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Topic: Quality Loss from Converting WMA Lossless to Apple Lossless (Read 4478 times) previous topic - next topic

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Quality Loss from Converting WMA Lossless to Apple Lossless
So 10 years ago I decided on ripping to WMA Lossless and haven't stopped.  The collection is around 400.

I'm a big audiophile but I also don't want to re-rip if I don't have too.  I'm going to go ahead and future-proof with Apple Lossless (not up for debate).

Would I experience a loss in quality (and how much) if I allow iTunes (or dBpoweramp, etc) to do the conversion?

I tried researching it but could find any info that had been written within the last 4-years (not surprisingly as most wouldn't have waited this long)

Thanks ahead for everyones input.

  • dsimcha
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Quality Loss from Converting WMA Lossless to Apple Lossless
Reply #1
Lossless encoding means, by definition, that the exact bits from the input file (or CD, etc.) can be reconstructed.  This means that no matter how many times you transcode lossless -> lossless, provided there are no bugs in the codecs, you'll still be able to recover the original bits.  This means there will be zero quality loss.

  • db1989
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  • Global Moderator
Quality Loss from Converting WMA Lossless to Apple Lossless
Reply #2
Notwithstanding the obvious clue in the adjective lossless

I tried researching it but could find any info that had been written within the last 4-years (not surprisingly as most wouldn't have waited this long)
Really? Because this question appears here with alarming frequency.

In sum, yes, convert away.

  • mixminus1
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Quality Loss from Converting WMA Lossless to Apple Lossless
Reply #3
Lossless is lossless - neat, huh?

Lossless was lossless four years ago, it was lossless 10 years ago, it'll be lossless 10 years from now.

Either iTunes or dBPowerAmp will do a perfect job of converting your WMA Lossless files to Apple Lossless - preserving all tags and album artwork *may* be another matter.  I don't know as I've only used the WMA->AAC function of iTunes a few times, but I would recommend converting a couple CDs as a test before you queue up all 400.

The only way lossless "can't" be lossless is if the program doing the encoding/conversion f*cks something up before it does the encoding, i.e. EQ, normalization, etc.

By default, neither iTunes nor dBPowerAmp will do anything during the conversion, and iTunes can't, no matter what.  dBPowerAmp has the option to apply DSP filters during the conversion if you so desire.

Edit: dv1989, we have to stop meeting like this!
  • Last Edit: 12 June, 2011, 09:25:37 PM by mixminus1
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."