Author Topic: Recommended audio format for use by both iTunes and Rhythmbox  (Read 2289 times)

LateJunction

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Recommended audio format for use by both iTunes and Rhythmbox
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:13:21 pm »
I have encountered a bit of a 'Catch-22' in my choice of recording format and would appreciate some comment by others. here's the story:

I'm about 5% of the 'distance' of converting my vinyl collection to digital. After some reading I chose to save my tracks as FLAC - attracted by the significant disk savings (I also keep the original WAV files). My main Digital Audio management application is Rhythmbox under Mint Linux. For other reasons I need to use iTunes too, so I just installed iTunes in the Windows partition of my dual-boot laptop (an old one but adequate as a digital media player). Now the Catch-22: iTunes doesn't support FLAC directly and VinylStudio has no other lossless compressed format.

What's the recommendation? Convert outside VinlStudio to something else? What something (other than MP3)? Or should I just accept the trade off and go for AAC (which iTunes likes) outside of VinylStudio. (Wikipedia tells me that AAC handles frequencies above 16kHz much better than MP3 - my pet bat's children will be really grateful......)
"The British people love music; they just don't like the noise it makes"

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Recommended audio format for use by both iTunes and Rhythmbox
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 05:14:08 pm »
Hi,

You can convert FLAC files to Apple Lossless with dbPowerAmp.  That might be your best option.  As you say, VinylStudio for Windows doesn't support ALAC directly (although VinylStudio for Macintosh does).

As an aside, keep your original recordings around if you can, in case you want to save your tracks in a different format at some point in the future.

LateJunction

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Re: Recommended audio format for use by both iTunes and Rhythmbox
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 06:47:25 pm »
I have now learned that iTunes does NOT like AAC encoded files, unless they are within an MPEG-4 container and written as file type .m4a (upper or lower case). Files of type .aac are generally ignored by iTunes - in Windows at least.

Thanks for the suggestion to use dBPoweramp's Music Converter.

I tested about 15 audio format converters, mostly under Windows, some under Linux. dbPoweramp was the most convenient to use, with the added advantage of providing the Fraunhofer Institute FDK-AAC encoder - which those who appear to know claim to be the best aac encoder. The disadvantage of this software is that it is not free and is quite expensive for what really is just a GUI around the free ffmpeg encoder.

An almost equally good format converter is fre:ac, available freely (and at no cost) in both Windows and Linux versions. The windows version has the advantage of automatically picking up Apple's Core aac converter if iTunes is also installed on the computer. It also has a lot of configurability which some other apps. lacked. I will probably revert to fre:ac after the dBPoweramp trial period expires.

For others who might be experimenting with reviewing audio converters, I would raise the strongest possible warning about the SUPER converter by Erightsoft. I did manage to avoid the half dozen or so unwanted items of software it was determined to install on my system but could not avoid it seriously hijacking my browser (which HIJACKTHIS could not recover) or from installing 1173 (yes, you read that correctly) infections on my system. Malwarebytes managed to remove these but I was advised to re-install Windows after a full (not quick) reformatting of my hard disk. I have now done this and have learned a painful lesson, since re-installing Windows also wipes out the Linux GRUB loader.
"The British people love music; they just don't like the noise it makes"