CD Ripping, best file format for output in full resolution?

I’m about to start the process of re-ripping a HUGE CD library which I had originally ripped a mp3. I’m using dBpoweramp (on Mac).
Since CDs are already AIFF, is there any reason to not rip as AIFF 16/44.1 ??? (It seems like the most one-to-one file format.)
This newly ripped, full resolution library will be used solely for my Audirvana playback on my home audio system. I’m ready to let go of iTunes altogether.

Rip it in FLAC. You’ll save about half the storage space and still have bit-perfect copies.

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As you know, FLAC is not compatible with Apple devices or software, and some third-party apps. So, it make sense to use AIFF, a universal, lossless, uncompressed format. Hard drive space is so cheap these days, using a compressed format like FLAC to save space should not matter that much. Regardless, you can always transcode from FLAC to AIFF and vice-versa, at any time, without losing quality.

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@ Bambooken I did the same thing. my choice was to use XLD and keep the same resolution as the source (and also use AIFF).
I did a test upsampling to 24 bits, but no sound change (for my ears …) and much bigger files generated. However, before pushing the “start” button, check the metadata for your tracks, I found easier to edit them in the XLD software (including adding the art work if necessary) than latter on in the Audirvana editor.

There’s no point in using AIFF over FLAC if iTunes isn’t a priority. Wasted space is also wasted bandwidth, wasted IO, wasted time.

FLAC files also include a checksum of the data, corruption can be detected; I don’t think AIFF does this.

Some “audiophile” people hear a difference in sound , although the digital content is identical … may be because of the computing load due to uncompressing the files (?) it might also depend on how resolving the audio system is .

“Audiophiles” … Sure. For the sake of mental health; Measure it or it isn’t there.

The stream of bits will be identical, but if the D/A converter is internal to the computer and poorly isolated, electromagnetic interference can sound very different. No-one want’s to hear any of that business though, not the sounds from moving files around, not from uncompressing them; Which sounds worse is besides the point, that interference needs to go.

CPU’s, RAM, storage can all sing in a multitude of ways - if not to the audio chain, by themselves. Just as an example I’ve hit, a low quality USB-SSD controller can make a horrible, loud chirp (loud as in really audible, >50dB@1m, not “audiophile”-audible). Better to just stick with an acoustic guitar and forget all this recorded stuff.

Other than that, go FLAC.

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I heard that some rip to FLAC without compression. You can also do that. Probably the better option than AIFF.

dBPoweramp allows for lossless FLAC ripping. I have my libraries ripped from CD to both FLAC and AIFF. I have audiophile grade everything accumulated over many years and I can’t hear the difference between the two and I have very discriminating hearing acuity. Any audiophile who tells yo they can tell the difference is truly a remarkable being.

If you’re using a Mac, use Apple Lossless. There’s no downside. Saves about half the storage space.
As for comments regarding whether you can hear a difference, I don’t think you should hear any difference between AIFF and a compressed file. The music doesn’t play until the file is read into memory, if I understand correctly.
On the audiophile issue, if you have a very high end system playing the music, you will hear all sorts of differences, both obvious and subtle, that you won’t with a more basic setup. And bits are not so impermeable. The DAC is reading a waveform and guessing whether the wave is describing a one or a zero and it can make mistakes. There’s an interesting guy who does Youtube lectures on theory and equipment who lays this out with total clarity:

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Not all audio apps support Apple Lossless. Audacity is an open-source audio editing app. I find it very useful. HQPlayer is a high-end audio player popular with some audiophiles. It’s an alternative to Audirvana, used primarily to playback and/or transcode LPCM files to DSD. It has very sophisticated upsampling algorithms, and is certainly worthwhile if you have a DAC that supports DSD.
Neither one of these apps supports Apple Lossless. To each his own, but I like AIFF. Each terabyte of hard drive space can hold 1,000-1,200 albums in uncompressed format, so saving space is not much of an issue anymore.

Not true. Since a good year I believe, you can play FLAC natively on mac. I say rip them in lossless FLAC. It was never announced. Use MusicBrainz Picard to add correct tagging and cover art

You can play FLAC from the Finder but the Apple Music (iTunes) doesn’t support it. Still, you’re on a safer side to rip CDs in FLAC. It’s much more widespread format than ALAC. If you’re here it’s because you prefer Audirvana, so FLAC support is not an issue.

Can’t play FLAC from finder on my mac.

But I don’t care…

dBpoweramp has the option ‘Multi Encoder’. Since the price of disk space plummeted, I use this option to simultaneously rip to three different formats:

  1. wav so that I can always revert to the original cd
  2. flac, uncompressed (so actually wave file with tagging) for listing at home for use with Audirvana through a MacMini
  3. alac, for mobile use through my iPhone

Considerations were: wav files can hardly by properly tagged; I did want to become locked-in in the Apple platform; to have plenty of fallback options, in case anything went wrong unnoticed

And do not forget regular backups (1-2-3 method)

Hope this helps.

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What‘s the point of WAV if you can generate it bit perfectly from the FLAC on demand?

For iPhone i would create an AAC at 256kbps, unless you‘re carrying external DAC and very good in-ears.

To be able to revert to the original cd, and to be able to convert to future formats from the source files

i used a PC to rip all of my CDs using dBPowerAmp. I ripped them directly to an external drive in FLAC mode.
Connecting the external drive to a Mac and importing them into Audirvana was very easy and complete.

What level of FLAC compression do you have selected in dBPoweramp? I’ve read that level “5” is a safe standard and does not require much processing to decompress to PCM.

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