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Topic: 4 Channel (Quad) ALAC (Read 1353 times) previous topic - next topic
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4 Channel (Quad) ALAC

I've been struggling with ripping the Floyd DSOTM Immersion Quad tracks using DVD Audio Extractor as I end up with some weird sounding 4-channel ALACs. I got perfectly good 4-chan FLACs and WAVs so I tried converting them with FooBar and dbpoweramp but got errors from both programs. (I've not had a problem with the 5.1 James Guthrie mix - that's fine in an ALAC.)
I have now discovered that ALACs do not support a 4 channel FR/FL/BR/BL (see here: Multichannel handling) so I was wondering what to try next.

Basically I'd like to listen to the Alan Parson's Quad mix on my portable DAP/DAC but as I use iTunes to manage my entire library this is proving problematic as iTunes doesn't support FLAC (yeah, I know - I'm a general disliker of all things Apple but I find the tagging is better and I do still use my two 160GB iPods). I appreciate that I could simply drag those few FLACs onto the portable DAP/DAC by hand but I like a challenge (though I will do this for the meantime). I set up my PC with 5.1/quad speakers to test/listen to the results, and it does sound quite cool, but most of the time I cannot run a multichannel music setup (and even if I could it wouldn't be at all audiophile-ish) but it would be great to have it in the collection especially as you can hear differences in some of the tracks (not unlike the differences between the stereo and mono Beatles discs).

So, two thoughts come to mind: I could either try convert it to a 4 channel 5.1 (leaving 1.1 channels empty) or downmix it into 2.0 - any suggestions or thoughts? (apart from leave it as FLACs  ;) )

Re: 4 Channel (Quad) ALAC

Reply #1
I say leave it as a FLAC as the format is better when it comes to channel layout support unless someone knows what the ALAC equivalent is of WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE_CHANNEL_MASK support that FLAC has.

Quad to 5.1 ALAC should work if you really need the Apple device support.

Re: 4 Channel (Quad) ALAC

Reply #2
Thanks @Chibisteven , I never thought to think of converting from Quad to 5.1.
That said, despite the suggestion (by Apple?) that iTunes will handle 5.1 ALACs, the James Guthrie 2003 5.1 surround version that I ripped to ALAC will not import into iTunes (FYI I'm deliverately still running 10.7) so I think that I'm going to give up on any multi-channel tracks in my iTunes library as I have very few.
I have since listened to the Quad FLACs on my DAP/DAC (an FiiO X5iii) and they have effectively downmixed quite well ('Money' is very easy track to test) so I will probably leave it like that, though I may try the 4.0->5.1 conversion just for fun  ;)


Re: 4 Channel (Quad) ALAC

Reply #3
I’m very interested in your results. I host my music library on a Mac mini, and I use the iTunes remote app to play music through my Denon AVR-3805. I also have Plex on that device so I can access my library anywhere as my own personal streaming service. I have zero multi-channel audio though, but LOVE DSOTM and am intrigued by the quad mix. Tell me more...