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iTunes and .flac music


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#1 dchaosblade

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 07:45 PM

Hey guys, I was wondering if any of you knew a quick solution to this problem...
I have a lot of music in the .flac filetype (lossless) that I'd like to throw onto my iTunes library and my iPod. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn't seem to want to import any of the music. Is there some way to either get iTunes to accept the .flac filetype or alternatively to convert the files to some other type that iTunes will accept that will not lead to a decrease in quality? Preferably without any associated costs (no paid programs please).
If possible, I'd rather not have to download and install extra programs that I'm gonna use this once and rarely (if ever) after, but I'm willing to do so if absolutely necessary.

Running on Windows 7 (x64).

Thanks for your guidance,
~DChaosBlade

Edit: I have looked around various other sites for help, but most of what I'm seeing only applies if I were running on a mac - which I'm not. Need solutions for Windows.
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#2 doomsayer

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 08:48 PM

I believe that itunes and the ipod does not support flac audio. You will have to convert them to one of the supported audio types which are mp3, aac, wav, aiff, or apple lossless ALAC. I'm not sure if there are any others. One program that will convert your files is mediacoder.

Hope this helps.
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#3 dchaosblade

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:43 PM

Of those file types, which are lossless (apart from the obvious apple lossless ALAC)? I know that mp3 definitely isn't, don't know about the others. I'd really rather not take a quality hit, else there will have been no point to getting .flac in the first place.
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#4 Nioki

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:29 PM

Well there are actually several options. One is download free conversion soft or say a player and converter in one package (foobar2000). Another is to burn your .flac to a musical CD (not data cd) and then rip it using iTunes. And the last one, if you actually want to play .flac itself on your iPod is to install a new firmware to your iPod called - Rockbox. Its opensource and if your exact player model is supported then just follow the manual how to install, then enjoy. Personally i haven't used this method since i just convert my .flac but i heard rockbox is ok. I already sent you a link to the FaQ and the website of the firmware.

Edited by Nioki, 19 January 2011 - 11:29 PM.


#5 doomsayer

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:28 AM

.aiff is a uncompressed format so essentially it is lossless, there is a compressed version of this which is .aifc. I don't know if windows supports .aiff though. If you are using headphones lossless is pretty irrelevant, as the quality of the speakers will dampen the quality of the audio. Unless you are using a bose headset, I'd say .aac with a bitrate of 320kps should be just fine and sound just as good as lossless. Although this is just my opinion.
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#6 dchaosblade

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:48 AM

QUOTE (doomsayer @ Jan 19 2011, 08:28 PM)
.aiff is a uncompressed format so essentially it is lossless, there is a compressed version of this which is .aifc. I don't know if windows supports .aiff though. If you are using headphones lossless is pretty irrelevant, as the quality of the speakers will dampen the quality of the audio. Unless you are using a bose headset, I'd say .aac with a bitrate of 320kps should be just fine and sound just as good as lossless. Although this is just my opinion.

Not Bose, but Shure, which is essentially in the same level of quality (very high) - so it does make a fairly noticeable difference.

@Nioki: I'll take a look at Rockbox and see what the deal with that is. If it seems to be something I don't wanna do, I guess I'll take the route of burning to an audio CD. I assume iTunes is able to rip from the CD in their proprietary lossless format? Or would that require me to rip in an mp3 format or something?
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