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Lossy vs Lossless questions
#282500 12/15/09 03:09 PM
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I am about to embark on creating a digital music library. Right now I have nothing - no music on the computer, no hardware/software to transfer music from hard-drive to stereo receiver. I am getting an Ipod for Christmas. I have a very limited understanding of the software and methods for creating music files on my computer. I am somewhat familiar with the lossy compression format for MP3's and AAC, and the lossless compression format of FLAC and Apple Lossless. I should note that I have both a PC and a MAC available for use.

My music sources would be ripped CD's and downloaded from itunes or Amazon, etc. Assume that hard-drive storage space is not an issue.

I have a couple questions.

First, If I want to play the music over both an Ipod and my home stereo system (through Squeezebox or Apple tv), will I need two separate libraries on the computer, one lossless for the stereo and one lossy for the Ipod?

How will the lossy compressed files sound on the home stereo, if I use the 256kbps itunes+ format? Is itunes+ an acceptable alternative to lossless for playback on the home system?

Is there any way to download lossless music files?

Thanks in advance.


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Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
BobG #282502 12/15/09 03:22 PM
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A lot depends on the volume of music you have. If lossless will all fit on your iPod, do everything lossless. If not, then you might want to consider dual libraries.
Even if 256K+ sounds pretty good on a sound system, it is always nice to have a perfect backup on your computer (in case of disk dammage or theft).


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Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
EFalardeau #282504 12/15/09 03:27 PM
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It looks like you already have a receiver, but there is an option on some receivers that will enhance lossy sound sources to bring back some of the quality.

Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
CatBrat #282541 12/15/09 08:20 PM
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Hard drive space is very, very cheap compared to the bad old days. Much easier/cheaper to store straight .wav/.aiff files than ever before.

I've seen people rip their entire collections and convert into mp3s and then sell their cds! Madness!

But then, I despise any mp3s.

If I were you, I would never, ever store cd files in any other format other file than it's native 16 bit 44.1.

That's already "lossy" enough imho.


"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa

Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
audiosavant #282543 12/15/09 08:30 PM
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Hear, hear.

Not to mention that CPUs are fast enough, that one can transcode from Wave, AIFF, FLAC, or Apple Lossless into MP3 or what have you, on the fly as part of copying to a device with less than infinite storage.


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Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
ClubNeon #282546 12/15/09 08:40 PM
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A Transporter based music server is probably in my future.

Don't look forward to ripping my extensive cd collection though!


"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa

Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
audiosavant #282548 12/15/09 08:48 PM
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At least if you do it right, you only have to do it once.

I've been ripping mine as I play discs. When I want to hear something if I don't have it ripped yet, I rip it then, and play the rip instead. Some days I do sit down and do a few discs. But it is more fun to listen than to rip.


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Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
ClubNeon #282550 12/15/09 09:13 PM
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 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
But it is more fun to listen than to rip.


So true.

I burned out a cdr/dvd drive on my powerbook when I tried to catalog my cd collection using database search library software.

I hope to do it only once.

And make sure I back it up on several devices!


"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa

Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
audiosavant #282552 12/15/09 09:29 PM
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Notebook drives are not the most hearty of beasts. Definitely recommend using a desktop machine for the work.


Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
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Re: Lossy vs Lossless questions
ClubNeon #282554 12/15/09 10:03 PM
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It's going to depend on how transportable you want those files. If you want them to play on almost everything, MP3 is your best bet. Maybe choose something like 320kbps. That's always seemed to work fine. Then you can play it on any MP3 player, PC, Mac, PS3, Tivo, etc.

If you do FLAC, you're limited to only a few portables. If you do AAC, then it's only Apple. If you want music from the Apple store, it's only Apple products for playback, can't use Sonos for example.

I've started to move to lossless but since most of my equipment is Apple, I've gone w/ AAC. The guys are right, hard drives are cheap so don't make decisions on that.

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