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Omri
2006-09-08, 11:14
My music server is an Apple Macintosh, and all of my music is in iTunes. Up till now, I have been importing my music in AAC. Now I would like to try for higher fidelity. It appears that iTunes offers two higher fidelity alternatives: AIFF and Apple Lossless. I believe that Apple Lossless requires less storage. Is there a discernible quality difference between the two?

Thank you.

Marshall Clow
2006-09-08, 11:30
At 11:14 AM -0700 9/8/06, Omri wrote:
>My music server is an Apple Macintosh, and all of my music is in iTunes.
>Up till now, I have been importing my music in AAC. Now I would like to
>try for higher fidelity. It appears that iTunes offers two higher
>fidelity alternatives: AIFF and Apple Lossless. I believe that Apple
>Lossless requires less storage. Is there a discernible quality
>difference between the two?

Here's a theoretical argument:
1) AIFF is the bits off the disk, with a header on the front.
No compression,
no loss of fidelity from the original source.
2) "Apple Lossless" suggests that the music is compressed
with an algorithm
that, when decompressed, returns exactly the original data (without
any "loss").

I would expect:
a) Apple Lossless files will be significantly smaller than
the corresponding AIFF files.
b) The information that is presented to the D/A converters to
be exactly the same.

This is a "theoretical" argument because, while I have looked at AIFF
files in the past, I haven't looked at Apple Lossless to see what
they are doing with it.
--
-- Marshall

Marshall Clow Idio Software <mailto:marshall (AT) idio (DOT) com>

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed,
the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

Nostromo
2006-09-08, 11:47
There's not supposed to be any difference soundwise. Plus formats like WAV are lousy for tagging purposes. And if you have a big collection, you'll want to tag your tracks properly. Not sure if the same thing is true with AIFF, though.

But try it for yourself. Rip a couple of tracks in both formats, then listen to them, preferably without knowing which is which. In other words, do a blind test. I bet you can't hear the difference between the Apple lossless track and the AIFF track. And while you're at it, compare them to your current AAC tracks. Its quite possible you'll not be able to tell them apart either.

Omri
2006-09-08, 12:19
Thank you to Marshall Clow and Nostromo for their responses! They are most helpful.