What format are most people using, and why?

Are most people just using WAV or another lossless format like FLAC?

I have personally used FLAC because of its ability to store metadata like cd and track name info, file sizes being ~25% smaller than WAV, ability to be streamed, and obviously the lossless aspect.

I am thinking about re-encoding my collection and was wondering what other people are using.

ALAC. Same benefits as FLAC, but I can use iTunes...
AIFF, what can I say, I've become an Apple guy.
Apple Lossless for 2 reasons.

1. like you stated, you can't tag a wav file
2. I decided for a variety of reasons to use iTunes on a Mac Mini so that is the logical choice, iTunes won't play FLAC files
I'm entertaining the idea of getting into PC audio as a source. Having said that I believe at this point I would go with Apple Lossless.

The reasons being (1) I plan on purchasing a 60gb iPod to listen to while running, at the library, etc. I say 60gb because I believe that it is the only iPod with a 64 bit buffer (i.e. lot's of complaints form people using lossless on the 30gb (32 bit buffer) that they experience skips in the music.

Reason (2) is that I understand that the Squeezebox 3 is compatible with Apple Lossless. Ideally, I'd like to connect it via the DAC input on my Cary CD player.

I think that the only downside to using Apple Lossless is that I'm running a Windows XP environment, if that is a downside...
FLAC. lots of live music in FLAC format on dimeadozen.com.

I use macamp lite to playback on my Mac.
Wave files. 24/96 wave files for all my analog recordings.Hard drive space is cheap and getting cheaper. I want my recordings preserved in the best format.
FLAC. Foobar is awesome and I hate Apple products.
I don't understand why you feel 24/96 wave files are the best. Assuming you are ripping CDs, the data must be converted from it's native 16 bit to 24 bit. Wouldn't it be better to save bit perfect 16 bit copies than somehow converting it? If you feel that adding more bits somehow makes things sound better (I don't) then wouldn't it be better to store a perfect copy of the original and up convert on playback? Sooner or later an up-converter you like better will come along and you will be stuck with whatever your old converter produced.
I only use 24/96 when burning my vinyl onto the hard drive. Most of my cd's are burned at 16/44 and I don't like the effects of the up converters I have tried.
That makes good sense. I must have been asleep as I missed the part in your post about analog. What are using to convert your vinyl to digital?
I have a Lynx 2 card in my computer. I also use the Manley Slam (a professional a to d, d to a dac) when I can borrow it. For computer out I go Adobe Audition to the Empirical Off ramp turbo to the Audiomeca Enkianthus X2 ( TRL modified)Dac.
Harry, I have been busy putting my CDs on hard drive and up to this point have not really considered putting any vinyl there. I figured my records would sound better played as is without converting it to digital. Other than being more convenient when stored to your hard drive do you see other benefits?

I looked at that Adobe program. Looks very powerful. It looks like it will do 32/196. Have you tried that? Seems like it would take a lot of space.

Do you use it to correct defects such as pops and ticks on from the vinyl? Is it effective?

Can it manage your library like iTunes or do you use it just to playback through it?

How much hard drive space does a file take at 24/96? I think a 16/44 file is about 10 Mbytes a minute.

Hello Herman. Vinyl does sound worse once digitally recorded, but 24/96 seems to be the balance of nice sound without eating up too much hard drive. I don't do any correction,as a matter of fact I run it thru my Supratec Cabernet to boost the gain enough for recording. I only record 1-2 songs per album. Maybe 40 songs total. It doesn't eat up too much hard drive. Adobe is nice, but there are so many free choices.
I see that you are using the Lynx 2. Have you tried to connect the soundcard direct to your pre-amp (or amplifier) using the card's balanced cables? If so, how did it sound like?

I want to get the same card and use its analog outputs. I wonder if this configuration will give me a satisfactory result - good enough to avoid the cost of a digital out/external DAC setup.

I advance my thanks
I use WMA lossless. My only use is home playback at this point - I don't have much use for portable playback. Lossless is a key factor, and as others have said, WAV doesn't do the tagging info.

I don't spend much time on comparing encoding schemes, etc., so I pretty much defaulted into WMA, figuring it was lossless and would be supported forever since it's a MSFT creation. What I would like is a hard-drive-based car system that connects wirelessly to the home network, and syncs with the music files you put in a particular directory on your music server. If I could get that and it needed something other than WMA, I'd go to the trouble of converting. Otherwise, WMA lossless works great, and HD space is cheap enough now that the cost allows you to archive all the music you want to.
I own and love the Lynx 2b I have.

I run this direct into my Pass x-150 using balanced connections. It is signifacantly better than my old trans/ dac combo.

I think the nalaog outs are great on the Lynx 2, and if you factor in doing room correction and crossovers from the computer, it can yeild great sound!
Hi dawnrazor-age, is the "Pass x-150" an amp or a pre-amp. If it's an amp, then you must be using the computer for volume control - what media player software are you using?

I prefer this kind of setup due to fewer components in the chain. The specs on the Lynx on Jitter and S/N are pretty good. I hope the sound is not too analytical, though

The x-150 is an amp, and yes, I run straight into it from the lynx.

I agree that it does produce a simple chain, and the volume control stigma about losing bits, etc. just doesnt bear out in listening.

THe Lynx sound is a bit hard to describe. It is not analytical at all to my ears, yet it is very detailed, but still very musical. It is also very neutral and clean but still gets the toes tapping.

I use a program called ACXO as a player, since it is designed to offer digital crossovers, and room correction. It is pretty basic in that it was designed to mimic a highend cdp. So it only does .wavs (with cue sheets) and no playlists. But, it will oversample to 96, has ASIO built in, does cover art, crossovers, and room correction. I primarily use it because it is super simple to setup.


I also use foobar because it is more flexible and handles different formats and playlists...but, is a PITA to configure right...so I haven't really made the transition to foobar. This is an ongoing process.

Overall, I love the computer setup, and the sound quality is much better than my cdp/dac combo, and I am off the upgrade merrygoround.
ALAC - As a Mac guy its a no-brainer; in fact its hard to do it any other way.

And with all due respect to those who "hate" Apple products, iTunes is a powerful solution that seamlessly integrates ripping and tagging with a first rate library manager. It works fine with SBs, iPods, USB etc, is supported by all kinds of interesting third party stuff, is backed by a highly innovative company offering excellent support and continuous upgrades and best of all for some, is free.

That said, there have been some posts discussing some limitations when used in a Win environment - not sure if its a K-Mixer issue or something else... be worth looking into.
dawnrazor-age, Wow! Your setup is amazing.

Your experience on the internal soundcard is very encouraging.

The other option I have been contemplating is using a DAC with a USB input and volume control (PC ->DAC ->Amp), which eliminates the need for a USB/SPDIF converter and a pre-amp. But for now I will go with the Lynx setup.

The Lynx is a great card and a great choice.

I think you'll be extremely happy with it, I know I am.

I use an airpanel for control, and it is just awesome not to have to hunt for cds, AND get better sound.

I am archiving all my analog now using DSD files. They are much better than regular 16/44.1 and still just a little better than 24/192. Unfortunately you need $$$ for this kind of set-up, but the payoff is euphoric!

I use WMA Lossless. The reason is because I can batch-burn 200 CDs at a time and it automatically pulls in the album information including the album art.
I have all my files in Apple Lossless and think they sound great. If someday I wanted to convert all my files into some other Lossless scheme (not supported by MAC), like FLAC, is there software that allows you to do this properly?
Supposedly dbpoweramp can do this through a plugin - I would search the software support forums. I believe this software allows batch conversion and tag preservations as well.

There is also a component for Foobar2000, however its stability is questionable.
I use WAV.

EAC gets the track names for me and thats all I need. I like to keep the file as close to the CD as possible too. Gives me peace of mind and I have plenty of space anyway.
I have been using Aiff files for all the music I've imported from my CDs, vinyl, and even cassttes. Compared to how much most of us spend on our rigs and even ICs, using up more HD space for higher resolution music seems relatively inexpensive. The CDs I made from my vinyl sound at least as good as the original and in some cases even better as when listening at louder levels with a subwoofer(turntables hate subwoofers if they are in the same room).. Also, I didn't want to re-import my music when I would surely get the upgrade itch. A year ago I was mainly listening to analog and have to say I've been seduced by the convenience using iTunes and quite satisfied with sound quality of my iMac to Airport Express to big rig. And I'm rediscovering so much of my previously neglected music now that it's a few clicks away.
I'll probably gain a few inches around my waistline as a result. Oh well.
Dare to be fat, fat is where's at-Rootboy Slim.
Use EAC to wav. Then use Itunes to convert the wav to apple lossless.

Instructions found here.
Now I use EAC to rip directly to FLAC and J.River Media Center as my media player. Nothing else compares.
just a note... you should be seeing more than a 25% reduction in file size if you use FLAC at the highest compression ratio. It should be closer to 40-45% reduction.
I have a question: How does one make "the perfect rip" and how does one know?

Well, okay, maybe that's two questions. Anyway, I have been using EAC and AccuRip to rip seedees to WAV and then immediately to FLAC (erasing the intermediate WAV file). The process I use is described here:


Much to my surprise, I find that it is accepted that a perfect "bit-perfect" rip is unlikely even with EAC...or at the very least it is usually impossible to verify a perfect rip even with AccuRip.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to consistently and time-effectively make the perfect rip? Is it even possible to make a perfect rip for certain (even if it is not in the AccuRip database which many of my seedees are not).

Does the "perfect rip" involve a particular cd ROM drive?

Having so much invested in ripping a large classical collection, my inquiring mind wants to know.
As mentioned earlier in the thread I have all my files saved in Apple Lossless. If I had iTunes convert my Apple Lossless files to WAV would my files be equivalent to ones created if I had ripped them to WAV from the CD at the point of my original rip?


An uncompressed Apple Lossless file is exactly the same
as the file was before having been compressed.

( When an lossless audio track is listened to,
it is decompressed on the fly. )
FLAC! Too bad Apple stuff doesnt support it...
WAV for mostly CDs ripped to disk in the Microsoft world.

Here's a good accounting of why: