Why compromise your amazing sound system and exquisite headphones with low-grade music files? It's time to immerse yourself in high-resolution disc-to-digital audio.
A WAV file is a completely uncompressed lossless format and tracks can average 100mb each. An album can, therefore, exceed way above 1GB.
This may not be an issue at home, but if you want to go mobile with your music, your iPhone, for example, will reject WAV files, which is why we focus on the “any-device” mp3, and ALAC lossless for your Apple devices.
FLAC and ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) are both lossless types of audio files and contain the same data as a WAV file, but adopt a more sophisticated approach to compression. The result is audio preservation combined with smaller files.
Formats like FLAC and ALAC don’t throw any data out – they keep all the data and compress it intelligently, like a ZIP file.
We rip mp3 to 320kbps and minimise compression/data loss, to preserve audio. A versatile format playable on all devices, and comparable to the iTunes AAC 256kbps.
Many say they can't hear any difference between this level and an ALAC file, but there are variables to consider such as the device used, your speakers and how a CD was re-mastered.
ALAC is our favourite. File sizes are larger but given the low cost of storage these days and mobile devices offering greater capacity, it's not such an issue. And if you need to transcode to a mp3 later, you can do so from your original Lossless ALAC file, using Plex and iTunes.
DigiRAW rips your CDs at higher bit rate levels to minimise audio degradation. It’s not a cloned lossless result but it is far superior to a typical music store download or average home rip.
Our mp3 files will be a little larger to accommodate all that added fidelity, but we’re talking only a few MB per track, which even a standard set of headphones or home sound system will relish.
You can expect tracks to average 9mb compared to a typical CD home rip or music download/stream at 3mb. And that 200% greater fidelity really does make a huge difference!
If a larger file size is of no concern and your eco system comprises iTunes, Plex, or perhaps Sonos, and Apple devices then plump for the lossless ALAC copy of your CDs.
Just like a FLAC or WAV file, your Apple Lossless format (ALAC) will capture every note but with the added advantage of being able to transfer and play them on your iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs.
Better still, if for any reason you need that track or album in a mp3, iTunes has an in built conversion feature. Just a couple of clicks of your mouse and your ALAC is saved and a mp3 is created.
DigiRAW will metadata tag your music files directly with album artwork, title, genre and more so all you need to do is a simple drag and drop action into you iTunes or any other media management software.
Assuming the correct album artwork is listed or even available, iTunes can run off and grab information from Gracenote. However, album artwork is stored in a separate back end file and not written directly to each track.
So, if you upgrade to a new computer or endure a crash with data loss, you are likely to face the daunting prospect of starting over. And if you transfer your music to a non-iTunes compatible device, you won’t see any album covers at all.
Tagging directly to each track really is the only way to go.
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