IPOD CLASSIC 7th Gen, Apple or WAV?


Alright so I might get a new IPOD Classic. I have never owned one, but due to a new car having the USB port capable of controlling it right on the new radio decided it would be nice to have vs. carrying around CD's.

Anyway for the most part I have heard MP3 files in cars, and its not bad, not much different than CD directly. For Car I normally could care less.

Home is a different story, if I decide in the future to hook this up thru a Dock or not I would like to just be prepared and do the best lossless format possible, I don't care about space, the 160 gig on the new one should be fine even with un-compressed files for the amount of stuff I will ever put on it.

So where is the Audio-phile hi end at on the format wars these days? Use apples format, or go to the WAV, FLAC What?

I want it as simple as possible, I will not be using Itunes service for downloading any music, strictly copying the CD's. Which is the final question, not sure if you can do any of this without using ITUNES, but what program and setup do you guys suggest downloading to the Laptop for best CD transfer to an IPOD with best format and of course best user interface? I have plenty of hard drive backup space etc... Once I get the whole CD collection transfered.
Thanks
undertow
I had exactly your experience, bought a car with iPod plug in the glove box and controls on the steering wheel :^).

I transferred a bunch of my favorite CDs into iTunes via Apple Lossless and listen in the car and sometimes for long trips, with Ultimate Ears in ear speaker.

The DAC in an iPod is not going to compete with a nice in home CD, I think Apple Lossless is fine for what you're planning.
I just bought a used car and am in the same boat. 120 GB iPod with all Apple Lossless, and the cable that plugs into the bottom of the iPod, not the earbud input. That's important, because it means the crappy iPod amplifier isn't doing the work; the high end(ish) car stereo is amplifying the signal instead. Not the equal of my home or even computer system, but well within reason for road trips.

I don't drive to work (it's a five block walk), so this is meant to be a 2-5 hour drive type of setup. It works more than well for that purpose.
Thedautch
Oh yeah I will not use the headphone out, the other key aspect to the USB to Apple connection vs. minijack is that it will also keep the unit Charged so thats a nice advantage as well.

I guess just use the Itune and load it up via Apple Lossless?

Thanks
You'll never get everyone to agree on what is best, so educate yourself the best you can.

I think there is a lot more to digital than is known by the average guy, talking of myself; I have this belief based partly due to the vast differences in results reported.

I have compared Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV and have not been able to discern a difference. Making a change in my system recently, I have copied some files once again to see if I feel the same and while I haven't spent much time comparing them yet, the little I did compare yeilded no difference. (Let me note that while Apple Lossless is a compressed format, it is in a manner where is can be converted back, so no data is truly lost.)

Those that claim to hear a difference I have come to wonder if it has more to do with the equipment used, where certain conversions are done better via some brands, designs, etc.

One pet peeve of mine is that the iPod is talked of in a negative light, such as, "an iPod is not going to compete with a nice in home CD", this I do not agree with, nor due a number of reviewers.

Most are aware of the Wadia iTransport which bypasses the DAC within the iPod, making the iPod a hard drive based source. Now we can go in many directions here, but there are already many threads on most of those subjects.

To finally address your question directly, I'd chose Apple Lossless or AIFF. AIFF is Apple's version of WAV, so the file is full size, but the benefit of AIFF over WAV is its ability to carry metatags along with all your music so you have cover art, etc. These two formats will allow you to easily store your music, per your request. Apple Lossless will take approximately half the space of AIFF, it is your call.
One pet peeve of mine is that the iPod is talked of in a negative light, such as, "an iPod is not going to compete with a nice in home CD", this I do not agree with, nor due a number of reviewers.

The question concerned use of iPod in a car, that typically implies that the on board DAC of the iPod is what will be listened to. For that reason it will not be equal to a good home CD player with better DAC.

You basically posted the same thing when you wrote
Most are aware of the Wadia iTransport which bypasses the DAC within the iPod, making the iPod a hard drive based source.
Well, actually the way my Ipod will be used is via the USB line, so actually my understanding is that the car stereo will be getting the raw digital signal, not an analog already D/A conversion from the Ipod. The car stereo does have DSP and Dac's built in from what I am reading anyway. That being said only thing nobody has answered is how to do it!?

Okay so AIFF as stated is probably the best overall route, I am fine with that, however where is this done? Do you just download your latest version of ITUNEs and as you transfer a CD into the "Itune Library" or whatever you will actually have options of what format to convert this into while saving the file? Or is this gonna take some more work and third party program etc… Besides an easy Itune interface? Again I have not even used it yet, I am very Savvy with all this stuff once I do it, just don't even own the device yet and have no reason to even really get started until I know how basic or complex this will get.

Thanks     
Albert,

While I understand that the OP question was related to using it in a car, but a home CDP isn't going to be used in a car either.

Brian
Undertow, yes, simply download iTunes and then go into the settings and set the import setting to AIFF, if that is what is desired; I also like to check the error corection box. From there start copying your CD's and then plug your iPod into your PC and it will Sync the music over to your Ipod.
Okay sounds good, Thanks
Albert,

Let me follow up on above, as sometimes comments can't be seen in full light when reading. I fully understand what you were saying in your first post and fully agree, the point I was trying to convey was the possibilities of the iPod at home and rather than use all my own words I stole yours to make my point; I hope this clarifies my point better, my aologies for not being clearer.
Well, actually the way my iPod will be used is via the USB line, so actually my understanding is that the car stereo will be getting the raw digital signal, not an analog already D/A conversion from the iPod.

Apple provides a cable with their connector on one end and USB at the other. My car came with factory installed genuine Apple branded cable but the signal from that is analog to the car system and hard wired. There is no USB.

If your car has the ability to decode digital from iPod that's great, reading through the list of radio's that can do this, there are precious few.
One quick question (estimate) I know its not perfect, how many albums can you expect to get onto a 160 gig Ipod in general? In AIFF that is? Most standard CD's are 650 to 750 mb, so not sure where we end up via AIFF on an ipod.
I assume essentially they could even be larger in AIFF due to all the graphics and tags that come along with this format on the device.
Thanks again
Albertporter
I understand and actually my wifes car has the "Apple Branded" cable, which in fact is not a standard USB on the Car end of it and I would assume is an analog signal being passed to a basic auxilary input on the Factory radio, it is some type of proprietary serial connection the car manufactures have installed... However I am using a Sony aftermarket stereo with true USB and DACS, I believe this does bypass the Apple Dacs in this case. Thanks
I do not know the answer to that question but two things I will pass along.

1) After you import a CD, iTunes will search their database for the cover art to attach to your files, which is a nice feature; you can add your own if necessary.

2) If you copy your music as AIFF and later run out of room, iTunes has a feature to convert files to Apple Lossless, and it doesn't take that long.

I have 2711 songs, alomost all are Apple Lossless, I have a few as AIFF, and I have used 71.80 GB.

BTW, AIFF will create a file size exactly the same as what is on the CD. As you stated, cover art adds a little more.
Let me follow up on above, as sometimes comments can't be seen in full light when reading. I fully understand what you were saying in your first post and fully agree, the point I was trying to convey was the possibilities of the iPod at home and rather than use all my own words I stole yours to make my point; I hope this clarifies my point better, my apologies for not being clearer.

And truthfully, I was thinking iPod more for the car even though Undertow's opening statement read he might later put in his home. I use iPod for car trips or to escape engine noise on long flights.

I choose Apple Lossless but admit I have not compared to anything other than MP3 compression. The difference between those two formats was easy to discern, even on my tower computer system with crappy speakers, so I never used anything other than Apple Lossless for my car.
Undertow,

However I am using a Sony aftermarket stereo with true USB and DACS, I believe this does bypass the Apple Dacs in this case. Thanks

Well, you're ahead of my cars system then because I believe you are right that mine just connects with the factory radio to provide analog connection.
Just reporting back, AIFF is perfect… Yeah it takes up space, but with the new 160 gig model I cant even fill it half with nearly 200 albums.

Also just for those taking notes you can with a current model computer with good CD drive get about 10 to 12 full length albums per hour loaded to Itunes in AIFF. Also in the car the CD is identical to the Ipod sound, but then again in a car the room acoustics are far easier to control vs. your house.
Thanks
you made an offer for my nottingham space deck. i can't make the audiogon software work for a counter offer. if you get this, email me at collinslaw@fuse.net to discuss.

tom