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Author Topic: Apple Lossless format  (Read 14109 times)

Osho

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Apple Lossless format
« on: June 12, 2006, 01:28:14 pm »

Hi,

Does MC 11.1 support Apple Loseless format? If not, is there any plan to do so? Is there any way the external encoder option could be used with MC 11.1 to encode it in Apple Loseless format?

My goal is to be able to copy music to iPod in a loseless format and without having to change formats. I know I can use Rockbox + FLAC as a possible alternative but I would prefer to not have to use Rockbox.

thanks much,
Osho
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JimH

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006, 01:48:39 pm »

We don't provide support for Apple Lossless encoding, but MC can support an external encoder.

It's probably overkill to use any lossless format on a portable device.  I don't think you'd be able to hear the difference.
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johnas

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 02:14:22 pm »

It's probably overkill to use any lossless format on a portable device.  I don't think you'd be able to hear the difference.

He is probably connecting the iPod lineout (or has the redwine imod) to an audiophile headphone amp with some decent headphones; in which he may hear a difference. I don't want to start a debate about the difference between high bitrate mp3s and lossless, but many of us are using the ipod as a transport with high end audio equipment and hear (or at least think we hear) a difference in sound quality.
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JimH

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 02:19:23 pm »

Sorry.  I assumed he was using headphones.
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lpr

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2006, 03:26:27 pm »

The advantage of using a lossless format on portable device is that you don't lose time re-encoding everything for your portable player.

If you have 20g+ of storage, there is space for many lossless albums or tracks.

I know this is why I use lossless on my iPod (Rockbox).



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KingSparta

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 04:14:59 pm »

Quote
many of us are using the ipod as a transport with high end audio equipment

What was kind of interesting in may i bought my wife a new mp3 player for her car and it is Ipod ready and it also has a USB connector so you can use a usb flash drive to transport your media from your computer to your car using a standard flash drive.

I have seen 16 gig flash drives and that's a ton of music to port back and forth.

I would think a usb or a fire-wire port on newer hardware for use with porting music from your main computer to your car. (I Currently have 2-each Maxtor One touch III turbo - 1 terabyte 800 fire-wire drives, and 4-each Maxtor One touch I And II 300 Gig 400 Fire-Wire Drives)

I was kind of rewarded when my prediction back in 1999 - 2000 when i thought music would show up on cell phones, and in the past year we have seen more and more phones come with the enhanced memory to utilize not only music but video.

I see palm and blackberry type entering into the cell phone as more and more users need ready information in there personal and professional lives.

I see Match Making Using Blue-tooth In Cell Phones Coming, Where You Enter Your Personal Information And the Next Time you Go To Wall-mart Or Clubbing (Not Seal Clubbing that's just down right wrong) You May Meet The Love Of Your Life All Through Your Cell Phone And Blue-tooth.
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bob

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2006, 04:35:52 pm »

Check this thread, esp the last post. When (if ever) the source for this gets released it should be possible to create an alac encoder plugin.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=38817&st=25
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Osho

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2006, 06:22:53 pm »

Thanks Jim for replying. Two questions:

1. If MC supports Apple Loseless encoder (as an external encoder), can it also use the external decoder??? This may be a stupid question but I am not well familiar with how codecs work with MC.

2. Does MC support FLAC? I see there is a FLAC encoder on the Encoder plugins page for MC 11.1. It also mentions that a decoder could be downloaded separately. But, I haven't seen anywhere how to do that.

You are right about loseless is probably an overkill with a portable device but my usage model is different. I am not going to be using it as a portable really. I am planning to use iPod 60GB as a music source in my Car. I am calculating that it could store about 100 to 120 CDs. Also, by keeping the format same on iPod and Media Center, I could switch CDs on the iPod very easily (no time wasted in encoding to a different format while transferring to iPod). I bought and installed an expensive iPod interface to hook it up to my car's music system properly to ensure the best transfer of sound quality through iPod's bottom connector. I have tried already tried MP3 with 320kbps encoding and have found it to be lacking.

Thanks much,
Osho



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JimH

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2006, 07:00:37 pm »

Apple Lossless playback is done by MC using the Quicktime codecs.

There is an excellent set of FLAC plug-ins by scthom available on the Third Party Plug-ins board here.

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bob

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 09:17:11 am »

The flac decoder is under input plugins. I'll change it to link to scthoms download page.
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stuart_tetley

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 04:15:06 pm »

Slightly off-topic.  Does anyone know what version of Quicktime is needed to enable MC11 to play Apple Lossless files?  I have a full download of QT6.x kicking around; I dislike the fact that Apple forces you to install iTunes if you want QT7.

Thanks


Stuart
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JimH

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 04:18:20 pm »

On this page:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/win.html

There is a text link to "Quicktime standalone installer".
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stuart_tetley

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 04:32:12 pm »

Thanks.  Someone told me that didn't exist any more.  I guess I should've looked harder  :-[
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raym

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2006, 07:16:22 pm »

On this page:
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/win.html

There is a text link to "Quicktime standalone installer".

The standalone installer is just for playback I think. What do I need to enable MC to encode to Apple Lossless??

Thanks.
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Osho

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2006, 11:29:50 am »

The standalone installer is just for playback I think. What do I need to enable MC to encode to Apple Lossless??

Thanks.


Good question. I was just looking for that myself. I think iTunes have an encoder for Apple Loseless but I am not sure. Anyone?

thanks,
Osho
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Yaobing

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2006, 08:55:00 am »


Good question. I was just looking for that myself. I think iTunes have an encoder for Apple Loseless but I am not sure. Anyone?

Yes, you can encode to Apple Lossless using iTunes. You can not do it using MC.
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hit_ny

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2006, 04:41:26 pm »

I have tried already tried MP3 with 320kbps encoding and have found it to be lacking.
Which genres of music did you find this most evident with ?

It's even more surprising that you can notice this in a car, must be ** well sound proofed. Again i'm not bothered which encoder you use, just your observations..

now..if you could be more specific.
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raym

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2006, 06:58:45 pm »

Yes, you can encode to Apple Lossless using iTunes. You can not do it using MC.

I've discovered a way to do it. It's called iTunesEncode http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=35242.

Now, if there was only a way to have MC convert to mp3 or other format from apple lossless I'd be set!
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bob

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2006, 09:24:40 am »

iTunesEncode is a shim. It requires iTunes 4.6 or newer to encode.
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bob

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2006, 01:45:15 pm »

The way to use iTunesEncoder (see above for link) with MC11 is to go to:
Tools->Options

Select Encoding from the left menu

Choose Encoding for: File conversion or CD ripping

Select External Encoder

Click on Advanced

Browse to the ItunesEncoder.exe file for the EXE path
-e "Lossless Encoder" -i %IN -o %OUT -d for the parameters line
m4a for extension
check the "supports long filenames" box
Hit Ok.

When you convert a file or rip a CD, MC will pop up a command window and call iTunes to encode the stream. When finished, the song will be removed from the itunes library (remove the -d if you don't like this).
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Health Nut

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2006, 08:58:49 pm »

1) Do you really have to have iTunes installed to use this method? 

2) Do I have to import my music into iTunes first?  If I'm using J Rivers Media Center, and I have all APE files, do I have to convert them back to wav to be imported into iTunes, and then have them converted?  But that doesn;t make much sense becasue I'm sure iTunes supports ALAC and what purpose would this whole procedure serve?  I'm still a bit confused... ?
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Osho

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Re: Apple Loseless format
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2006, 01:51:39 am »

Which genres of music did you find this most evident with ?

It's even more surprising that you can notice this in a car, must be ** well sound proofed. Again i'm not bothered which encoder you use, just your observations..

now..if you could be more specific.

I am mostly listening to Jazz and Indian classical music. I have found that on good Jazz recordings, the cymbals and the deep bass (on songs that have it) is definitely lacking. The cymbals have very unnatural metallic sound. I can not really describe it but the sound lacks warmth.

This is clearly subjective of course. But, if the storage requirements permit loseless compression then why not do it and eliminate possibility of degradation of sound quality at the source?

Osho
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hit_ny

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2006, 03:06:02 am »

Cymbals is a weak point with lossy encodings... just can't capture the extra harmonics. I notice it sounds slightly muffled at times.

The Deep bass part is something i have not noticed, i listen to a lot of club music so the bass is defnitely important.

Maybe you are talking more about the bass section of a jazz ensemble, or a double bass, bass guitar (this tho i think matters less), Sitar. Stringed bass (harmonics again) rather than big horns or would you include that as well. I will have to pay more attention there.

I think one of the problematic areas with lossy encoding (mp3) are sounds with multiple harmonics that decay very quickly.

Thanks for the observations tho.
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bob

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Re: Apple Lossless format
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2006, 01:29:41 pm »

1) Do you really have to have iTunes installed to use this method? 
Yes, the shim calls itunes to do the encoding.
Quote
2) Do I have to import my music into iTunes first?  If I'm using J Rivers Media Center, and I have all APE files, do I have to convert them back to wav to be imported into iTunes, and then have them converted?  But that doesn;t make much sense becasue I'm sure iTunes supports ALAC and what purpose would this whole procedure serve?  I'm still a bit confused... ?
You do NOT need to import anything into itunes to do this. You should use a recent version of itunes and you should disable ituneshelper using msconfig.exe in the startup tab or equivalent. I don't think it will convert from ape, you could just try it. It's pretty easy.
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