Originally Posted by F. Corbera
I have about a 1000 CDs already ripped to ALAC, so the 16bit mid-rez stuff already wears a black turtleneck with Dad jeans.
Storage is not an issue these days, so my inclination for higher resolution would be an uncompressed PCM format like, oh, AIFF. It seems, though, that all the sources for hi-rez are FLAC.
I don't want to go through the trouble of ripping SACDs, but I'm not enthusiastic about committing resources to a compressed digital format.
Oh, well...it's probably one of those "you don't' have a choice" things.
I'm glad that I have my LPs...
FLAC is completely lossless, so the compression is algorithm based and does not affect the sound quality. The decompression takes place at run time (when played) and its audio quality is unchanged from the original. This is not MP3 style compression, more like a zip file.
FLAC can also handle any PCM bit resolution from 4 to 32 bit. You convert an LP with a really nice setup to 32 bit, you'll have some serious resolution there, and some seriously large files.
Storage may be cheap, but the management of large uncompressed audio files is quite a chore. Just the copy paste from NAS (network area storage) of a large set of albums can take extensive amounts of time. In addition, you want a format that's universally accepted. I personally wouldnt trust any apple codec. I have a few thousand albums stored and just keeping them mirrored for backup takes effort.
My opinion: its much more work committing resources to convert from a format that is obsolete to FLAC.
From experience, I have many albums in their digital format and also rips into LP's and I would not have any hesitation recommending FLAC. The thing with LP's is that they are a degrading medium. Every play will slightly degrade your resolution. Archiving them in digital and putting the album away is the right thing to do.
Peruse the audiophile community a bit and you'll see that there is complete consensus around FLAC, I think AIFF is mainly used by pros and recording studios, not sure though.