File Format Upsizing ALAC/FLAC to AIFF?

Hi experts!

I am in the process of re-ripping my CD collection and re-organizing my digital files, and am wondering:

  1. Should I convert all of my FLAC/ALAC to AIFF? I’ve been operating under the logic that it isn’t worth it, but that was the prevailing strategy awhile ago. Since storage space is no longer an issue, and it is more “work” to convert on the fly for computers/renderers, should I just have everything in AIFF from the start?

  2. Similar question for burned CDs… I have a lot of live music CDs that were burned from FLAC files. I unfortunately no longer have the FLAC files… they are mostly from a long time ago when hard drive space was more at a premium. Should I rip to FLAC, or can I just go straight to AIFF?

Thanks for any advice!


Good topic w/ a lot of prior discussion… See here, for example: “Re-ripping”, etc. discussion

Stick with FLAC. The best thing about FLAC is that there is an internal file checksum so it is easy to verify that your FLAC files have or have not had any bit rot.

If you are really into zero compression, you can rip to uncompressed FLAC.

I rip everything as is. WAV files rule!

I think it makes sense to rip to AIFF directly from CD. But it doesn’t make much sense to bother converting FLAC files to AIFF…

Just curious, why one would convert CD to AIFF files?

Don’t underestimate the importance of being able to verify the data in a music file is correct. FLAC is the only format that supports that.

I thought that’s what dBpoweramp does. It actually compares your ripped data to all others that have ripped the same files using dBpoweramp, as I understand it
. Unlikely errors would be repeated, even once.

To my understanding, XLD also checks for errors when it rips to AIFF. But I’m not an expert on this.

I’m unfortunately tied to iTunes on a Mac for my core library management. Roon used its database, and so does Amarra & Audirvana. And iTunes stubbornly does not support flac. I rip to AIFF even though I can’t hear a difference between it and ALAC.

@kylemillsap and @dancingsea,

This is not about accurate ripping. I am talking about well after the tracks have been ripped. The FLAC files have an internal CRC value that is saved and can be used to verify the integrity of the file at any time.

That’s good to know, thanks!

Thanks All!

Super helpful. Sounds like I should keep my current strategy… CDs to AIFF and FLAC… AIFF for listening, FLAC for archive. I can ditch one of the two later.

Have a good one!


Once it’s ripped, how likely is it that it won’t be accurate 10 years later? Not being a troll, I really don’t know the answer.

Bit rot is real but not common. do some Google searching and I am sure you will get way more information than you want.

I see no advantage to using AIFF or WAV over FLAC…

I know someone who says a CD ripped to WAV always sounds better than if it is ripped to FLAC. He rips CDs and plays them with JRiver on a computer that has an Intel Core i7 and a big solid-state drive. It connects via USB to a non PS Audio DAC, and then to the rest of his system.

Could it be the extra CPU workload needed to decode FLAC is affecting the sound?

I doubt it. There are dozens of bigger things to worry about to improve SQ IMHO.

Following advice from Jesus at Sonore a few years ago, I transcribe all my music files, stored as ALAC, to WAV with MinimServer (running on my NAS), so as to minimise the cpu load on the renderer (was the original Sonore Rendu, now Bridge II in the DS DAC).

My system runs at about 15% capacity while decoding flac files to my DAC. I find I disagree strongly with the concept that WAV holds any benefit whatsoever. I’ve been dealing with flac for at least 14 years now.

Here’s an interesting related blog entry by Richard Murison of BitPerfect.

My personal issue with Wav files is how they don’t handle metadata well.

Do all DACs still sound the same? Murison alluded to the fact, what we hear is the analog representation of 0s and 1s. Who made God? LOL.