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  1. #1
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    I have recently become aware of FLAC and I am slowly replacing my music library with this. What setup would you guys recommend to gain the most out of my new library? Sorry I meant to post this in the Music, Audio, and Podcast Forum.

  2. #2
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Here's a thread for you:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-...lac-files.html

    You may also consider using Apple Lossless Codec, which is a lot more compatible with Apple products.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  3. #3
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by control635 View Post
    I have recently become aware of FLAC and I am slowly replacing my music library with this. What setup would you guys recommend to gain the most out of my new library? Sorry I meant to post this in the Music, Audio, and Podcast Forum.
    Stupid question but... since you say that you've only just recently discovered FLAC, I'm guessing that you've been using Mp3's up until now. But the real question is, what are you playing your music back on? What speakers, amp etc etc..

    Doug

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Stupid question but... since you say that you've only just recently discovered FLAC, I'm guessing that you've been using Mp3's up until now. But the real question is, what are you playing your music back on? What speakers, amp etc etc..

    Doug
    Right now I'm playing them on a logitech x540 and it sounds decent on that but I want to eventually build my own system.

  5. #5
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by control635 View Post
    Right now I'm playing them on a logitech x540 and it sounds decent on that but I want to eventually build my own system.
    Ok. What would your dream system consist of? Because as it stands, you're absolutley wasting your time thinking about ripping your CD's to FLAC using speakers like that. You ARE planning on ripping CD's to FLAC, right?

    Plus, what is your output source? Just a desktop or laptop?

    Doug

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by control635 View Post
    I have recently become aware of FLAC and I am slowly replacing my music library with this. What setup would you guys recommend to gain the most out of my new library? Sorry I meant to post this in the Music, Audio, and Podcast Forum.
    A good all round system in my opinion would satisfy both audio and visual requirements without getting too complicated for you.I would consider a separates system, something that you can add to or subtract from rather than an out of the box solution which can be limited connection-wise.

    If you are watching movies as well then I would suggest an Audio Visual Receiver which are also quite capable of dealing with music when paired with the right speakers. Some of them have Airplay e.g. Denon which may help in the interim whilst you build your system.

    One suggestion would be:


    Mac (Stream Music and Movies using Airplay to ATV3)

    Apple ATV3 (to AVR using HDMI)

    HD TV

    Denon AVR or similar (HDMI to HDTV)
    Home Theater Speaker package inc Subwoofer, Center, 2 Sides and 2 Fronts which should be capable of decent bass so that you can by-pass the subwoofer in Direct mode and rock your music through them in standard stereo L&R. ( All cabled from the AVR)

    You can add in CD/Blu Ray players etc if you want but mine are pretty much defunct now that I download and stream everything.

    With regards to Flac then it's your own preference really..I went the ALAC route as cwa107 suggests, but to be honest you'll be hard pushed to tell the difference. ALAC is now open source which may tell a story as to how Apple now view their format.

    Go see a specialist Audio Visual retailer, they will connect up the equipment of your choice in a demo room for you and certainly help you with choosing the correct speaker package to match your amp and choice of music genre.

    Hth.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Ok. What would your dream system consist of? Because as it stands, you're absolutley wasting your time thinking about ripping your CD's to FLAC using speakers like that. You ARE planning on ripping CD's to FLAC, right?

    Plus, what is your output source? Just a desktop or laptop?

    Doug
    I am thinking of building my own subs using either JL or Pioneer subs and combining those with some standing speakers (I'm not sure yet) and the output source would probably be my desktop

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    A good all round system in my opinion would satisfy both audio and visual requirements without getting too complicated for you.I would consider a separates system, something that you can add to or subtract from rather than an out of the box solution which can be limited connection-wise.

    If you are watching movies as well then I would suggest an Audio Visual Receiver which are also quite capable of dealing with music when paired with the right speakers. Some of them have Airplay e.g. Denon which may help in the interim whilst you build your system.

    One suggestion would be:


    Mac (Stream Music and Movies using Airplay to ATV3)

    Apple ATV3 (to AVR using HDMI)

    HD TV

    Denon AVR or similar (HDMI to HDTV)
    Home Theater Speaker package inc Subwoofer, Center, 2 Sides and 2 Fronts which should be capable of decent bass so that you can by-pass the subwoofer in Direct mode and rock your music through them in standard stereo L&R. ( All cabled from the AVR)

    You can add in CD/Blu Ray players etc if you want but mine are pretty much defunct now that I download and stream everything.

    With regards to Flac then it's your own preference really..I went the ALAC route as cwa107 suggests, but to be honest you'll be hard pushed to tell the difference. ALAC is now open source which may tell a story as to how Apple now view their format.

    Go see a specialist Audio Visual retailer, they will connect up the equipment of your choice in a demo room for you and certainly help you with choosing the correct speaker package to match your amp and choice of music genre.

    Hth.
    That sounds like a pretty good idea... I am trying to be a little more cost effective right now, but eventually I am going to go all out and expand

  9. #9
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    Doug b's Avatar
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    There's a phrase that comes to mind: "Garbage in, garbage out". Now, I don't mean to knock the audio chipset inside of our Macs, but if that's what you'll be using to output music, and then on top of that, outputting to really standard JL/Pioneer speakers, then FLAC is really wasted on such things.

    FLAC, ALAC and WAV files are bit for bit perfect samples of the medium from which they are ripped. Now, assuming that the engineer who recorded and mastered said recording did a good job (which is quite rare these days), then it would be desireable to play this recording back on the best source equipment possible, right?

    What we are trying to achieve first, is a logical enough reason to spend hours upon hours ripping CD's to a lossless format, just so that you are able to play those files back at a great enough quality, where you are able to perceive an audible difference in quality between say, an Mp3 file encoded at about 320Kbps or either a standard FLAC file, or even a 24bit FLAC file. The latter file will be about 30+MB while a 24bit file will weigh in at around 100MB!

    If your source gear isn't up to the task, in terms of allowing you to make those distinctions, then you're not only wasting time, but also, hard drive space! Now, if you told me that you were going to use a dedicated DAC, something like this: WADIA 121 DECODING COMPUTER DAC at Music Direct then I'd say you're on the right track. You of course don't have to spend that kind of money on a DAC, that one has bells and whistles. But going out from your Mac to plain ol' speakers isn't necessarily going to yield the kinds of results that would justify caring about lossless files.

    If you really do care about the overall quality then maybe save up some money and get a good dedicated audio system rather than use your computer. You can always get an networked based system to use in conjunction WITH your computer, something that has an onboard DAC for those times you'll be streaming from the Mac etc..

    Other than that, I'd say don't spend too much money on simply so/so audio equipment for use with FLAC files. I'd say maybe get some decent reference monitors to use with the Mac and just use high bitrate Mp3's until you can afford a bit more than something you'd be wasting money on without much in the way of a noticeable return in quality.

    Or, you can just tell me I'm nuts and do what you need to do.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by control635 View Post
    That sounds like a pretty good idea... I am trying to be a little more cost effective right now, but eventually I am going to go all out and expand
    Ok,

    Then there is no harm in doing what you are doing in the eventuality that you invest in some decent gear which can be done on a budget if you look closely enough. Both the codecs are open source and aren't fettered by patents at all, but size does indeed matter from a storage point of view but if you can take the hit then what the heck.

    I've got one of these http://www.uk.onkyo.com/downloads/1/...tasheet_EN.pdf and I unhooked it several months ago when I began to stream from my iMac to my system using an ATV2.

    Here is another idea for you Sonos Wireless HiFi Music Systems (most codecs are supported including Flac and Alac)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    There's a phrase that comes to mind: "Garbage in, garbage out". Now, I don't mean to knock the audio chipset inside of our Macs, but if that's what you'll be using to output music, and then on top of that, outputting to really standard JL/Pioneer speakers, then FLAC is really wasted on such things.

    FLAC, ALAC and WAV files are bit for bit perfect samples of the medium from which they are ripped. Now, assuming that the engineer who recorded and mastered said recording did a good job (which is quite rare these days), then it would be desireable to play this recording back on the best source equipment possible, right?

    What we are trying to achieve first, is a logical enough reason to spend hours upon hours ripping CD's to a lossless format, just so that you are able to play those files back at a great enough quality, where you are able to perceive an audible difference in quality between say, an Mp3 file encoded at about 320Kbps or either a standard FLAC file, or even a 24bit FLAC file. The latter file will be about 30+MB while a 24bit file will weigh in at around 100MB!

    If your source gear isn't up to the task, in terms of allowing you to make those distinctions, then you're not only wasting time, but also, hard drive space! Now, if you told me that you were going to use a dedicated DAC, something like this: WADIA 121 DECODING COMPUTER DAC at Music Direct then I'd say you're on the right track. You of course don't have to spend that kind of money on a DAC, that one has bells and whistles. But going out from your Mac to plain ol' speakers isn't necessarily going to yield the kinds of results that would justify caring about lossless files.

    If you really do care about the overall quality then maybe save up some money and get a good dedicated audio system rather than use your computer. You can always get an networked based system to use in conjunction WITH your computer, something that has an onboard DAC for those times you'll be streaming from the Mac etc..

    Other than that, I'd say don't spend too much money on simply so/so audio equipment for use with FLAC files. I'd say maybe get some decent reference monitors to use with the Mac and just use high bitrate Mp3's until you can afford a bit more than something you'd be wasting money on without much in the way of a noticeable return in quality.

    Or, you can just tell me I'm nuts and do what you need to do.

    Doug
    That makes perfect sense... this goes a lot deeper than I originally thought

  12. #12
    What is the best way to play FLAC.
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Yeah man, no problem. Believe me, I've gone through this!

    Doug

  13. #13
    Thanks for sharing this information

  14. #14
    This is great advice...except for the whole "don't generate FLACs unless you've got the equipment..."

    Rubbish.

    Lossless is excellent for archiving your compact discs for when you get that awesome sound system. And you don't need "reference" quality equipment to enjoy that music. The OP apparently didn't possess such things when he was listening to the CD's originally. The "disadvantage" of not listening on reference-grade equipment (which the Apple community awesomely recommends as easily as exhaling air, for some reason) is obviously downplayed by simply having a digital transfer in a bit-for-bit copy.

    And for the love all that is Holy, don't go with ALAC. Not that there would be any difference in quality (lossless is lossless) The level of default compression isn't anything like you can get out of a -6 or -8 in FLAC. Use FLAC or another equivalent. Apple's track record with privacy is a joke and you don't need iTunes reporting your music-playing habits back to the fruit base in Cupertino.

    FLACS are easily converted to AAC and everything else if the need arises you need to put tunes on a iCrap device.

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