Of course, if I'm wrong, so what...?
I had flacs playing on my better halfs iPod. I installed Rockbox firmware
A much more powerful experience, but she didn't like the look of it, so I changed it back
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OK, OK, will never ever play on your unjailbroken iPod...
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To say that I prefer Mozart to Beethoven would be an opinion. But to say that ALAC sounds worse than FLAC is a statement and as such it would have more credibility if it could be backed up by some sort of scientific evidence.
I'm not trying to be awkward or argumentative, just curious as to the truth.
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This is an interesting development.
I'm hoping that this will bring more attention to lossless compression from the man in the street and lead to greater availability of lossless downloads, especially from the record publishers (at sensible prices!), as opposed to specialist websites.
Can't say I'm bothered whether ALAC becomes the standard or not, doesn't really matter as long as I can play the files and don't have to install iTunes to obtain them.
Of course, what I'd really like to see is native support of FLAC in Windows. If MS were to do this I suspect ALAC would be dead in the water.
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Good post. Totally agree.
The thing is, the FLAC download market is currently miniscule and 99% of the world and his grandmother have never heard of it. It's popularity amonst audiophiles is a result of its adoption on streaming devices, due to the open licence. That may now change.
With Apple holding two thirds of the market for all music sales (CD, Vinyl and downloads) and accounting for sales of 80% of all portable digital music devices ever made, ALAC is in quite a strong place in terms of potential markets.
I think John's assessment on page 1 is correct. There will be quite a few manufacturers of streaming devices rushing to get ALAC support onto their spec. lists.
I'm neither for or against. This is just the way it is.
It's amazing really. I had an mp3 player way before Apple got into the game, and I've never had an iPod of my own. Apple seem to have innovated nothing, but copied and made globally popular quite many things.
Like a mini version of Japan many years ago.
I don't mean that in any negative way, but it strikes me as amazing how design aesthetics has led the way, rather than technological improvement.
Maybe I'm just too much of a geek to understand.
That's often the way it goes. Bill Gates and PCs are often credited with inventing popular-computing in the early 1990s with Windows 3.1, but that sticks in the throat of those of us who cut our computing teeth not on Windows and IBM PC clones but on C64s, ZX Spectrums, BBC Bs and Amstrad CPCs almost a decade earlier.
The present has a habit of blurring history.
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Never heard any complaints about all those competing record player manufacturers who all "got into the game" or competing CD player manufacturers or cassette deck manufacturers...etc.
What's so bad/shocking/immoral/wrong about Apple (or anyone else) making mp3 players?
Just the same as any PC manufacturer "copied and made globally popular" PCs.
I don't mean that in any negative way...
You wouldn't have written it if you hadn't meant it negatively.
FWIW Japan has innovated more than virtually any other nation in the last 150 years and continues to do so.
What on Earth is wrong with our day-to-day technology looking and feeling great and being a delight to look at as well as to use?
I also had an mp3 player around the time the first iPod appeared on the market; a Rio Carbon. It was considered a best buy by WHF. I thought it was brilliant at the time.
But the reality was that early mp3 was a minor niche in audio. The general public hadn't heard of it, the major AV manufacturers weren't remotely interested and had no products of their own, availability of downloads was very limited and by and large it was going nowhere.
What Apple did was to take the technology and created a whole new ecostructure that provided the hardware (iPod), a very slick and intuative user interface, the content (downloads) and a easy to use portal (iTunes) to access, to listen to and purchase that content. Design and aesthetics were just the the icing on the cake. The result as we know was a roaring success.
By the time the "big boys" had woken up, it was too late; Apple had the market completely wrapped up.
You said ..."Apple seem to have innovated nothing"... but that's entirely incorrect as that example shows. It wasn't the mp3 player that was new, the innovation was the whole package.
The same applies to Smartphones. Smartphones were around, but they were mostly clunky and cumbersome to use, designed primarily for professional business use. They seemed to be an attempt to put a phone inside one of those old PDA's. Touchscreens had also been around for quite a while, but up to that point the technology had again been clunky and a little "primative" by today's standards. Apple weren't even in the Phone business back then.
With the iPhone, Apple introduced the idea of a slick fast OS married to the latest touchscreen technology, with an easy to use and intuative interface. But most importantly, they created an ecostructure, or rather an extension of one (Apps via iTunes) to open up a whole new market sector that appealed to not just business users, but anyone. Again, attractive and stylish aesthetics were the icing on the cake.
The innovation was not so much a "phone", but what we could now do with that phone; the apps and the social networking aspects that it became a platform for. That simply did not exist before.
As we know, the results have been phenomenal, propelling Apple to being one of the major players in the mobile communications market and kick starting a revolution in mobile communications that goes beyond "just mobile phones". The ultimate proof of this innovation is in the huge amount of competition and the number of players who are falling over themselves outdo (and to a degree copy), this idea.
Do I sound like an Apple "fanboy" ? Probably, but it's not intentional (honestly).
Until my daughter received her first iPod as a replacement for her Sony mp3 player, i wouldn't have anything to do with Apple. It had no appeal for me. After my Rio Carbon, I had a very nice Sony mp3 walkman and hoped all the hype over the iPod phenomenon would go away. However I got used to iTunes by helping her rip CD's, buy downloads and managing her library. The same when my son bought himself an iPod too.
I quickly realised that the ipod was actually really very good, but I had no intention of ever looking at Apple computers and was perfectly content with our Windows PC's. Not being particularly advanced in computer literacy, learning something different seemed like a chore I wasn't interested in taking on. Plus I believed some of the anti-Apple stuff that was starting to appear on the internet.
It was a chance visit to someone who'd recently bought one of the new metal bodied iMacs that sparked curiosity. So many of its features and the way it worked just seemed light years ahead of our various PC's. A visit to the Apple store for a demo convinced me that this was the way to go. Since aquiring the Mac, my family began to ignore their PC's and laptops and started to hog my machine. We continue to run two desktop PC's, a windows laptop and a netbook, but they receive little use now. Even the shiny new Windows 7 machine bought at the beginning of this year is considered "rubbish" by my son. A new MacBook Pro has just been aquired by my daughter; my son intends to buy one as soon as he can pay for his car insurance.
Why? As the slogan goes, "it just works".....well it does for us. It may not for others.
What is the point of this ramble? Just to say, don't slag off something because it's not to your taste.
By the way, we've got two Android phones and a brand new Blackberry here, so you can see we are not biased.
I know you said that in jest, but I suspect it's closer to the truth than you realise????? (said in a friendly manner and not intended to be patronising or an insult).
Bits are bits and all that, but Apple Lossless still sounds the pits compared to any other lossless format.
Could you please cite your source for this information.
Or alternatively if you came to this conclusion yourself could you explain the method you used for the tests. Was it a 'fair and unbiased blind' scientific test (such as an ABX test using Foobar) or did you know which file you were listening to when you judged them?
It's just his opinion. They're allowed here, you know.
Of course, but then it's also fine to question the spread of blatent misinformation on the internet!
Talking about betting, don't forget the biggest race in the known universe is in Tuesday
On my PC, whether it's down to iTunes or some other factor ALAC always sounds the worst to me. I'm willing to concede through a standalone DAC this may be different. On my iPod, and through a dock on my hifi ALAC also sounds worse to me.
Because with familiar music I know what to look for - extended high frequencies at certain places in a song, blind testing would not make any difference. It's impossible.
On the topic of native ALAC support - well the poster is wrong - Linn and Naim now have native ALAC support, and I'm sure other streamers will have it too shortly - the market will demand it.
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I'm a bit confused - what are you comparing and how?
I've been thinking a bit more about this and now wonder how those without iTunes are going to listen to these ALAC files, other than through streamers?
I mean MS for sure aren't going to add an Apple codec to the library in WMP, so it means that whoever wants to rip/listen to music in ALAC format is likely going to have to either install iTunes, another media player, or a codec pack - in which case it's no different to FLAC.
It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out.....
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