So, having initially used ITunes, I ended up with (and still have) numerous CD rips in the ALAC format. I don’t rip to ALAC any more. And, then, I start wondering…I’m only a few mouse clicks from converting all my old ALAC files to FLAC. Simple, right? Why should I bother though, other than expressing, just for myself, my lack of allegiance to anything Apple? Indeed. They’re both lossless and all that sort of stuff.

Then I come across the (very) occasional statement like this: "FLAC does edge out ALAC regarding sound quality. ALAC is 16-bit and FLAC is 24-bit encoding, and FLAC has a higher sampling rate. ALAC compares to CD quality, which is much better than most of your digital files. FLAC is closer to studio masters, according to the Society of Sound.* Mmmm…that is a very strange one. Source: ALAC vs FLAC: The Best for Listening to Lossless Music on Mac and iOS

I’m no specialist but it seems this isn’t really true. You can encode ALAC in 24-bit, as far as I know there’s no real limitation compared to FLAC (or it’s not about the file but the encoder ? but why would we care since this is lossless ?). I got 24/192 ALAC tracks and they play just fine.
In my case, I keep using ALAC because I still use an iPhone to play music on the go and don’t plan to change anytime soon, and playing FLAC through iOS’ VLC app is much more power hungry and leads to hiccups, so it’s not a solution (and the UI is… VLC, you know).
Some users reported that Audirvana might be more capable in handling FLAC for DLNA playback, but we lack of feedback on the topic.

So far, I can’t seem to hear any audio difference between my FLAC and ALAC files (which are mostly FLAC repacked into ALAC through XLD) when played through Audirvana, and since I use macOS and iOS, for now ALAC doesn’t represent much of an issue.

Would be interesting if someone who knows very well those formats could share infos ^^

After mp3 and wav I used almost only flac, for 15+ years at least. I’m a Windows guy. Apple is a different animal, they want ALWAYS to do the things different. Sometimes are better and many times pure marketing imo, but that’s another story. FLAC is open source, and I really appreciate open source and free stuff if it’s good. I don’t like fat guys from corporates who wants only profit. I’m from a poor country and without open source and free things I and many others didn’t have access to many good things. But that’s another story also.

Now to the point: imo don’t waste your time converting from one format to another. If you still have the discs you may try to rip them again in flac but maybe you will not hear a noticeable difference. Imo 16 bit is very good in most cases,

Why use any compressed (lossless) format to rip CD’s?
Rip them as uncompressed .aiff or .wav files

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

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Just to make things clear, as of today, ALAC is open source and royalty-free (and has been since 2011).

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Now I have a better opinion about Apple. :blush:

Both are lossless, so none is better than the other.

FLAC can go to 32 bit with the latest FLAC library which Audirvāna support since Audirvāna Studio/Origin 2.3.1 :wink:


You are right, I was stuck in the past, and forgot that there was a recent evolution. I corrected my post while you were writing yours. :slight_smile:

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I’ve always put all my stuff in AIFF (uncompressed). No particular reason to go uncompressed, but I had the space so why not? AIFF vs. WAV is no contest, since AIFF includes metadata and WAV does so only with kludges.


All of my CD rips are uncompressed AIFF as well…
These can always be converted to AAC or ALAC, etc, for whatever reason of storage-space management for portable devices with limited memory.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

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