3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2013 7:57 AM by ed2345
John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I did all the googling and learned pretty much all I need to know about archiving my 1000 CD collection to ALAC.  And I just successfully ripped my first ever CD to ALAC.

 

The only question I never saw answered anywhere was whether or not there is any advantage to ALAC for archive purposes now that hard drives are so cheap.

 

I just bought a 2TB drive at Costco for $130.

 

The first CD I ripped was 693mb, per iTunes.  Once I ripped it to ALAC, it was 450mb.  That's a space savings of 35%.

 

If my average CD has 650mb of data on it ... times 1000 CDs in my collection ... that 635 gigs.

 

If I save 35% via ALAC, that's now 412 gigs.  That (now, on a 2TB drive) is a negligible difference.

 

So I'm asking ... what's the point?  This isn't 2004 when 200 gigs would have cost a lot of money.

 

I understand for playback, ALAC is cool because you've got tags and album artwork.

 

But for archiving a CD collection to a hard drive just for the purpose of safe storage ... is there any advantage anymore to converting the file format?

 

Why not just use Toast or whatever and save a bunch of disc images?

  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (21,000 points)

    John,

     

    It's personal preference of course, but I assume you know that using disc images as an archival format is quite unusual.

     

    ALAC files, besides being a bit more compact (which you don't care about) are ready-to-use, playable music files.  When it comes time to get your music out of the archive, ALAC will be a more immediately usable format.  ALAC, being a lossless format, provides exactly the same audio quality as the CD itself.

     

    Unless your objective is to be able in the future to recreate the physical CD, there is no advantage in having the actual disc images.

  • John_Neumann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Ed2345.

     

    Regarding your last sentence ... isn't making a new physical CD pretty much the same process whether disc image or ALAC?  I understand you just drop an IMG into Toast and hit burn ... or drop an ALAC into XLD and hit burn.  Or is there a step I still don't understand?

     

    -JOHN

  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (21,000 points)

    John_Neumann wrote:

     

    Thank you, Ed2345.

     

    Regarding your last sentence ... isn't making a new physical CD pretty much the same process whether disc image or ALAC?  I understand you just drop an IMG into Toast and hit burn ... or drop an ALAC into XLD and hit burn.  Or is there a step I still don't understand?

     

    -JOHN

    John,

     

    It is not actually the same process.  The burn from disc image copies the image, i.e. all contents and structure, onto the CD.  The burn from ALAC (or WAV or AIFF) reconstructs the audio, creates a table of contents, adds its own  gaps, and then burns that to the CD.

     

    However, if your future intent is to use the songs in a player such as iTunes, the ALAC files will be ready to go, while the disc image will still need ripping.