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Thread: ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

  1. #1

    ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

    New user, hope someone can help on this.

    I have read that ALAC should be a bit larger than FLAC files when ripped as uncompressed but I am seeing the reverse and significantly smaller.

    As example:
    CD = The Housemartins - Now That's What I Call Quite Good!
    Test track: I Smell Winter
    Ripped as ALAC = 21.3 MB
    Ripped as FLAC = 34.3 MB

    I even took those above files, converted them to each other (ie: FLAC file to ALAC and vice-versa) and come out with the same values after conversion.

    Does anyone know if there have been significant advancements in ALAC ripping to provide this kind of difference?

    Before I rip hundreds of CDs to master back-up I want to be sure I am really using the best lossless format.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

    I'm not an ALAC user, but are you sure that ALAC has an "uncompressed" setting like FLAC. I've never seen this mentioned. But unrelated to this, you should pay attention to the fact that FLAC files have built-in embedded CRCs. This allows one to run a batch job to easily test whether any of the FLAC files in your library are corrupted files. Very simple and useful. ALAC does not have this capability. For that reason alone, FLAC would be my choice for archiving lossless files.

  3. #3

    Re: ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

    Hi

    Yes ALAC has uncompressed setting for Lossless Encoding and dBpoweramp does the same CRC check and RIP status as it does for FLAC. They both have the 'Verify Written Audio' setting as well.

    Note as well that for FLAC dBpoweramp has a drop down for Lossless Encoding and I set mine as 'Uncompressed'. If I set it at the recommended value of '5' then that file I indicated above goes to 23 MB so maybe that is also an impact.

  4. #4
    dBpoweramp Guru
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    Re: ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM1966 View Post
    Hi

    Yes ALAC has uncompressed setting for Lossless Encoding and dBpoweramp does the same CRC check and RIP status as it does for FLAC. They both have the 'Verify Written Audio' setting as well.

    Note as well that for FLAC dBpoweramp has a drop down for Lossless Encoding and I set mine as 'Uncompressed'. If I set it at the recommended value of '5' then that file I indicated above goes to 23 MB so maybe that is also an impact.
    Yes, if you set the FLAC encoding at 5 (it can do uncompressed or level 0 to 8, with "8" the most compressed), then the file size would be smaller than uncompressed ALAC. No matter what of course, either the FLAC or ALAC are decoded back to an exact lossless version of the CD rip. Thanks for the info on ALAC, as I wasn't sure about that. However, I was unclear in my explanation of the FLAC benefit. Yes, dbpoweramp does the AccuraterRip check and verification for either FLAC or ALAC. My point was that later on, post ripping, one can test the FLAC files for corruption as they have an embedded MD5/CRC (from ripping) that can then be compared (with a simple batch approach) to the decoded CRC to confirm the file has not changed. ALAC files do not have the embedded MD5/CRC for such a test at a later date. If you have thousands of lossless files on a harddrive and you think there is some failure and *some* of the files may be corrupted, you can very simply test all the files if they are FLAC. But this is not possible if they are ALAC.

    In my own case, I use FLAC files set to level 5 for compression (again, this is just about file size, the audio is still lossless).

  5. #5
    Administrator
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    Re: ALAC vs FLAC file sizes

    ALAC has no uncompressed option, it is always compressed, similar to FLAC at level 5.

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