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  • fohrums
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
My Library consists strictly of only MP3 & FLAC.

Reason being: I love formats that provide flexibility (tagging; album art) and popularity (what works best).

What is a more appropriate conversion format either between the two (Lossless or Lossy)?

Keeping in mind I don't want to lose audio quality.

Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #1
If the M4As are apple lossless files you can convert them to FLAC.

If the M4As are not apple lossless then do not convert them.
  • Last Edit: 04 February, 2013, 08:04:16 PM by A_Man_Eating_Duck
Who are you and how did you get in here ?
I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.

  • Porcus
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #2
True. Do not transcode lossies.

And if you need more flexible tag editing, then get yourself a more flexible tag editor ;-)

  • rgtb
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #3
if, for some reason, .m4a is indeed a no-no for OP, it would be preferable to convert to FLAC rather than to MP3. with FLAC, the files will get bigger, but at least there won't be generation loss.

in any case, i don't see the limitations of MP4 when it comes to tagging. and nowadays, almost every player under the sun handles .m4a. my impression is it's certainly more popular than FLAC (albeit not quite as popular as MP3).

  • greynol
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #4
Lossy -> integer PCM -> lossless can suffer generation loss.

If one must transcode to lossy it is just the same as encoding to lossy:  sound quality is to be determined though double-blind testing.
  • Last Edit: 05 February, 2013, 12:38:26 AM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • fohrums
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #5
If the M4As are apple lossless files you can convert them to FLAC.

If the M4As are not apple lossless then do not convert them.


I use MP3Tag.... ha you can't tell me that's not the god father right now. I use Foobar2000 media player and it's tag editing method is great for batch editing! I use Custom tags BTW such as

mediatype
quality
releleastype
releasestatus
releasecountry

So having that flexiblity is important to have it respectively shown. If i'm not mistaken different type of id3tag for differnet formats produce different outcomes like "mediatype" for instance could end up as "media type"

  • tev777
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #6
I use MP3Tag.... ha you can't tell me that's not the god father right now.


Actually, we can. The God Father is the God Father.

http://www.jtclipper.eu/thegodfather/
--
Eric

  • db1989
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #7
I use Custom tags […] So having that flexiblity is important to have it respectively shown. If i'm not mistaken different type of id3tag for differnet formats produce different outcomes like "mediatype" for instance could end up as "media type"
That shouldn’t happen. foobar2000, and perhaps other applications, are free to choose their own displayed names for standard fields, but custom names should be displayed as-is, unless you have set up different mappings.

Anyway, I fail really to see the purpose of your post about tagging. Are you saying that people’s suggestions aren’t apt for this reason? Have you actually encountered any instances of your fields’ names being displayed differently than you intended? I’m not being dismissive; I just don’t see the connection to the subject of this thread in your initial post.
  • Last Edit: 06 February, 2013, 11:37:54 AM by db1989

  • rgtb
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #8
Lossy -> integer PCM -> lossless can suffer generation loss.

*yawn* that's purely academic. (from where do you think people obtain .m4as? what format do those .m4as come in? will there be generation loss if we transcode those .m4as to 16 bit / 44.1 khz flac?)

  • greynol
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #9
Acedemic? Yawn?!?

Lossy can decode to >0dBFS and this information will be lost when decoding to 16-bit (and 24-bit) flac (and this is regardless of the samplerate).

While I am very outspoken about the paranoia of lossy -> integer PCM clipping and insist that the audibility of such occurrences in normal music are extremely rare to essentially non-existent, I do not pretend that the phenomenon doesn't exist or is even rare for that matter.

About your line of questioning as to the source material, I assume you're trying to head-off arguments about the increased dynamic range of lossy over 16-bit LPCM.  Unfortunately it does nothing to address the issue of clipping.
  • Last Edit: 06 February, 2013, 06:08:53 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • db1989
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #10
Lossy -> integer PCM -> lossless can suffer generation loss.
*yawn* that's purely academic.
Oh great, this again! Any conversion that alters the stream is lossy, even if it’s ‘basically lossless’ – a concept that doesn’t exist, regardless of how much some people want it to. Mathematics don’t bend that way. Converting a floating-point lossy stream to a fixed-point lossless one is a lossy process, regardless of how minimal the changes are: there are changes, so it’s lossy. Will it ever produce an audible difference or even one measurable on a sane scale? Almost certainly not. Is it therefore lossless? Obviously not.

  • fohrums
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #11
Since there really isn't a straight answer so far  I will sum it up by asking:

What would make M4A a preferable format? Where would it stand between MP3 or FLAC? Does it even surpass FLAC?
  • Last Edit: 10 February, 2013, 07:37:45 PM by fohrums

  • db1989
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #12
What would make M4A a preferable format?
This:
Keeping in mind I don't want to lose audio quality.


Next:
Where would it stand between MP3 or FLAC? Does it even surpass FLAC?
If we were talking about a CD ripped to any of these formats, FLAC would obviously have the highest fidelity to the original signal as it is lossless. AAC and MP3 would tend to both sound transparent at medial to high bitrates, whereas AAC might beat MP3 at lower bitrates.

Converting M4A to any other format, lossy or lossless, is technically a lossy process. Would you ever notice any difference in conversion to lossless? No, unless something is seriously broken along the way. Would you notice a difference converting to lossy? It’s quite possible, depending on the bitrates of the source and destination files.

This is essentially what you’ve already been told, but perhaps its being condensed here will make it more resemble the “straight answer” that you say you want. Bad news, though: none of us can give you simple black or white answers to questions like this, which depend upon personal hearing and preferences regarding formats.

  • greynol
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Converting M4A to either MP3 or FLAC?
Reply #13
Which variety of m4a???

It comes in lossless and lossy flavors.

What is wrong with what you have now?
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.