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Thread: FLAC or ALAC or both?

  1. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    So, Garym, let me try to summarise all your advices, so that I should be ready to go:

    1) As I am living in an Apple environment, I will use the Apple Lossless format ALAC as my main audio format, that works well with Roon, Sonos, and iTunes to combine it also with iTunes Match.
    2) I will keep a backup of this on a separate USB drive and keep it somewhere else (not same house).
    3) To be ready for the future or a situation, where ALAC cannot be used, I could make a FLAC copy of the full ALAC library by using the dbpa batch converter, when i am done with my full ripping project, and in this case the FLAC Files will also have this important checksum by default.

    Does this make sense? THANKS.

  2. #17
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple-Fan View Post
    So, Garym, let me try to summarise all your advices, so that I should be ready to go:

    1) As I am living in an Apple environment, I will use the Apple Lossless format ALAC as my main audio format, that works well with Roon, Sonos, and iTunes to combine it also with iTunes Match.
    2) I will keep a backup of this on a separate USB drive and keep it somewhere else (not same house).
    3) To be ready for the future or a situation, where ALAC cannot be used, I could make a FLAC copy of the full ALAC library by using the dbpa batch converter, when i am done with my full ripping project, and in this case the FLAC Files will also have this important checksum by default.

    Does this make sense? THANKS.

    Yes, Correct. One aside, you mention a "future where ALAC cannot be used". This is unlikely. Both FLAC and ALAC are codecs that will likely have encoders and decoders available for many, many years. And if they do fall out of favor, there will be plenty of time (decades) to convert them to the new flavor. And since they are LOSSLESS, the conversion to the new flavor in the future will be LOSSLESS too. For example, the first LOSSLESS, but size compressed codec I was familiar with was a SHN file. Concert tapers/traders used that for many years. You can still run across SHN files, but they are easily converted to FLAC or any other format, with available converters.

    The benefit I mention of the FLAC and embedded checksum comes up in situations like this (and I know of these exact situations). Say you have a harddrive failure. And it turns out that your backups are not up to date or also have a problem, etc. So now you work hard to get all those files moved from the failing/failed harddrive (sometimes at a great $$$ expense) and now you have the files on a new drive. But when playing them, you start noticing that every so often a file is corrupt and won't play. So you'd like to know once and for all which of the files are corrupt. With WAV or ALAC or AIFF you have no way of easily doing this. But with FLAC, you point a program at the top of your music directory, selecting ALL your files in a single batch, and run a TEST. Let it run, and when done, it will tell you which files, if any, are corrupt. Most people never need this. But if needed, it becomes very important.

  3. #18

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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Yes, Correct. One aside, you mention a "future where ALAC cannot be used". This is unlikely. Both FLAC and ALAC are codecs that will likely have encoders and decoders available for many, many years. And if they do fall out of favor, there will be plenty of time (decades) to convert them to the new flavor. And since they are LOSSLESS, the conversion to the new flavor in the future will be LOSSLESS too. For example, the first LOSSLESS, but size compressed codec I was familiar with was a SHN file. Concert tapers/traders used that for many years. You can still run across SHN files, but they are easily converted to FLAC or any other format, with available converters.

    The benefit I mention of the FLAC and embedded checksum comes up in situations like this (and I know of these exact situations). Say you have a harddrive failure. And it turns out that your backups are not up to date or also have a problem, etc. So now you work hard to get all those files moved from the failing/failed harddrive (sometimes at a great $$$ expense) and now you have the files on a new drive. But when playing them, you start noticing that every so often a file is corrupt and won't play. So you'd like to know once and for all which of the files are corrupt. With WAV or ALAC or AIFF you have no way of easily doing this. But with FLAC, you point a program at the top of your music directory, selecting ALL your files in a single batch, and run a TEST. Let it run, and when done, it will tell you which files, if any, are corrupt. Most people never need this. But if needed, it becomes very important.
    Thank you so much, your input was/is much appreciated. And know I also got what is all about this famous checksum, that hopefully I will never need:-) Once again, thank you!

  4. #19
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    You're welcome.

  5. #20

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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    Dear Garym,

    I am already in contact with Spoon (maybe you have seen my new post),however, since you had really an answer for every question, that I had so far, I hope you can also help me with the following topic:
    As discussed with you, I started my ripping project and went for ALAC as my preferred ripping format. Everything went well so far, and I could see my results including Cover Art for every file in the mac finder in my AlAC folder, which is stored on my Synology NAS. Yesterday I realised, and I really don't know, what happened, since I didn't change anything in my setting, that the mac finder has problems in showing me the cover art, although it must be there, since Roon, iTunes, and Sonos can visualise them. I also made a check by using right click on a file and then -services-edit tags with dbpoweramp or perfectTunes. In both cases, the embedded cover art shows up, so I think I am using the software correctly.
    However, I would like to see the cover art also when navigating through my files in the mac finder and I simply don't understand, why Apple is showing in some cases the embedded cover art, in other cases it was there, and now it disappeared. In other cases, it shows in almost every file of that specific album, but not in all files.

    Do you have any idea what I am doing wrong or how I could solve this issue? Thank you.

  6. #21
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    I've seen other people posting on not seeing the album art in their Mac file browser. Sorry, I don't use Macs and this is definitely some sort of subtle Mac issue, likely caused by some of the Mac operating system updates changes in recent time. But unfortunately I have zero clues or experience on this issue. Good luck.

  7. #22

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    Feb 2015
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    okay, thank you!

  8. #23
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple-Fan View Post
    I would like to see the cover art also when navigating through my files in the mac finder and I simply don't understand, why Apple is showing in some cases the embedded cover art, in other cases it was there, and now it disappeared. In other cases, it shows in almost every file of that specific album, but not in all files.
    Have you tried posting in the Apple Community?

  9. #24

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    Feb 2015
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    Re: FLAC or ALAC or both?

    no, not yet, since I hoped to find here in this forum already the answer or solution...

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