7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 26, 2007 7:36 AM by John Lockwood
Rob 501 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I do not really care about speed or file size. My goal is to output via digital out to a high end audio system. The purpose is to have my Mac as the center of a high end music system

What is the best format to rip to? wav versus Apple Lossless. Would I hear any difference?

Many thanks

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (22,140 points)
    WAV and Apple lossless both faithfully reproduce the audio signal that is on the CD. Apple Lossless takes less space on your hard drive than WAV.

    If you go to lower bit rate, using mp3 or AAC, then you may well notice audio degradation on a high end audio system.
  • John Guo Level 5 Level 5 (5,260 points)
    I would recommend Apple Loseless. It is uncompressed so you will hear great music and it is only half the file size compared to other uncompressed formats.
  • Rob 501 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for these answers

    Sorry for being niaive. I am assuming that Apple Lossless works perfectly under iTunes within the library and wav does not. Is that correct?
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,075 points)
    It is uncompressed
    No, it is lossless.
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,075 points)
    Have you hust converted to Mac?
  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7 (22,140 points)
    Chris is correct. Just to clarify the distinction, Apple Lossless uses a purely mathematical procedure to reduce the bits needed for the signal, without modifying any sonic information. Thus it is compressed but lossless.

    Lossy compression techniques, such as mp3 and AAC, use what is called "psychoacoustic" analysis. They actually remove sonic information, with as little impact to the audio as possible, but not zero. Lossy techniques can go to much lower bit rates than can lossless ones, but the lower you go, the more degradation to the signal.
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (6,835 points)
    WAV would be a bad choice for iTunes as it does not support embedded album artwork. I therefore also add my vote for using Apple Lossless. AIFF would be as good quality as Apple Lossless and also supports embedded album artwork but takes more disk space than Apple Lossless (also known as ALAC).

    Ironically, Apple Lossless now works better in Windows than AIFF