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FLAC HD/ALAC HD worth it for live stadium recordings?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by sunvalleylaw, Dec 5, 2018 at 11:13 PM.

  1. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Just getting into this hi-res source thing, and wanting to figure out what is worth it. I am on the Pearl Jam 10 club and get a credit for one of their "bootlegs" each year. They record these, and generally they seem like pretty decent recordings, though I have been listening mostly to the standard CD's. Without judging on the music if you are not a PJ fan, can you tell me if FLAC HD/ALAC HD is worth it? It is ten bucks more than my credit.

    It would be a recording of the concert I took my high school graduate son to in Missoula and so a good recording is worth it to me, but I don't know if FLAC/ALAC is good enough, or FLAC HD/ALAC HD is worth a try.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 12:01 AM

     

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  2. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    PS, I am in the Mac universe. iTunes will not work of course with FLAC but will with ALAC I guess. Also, looking at the Vox player as a possibility.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 12:02 AM
  3. stupidhead

    stupidhead aka Ratdogheads Subscriber

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    HiRes is worth it, but you must have a system that can reveal the difference.

    Having a memento of a special occasion is priceless
     
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  4. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

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    If it is a "memento" for sentimental reasons, I'd get the physical media--he can keep that forever, and rip it to whatever format he chooses. I don't consider an SD card loaded with music to be very "sentimental". Besides, you get some artwork (I assume) as well, with the physical media.
     
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  5. KeninDC

    KeninDC Speedfreak Jive Subscriber

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    I always purchase the official soundboard (SBD) recordings of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood (CRB) shows I attend (through nugs). For the extra five bucks, FLAC/ALAC sounds just a bit better (less smear) than 320 kbps MP3. Higher rez than that might be pushing it since these recordings, while professional, are done on the fly.

    Since you are on a Mac, as am I, I'll suggest xACT for converting your audio files. xACT is a small footprint, no adware program. You can convert from ALAC to FLAC; FLAC to ALAC; FLAC to MP3 (for the gym); FLAC to WAV (for burning CDs); etc.
     
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  6. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Is it a soundboard recording? If so, I would guess that at least CD quality would be in fact worth it.
     

     

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  7. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, soundboard. I have got the CD before for other PJ shows I have attended. I also have some MP3 downloads from prior 10 club credits. Such as Wrigley, 2016. Sounds pretty good through my iphone earbuds, but I think the CD is better. I bet since they offer the hi and higher res formats, they will have attempted to make at least getting lossless worth it. Worth trying out. And I can still bet my son a physical CD.

    IMG_7560.jpeg
     
  8. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Hailey, Idaho
    Cool. I will check that one out as compared to the Vox thing. I am new to this higher-res thing so I am still figuring out how I want to store it, access it and play it on my computers and then audio systems, home and office, and use it on my mobile device, (or just covert to something that will take less room, as I don't want to use tons of data streaming. Also, I live in Idaho and do not always have access to wi-fi and even data when driving. So, storage on my phone will need to be maximized.

    Sounds like I will save the FLAC/ALAC HD for more critical recordings and favorites.
     
  9. KrisM

    KrisM Lunatic Member

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    10,435
    Are you also an iphone guy? I'm not on a Mac, but I do use iphones. I find a couple of products from Stratospherix to be great for FLAC lovin' Apple users, MusicStreamer and FileBrowser. I'm not hip to the putting music ON my phones thing much yet. I just use FB a ton when I'm at home. Cheap as chips, and I don't need to go anywhere near iTunes. It gets used pretty much daily, and just might be the best $7 I've ever spent on audio.

    https://www.stratospherix.com/products/musicstreamer/

    As for the original question, my vote is to always go with a FLAC option vs MP3 if it's available. Hi-rez FLAC vs CD quality FLAC? I stay out of such debates!
    I wish Pearl Jam was offering FLAC or hard copies back when I bought the recording of the show I was at. I think all I could buy was 192k MP3.
     
  10. Dswankey

    Dswankey Super Member

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    ALAC stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec. It was developed by Apple so it will work with iTunes.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 7.34.56 PM.png


    I checked out the PJ site and I see the same show is offered on CD & digital download. I'm not sure if the additional cost for the CD is an issue for you, if not I would buy the CD and as @KeninDC suggested try xACT (I use it as I'm a Mac user and it works well). This way you can create an AIFF file, you can create an ALAC file, an AAC file and finally an Mp3 to store on your HD.

    This way you can test for yourself which sounds best to you also it give's you options once you figure out how you want to store it, access it and play it.

    The FLAC v ALAC and or AIFF v WAV question in my humble opinion comes down to what your ears tell you. Don't let people bombard you with why they feel one is better then the other. It usually winds up up in a bad festering argument with fan boys/girls from the Windows & Mac camps trying to out do themselves with why they think one is better then the other.

    Keep it simple, as you're already in the Mac universe go ALAC (larger files) on your Mac, on your iphone you could go AAC or MP3 (smaller files)
     
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  11. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Sounds like a good plan. I love to order the CD's anyway. But I guess I was under the impression that the FLAC and/or the ALAC was of higher quality than the CD. Did I get that wrong? Remember, I am new to this and in the past have just worked in the "redbook" or normal CD world mostly, and occasionally MP3 downloads. In fact, I usually like to get the CD from Amazon for a little cheaper than the same download from iTunes. At least that is what I used to do with most stuff I bought.
     

     

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  12. ldatlof

    ldatlof We are all steak Subscriber

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  13. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Hailey, Idaho
    Ah. Got it. Now I understand. Well, with that, probably the CD, which is what I normally get, is the best bet, as the HD for that sort of recording probably isn't worth it.
     
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  14. KeninDC

    KeninDC Speedfreak Jive Subscriber

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    Generally, FLAC and ALAC are not better quality than the CD (WAV/PCM). FLAC and ALAC are non-lossy programs that can reduce the size of the WAV file. MP3 is lossy. I generally buy the CRB (Chris Robinson Brotherhood) CD and rip it to WAV, FLAC, or MP3 (mobile applications like the car and gym).

    As noted, FLACHD is probably overkill.
     
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  15. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    And yes, I keep music on my iPhone. When in my truck, I can use Sirius/XM (I realize their quality is not all that, but in the car it is ok) but if I want to listen to music I have, I generally cannot stream as I often am not in service out in the middle of Idaho. For that matter, when I get up on mountain roads with a lot of twisting turns and trees, satellite cuts out off and on too.
     
  16. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    FLAC is just a method of compression. The actual resolution can be the same as, higher than, or lower than that of a CD.

    By definition, a Redbook CD is 16 bits, 44.1 kHz. I have tons of FLAC files that I have made myself by ripping CDs with EAC, so those are all 16/44.1, but theoretically FLAC can handle up to 655.35 kHz, 24 bits, 8 channels (those would be huge files though!) by specification - but there are also standard bit depths and sampling rates for DACs as well, so it's best to stick with ones that your DAC can handle (and most commercial files to adhere to a few common formats)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLAC

    Does the vendor of the FLAC files state what bit depth and sample rate the files are? Additionally, as someone mentioned above, sometimes bootleg CDs or high-res files are made from inferior sources and "upsampled" in which case there's not much you can do about it, I remember reading threads where there were methods discussed of detecting same, but of course by the time you test them you already have them so that doesn't help much when shopping. I'm not really a big boot collector so i don't know if there are any resources that will tell you what vendors are honest about resolution and which may just sell whatever they can find and not care.

    Good luck!
     
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  17. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For keeping music on a phone or USB stick, I take the FLAC files that I have archived at home and resample them to MP3 so I can fit a decent number on a stick. For a while I tried to keep my entire music collection on a large USB stick to go in my car for just that reason, but now even that is too big for MP3 320... First world problems. (my car's ICE won't read FLAC, stupid BMW)
     
  18. sunvalleylaw

    sunvalleylaw AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Hailey, Idaho
    My truck has a HD in it as part of its sirius/Alpine system. I can't recall how much it can hold. I can decide on a level that makes sense (probably MP3 in the car) for that purpose. But, I do feel the CD in the CD player sounds better usually. Especially in my 2005 Passat Wagon TDI. Now, after this thread, I know why.
     

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