10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 22, 2012 7:18 AM by Eric009
Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

I have read on the internet over and over again about the differences between WAV and AIFF, but I can't seem to find a straight answer. I plan to convert my WAV files to AIFF due to problems with tagging with the WAV format, but I want to make CERTAIN that there will be no data loss in the conversions and that they will be 100% identicle before I go though with it.

Solved by John Lockwood on Nov 21, 2012 11:48 PM Solved

Eric009 wrote:

 

Ah, okay. So converting between uncompressed or lossless formats doesn't loose any actually data but just the metadata stored in it?

Yes that's what is supposed to happen and is the opinion of most people. There are some conspiracy theorists who think otherwise

Reply by Kappy on Nov 20, 2012 8:20 PM Helpful

Obviously, they cannot be identical due to the encoding differences. In general a decent converting software will produce a result that sounds identical. If you are concerned make a duplicate of the file before you convert it. The software, however, won't overwrite the file unless you instruct it to do so.

Reply by Kappy on Nov 20, 2012 8:40 PM Helpful

I would expect the content of the binary will change due to encoding differences. Beyond that I would not expect any change unless you configured the conversion software to reduce the file size by degrading the audio slightly. But that isn't going to happen in a straight conversion except as a result of the chosen format, i.e, you might choose a lower quality sound format or a poor conversion program.

All replies

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Obviously, they cannot be identical due to the encoding differences. In general a decent converting software will produce a result that sounds identical. If you are concerned make a duplicate of the file before you convert it. The software, however, won't overwrite the file unless you instruct it to do so.

  • Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

    Will there be any data loss during the conversion? Or will the bit order simply be different due to formatting?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    I would expect the content of the binary will change due to encoding differences. Beyond that I would not expect any change unless you configured the conversion software to reduce the file size by degrading the audio slightly. But that isn't going to happen in a straight conversion except as a result of the chosen format, i.e, you might choose a lower quality sound format or a poor conversion program.

  • Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

    Okay, thank you!

  • John Lockwood Level 6 Level 6
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    With lossless formats such as WAV, AIFF, Apple Lossless (aka. ALAC), and FLAC, converting from one to the other should or according to most people will result in the exact same audio data.

     

    The actual files will contain different bits because of their different way of storing the audio data, but if you do the following

     

    WAV --> Apple Lossless --> WAV

     

    then you should get the exact same WAV file as you started with proving that nothing has been lost during the conversions.

     

    This after all is the whole point of these formats being lossless. Nothing gets lost in the process.

     

    Note: The bit rate should differ between WAV and Apple Lossless, this is because Apple Lossless needs fewer bits to store the same audio information and hence can produce smaller file sizes.

  • Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

    Does this same concept apply to all uncompressed and lossless formats? In orther words, could I convert something like FLAC to ALAC without any loss in quality?

  • John Lockwood Level 6 Level 6
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    Yes it does, although converting between some lossless formats may lose some of the meta-tag information, for example converting from FLAC to WAV.

  • Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

    Ah, okay. So converting between uncompressed or lossless formats doesn't loose any actually data but just the metadata stored in it?

  • John Lockwood Level 6 Level 6
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    Eric009 wrote:

     

    Ah, okay. So converting between uncompressed or lossless formats doesn't loose any actually data but just the metadata stored in it?

    Yes that's what is supposed to happen and is the opinion of most people. There are some conspiracy theorists who think otherwise

  • Eric009 Level 1 Level 1

    Okay, thank you I did some tests of my own that supported your statement. Usually after 2 or 3 conversions between any lossy format you start to notice a loss in audio quality. However, I converted between WAV and AIFF around 5 or 6 times and noticed no quality change what so ever.