View Full Version : Why not trade mpeg4 lossless files?

2007-06-19, 10:49 PM
Thought I'd throw this out there for discussion, I am curious as to the thoughts of the trading community on the Apple Lossless codec (.m4a).

Ever since Apple introduced the mpeg4 lossless codec (April, 2004) I started archiving all my music in 'Apple Lossless' format. Yes I know its not open source, but the benefits to me out weigh any concern over its proprietary nature.

My reasons for moving to mpeg4 lossless are many,
1. Encoding is extremely fast compared to my flac encoder, however file sizes are generally equivalent to FLAC level 8. :thumbsup
2. Lots of additional useful tags are available, my favorite is artwork, there is also user rating, beats per minute, compilation and lyrics. :thumbsup
3. There are more 'embeded' playback options, such as definable start and stop times, volume control and preset EQ. :thumbsup
4. Apple Lossless can be organized, sorted and played back in iTunes and on my iPod. :thumbsup
5. Since I am able to playback iTunes via my networked Mac mini (attached via fiber optic toslink connection to my power amp :D ) I can easily call up and play one of my many Apple Lossless files from either a network attached drive or from DVD archive. :thumbsup

I would love to seed some of my files sets that I've labored over meticulously adding artwork and all available tag information to save others the time of hand tagging and searching for artwork, but thus far most torrent sites don't want mpeg4 lossless files seeded.

One question, can Linux users playback all Quicktime codecs, including 'Apple Lossless'? If 'Apple Lossless' is indeed cross platform compatible I do not see why these files should not be seeded if they can always be converted back to the original .wav or .aiff file. :hmm:

So I covered the pros, what are the cons?

Peace! :wook:

2007-06-20, 12:24 AM

-the extension stays the same whether lossy or lossless compression
-no shntool/tlh support

... gotta be some more cons, but I've gotta get back to my vacation ... :D

2007-06-20, 06:53 AM
more cons:

--not only is there no shntool/TLH support, but there's no xACT support even
--Apple Lossless is not open source, which many of us feel is important
--the m4a container *can* employ DRM, flac can't
--not enough cross-platform compatibility for Windows users

in addition, and i know this may be hard for some of you to believe, but not everyone uses iTunes or an iPod...even some of us Mac headz can't stand em [iTunes is complete shite imo!] ;) so compatibility with these isn't really an issue, and i certainly don't feel it should be a deciding factor...FLAC does everything we as a trading community needs - ALAC certainly doesn't...

and as my Mama says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"...i'd say that about sums it up in regards to FLAC

2007-06-20, 06:57 AM
also, i believe you can install the Rockbox firmware on yer iPod and then be able to play flac files [but not shn]

2007-06-20, 09:09 AM
my ipod + rockbox plays shn but, otherwise yer right. apple lossless is a proprietary format that has had to be reverse engineered for playback outside of itunes on pcs (foobar2000) it is as far from an open standard as one can get.

FLAC is still the way to go. Processing speed and compression rates both improved with the last update to flac. check it out.