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Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

So I'm FINALLY switching over to FLAC. Yes, I was brainwashed by Steve Jobs that convenience was more important than quality. I fell for it, and I actually own a full set of Bowers & Wilkins Signature 805's! I still drank the Kool-Aid. I finished re-ripping all of my old CD's to FLAC, and now I'm stuck with all this iTunes mp3 crap to replace. Full albums, so I paid full price for garbage quality. My question is, where is the best place to pick up used (I did already pay full price, after all) CD's that are consistently in good enough quality to get a good rip? Does anyone have experience with second spin or murfie. I just don't trust "unofficial" FLAC rip downloads. Pirate or not. And, I won't pay Tidal $18 each for music I already paid for. Don't let my speakers fool you. I make 1/10th of what I did back then. Any advice is appreciated. I hate having 20% of my music just not being up to par with the rest.

Thanks.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #1
Local library. Used on Amazon or Discogs. Local used records store.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #2
Quote
now I'm stuck with all this iTunes mp3 crap to replace.   Full albums, so I paid full price for garbage quality.
If you bought from iTunes you have AACs, not MP3s, and they should be good quality.    MP3s from Amazon or other reputable sites should also be good quality.    If you ripped them yourself, or someone ripped them, they could be lower quality.

Most good-quality AACs & MP3s will sound identical to the uncompressed original (in a proper blind ABX Test).    If can hear a difference, it's usually hard to hear a difference, and even harder if you listen to the MP3 today and the FLAC next week.

You might try buying a few of the most "important" CDs, rip them to FLAC and compare.    If you hear a difference, try the ABX test to make sure you're not fooling yourself.

...I don't do ABX testing but every time I've thought I heard an MP3 compression artifact, it's turned-out that the CD has the same "defect".   

Quote
My question is, where is the best place to pick up used (I did already pay full price, after all) CD's that are consistently in good enough quality to get a good rip?
I think I've only purchased used CDs from Amazon a few times.    The bad thing is, they are sold by 3rd parties so you don't get the free shipping.   After you pay the shipping you're around half the price of a new one.    Maybe you can find someplace that sells used CDs with free shipping (with a minimum order).

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #3
There's nothing that can be done except sourcing the original cd's or buy lossless if available.  I know exactly the feeling -- you want one lossless archive and instead the arrogant google / apple  / amazon  SELL ONLY lossy dissing users who want premium quality ..  How hard is it to provide an additional lossless compressed copy for these idiots in 2018 !? Yes 100%  brainwashing and dumbing down of the population.

There is a bandcamp site that does lossless for some alternative artists.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #4
There's nothing that can be done except sourcing the original cd's or buy lossless if available.  I know exactly the feeling -- you want one lossless archive and instead the arrogant google / apple  / amazon  SELL ONLY lossy dissing users who want premium quality ..  How hard is it to provide an additional lossless compressed copy for these idiots in 2018 !? Yes 100%  brainwashing and dumbing down of the population.

To be fair, the codecs and settings/bitrates used by Google, Apple and Amazon's online music stores are high enough quality that they should sound just like the original lossless source.

Think about it from the perspective of these companies; they have to store God knows how many albums on their servers to have available for people to purchase and download or stream on demand. What do you think they'll opt for? A lossy format with a more or less predictable file size? Or a lossless format which can be anywhere from pretty much zero (excluding container overhead, metadata, etc.) for digital silence, all the way up to the same size as the uncompressed original (for uniform white noise)?

Me personally, since these companies tend to sell music in high-quality lossy formats, I'm fine with them as long as I make sure not to encode them lossily again.

There is a bandcamp site that does lossless for some alternative artists.

It's funny you mention that; it isn't unusual for bandcamp to sell "lossless" music which almost certainly comes from a lossy source, though this usually isn't due to sheer malice, but simple ignorance; quite often, artists aren't aware that if an MP3 is converted to WAV or FLAC, the lossily discarded information won't come back.
Lossless: flac --best --verify
Lossy: opusenc --bitrate 160

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #5
100mb avg for lossy. 300mb lossless.  Dual encoding  = 400mb without compatibility issues.  What is 400mb download  today - a 10 min clip from YT ?  They can give a 'premium ' option .  If they wont touch flac, create a zip archive of the wavs.

You may have accepted lossy as long as no re-encode, But that is getting short changed.

Bandcamp - The allegations are unproven except *maybe* in an isolated cases.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #6
100mb avg for lossy. 300mb lossless.  Dual encoding  = 400mb without compatibility issues.  What is 400mb download  today - a 10 min clip from YT ?  They can give a 'premium ' option .  If they wont touch flac, create a zip archive of the wavs.

If you mean 300mb total size of an album in a compressed lossless format like FLAC or ALAC, that's highly optimistic.

You may have accepted lossy as long as no re-encode, But that is getting short changed.

Given that most of the time a full album in lossy format costs less than the CD or the (verified and genuinely) lossless download, I don't know about "short changed".

Bandcamp - The allegations are unproven except *maybe* in an isolated cases.

Actually, someone from these very forums did some sleuthing and Bandcamp told them that while they require artists to supply lossless files, they don't dissuade them from using a lossy original to generate said lossless files. That's from Bandcamp's own mouth, so...
Lossless: flac --best --verify
Lossy: opusenc --bitrate 160

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #7
I've been through serious personal debates on this but I would recommend pirated content as an option. Otherwise, regardless of the genre I'm almost certain that there exists some webstore that distributes lossless or even Hi-res formats. If you paid full price before I see even less reason to worry about the justifiability of "pirating" lossless sources. Your situation may vary.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #8
though this usually isn't due to sheer malice, but simple ignorance; quite often, artists aren't aware that if an MP3 is converted to WAV or FLAC, the lossily discarded information won't come back.

Bandcamp only accepts uploads from a lossless format (good idea), and so bands do convert their MP3s to WAV prior to uploading (because ... of course).

Beware that Bandcamp can cancel your purchase after you have paid (without giving you any money back), for no reason whatsoever:
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,108139.msg959843.html#msg959843
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #10
I bought from bandcamp once without issues and will do it again.

Also , I buy cd's for $10aud or less when discounted where I live. This is less than online LOSSY price when I compared.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #11
I was in a similar situation several years back, and decided back then to take my music (mostly CDs and vinyl) through two separate paths - rip into both WAV and MP3(CBR 320K). I then collected the meta data, including any album artwork, and burn this as a collection to a blank DVD (as data files). I then copy the MP3s to my personal cloud, maintaining the agility provided by MP3 files...

I'm fortunate enough to have an amplifier with a good quality DAC, ethernet, multi-zone, that supports DLNA protcol.

You need to develop faith in your music provider to ensure you are getting what you are paying for. I recently received a vinyl album that was cut from a CD - the original master for that album is possibly long lost, and that's the best I'll get. But if I had of known that prior, I would have just bought the CD.

Stacker
In the beginning there was ONLY noise, then came the signal.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #12
The biggest advantage of Bandcamp is, that more of the money you pay goes to the artist. Bandcamp only gets 15% of the price you pay. You can feel much better about helping a band or musician you like. But that you can lose bought albums is a downside. On the other hand, when I bought my first album, I don't think Bandcamp had fan account where the music was being stored. I only noticed that after I deleted my music backup by mistake.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #13
I bought from bandcamp once without issues

I bought a three-figure number of releases off Bandcamp before I discovered the issue as well. And about two afterwards.
Freebies not counted.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #14
As an experiment today, I decided to try to re-download my purchase of 2 yrs back and all went well [flac].
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #15
As an experiment today, I decided to try to re-download my purchase of 2 yrs back and all went well [flac].

I have never had any issue with anything that appears in my collection. But they can cut the cable at any time (including before you have downloaded it), and so they did. I wrote to them, referred to the term "A user that has a Fan Account will also be permitted to redownload any previously purchased Content from an Artist.", and they refused.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #16
As an experiment today, I decided to try to re-download my purchase of 2 yrs back and all went well [flac].

I have never had any issue with anything that appears in my collection. But they can cut the cable at any time (including before you have downloaded it), and so they did. I wrote to them, referred to the term "A user that has a Fan Account will also be permitted to redownload any previously purchased Content from an Artist.", and they refused.

I really am perplexed here. I just checked, and that is verbatim what it says on their Terms of Use page. What excuse did they give when they refused?
Lossless: flac --best --verify
Lossy: opusenc --bitrate 160

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #17
I really am perplexed here. I just checked, and that is verbatim what it says on their Terms of Use page. What excuse did they give when they refused?

(Of course, I copy/pasted the Terms.) They refused, quoting the following:
 'If we are required by law to deny access through the Service to previously purchased Content, including by removing access to Content from a user’s personal collection through any mobile application, then Company and Artists will not provide the user who purchased that Content with a refund, except as required by applicable law. Users bear all risk from the denial of access to any Content purchased through the Service.

It was two items:

#1: One of the items had in the meantime been re-uploaded by the same label, who solved it by just mailing me a download code. The item is still available. (Note the "release date" in 2017; an archived version has a 2013 date.)
Sounds like Bandcamp feels they are obliged by law to remove it, eh?

#2: I wrote to the band who released the other album. Their manager got back to me and confirmed that there is no piracy case.


So Bandcamp has become just another record industry shark who pulls the anti-piracy excuse for not giving their paying customers what they paid for.
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Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #18
I love to buy pre-loudness-wars CDs in order to rip them myself as FLAC.

Being located in Germany, I buy a lot of used CDs on ebay, reBuy and medimops and have usually not been disappointed with their "as new" and "excellent condition" offers. The overall quota is about 80% CDs that can be ripped accurately (verifying against the AccurateRIP DB). I feel this isn’t too bad for getting original legit physical media.

HDTracks is also worth considering, albeit a little pricey.

And I buy from Bandcamp (FLAC only), because I love that most of the money still goes to the artists.

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #19
... Think about it from the perspective of these companies; they have to store God knows how many albums on their servers to have available for people to purchase and download or stream on demand. What do you think they'll opt for? A lossy format with a more or less predictable file size? Or a lossless format which can be anywhere from pretty much zero (excluding container overhead, metadata, etc.) for digital silence, all the way up to the same size as the uncompressed original (for uniform white noise)?
Aren't these are the same companies that have owners with yachts the size of aircraft carriers? Clearly they have the resources to store and sell lossless audio. These greedy, selfish control freaks made a bad decision to sell only smaller files to maximize profits and not to properly serve the market. In my view, not offering to also sell lossless copies of the music is an unethical practice.

Personally, I buy most of my music as CDs from Discogs or the local music stores and then I simply relist the CD on Discogs again. Occasionally I buy vinyl and rip it, depending on the availability or quality of that particular release.

Personally, I would sort my lossy library by quality and start replacing from the bottom up. I also wouldn't be in a rush unless I had particular albums I really wanted to listen to at home in front of the big dogs while paying attention. :-)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: Need Advice To Replace iTunes mp3 with FLAC

Reply #20
Quote
Aren't these are the same companies that have owners with yachts the size of aircraft carriers? Clearly they have the resources to store and sell lossless audio. These greedy, selfish control freaks
And where do they get their money?   From people who HAPPILY give them money for something they'd rather have than the money.   YOU are not required to contribute.    If you don't buy their stuff they can't use your money to buy a yacht!   They are not the Mafia or the government who can take your money without your agreement.

"Greed" does NOT make you rich.  Do you think you can open Greedy Burger across from McDonalds and get rich?  Do you think you could open Greedy Burger anywhere and stay in business?  I think the biggest effect of greed is that it makes the greedy person miserable (and it can  make others miserable too). 

Do you think you could stay in business if you open Generous Burger and sell really good hamburgers for a low price while paying your employees very well?   

If you don't like capitalism or free markets, try Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela.   Venezuela was the most prosperous country in South America until they kicked-out the greedy capitalist American oil companies.     Hugo Chávez didn't intend to destroy the economy but it wasn't "fair" that the oil companies were taking all of the profits.   Now it's more fair...  Almost everybody is starving equally.  North Korea and South Korea are the same people with the same resources.   But, in South Korea people (and corporations) are allowed to make a profit.

P.S.
That's all I'm going to say...   I won't continue this off-topic discussion.

 
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