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  1. #1
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    WAV vs FLAC vs AIFF

    I ripped my entire music collection to WAV using EAC. EAC labels the files with artist and CD title information. I know this isn't the best way but I did it before I found out about lossless formats like Flac and AIFF. Anyway slimserver has had no trouble organizing these files by artist and CD title so I've been happy. That is, I've been happy untill I bought an Ipod and tried improrting these files to Itunes. The files can be transferred but there is no way to organize them once in the itunes library because the file information gets lost. I'm not sure why slimserver handles the files OK and Itunes doesn't but the question is:
    1) Is there any way to convert the WAV files to FLAC or AIFF and have the file information used for tagging?
    2) Which would be the best format to convert to. (AIFF is supported by Slimserver and Itunes but I'm not sure it's truly lossless)

  2. #2
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    WAV vs FLAC vs AIFF

    gdg wrote:
    > 1) Is there any way to convert the WAV files to FLAC or AIFF and have
    > the file information used for tagging?


    On windows, Flacfrontend will read the file directory structure and
    put in the appropriate OggVorbis tags (which is what Flac uses).

    > 2) Which would be the best format to convert to. (AIFF is supported by
    > Slimserver and Itunes but I'm not sure it's truly lossless)


    I would recommend FLAC, and then use one of the many flac2mp3 utilities
    to make mp3 files for your iPod and otherplayers.

    YMMV, and all that.


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  3. #3
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    I want max CD quality retained.

    I have a high end sound system and I use my Ipod with very good hifi headphones. I want max sound quality. That's why I bought the 30 gig ipod (so that I could store full rez files).
    Gerry

    Ps I'm not asking which is the best format, but if and how I can can convert WAV files that have file information attached.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Re: WAV vs FLAC vs AIFF

    gdg wrote:
    > I have a high end sound system and I use my Ipod with very good hifi
    > headphones. I want max sound quality. That's why I bought the 30 gig
    > ipod (so that I could store full rez files).



    Do iPod's even do FLAC? if not, you will need AIFF or MP3 or whatever it
    supports.

    Most people do not use their iPods to drive their audiophile
    systems, so they have FLAC or other formats for the main
    stereo, and just down convert for the mobile systems.

    I'll leave it to the audiophile forum as to whether or not headphones
    can be very good hi-fi.

    > Ps I'm not asking which is the best format, but if and how I can can
    > convert WAV files that have file information attached.



    I didn't write anything about best. Flac and most other compressed
    formats have tags, which let you include the
    artist/genre/track/album/... information in the file so that
    when you move it, especially to something without the directory
    structure, you can still easily manage it.

    On a Windows box, the program flacfrontend will convert
    wave files to flac with the information as tags.
    I believe that is what you are looking for, but for
    non-windows computers, you'll need to (1) tell us what
    OS you are running and (2) not use flacfrontend since it
    is Windows only.

    There is no difference in sound quality among lossless formats.
    That is what lossless means. There may be differences in licensing
    terms, or support for your planned hardware and O/S. and maybe
    some on ease of use of the ripping, compression or management software.

    While physically ripping CDs is time consuming, I find that managing
    the collection, fixing tags that are wrong because of bad data in
    cddb/freedb, or missing completely because I tend to listen to
    music that is not popular and even in cddb/freedb, takes far
    longer than sticking CDs into the computer and pressing 'extract'


    --
    Pat
    http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimse...msoftware.html


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    Pat
    http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimse...msoftware.html


  5. #5
    Senior Member Pale Blue Ego's Avatar
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    iTunes should be able to convert WAV to Apple Lossless. Same sound quality as WAV or AIFF, but it will take up less space, can handle tag information, and will work well with iTunes/iPod and Squeezebox.

  6. #6
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    Conversion isn't the problem...

    One can easily convert from WAV to Apple Lossless in iTunes but since the title and artist information attached to the files is lost when importing I still am left with files that can't be sorted except by song index number (or song title which I havn't tried because it virtually useless anyway)
    Gerry

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdg
    One can easily convert from WAV to Apple Lossless in iTunes but since the title and artist information attached to the files is lost when importing I still am left with files that can't be sorted except by song index number (or song title which I havn't tried because it virtually useless anyway)
    Did you tag your WAV files somehow, or is the information "attached" to the files contained within the filename and/or directory structure?

  8. #8
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    Attached to filename.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx
    Did you tag your WAV files somehow, or is the information "attached" to the files contained within the filename and/or directory structure?
    WAV doesn't support tags (hence many people steer clear of it) and as I understand it EAC encodes the artist/title info in the filename. I took it for granted up untill now but the fact that the slimserver can recognize this info and use it to organize the music library is pretty impressive. Itunes can't.
    Gerry

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdg
    as I understand it EAC encodes the artist/title info in the filename
    I'm guessing that this information is contained in a combination of the directory structure plus the filename. What is the pattern used for each?

    You've apparently answered the original questions yourself.

    > 1) Is there any way to convert the WAV files to FLAC or AIFF
    > and have the file information used for tagging?
    >
    > 2) Which would be the best format to convert to. (AIFF is
    > supported by Slimserver and Itunes but I'm not sure it's truly
    > lossless)

    You've decided to use Apple Lossless (ALAC or whatever they call it). And you've decided to use iTunes to convert from WAV to ALAC.

    If iTunes can't extract the information from the filename and/or directory name, then you're left with one of two choices:

    1. After encoding in iTunes, assuming that the filename is unchanged, use a tagging program to extract the info from the filenames and properly tag the files. A good tag editor like Mp3tag or 'Tag and Rename' should be able to do this if they can work with Apple Lossless files.

    If Mp3tag can do it, you should be able to load up your entire library, enter the naming pattern, then hit a button and the whold library will be tagged.

    2. Instead of iTunes you might be able to find a transcoding program that can extract this info and tag the files as it's creating them. dbPoweramp might be able to do this. I know it can do the conversion - whether it's powerful enough to be able to parse tagging data from the directory and filename, I don't know.

    http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-mp4.htm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx
    2. Instead of iTunes you might be able to find a transcoding program that can extract this info and tag the files as it's creating them. dbPoweramp might be able to do this. I know it can do the conversion - whether it's powerful enough to be able to parse tagging data from the directory and filename, I don't know.

    http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central-mp4.htm
    This has been suggested to me on another forum but no one has been able to come up with software that can extract the data and tag AIFF. This is probably what I need to do. I havn't tried it but I doubt the file name info remains intact after being imported into iTunes. In future I will probable use EAC to rip to wav and transcode on the fly into AIFF.

    Ps Here's the reason I went the WAV route to begin with (from a previous post):

    I understand the issue quite clearly now and there is a very good reason I chose the WAV option. My origonal intent was to build a music source for a (very)high end sound system and thus I was concerned with two things:
    1) preserving the full resolution and quality of the origonal cd
    2) getting the best ripps possible

    It is aspect #2 that ruled out AIFF or Apple Lossless because the best ripping software available (Exact Audio Copy) won't support these. EAC is special because it reads and rereads the cd (up to 50 times) untill it is able to get the exact correct data from the cd. Getting exact bit perfect data is critical in high fidelity applications and why, in the past, cd transports were developed costing thousands of dollars. What they attempted to do, in real time, was to minimize read errors. Now with the advent of compter based servers it is possible to deal with this issue far more effectively since music playback is no longer linked to real time data extraction. In fact CDs ripped by EAC will, in all likelihood, be superior to the origonal CD.Initially this is counterintuitive but makes sense because a CD player can only read the cd once and any imperfections must be dealt and compensated for using digital approximations (guesses).


    Anyway I was just reminded about this issue when I tried to rip a brand new cd using EAC. The CD was so flawed EAC could not retrieve the data (the first time this has happened). Itunes on the other hand had no problem because it simply ignored the errors and ripped the flawed cd to AIFF. Needless to say the Itune rip is sonicaly compromized and not up to the standard of my HiFi system.
    That said, I'll continue to ripp to WAV (or maybe Flac) untill software is developed to make the best possible rips to AIFF or Apple Lossless.

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