View Full Version : help please: Splitting large lossless m4a into tracks on MAC

2007-03-12, 09:18 PM
I've recorded a couple of masters to lossless .m4a on my MAC using Audio Hijack and I now have one long track for each show. Are there any good programs for MAC that will allow me to split the audio into separate tracks, or will I have to do it in Windows with CDWave? Also, is it better to split, then convert to flac, or convert first, then split?

Also, when naming tracks... if there's not an official song name (i.e. banter or a medley of various songs) is there any naming convention I should follow?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

2007-03-13, 12:47 PM
Okay, I think I may have found an answer to my own question... I converted the lossless m4a (ALAC) file to WAV using XLD, then fed the WAV into Audacity. I marked the beginning of each track by clicking on the beginning of the track and navigating to Project>Add Label at Selection, then exported the new tracks in WAV format using File>Export Multiple. Each WAV track can then be encoded to FLAC with XLD. Does this make sense? (next time I'll just record the audio with Audacity and skip a couple steps)

Also, would this be an acceptable lineage for this operation?

MD master>MZ70 Headphone out>Mac Line In>Audio Hijack>ALAC>XLD>WAV>Audacity>Split Tracks>XLD>FLAC


2007-03-13, 01:10 PM
If you start with a MD you should find someone with a deck that can do digital out to the soundcard. Once you use the headphone out you have added an extra analog step. I have one and have done a number of transfers for members from the Den and elsewhere.

2007-03-13, 01:17 PM
That'd be an okay lineage, but it's preferable for minidiscs to be transferred digitally (i.e. using an optical transfer) instead of having to go through an analog conversion like you did. However, there aren't many people who have minidisc units capable of doing true digital transfers, so there shouldn't be too much of a problem there (that being said, if you're willing to ship out your masters to someone else for a digital transfer, you should definitely do it).

Also, it might freak some people out that you recorded the files to ALAC--it probably would have been easier to just record the files straight to WAV in Audacity.

Oh, did you pick the setting in Audacity to snap to CDDA frames? If you didn't, your files probably have SBEs, but that's easily fixable in the conversion to FLAC (just pick the "align on sector boundaries" option--I hope XLD has that option--if not, you may want to give xACT a try).

(P.S. The newest version of Audacity has support for handling FLAC files--if you know how to cut on sector boundaries, you could easily export the files as SBE-free FLACs.)

2007-03-14, 02:08 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. I understand that a digital transfer would be better, but I'm unwilling to let my master copy out of my sight, so a headphone out recording is the best I can offer at this point. Perhaps when I'm feeling rich I'll spring for an MZ-RH1 and do the digital transfer myself.

In the future I'll record directly to WAV, but unless there's a significant loss in quality from transferring Apple Lossless to Wav to Flac, I'd prefer to share what I have than start the process over again. How much of a difference is this likely to make?

Downloaded Xact, it appears to have a fix SBE's option, so I'll try that. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I had no idea.

2007-03-14, 06:36 AM
whether or not you transfer analogue or digital, i would skip the whole ALAC step and go straight from MD to wav [you can use Audacity as well to capture the audio]...there was some debate as to whether or not ALAC is truly lossless, although i haven't kept up with it in a long while

but it sounds like you split the tracks properly--so you'd load the wavs into xACT, fix the SBEs, create a checksum for the wavs [.st5 or .md5], then convert to flac