Is There A Difference Between Lossless Audio Formats Like ALAC, FLAC, AIFF & WAV?

aiff vs wav
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everyone Tristan back with another video and in this video Id like to talk about audio formats lossless audio formats and is there a difference by lossless audio for us I am referring to apple lossless otherwise known as Ala see also wav files WAV and AIFF files Im not talking about the music that you can download from iTunes that is a lossy format and not CD quality not bit perfect CD quality although they probably sound pretty good in general Im talking about lossless formats primarily and the reason why Im doing this video and also this is a live stream if anyones watching feel free to chat or whatever but it will turn into a video in my channel afterwards but the reason Im doing this video is because I recently discovered a little bit of new information about them and did some listening tests and have determined for me from my own preferences that AIFF for me is the best audio format and sounds the best previously I was using a mixture of a FF and Apple Lossless a la C and Apple losses is a compressed format so the track file sizes are about half of what a iff is however the both bit perfect so bit perfect means that its CD quality and all the bits are there so there is not any difference in quality technically in terms of audio quality technically with those two formats however one is compressed the Apple Lossless is compressed and AIFF is not compressed and you actually do hear a slight difference in that fact because when youre listening to apple lossless compressed lossless files your computer or your device that youre listening to has to uncompress those in real time and the AIFF or wav files are uncompressed lossless and the computer or playback device does not have to do any other compression in real time when playing about and I have actually done a lot of it tests with a F AIFF versus Apple Lossless and I can tell you that the Apple Lossless seems to sound better mean I can tell you the AIFF uncompressed tracks seem to sound a lot better they sound that more separation they have more impact they have just more air and ease about them to the music and just more clarity and it is quite subtle but it is definitely there and so even though AFF and also wave WAV files take up like double the space of a apple lossless file I

think its worth it because the computer doesnt have to work as hard to uncompress you know the music as its playing back and I think in that uncompressed process there is something that is its basically like a timing issue slight timing delays or slight timing you know very micro subtle timing issues in that uncompressed process that I think D creates the audio quality of Apple Lossless just ever so slightly now some people may not hear the difference but and also you probably wont notice a difference if youre playing an apple lossless file and just listening to an album or something like that but where you really will notice a difference and where I notice the difference is if I have an apple lossless track and an AIFF track the same song and I play them back to back or just switch between the two I can really definitely you know if Im comparing the two different files I can really hear hear that difference another interesting fact is that because theyre both been perfect the Apple Lossless and the AIFF you can actually convert from Apple Lossless to AIFF and back and forth without losing anything and the main difference is just that one is compressed and has to be decompressed by the computer upon playback in real time and one is not compressed but when you convert from say apple lossless to AIFF it is decompressing that file for you and giving you the bitrate back all of the bitrate back of that track whereas if you play the apple lossless file is compressed and its a the bitrate is actually compressed and the computer or the playback device has to do the own compression while its playing the track back so interestingly I have some apple lossless CDs that I had ripped you know yeah in apple lossless format and I actually just converted them using a piece of software called Excel D for OSX for Mac and I converted them from Apple losses to FF and they sounded better so I actually gained some audio quality just by doing that I did not have to go back and rear it my CDs to AIFF or anything like that I only had to convert from Apple Lossless to AIFF so the only thing Im losing there is disk space but thats not as much of an issue anymore because hard drives are getting much larger these days storage is actually really cheap so even like my iPhone is

a 256 gig iPhone so I really recommend AIFF if youre playing either apple lossless files or something different thats compressed I would actually recommend going to an uncompressed music format the two uncompressed music formats are basically AIFF and WAV WAV and in terms of comparing the two uncompressed format so Im AI FF and wave um its pretty primarily the Mac format and wave is primarily like the windows format but nowadays you can pretty much play both of them I think iTunes however doesnt really support tagging very well with the wav format which is the primary and also album artwork and things like that so thats the primary reason that Im using AIFF over wave and also I did a comparison between those two uncompressed lossless formats and I couldnt hear any difference at all at least with my DAC in my computer depending on your device some devices apparently may play the WAV lossless audio files a little bit better than the Hough where some other devices some other to Dax may play the AI FF better in my comparison I couldnt hear any difference between the two at all so I went with a iff pretty much for the convenience factor of getting the tags and artwork and stuff like that because unless you kind of have a program that can import the tags or you want to do it manually the wav files dont support tags and stuff I will post a link in the description field to this video of discussion on this topic theyre not really a discussion but an article on this topic covering most of the stuff that Im talking about here but I did want to do this video and encourage you if youre using Apple Lossless music tracks in your sort of audio file system I would encourage you to try AIFF just convert some of those tracks or one of those albums or something to AIFF and see if you can hear a difference for yourself thatll be my guess that you probably can and again the reason is that are both bit perfect but one is compressed and what is uncompressed and the less the playback device or the computer has to do to uncompress the file I think the better the audio quality and like what I heard in terms of when I compared um Apple losses to AFF is like I said before AI F AIFF just sounds like it can breathe better kind of like a fine

wine not just kidding but it does sound like it can breathe better its more effortless a little bit more impactful a little bit more stereo separation whereas the Apple Lossless file just seems to have like a little bit of a veil like over the sound over the music to it a little bit of a muting over and its very subtle and again you probably wont notice unless you compare them back-to-back but it is definitely there so for me its AIFF as always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them and for community discussion see the comments field and also check the description field for that article that I was talking about that talks about some of this stuff but yeah you can convert your Apple Lossless to AIFF or to wave and its totally a bit perfect so you dont have to actually go back and reappoint your CDs if you already have them an Apple Lossless or anything like that another cool thing is that if you have the a if you have files and AIFF you can always convert to lower files like go either Apple Lossless or even Apple AAC or mp3s or whatever without you know any problem because you pretty much have the source thats the actual uncompressed music thats actually on the CD itself so thanks for watching and Ill see you in my next video Ill also post a link to the excel d app which is grayed out for importing CDs on OS 10 or converting files on OS 10 as well it does a much better job than iTunes in terms of the audio quality another thing about iTunes that I want to mention speaking of iTunes while Im on the topic if you have high bitrate audio files in iTunes say like 24-bit files in iTunes and you use iTunes to convert files like to convert from say a high bitrate Apple Lossless to a iff iTunes is going to make it 16-bit its going to just strip out in the 24-bit it may have 16-bit so its going to lower your quality slightly so I dont recommend using iTunes to convert files unless they are already a 16-bit use Excel DX LD the exit the app is really nice it doesnt do that it preserves your your bitrate and all that stuff so I will post links to both of those on the bottom here and thanks for watching see you in my next video

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