out in May/June looks appealing) which will store my music collection with Roon as the equivalent of iTunes for my iPhone.

    From what I have read FLAC is not only a better format for in-file tagging and to make these tags display properly in Roon but also has checksums etc which will verify their integrity. FLAC can have multiple tags within the file to properly display in Roon (such as several individual PRODUCER tags) - ALAC (being ID3 based) can also have this but requires more work around the tag mappings (in Roon using the PERSONNEL tag.) ALAC also being a lossless format integrates both with iTunes AND Roon. FLAC of course will not with iTunes.

    So, my question as per the topic heading - what roadmap should I follow going forward?

    - FLAC or ALAC or perhaps both (i.e. it doesn't matter)?
    - ALAC plays well with Airplay but will FLAC do that as well?

    Keen to hear about other people's views and experiences and if they have been faced with a similar dilemma - and yes, to me, this is a HUGE dilemma.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Nubben

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Florida, USA
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    Re: Roadmap ahead - ALAC or FLAC w/ Roon. Please help me decide!

    Not a Mac user, so can't speak personally, but know many Mac users that use FLAC in their home music systems. I know that FLAC files work fine with Airplay. To me the key is the embedded checksums in the FLAC files. Even if I wanted ALAC files for use on iphones etc. I'd still keep an archive of FLAC files.

    edit: and for my iphones/ipod/ipad, I simply create mp3 versions of my FLAC files for a sublibrary on my portable devices. FLAC is flawless for use in my LMS server and players and also with my Roon server and players.

  3. #3
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast Nubben's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, UK
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    Re: Roadmap ahead - ALAC or FLAC w/ Roon. Please help me decide!

    Ok - many thanks garym!!

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