Exact Audio Copy (EAC) and Apple Lossless (ALAC) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 11-27-2011, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

Now that the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is open source, I was wondering if anyone had compiled it for use with Exact Audio Copy (EAC). For now, I have found a good workaround with qaac, but the drawback is that it requires a QuickTime installation.

qaac can be found here. It is an active project.
http://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/home

These are the command-line options I use in EAC. Some of the variables have changed since version 1.0b2:
Code:
--alac --artist "%artist%" --title "%title%" --album "%albumtitle%" --date "%year%" --track "%tracknr%"/"%numtracks%" --disk "%cdnumber%"/"%totalcds%" --genre "%genre%" --comment "%comment%" --band "%albumartist%" --composer "%composer%" %haslyrics%--lyrics "%lyricsfile%"%haslyrics% %hascover%--artwork "%coverfile%"%hascover% %source% -o %dest%
I hope the above is useful to someone. Has anyone done this with a "standalone" ALAC encoder?
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post #2 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 12:40 AM
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I'd be interesting in trying this out.

My current workflow involves ripping everything to FLAC and then using dbPowerAmp batch converter to convert the entire library to ALAC or MP3 as needed. Program costs about $38. I found it was worth it to have one loseless archive and be able to batch convert to other formats at will.

I actually use ALAC the most with Airplay devices, etc., but it was just easier to rip the initial library to FLAC with EAC.
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post #3 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

I'd be interesting in trying this out.

My current workflow involves ripping everything to FLAC and then using dbPowerAmp batch converter to convert the entire library to ALAC or MP3 as needed. Program costs about $38. I found it was worth it to have one loseless archive and be able to batch convert to other formats at will.

I actually use ALAC the most with Airplay devices, etc., but it was just easier to rip the initial library to FLAC with EAC.

Why would you rip something lossless only to have it decimated by airplay?
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post #4 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 10:15 AM
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AirPlay isn't lossless?

I also rip to Flac and transcode. I use xrecode for transcoding. It's trailware but I don't think it expires.
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post #5 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Why would you rip something lossless only to have it decimated by airplay?

Could you please elaborate on what it means to be decimated by airplay? It can play ALAC just fine.
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post #6 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

Could you please elaborate on what it means to be decimated by airplay? It can play ALAC just fine.

The maximum that airplay supports is 44.1khz, therefore if you were to download any hi-res audio, rip DVD-Audio or SACD, or rip a blu-ray audio disc and try to play the files over it, airplay would downgrade the quality to 44.1khz.

I suppose there is a reason why you chose flac vs mp3.
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post #7 of 54 Old 11-30-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

The maximum that airplay supports is 44.1khz, therefore if you were to download any hi-res audio, rip DVD-Audio or SACD, or rip a blu-ray audio disc and try to play the files over it, airplay would downgrade the quality to 44.1khz.

I suppose there is a reason why you chose flac vs mp3.

I don't have much hi-res music. I have about 10 SACD, and no hi-res digital tracks. I usually use the disc for these. I have not tried to rip the SACD audio track to my computer. I have about 500+ CDs all converted to ALAC.

I'm not sure if the DLNA server I have supports hi-res FLAC file formats, but I know it does not play ANY gapless FLAC. Airplay does play gapless ALAC, which is more important to me than the 10 or so hi-res discs.
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post #8 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 04:37 AM
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If interested, you can rip directly to ALAC through foobar2000 using the ffmpeg command line encoder. Foobar also does secure ripping, AccurateRip checks, artwork embedding, etc.
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post #9 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 07:52 AM
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why are there two formats it's kind of silly. Just stick with FLAC and avoid Apple

/flame suit on/

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post #10 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 11:50 AM
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My problem with Foobar2000 is, while it is a very powerful program, the programmers have made NO decisions for the user in terms of UI, etc. It's extendable to the extreme. It requires far too much configuration to get anything useful out of it.
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post #11 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 11:56 AM
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My guess is Apple made ALAC open source since it supports DRM and FLAC doesn't.

Quote:
The maximum that airplay supports is 44.1khz, therefore if you were to download any hi-res audio, rip DVD-Audio or SACD, or rip a blu-ray audio disc and try to play the files over it, airplay would downgrade the quality to 44.1khz

I rip all my CDs to FLAC. It has been a while since investigated this, but is there an easy way to rip the hi-res layer of a SACD to FLAC? How? In the past it was just the redbook layer I could get to on my PC.

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post #12 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

My guess is Apple made ALAC open source since it supports DRM and FLAC doesn't.


I rip all my CDs to FLAC. It has been a while since investigated this, but is there an easy way to rip the hi-res layer of a SACD to FLAC? How? In the past it was just the redbook layer I could get to on my PC.

There is no EASY way. Process requires having specific model and firmware version of PS3.
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post #13 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post

why are there two formats it's kind of silly. Just stick with FLAC and avoid Apple

/flame suit on/


There are numerous lossless formats that are essentially useless when compared to both ALAC and FLAC. I wonder if anyone here uses WavPack or Monkey's Audio?

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My problem with Foobar2000 is, while it is a very powerful program, the programmers have made NO decisions for the user in terms of UI, etc. It's extendable to the extreme. It requires far too much configuration to get anything useful out of it.

It definitely takes a bit of time to fully understand the program and tailor it to your specific tastes. I generally like tinkering with things, so I considered the customization process to be an enjoyable experience. Best of all, the program is free.
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post #14 of 54 Old 12-01-2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

There are numerous lossless formats that are essentially useless when compared to both ALAC and FLAC. I wonder if anyone here uses WavPack or Monkey's Audio?



It definitely takes a bit of time to fully understand the program and tailor it to your specific tastes. I generally like tinkering with things, so I considered the customization process to be an enjoyable experience. Best of all, the program is free.

I do like to tinker as well, but I get plenty of that at work. I have come to appreciate a program choosing smart default options and a layout suitable for most users. IMO Foobar2000 has done none of this and pushes all of the choices onto the users. How do I get my foobar to look like this screenshot? Usually involves hunting for the correct versions of a half-dozen or so custom UI extensions, etc.
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post #15 of 54 Old 08-30-2012, 02:57 AM
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I just created this:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_ALAC

You can use ffmpeg with EAC to create ALAC files without quicktime.

Simon
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post #16 of 54 Old 08-31-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post


There are numerous lossless formats that are essentially useless when compared to both ALAC and FLAC. I wonder if anyone here uses WavPack or Monkey's Audio?


It definitely takes a bit of time to fully understand the program and tailor it to your specific tastes. I generally like tinkering with things, so I considered the customization process to be an enjoyable experience. Best of all, the program is free.

I'm in the middle, while I enjoy to tinker I do not have the time, but I would love to learn how to do this. If you would be so kind could you post a "how to" with Foobar in another thread. I'm sure others would appreciate it too. My main concern is of course lossless audio but also secure encodes too.
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post #17 of 54 Old 09-05-2012, 05:13 AM
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I use this program to convert from FLAC to ALAC or MP3

http://www.mediahuman.com/audio-converter/
Code:
Main Features:
•Convert between all key audio formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, AAC, M4A, OGG, etc.
•iTunes support: add converted files direct to your iTunes library
•Convert multiple files simultaneously, depends on quantity of your processor cores
•Keeps folder structure
•Absolutely FREE!
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post #18 of 54 Old 04-19-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon McNair View Post

I just created this:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_ALAC

You can use ffmpeg with EAC to create ALAC files without quicktime.

Simon

thx! i'm going to try that! I want to encode direct to ALAC, not FLAC.

however, does this method support gapless playback?
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post #19 of 54 Old 04-19-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon McNair View Post

I just created this:

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=EAC_and_ALAC

You can use ffmpeg with EAC to create ALAC files without quicktime.

Simon

thx! i'm going to try that! I want to encode direct to ALAC, not FLAC.

however, does this method support gapless playback?

It depends on what your PLAYER supports.
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post #20 of 54 Old 04-20-2013, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

My current workflow involves ripping everything to FLAC and then using dbPowerAmp batch converter to convert the entire library to ALAC or MP3 as needed. Program costs about $38. I found it was worth it to have one loseless archive and be able to batch convert to other formats at will.

Why would you do this when you can rip to multiple formats in one pass with dbPowerAmp?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

My problem with Foobar2000 is, while it is a very powerful program, the programmers have made NO decisions for the user in terms of UI, etc. It's extendable to the extreme. It requires far too much configuration to get anything useful out of it.

I think this is on purpose. Foobar is without a doubt the most full-featured player out there and also uses the least amount of system resources. This is its beauty. If you want pretty you can download any number of add-ons for foobar, the user community is quite lively, and there are multiple plugins and add-ons. Or just stick with iTunes. rolleyes.gif

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post #21 of 54 Old 04-21-2013, 08:49 PM
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EAC.

I would never touch proprietary apple stuff.
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post #22 of 54 Old 04-21-2013, 09:35 PM
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I would never touch proprietary apple stuff.
Apple Lossless is an open-source format, and has far better hardware support than other lossless formats such as FLAC.
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post #23 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Apple Lossless is an open-source format, and has far better hardware support than other lossless formats such as FLAC.
Yes, ALAC has been open-source since late 2011. But I'm not sure I would agree with the hardware-support claim. I have more devices that support FLAC than I do ALAC. Matter of fact, I only have four devices that support ALAC, and they are three iPods and an iPad. None of my media players support ALAC, yet all but the Audiotrons support FLAC.

Interestingly, ALAC and FLAC are almost identical from a technical perspective. I believe FLAC is more common because it has been around longer, and has always been free. ALAC has been free for only 18 months.
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post #24 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
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Yes, ALAC has been open-source since late 2011. But I'm not sure I would agree with the hardware-support claim. I have more devices that support FLAC than I do ALAC. Matter of fact, I only have four devices that support ALAC, and they are three iPods and an iPad. None of my media players support ALAC, yet all but the Audiotrons support FLAC.

Interestingly, ALAC and FLAC are almost identical from a technical perspective. I believe FLAC is more common because it has been around longer, and has always been free. ALAC has been free for only 18 months.
Well I suppose it depends on what you own, but all Apple devices since around 2004 support it - which is probably the majority of players sold. And a number of other devices I've used recently have had ALAC support.

Most mainstream hardware either supports ALAC or doesn't support lossless audio at all. (but may support uncompressed audio) There's very little mainstream hardware which supports FLAC even though it's free and open-source. It's mostly esoteric audiophile hardware that has FLAC support. (or hardware which you can modify/run apps on) At least that has been my experience - I've only ever encountered one device which natively supported FLAC (Squeezebox) but it's been rare that I've had trouble playing ALAC anywhere recently.
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post #25 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Well I suppose it depends on what you own, but all Apple devices since around 2004 support it - which is probably the majority of players sold. And a number of other devices I've used recently have had ALAC support.

Most mainstream hardware either supports ALAC or doesn't support lossless audio at all. (but may support uncompressed audio) There's very little mainstream hardware which supports FLAC even though it's free and open-source. It's mostly esoteric audiophile hardware that has FLAC support. (or hardware which you can modify/run apps on) At least that has been my experience - I've only ever encountered one device which natively supported FLAC (Squeezebox) but it's been rare that I've had trouble playing ALAC anywhere recently.

For me, the key question is whether you're using apple gear or not. If you're already in the apple/itunes/airplay ecosystem, ALAC is the way to go. For almost all non-apple gear, I think FLAC is still the most versatile format and seems to be supported by more hardware than ALAC. The good news is that it doesn't really matter, since you can losslessly convert between FLAC and ALAC and any other lossless format all day and never lose information. The most important thing is to get a bit perfect copy off your media. My computers and phone are all apple and I have an airplay receiver, so I just rip everything to ALAC in itunes with error correction turned on. Other encoders like foobar may be a little more reliable with creating a bit-perfect copy with badly scratched CDs because their error correction is more robust, but if the CD is in reasonable condition, itunes does a great job.

For my high resolution content, I rip and archive the files to wav and downsample the 96/24 wav tracks to 48/16 ALAC format with Audacity so I can play the files on my portable gear. Airplay also downsamples everything to 48/16 so I'm not getting the benefit of 96/24 over airplay anyway. If I can hear the difference between 96/24 and 48/16 at all, which is rare, the difference is incredibly subtle. For me, it's not worth the hassle of maintaining a library with different versions of the same track. I just play the discs directly when I want the full resolution 96/24 content.
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post #26 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Apple Lossless is an open-source format, and has far better hardware support than other lossless formats such as FLAC.

There are published statistics, and there are statistics that are made up. This one is definitely the latter. Neither my Denon nor my Onkyo receivers support ALAC, but they do support FLAC.

I challenge you to name one non-Apple product that supports ALAC but not FLAC.

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post #27 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Well I suppose it depends on what you own, but all Apple devices since around 2004 support it - which is probably the majority of players sold. And a number of other devices I've used recently have had ALAC support.

Most mainstream hardware either supports ALAC or doesn't support lossless audio at all. (but may support uncompressed audio) There's very little mainstream hardware which supports FLAC even though it's free and open-source. It's mostly esoteric audiophile hardware that has FLAC support. (or hardware which you can modify/run apps on) At least that has been my experience - I've only ever encountered one device which natively supported FLAC (Squeezebox) but it's been rare that I've had trouble playing ALAC anywhere recently.

Of course Apple supports it, up until late 2011 it was their proprietary format.

I think you are confusing ALAC with AAC. Every device I own, including both legacy and Touch Squeezebox, have supported FLAC since day one. Squeezebox in fact took a long time to develop codecs for ALAC, and I'm not sure even today full support exists. My Denon 4311, native support for FLAC. My Onkyo TX-8050, native support for FLAC. It is true that for many devices that can transcode audio files ALAC can be played, but they're transcoded to FLAC biggrin.gif

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post #28 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Of course Apple supports it, up until late 2011 it was their proprietary format.
My point is that those devices make up the majority of playback devices sold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I think you are confusing ALAC with AAC. Every device I own, including both legacy and Touch Squeezebox, have supported FLAC since day one. Squeezebox in fact took a long time to develop codecs for ALAC, and I'm not sure even today full support exists. My Denon 4311, native support for FLAC. My Onkyo TX-8050, native support for FLAC. It is true that for many devices that can transcode audio files ALAC can be played, but they're transcoded to FLAC biggrin.gif
Every device I own that is capable of playing AAC also supports ALAC. The Squeezebox is the only device I have owned/tried that natively supports FLAC.

But very few devices support lossless playback to begin with. (relative to MP3/AAC, WAV/AIFF support) Going forward, we are likely to see increased ALAC support. FLAC clearly hasn't taken off, despite being free for manufacturers to implement.

It's easy enough to convert between the two formats anyway, but since switching to ALAC I have yet to encounter a device where my music hasn't worked, when my library was in FLAC that was constantly an issue.
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post #29 of 54 Old 04-22-2013, 09:50 PM
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Hi Chronoptimist,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

. . . The Squeezebox is the only device I have owned/tried that natively supports FLAC.
Well then, maybe you have had much of a variety. Every Network-based media player I have owned, aside from the Audiotron which predated both FLAC and ALAC, has supported FLAC and not ALAC. This includes the Dunes and NeoTV-550, and I believe it's true for any Sigma-Designs or Realtek based player, which is almost the entire video-centric media-player market. Now, this is simply my feel of the market, and I can't back it up with numbers (yet).

I would contend that players that support FLAC outnumber players that support ALAC, but you are contending otherwise, and my opinion means no more than yours. I also believe more people use FLAC than ALAC, but I assume you would disagree. I would concede that the total number players that can play ALAC may exceed those that play FLAC, simply because of the size of Apple's share of the market, but I would contend that the overwhelming majority of those Apple players are playing AAC or MP3s. You might feel otherwise.

Now, we disagree, and that's fine. It doesn't make sense to go further with the discussion unless someone can offer some real data. I spent a little time looking for hard numbers, but came up with nothing (Google isn't very good for market data). It would be nice to know for sure, as it could influence others in their choice of format.
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post #30 of 54 Old 04-23-2013, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

It depends on what your PLAYER supports.

allow me to rephrase.

I want to create ALAC m4a files with EAC. does EAC populate the pgap info in the m4a container?

I plan on using the ALACs with istuff, and winamp, both of which support gapless playback via pgap info ttbomk.

so, does EAC populate pgap atoms when making alac m4a's as described in that guide?
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