11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 12, 2013 4:15 PM by ed2345
hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

I imported my iTunes library mostly from CDs using ALAC format.  I am now looking to save space on my iPhone.  If I compress the ALAC files to 256-AAC (iTunes Match streaming format) how much disk space will I save?  For example, a 600 MB album would then be what size?


MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4 (2,865 points)

    An "average" album (or CD - 1:15:00 to 1:18:00) AT 256kbps is around 133mb, so you'll save about 75% of what you now use.

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (77,675 points)

    hands4 wrote:

     

    I imported my iTunes library mostly from CDs using ALAC format.  I am now looking to save space on my iPhone.

    You can convert them on the fly when syncing the iPhone using iTunes. The files will be converted as they are sync'd. The originals will remain in iTunes as they are.

    Select the iPhone in iTunes.

    Click the Summary tab.

    Clcik Convert higher bit rate songs to 256 kbps AAC.

     

    If I compress the ALAC files to 256-AAC (iTunes Match streaming format) how much disk space will I save?  For example, a 600 MB album would then be what size?

    An ALAC album ripped from CD is not 600MB.

    The original CD may be that size. ALAC is ~50%-%60 of the original size. CDs are only 700MB max.

    256 AAC is ~20% of the original CD.

     

    256 kbps AAC is roughly ~1/3 the size of ALAC.

    Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 7.33.05 PM.jpg

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (77,675 points)

    C F McBlob wrote:

     

    An "average" album (or CD - 1:15:00 to 1:18:00) AT 256kbps is around 133mb, so you'll save about 75% of what you now use.

    Note hands4 now uses ALAC.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    Thank you for the ratio.  It is just what I was looking for.

     

    I did some more math.  A 600 MB CD compresses to about half that in ALAC format.  It compresses to about one fourth to one fifth the size in 256-AAC format.  So from ALAC to 256-ACC it is about another 50% to 60% more compression.

     

    I see lots of debates on if 256-ACC can be distinghished from ALAC in blind tests.  That tells me that the 256-ACC format is pretty good.

     

    Of course CD quality is not the best to begin with and unfortunately the super-audio formats have been DOA.  I wonder if some soon, for extra money, you will be able to download ALAC-super-audio files?  As storage gets cheaper it might be a nice option.  IT could be the rebirth of high-fidelity music.  I won't hold my breath.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    Thanks for doing the math.  Your math is better than mine.  Good to know I can convert them on the fly.  I will try that.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    P.S.  This means I can fit my entire ALAC collection on my 64 GB iPhone 5s with plenty of space to spare.  I won't need iTunes Match.  Thank you all.

  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (21,250 points)

    unfortunately the super-audio formats have been DOA.

    Hands 4,

     

    The super audio formats on physical discs, such as SACD, did not succeed in the market place.  However, in download form, there is a growing market.  You can buy better-than-CD quality music from HD Tracks or iTrax, among others.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    Good to know.  I'll check them out for listening at home.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    Will iTunes on the various iTunes devices play these better-than-CD audio formats or do you need a different player?  I assume this is a software feature on the Mac and iPad and a hardware feature on iPhones, iPods, and iPod Touch.

  • hands4 Level 4 Level 4 (2,215 points)

    So much to learn about iTunes and iTunes match.  Here are additional questions:

     

    Have HD Track, iTrax and others standardized on a single lossles compression format or are they still competing with each other.  What is/are the format(s) called?  How big are the files compared to CD-to-ALAC files?

     

    To my previoius question, if Apple were to support it, would it need only a firmware upgrade on iPhones and iPod Touch?  It sounds like a market opportunity for Apple to popularize such a format, assuming there is already one dominant standard.  It would be an innovation for the next-generation iOS devices that would sell more hardware and more songs from iTunes with premium margins.  Alternatively it could be a lost market opportunity, with lost market share, if other portable audio devices support it and not iOS devices.  Appple could bootstrap the better-than-CD audio market with volume deals with the music labels.

     

    And, if iTunes Match uploads an unmatched tune in ALAC format from my Mac, will it stream it down in ALAC format instead of 256 AAC or does it do the AAC compression on the fly?  I assume the latter.

     

    Are most of the answers to my questions in this tread already covered in an iTunes Tips document?

  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (21,250 points)

    Hands 4,

     

    For either lossless or hi-def music downloads, the usual formats are WAV or FLAC.  iTunes can play the former, but requires conversion for the latter.

     

    ALAC is almost unheard of in music retailing, but you do see it occasionally, as at livedownloads.com