Converting to AAC to Apple Lossless
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I would like to know if it is possible to convert songs that are presently on my 8GB nano from AAC to Apple Lossless format? Also, once they are converted will they fit on a standard audio cd due to the larger format? I’m basically looking for a better quality sound. Thanks in advance.
A: Although you can use iTunes to convert tracks from any format to any other format, the reality is that you would be wasting your time and disk space by converting AAC tracks to Apple Lossless, since you will not gain any quality by doing so.
Most of the popular digital music formats such as MP3 and AAC are what are known as “lossy” formats. Essentially, what this means is that when you convert a higher-quality audio track (such as one from a CD) to MP3 or AAC, there is actually audio information being removed from these tracks. Depending upon the bit-rate that you are using, and the quality of your equipment and ears, much of this discarded information will be frequencies and audio fidelity that you cannot hear, which is why to the average undiscriminating listener, a 128kbps AAC file sounds more than adequate when compared to the original CD.
Unfortunately, once this conversion is complete, this discarded information is gone forever from the resulting file, with no way to get it back. Converting a “lossy” AAC file back to an Apple Lossless file will produce a larger file with absolutely NO additional audio quality, since you can’t regain that which is already lost.
If you’re looking for higher-quality audio, and want to consider Apple Lossless, the only way to get true Apple Lossless tracks is to re-rip your music from your original CDs or other original source. Apple Lossless is, as the name implies, a lossless format, which means it compresses audio without actually discarding any audio information. The result is a file that is going to be around 60% of the original CD track size, but still considerably larger than even a 256kbps AAC file.
For burning any tracks back to audio CD, similar logic applies. Audio CDs are the ultimate lossless format (original uncompressed audio), so you can burn any format back to an audio CD without worrying about whether or not the tracks will “fit” since they’re all converted back to the standard CD Digital Audio (CD-DA) format. However, much like converting AAC to Apple Lossless, you cannot regain any audio fidelity that is not in your source track to begin with, so while burning an audio CD from a lossy track can be an efficient way to play it on different equipment such as a car CD player, you won’t gain any quality at all over the original AAC or MP3 file.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Walgreens adds digital coupons to Apple Pay
- China orders Apple and others to monitor, report on app users
- South Korea regulators investigating Apple
- Apple Q3 earnings call set for July 26
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Philips Hue White Ambience Starter Kit
- Naim Audio Mu-so Qb Speaker
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app