Digital file format query

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
Hi all,

I am a bit confused here. From the MF M1 CLiC manual, it states the following:

AAC (MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding File) .aac, .m4a

AAC, M4a Support sampling rates: 24-96 kHz (output sampling rate = max 48kHz) Resolution: 16 bit Quality: 8-320 kbit/s Channels: stereo

Now, is AAC = m4a = ALAC = Apple Lossless?

The reason I ask is that today, I realise that CLiC will not play my m4a files which was ripped from CDs using iTunes.

It will be a shame if it doesnt as I have loads of CDs ripped into m4a format.


 

John Duncan

Well-known member
m4a is a container format, and can contain lots of different things. Both my AAC files and my ALAC files have a *.m4a extension.

EDIT - though I'm not getting any indication from Googlage that it can play Apple Lossless. Am still looking...
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
John Duncan said:
m4a is a container format, and can contain lots of different things. Both my AAC files and my ALAC files have a *.m4a extension.

EDIT - though I'm not getting any indication from Googlage that it can play Apple Lossless. Am still looking...

Hi JD,

Thanks. But what do you mean m4a is a container format?

ALAC is Apple Lossless right?

Under your EDIT - 'it' referring to the CLiC?

This is what quoted in Wiki:

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.

AAC is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3

Apple Lossless (also known as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), or ALE (Apple Lossless Encoder)) is an audio codec developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

Apple Lossless data is stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a – this extension is also used by Apple for AAC audio data in an MP4 container (same container, different audio encoding). However, Apple Lossless is not a variant of AAC (which is a lossy format), but rather a distinct lossless format that uses linear prediction similar to other lossless codecs such as FLAC and Shorten.[1] All current iPods and iPhones can play Apple Lossless–encoded files. It does not use any digital rights management (DRM) scheme, but by the nature of the container, it is thought that DRM could be applied to ALAC much the same way it can with other files in QuickTime containers.

So I guess ALAC is not AAC but uses the m4a extension, is that correct?

Hhhhmmmm then CLiC has a serious limitation here.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
John Duncan said:
m4a is a container format, and can contain lots of different things. Both my AAC files and my ALAC files have a *.m4a extension.

EDIT - though I'm not getting any indication from Googlage that it can play Apple Lossless. Am still looking...

Hi JD,

Thanks. But what do you mean m4a is a container format?

ALAC is Apple Lossless right?

Under your EDIT - 'it' referring to the CLiC?

This is what quoted in Wiki:

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.

AAC is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3

Apple Lossless (also known as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), or ALE (Apple Lossless Encoder)) is an audio codec developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music.

Apple Lossless data is stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a – this extension is also used by Apple for AAC audio data in an MP4 container (same container, different audio encoding). However, Apple Lossless is not a variant of AAC (which is a lossy format), but rather a distinct lossless format that uses linear prediction similar to other lossless codecs such as FLAC and Shorten.[1] All current iPods and iPhones can play Apple Lossless–encoded files. It does not use any digital rights management (DRM) scheme, but by the nature of the container, it is thought that DRM could be applied to ALAC much the same way it can with other files in QuickTime containers.

So I guess ALAC is not AAC but uses the m4a extension, is that correct?

Hhhhmmmm then CLiC has a serious limitation here.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
John Duncan said:
m4a is a container format, and can contain lots of different things. Both my AAC files and my ALAC files have a *.m4a extension. EDIT - though I'm not getting any indication from Googlage that it can play Apple Lossless. Am still looking...

Hi JD, Thanks. But what do you mean m4a is a container format?

ALAC is Apple Lossless right?

Under your EDIT - 'it' referring to the CLiC?

This is what quoted in Wiki: Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates. AAC is also the default or standard audio format for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player and PlayStation 3

Apple Lossless (also known as ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), or ALE (Apple Lossless Encoder)) is an audio codec developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music. Apple Lossless data is stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a – this extension is also used by Apple for AAC audio data in an MP4 container (same container, different audio encoding). However, Apple Lossless is not a variant of AAC (which is a lossy format), but rather a distinct lossless format that uses linear prediction similar to other lossless codecs such as FLAC and Shorten.[1] All current iPods and iPhones can play Apple Lossless–encoded files. It does not use any digital rights management (DRM) scheme, but by the nature of the container, it is thought that DRM could be applied to ALAC much the same way it can with other files in QuickTime containers.

So I guess ALAC is not AAC but uses the m4a extension, is that correct? Hhhhmmmm then CLiC has a serious limitation here.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ALAC is a lossless compression codec developed by apple

AAC is a lossy compression codec (data is permanently removed)

They can both have the same file extension m4a but they are fundamentally different and require different algorithms to interpret and play back the data.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
Hi gavinsim,

Thanks. Yes. Thats my understanding now as well. same extension m4a. Now that I read back CLiC manual, it does not say that it supports ALAC. Now its a big limitation now.

My thoughts then, if CLiC does not support ALAC, there will be no way that it will come up with an iPad/iPod App to control the unit.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
El Hefe said:
My thoughts then, if CLiC does not support ALAC, there will be no way that it will come up with an iPad/iPod App to control the unit.
I don't think the two necessarily go together (though I'm very much still learning about streamers, unlike some others here). The NAD C446, for example, doesn't support ALAC, but has an "iApp". In fact, isn't ALAC generally the least supported format? It seems to be only one regularly cited as unsupported outside of the Apple family.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
They don't. The Clic acts as a client and you need to provided a UPnP server for the Clic to read music from. This might be a NAS but is more typically a PC or Mac. If you use a UPnP server that transcodes on the fly (I use Elgato Eyeconnect on my Mac, Asset UPnP seems to be the thing for PC) then the music appears as WAV, not ALAC, and you'll be fine. If you want to avoid that transcoding, you may be better off ripping to FLAC instead...
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Visit site
nopiano said:
in fact, isn't ALAC generally the least supported format? It seems to be only one regularly cited as unsupported outside of the Apple family.

as mentioned above, ALAC was developed by Apple and knowing Apple they definitely charge some hefty sums for licensing ALAC compatibility on different (non Apple) devices. AAC seems to come from outside of Apple so the codec might be an "open source" type, I assume. anyway, I think ALAC compatibility is a must on devices aimed at users of Apple bling. I don't think Musical Fidelity or other hi-fi companies particulrary aim at Apple users so if they have an option to chose to support other "open source" lossless codec free of charge they would go for that one. not to mention that FLAC is probably more widely used around than ALAC. so not supporting ALAC you don't really loose much IMO.
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Visit site
John Duncan said:
If you use a UPnP server that transcodes on the fly (I use Elgato Eyeconnect on my Mac, Asset UPnP seems to be the thing for PC) then the music appears as WAV, not ALAC, and you'll be fine.

that's always an option (to use those transcoding soft). but I think most people would like more plug&play&forget solutions.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
oldric_naubhoff said:
John Duncan said:
If you use a UPnP server that transcodes on the fly (I use Elgato Eyeconnect on my Mac, Asset UPnP seems to be the thing for PC) then the music appears as WAV, not ALAC, and you'll be fine.

that's always an option (to use those transcoding soft). but I think most people would like more plug&play&forget solutions.

Agreed. I'd now always suggest one chooses a client first (and make sure you know what formats it supports) before starting to rip. I didn't, hence having to use a transcoder (while I re-rip all the important stuff to FLAC and convert the less important stuff to AAC).

EDIT - well I did (AEX + DACMagic), but then changed it...
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
John Duncan said:
They don't. The Clic acts as a client and you need to provided a UPnP server for the Clic to read music from. This might be a NAS but is more typically a PC or Mac. If you use a UPnP server that transcodes on the fly (I use Elgato Eyeconnect on my Mac, Asset UPnP seems to be the thing for PC) then the music appears as WAV, not ALAC, and you'll be fine. If you want to avoid that transcoding, you may be better off ripping to FLAC instead...

JD et al,

What would you suggest the best thing to do in my situation?

I have ALAC files in the capacity of a few thousands files on a NAS. I dont think I will be able to convert them to FLAC or MP3s. And by using NAS, I have ran away from using PC/Laptop as the player.

Does Bryston/Naim UnitiQute/Cyrus new streamer be able to play ALAC?
 

Andrew Everard

New member
May 30, 2007
1,878
2
0
Visit site
El Hefe said:
I have ALAC files in the capacity of a few thousands files on a NAS. I dont think I will be able to convert them to FLAC or MP3s.

As already mentioned, a batch converter is to way to do it: make sure you have enough storage space for old and new versions of files, select all the ones you want to convert using the batch converter, click and leave it to run. When you come back – agreed, after some time, given that many files – all will be done.
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Visit site
El Hefe said:
Conversion then? I really do not want to go back to PC-based music.

but you don't really need to if you don't want to. all you have to do is to convert ALAC into FLAC and leave FLAC on your NAS so CLiC could "see" your music. all you have to do is to click some buttons in music files converting soft on your PC.
 

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
260
17
18,895
Visit site
oldric,

which conversion software do you recommend to use to convert ALAC to FLAC? I need a software that can do 'batch'conversion and not track by track.

oldric_naubhoff said:
El Hefe said:
Conversion then? I really do not want to go back to PC-based music.

but you don't really need to if you don't want to. all you have to do is to convert ALAC into FLAC and leave FLAC on your NAS so CLiC could "see" your music. all you have to do is to click some buttons in music files converting soft on your PC.
 

The_Lhc

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2008
1,176
1
19,195
Visit site
El Hefe said:
which conversion software do you recommend to use to convert ALAC to FLAC? I need a software that can do 'batch'conversion and not track by track.

That's what batch conversion is. You point it at a directory of files but it'll still work through them track by track (if you have a multi-core processor and software that'll take advantage of that it might do up to 3 tracks at once but the point's still the same).

dbPowerAmp has a batch converter, I've used that in the past.
 

Andrew Everard

New member
May 30, 2007
1,878
2
0
Visit site
I tend to use Max, but then I'm running a couple of Macs at the moment.

maxinaction-thumb.png
 

oldric_naubhoff

New member
Mar 11, 2011
23
0
0
Visit site
El Hefe said:
oldric,

which conversion software do you recommend to use to convert ALAC to FLAC? I need a software that can do 'batch'conversion and not track by track.

well, I can't recommend anything because I don't use Apple stuff (so no need for AACs or ALACs), but you've got some recommendations already. if you google alac to flac converter you'll get plenty returns. maybe something like this:

http://www.flac-mp3.com/flac/convert-alac-to-flac.htm

looks preety straightforward to use.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts