What About FLAC vs. m4a ??? - Guitars101 - Guitar Forums

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Old 08-09-2008, 10:37 AM   #1
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What About FLAC vs. m4a ???

Soliciting comments on FLAC vs. Apple Lossless m4a from our many sound experts out there . . . whatdayathink????
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
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I am definitely not an expert but my $0.02 is that Apple Lossless is a good format and can be played on some of the newer ipods without conversion. That said, flac has been around for quite some time and have ports to more operating systems than I can possibly list here.

Where I think it makes most sense is for personal use in archiving your CD collection to your shiny new ipod. You could sell or donate or CD collection and you could burn those files back to CD if you ever wanted to. For sharing and trading, I think flac (or shorten) is the best choice.
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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I am so confused reading all of these threads about file formats. Mr. ASSo said our ears aren't developed enough to tell the difference, so I would assume he is an ENT to make such a strong statement.

My $.02 is that while .m4a may be lossless, you may get some resistance from people when trying to share in that format because FLAC and SHN are more common lossless formats. I am sure there are converters, so you may want to point out where people can get one because most everyone is too lazy to look for themselves.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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The way I see it, lossless is lossless, period. Apple's lossless format typically yields smaller tracks due to the way that it saves the track. I've been told it can be thought of as a .zip document...all of the info is there, but it is uncompressed when iTunes, an iPod, Quicktime, etc plays the file. That being said, whenever I get a FLAC file, I immediately convert it to Apple Lossless so that it can be played on my iPod.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #5
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One of the things that gets overlooked is. Flac or not, anything uploaded via a computer.
Its deconstructed, and rebuilt back on the hosts computer and/or host site.
Sometimes creating damage to the file.
When this happens you'll notice clipping of the tracks where pieces are missing.
Most seem to think that this is due to loss of connection.
Sure it doesn't happen everytime, but it does it enough to damage the end product.
But it even happens through a local area connection or home LAN.
It doesn't happen in torrents, when there is more than one host.
Lossless is a great idea ,right now. But the electronic support of any format, in the time we live. Needs to catch up, and fix connection and transmission interfaces.
But, by that time mp3 will be lossless too. And it will be smaller in size.
mp3 even though being older, has improved in quality and Compression of an mp3 is much better than it used to be.
But as far as Flac vers M4a, Flac is fine, but I generally back it up on CD and then convert it to another format.

My answer is - When Flac's file size is equal to that of the average mp3, I will be sold.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:20 AM   #6
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Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is a very good compressed format from an audio point of view and has file size similar to FLAC.

Personally I always use ALAC when I am storing lossless audio although I normally convert to FLAC when posting only because FLAC is not a proprietary format.

I suspect the real question is what lossless format should we post in?

I would be happy with with FLAC or ALAC although I think the tagging capabilities of ALAC are probably better than those in FLAC at present.

Just a warning, not all files with a .m4a extension are lossless. They may contain compressed AAC audio or uncompressed ALAC audio. You can't tell by the extension what kind of audio the file contains.
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