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Thread: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    So I have a question about which settings to use when converting. I don't see any options to change the ALAC/lossless Apple file settings. What I believe it is doing is taking the files and converting them at "same" bit rate, but an ALAC version of it. That all makes sense. If I have original .flac files which are hi-res with 24bit/96 for example and I convert them, it converts them to a smaller file size, but keeps the 24 bit designation. I thought ALAC was meant to compress to lossless but keep the integrity of the original file - meaning make it a smaller file. (This still occurs with a 24 bit to 24 bit .flac to ALAC but the file size still is quite large).

    I noticed with the Media Monkey program, I can change the ALAC output settings to be (e.g.) 16bit when converting instead of 24. I converted a bunch of flac files using Media Monkey before I discovered DBPowerAmp (recommended to me by HD Tracks) so hundreds of these songs are in 16 bit. I'm sure with your program it's meant to take the same file (originally 24 bit) and convert it to ALAC, but keeping 24 bit. Am I right on that? If I were to drop it down to 16 bit, am I destroying the integrity of the conversion to ALAC (such as I can do in Media Monkey?)

    Here is a Beatles song that I converted using Media Monkey, but with the 16 bit selected - I assumed that I would want to convert the file to 16 bit as well, but I am likely wrong on that - compared against the DBPA file.

    FLAC file conversion.jpg

    Is there a way to change the ALAC settings in DBPA to a different bit rate in the event I want to convert from a 24 bit file to a 16 bit one? And what is the best approach here. File size is a slight concern but not major. Converting .wav files, 16 bit to 16 bit is the bulk of my library. My major issue has to do with the DPBA approach where I can't change the bit rate when converting ALAC. If it's possible, I'd appreciate some instruction on how to do that. And the pros and cons of dropping the bit rate if possible?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Administrator
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    Apr 2002
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    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    Converting to ALAC or FLAC preserves the existing bit depth and sample rate. ALAC is not as efficient at compressing 24 bit as FLAC.

    To force 24 to 16 bit when creating ALAC include the DSP effect 'Bit depth', keep the original source files somewhere otherwise you will lose the 24 bit ones.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    14

    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    So if I convert .flac or .wav files in 24bit format (e.g. 96/24), and convert to ALAC without applying the DSP effect, it will convert the ALAC file to 24bit. If I do that, the file size is bigger, but that's okay. Will any loss of quality occur? Seems lossless is about not losing any so it stays bit perfect.
    I don't have a ton of hi-res files in this 24bit format, so keeping the ALAC as 24bit is fine.
    "If" I convert those from 24bit to 16 bit ALAC and apply the DSP bit depth, are these settings that come up by default, how I would keep them? Or would I need to make other selections in this area? If so, can you tell me how I would set it?

    DBPower amp DSP settings.jpg

    Again, I will convert .flac/.wav 24bit files to ALAC 44100/24bit as well. Doing so should be okay, right? And keep the file sounding good?

    Thank you!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    14

    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    BTW, now that I went to check this DSP setting you told me about (which I was unaware of, so thank you), I see that is is now occupying the window. I'm worried that this is going to apply now to any song I might convert. How do I remove this?
    DSP settings DBPA.jpg

  5. #5
    Administrator
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    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    You can right click on it and select remove.

    If keeping 24 bit then it is lossless to lossless with no quality loss.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    14

    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    I realized that my Sonos app won't play 24bit files. (Their new S2 app will, but the guy at Sonos cautioned me against using it yet because there have been a lot of issues/problems with that). So for now, I need to be in the 16bit world. So if I convert my .flac or .wav files that are (e.g.) 96/24bit to ALAC files, what is the best setting for this DSP setting you suggested? Meaning, what's the setting you'd most recommend? I posted the image of that area where you add the DSP bit depth thing. Do I keep the Fixed at 16 (remember, I'm converting FROM FLAC [B]to [B]ALAC. The .flac is the 24bit file.
    So Fixed is 16?
    Do I set any minimum/maximum, and if so, what would I choose?
    Do I use the Apply Dither? If so, which one do I choose, triangular or rectangle?

    The goal is to get the ALAC file to 16 bit, but keep the lossless from 24 bit on the FLAC to a minimum.

    I think you may have misunderstood my first questions on this. You said; "Converting to ALAC or FLAC preserves the existing bit depth and sample rate." I don't see any option to change ALAC to 16bit when I'm converting from the 24bit .flac file. Is that what the Bit Depth DSP is for? And if so, then how do I set things per my notes direction above on which settings to set?

    Thank you SOOOO much!

  7. #7
    Administrator
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    Apr 2002
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    41,532

    Re: ALAC settings with .FLAC files

    Fixed with triangular dither.

    Yes set bitdepth will change the bit depth whilst converting.

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