iTunes Importing?

1. What "CODEC" do you use to import CDs into iTunes?

2. If using very large hard drives should WAV or AIFF be used?

3. What is the difference between WAV and AIFF?

4. Does Apple Lossless sound as good as "uncompressed"?

5. Does iTunes "rip" CDs "bit for bit"?

Thanks for sharing your time!
Apple Lossless works for me; but I only use my iPod when travelling.

On the 'plane with my Total Airhead II and Bose Quiet Comfort 2 N/C 'phones, it gives me more pleasure than I could have imagined.

1. Itunes natively rips CD's.. there shouldn't be any required plug ins.
2. WAV files can not be tagged with song/artist/album information... so using WMA/FLAC/Apple lossless allows this and these are smaller since they use compression (but are bit perfect)
3. WAV are raw audio files on an Audio CD..
4. Give it a listen there are plenty of threads saying they can hear a difference. I can't even in my system comparing FLAC to WAV. (I do not use Itunes)
5. If you want perfect bit for bit rips you need a PC not a MAC (unless there is a program out now)... get a Plextor drive and use Plextools or download EAC (Exact Copy) freeware and setup your CD-ROM drive to extract CD's perfectly. Then you can convert those WAV to Applelossless in Itunes I believe.
On 2/3, WAV isn't really the native file on the CD, its the native bits on the CD in a MS-DOS/Windows file wrapper. The AIFF, I believe, is the same thing in an Apple wrapper.
FLAC, AIFF, and WMA are all Lossless formats and are recommended. Yes you can use lossless on large HD.
For 300 Cd's you will need approximately 120 GB for FLAC or WMA; and 240 GB for AIFF or WAV.
I use FLAC for its quality and because it is about half the size of AIFF. FLAC don't work with itunes. AIFF does, but I do not recommend it for ipod because of a very large file size.
Ed, you're right about the WAV/AIFF thing. As I recall, AIFF was a lot more common on Unix machines, and WAV mostly on Windows. But I think that nowadays both are fairly well accepted, but WAV seems to be more universally used.

I think the formats may differ in endianness or something, but they are similar in that they are containers for the raw CD data.

Check this out
If you use a PC you can use MediaMonkey to automatically convert your FLAC collection on the fly to a set max bit rate to your ipod. I have mine setup to downgrade it to 320kb Variable Bit rate MP3. It takes some time, so make sure you have a current (recent high horsepower machine).
Is there a way to change the format of files downloaded from iTunes Store?

I just downloaded some Bill Frisell songs into iTunes and then burned a CD for use on my red book player. I am not completely happy with the quality - not terrible, but not top notch either. As far as I can tell, iTunes does not allow you to change the download format from their iTunes Store which defaults to AAC, you are only allowed to modify the format for importing from CDs to iTunes. Is this correct? I have some chamber music I downloaded from itunes in AAC format that sounds terrific - makes me wonder how good a store bought version would sound?

I don't use an ipod because I am disappointed with the quality and typically don't listen to music on the go, so I am only interested in acquiring music that is as high in quality as possible for burning to disk, and not concerned with storing except on CD. For making custom music collections from one CD to another, I usually just burn with MAC or Windows disk management software, and skip itunes altogether. I typically notice a real improvement in quality by doing this. iTunes is helpful for making custom CD labels with artist, disk name and song list.

Is there a way to change the format of files downloaded from iTunes Store?

You have 2 big problems with files downloaded from itunes store. First, i am pretty sure you cannot convert these to a non-DRM format (e.g., mp3, wma) b/c itunes wants you to use the files ONLY in itunes or on an ipod. If someone has figured out how to break these restrictions, i haven't heard about it. Second, the file you downloaded from itunes store is almost certainly compressed to 128 kbps. That level of compression, by definition, DESTROYS any hope of a decent sounding file.

Bottom line is that itunes store is almost worthless if you care how your music sounds.
Knownothing, You can't copy or convert songs from iTunes music store because the tracks are protected by a Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme called FairPlay. Apple has chosen not to license the ability to play its FairPlay tracks to anyone, there is nothing we can do about it, but..... You can 'burn' the music to a CD and then 'rip' it back to your computer. This will remove the DRM protection, it will also remove information such as: artist name, track, etc, so you will manually have to re-tag the music. This is the only way as far as I know. If someone knows any other way (easier) I will be also interested. It is one of my only complains with iTunes beside price of songs/albums.
Jefferybowman2k, OK, so iTunes is locked into a weaker digital format by their attachment to the original iPod. What about other music servers like Real Networks? Is there any online music store that allows audiophiles to purchase and download individual song files in lossless high quality digital formats?

Mrjstark, I have not had problems manipulating digital files from iTunes or otherwise, but there is no way to add information back to compressed files purchased from the iTunes store, is there? I am more concerned with getting all the digital information encoded at the beginning of the recording/transferring process. Those of us who care about these things should provide a big enough market for someone to try to serve quality music files over the Internet. I would think Mr. Paul - Experience Music Project - Allen would get this and be doing something about it.
I thought iTMS was going DRM-free?

I also thought there were some offerings in higher quality format from iTMS.
The best downloads, and my personal favorite for quality is MusicGiants and no copy protection. Second, is but selection is very limited. I am not 100% positive but I think it is also copy protection free . As of DRM- free Itunes the word is that they may indeed provide DRM-free downloads but for their lower resolution offerings since new higher resolution format for Itunes is around the corner. So far there is very limited library of H-resolution downloads from Itunes but I am sure it is not going to take long to rebuild their whole library around new format.
I have my own way of copying Cd and downloads that provide the best quality and convenience . Converting, copying and archiving is done by a professional company for a very reasonable amount of money ( a little over a dollar per CD or CDR ). This is my own personal way of storing my most important and best recordings.
Thanks, that is helpful.
I can give you a link if you want to try it. They can convert to any format you want.
For anyone interested in converting their most valuable collection to almost any format.
This is a link:
So far this is the best and one of the less expensive places I could find for conversions. Excellent customer service.
Price is about $135 for a 100 CDs, but if you have less then that it is not a problem. More CD you send bigger discount you get. They don't do DVD- Hollywood movies, DVD-Audio or SACD's. They can convert your library to CD R, DVD R, Ipod or Hard drive .

Happy Listening,
Mariusz Stark