New Apple Lossless encoder??

Category: Digital

"Discerning customers and audiophiles want true CD audio, and now iTunes can give you that quality with the new Apple Lossless encoder. You’ll get the full quality of uncompressed CD audio using about half the storage space. You can copy music in this format onto your iPod or iPod mini, to take perfect audio wherever you go."

Can anyone explain this technology and is it a true statement that all of the sound information encoded on a CD can now be downloaded to an iPod and replayed with that same information and quality???? Or is this just hype and misleading info??
I have used the Lossless and the regular WAV. The Lossless actually take about 2/3 of the space of the original. It does remove "redundant" information from the original, but it is far better than MP3. I bought two external hard drives, one is used for my 60G I-pod Photo using the Lossless encoder. The other one is used for my office system using the WAV encoder. Please be advised that you can only use the Lossess or the uncompresed (WAV or AIFF)with the cds that you import, if you buy music from I-Tunes you can only use the ACC encoder. I suggest that you record the same song twice, one with the Lossless and one with AIFF or WAV, listen to them for a while, then decide before you start importing you cd collection.
I believe John Atkinson did an objective test on this as well, where he actually looked at the bits that were encoded and then decoded using the lossless compression and comparing it to the original data file. He found that it did retain all information as advertised.
I have a two 3rd generation 40gb iPods (one is used by my wife) and both exhibit a problem with some Apple lossless files. I also play my iTunes library (100gb) through my main system with a Wavelength USB Brick with great results. Apple Lossless being a VBR codec, the bit rate varies from less than 500kbps to greater than 800kbps. Files where the bit rate is >600kbps will pause, skip, or freeze both iPods frequently. Smaller bitrate files play without a problem. Reading posts on the iPod Lounge indicates others have had this problem. Has anyone had this problem with the 4th generation or the 60gb photo iPods? Otherwise I am extremely pleased with Apple Lossless.
Twb2, I have that problem on my 60G I-Pod photo. It happens everytime I use it. I got several books about I-Pods, the authors feel that the Lossless makes the internal disk on the I-Pod spin more often than the ACC or MP3 encoders, hence battery life using the Lossless is much shorter.

Have you tried the latest firmware update for your 60G iPod Photo?
just like a zip file. it compresses. but when you decompress, you get the exact original back, bit for bit.
Yes, I am using the 4.9 version (Pod Casting).
Have you contacted Apple Support regarding this problem and if so what was their response????
The weak link in iTunes is the actual D/A conversion on your computer. The output of most computers' sound cards is simply atrocious, and the iPod isn't much better. But, if you have a quality outboard DAC, you can make iTunes sound like an audiophile-quality CD source.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a Benchmark DAC1. After listening to the improvement on my CD player, I connected the DAC to my computer via an optical TOSlink cable.

Now, I can't hear any difference between music in iTunes (the lossless encoded files) and my CD transport. The quality simply blew me away.

The CD player is a Simaudio Equinox CD Player (a phenomenal-sounding player on its own), but the Benchmark DAC sounds even more detailed and open than the player on its own. So, getting the equal quality of out iTunes (via the DAC) is quite a feat.

Try it. You'll be shocked at how good it sounds.

Disclaimer: this won't help your .mp3 or iTMS-purchased songs -- but Lossless audio plays incredibly well.
I used iTunes with Apple Lossless Encoder to import some on the album SKYLARKING by XTC. The song "Dear God" had a lot of hissing and scraching in it. Did I do something wrong? I just bought the 60GB iPOD.
The concept behind lossless compression is sound. It should generate output identical to the CD original. A relatively full explanation can be found here:

Shorthand example: if a digital signal is 111111111100000011111111110000001111111111000000, that takes 48 characters to describe. I could also describe it as 3x((10x1)&(6x0)) which takes 16 characters to describe. In terms of data file size, I've achieved 3:1 compression. What's obvious is that you need to be able to decompress (translate the formula) in realtime. Compression formulas are much more complicated than this little example, but for computer chips these days, this is a very easy task.

Having said that, I've NEVER listened or compared or tested Apple's output, but I expect that feeding to a good D/A converter would yield CD quality.
it is still a compressed format and is convenient but not the same as transpiort and dac combo with good digital cable...of course analog still sounds better than all of it!!!
I have not done any A/B blind testing. As an audiophile, of course I shy away from any sort of objective, scientific methods.

But anecdotally, I think my WAV files undoubtedly sound the best, and as I have said in many other threads - why even risk a loss of sound quality when hard drives are only getting cheaper!?

Also, it really irritates me that I spent a lot of money downloading Apple alledgedly "lossless" files that I can't use on open source players like Foobar. Even worse, I think there are some other protective codes which might limit playback to a certain number of computers?

I like the iTunes interface, and would happily pay to download WAV files, but I am otherwise staying away from Apple.

They are closing to spirit in Microsoft than their ads would have you believe.