Apple Lossless Export Settings

I just wonder which settings I have to choose for File Export “Apple Lossless” - I want to decide due to the following reason:

  1. No loss - except file size (compared to WAV)
  2. Safe for future (being able to find any software in 20, 30, 40… years to open, listen and convert with modern technology)
  3. Fully compatible with iTunes, Apple devices and other gadgets (manufactured 2018ff)

I know there’s no guarantee for 2), but this I what I know about “Apple Lossless”.

Is there any preset in WLE 9.5 I can select for those format:
“iTunes standard (AAC)” - only 128kbps, meaning loss of quality?
“iTunes + (AAC)” - 256 kpbs, that would be my choice currently…
“HD Lossless 16 bit (AAC)” - 128kbps, meaning loss of quality?
…or do I need to define an own preset to meet my requirements? Additionally, covering files should be done in acceptable time.

Thank you all, enjoy 2019!

As far as I know Apple Lossless (ALAC) is not available for saving from Wavelab… although you can open Apple Lossless files (but I use a PC so it may be different on Mac [correct me someone if I’m wrong]). You mention the AAC options in your post, but that is a different and mainly lossy format.

P.S. Why not use FLAC instead as would probably be safer for future?


Yes FLAC is also a candidate, check comparison here

regards S-EH

FLAC shows less compatibility with devices, especially I use: iTunes, iPhone, Car… no candidate!

Hi …

I make the observation that Apple itself seems to require wave file uploads. That’s a pretty big library/archive base (45 million plus) Labels I work for require wave files plus a second hi res 96kHz wave file (in my jurisdiction 24 bit preferred).

I think the Smithsonian Institution is archiving audio as ‘Uncompressed Broadcast Wave Format (BWF; WAV), 16 bit depth, sampling rate of 96 kHz or 44.1 kHz for spoken word’.

Given this, you’d be excused for betting on wav/bwf for archive.

Personally, I have never been asked to supply a FLAC to any major customer.

All the best

Paul - thank you. Not so bad idea to use WAV in iTunes… 16Bit / 96kHz should be good, and it provides full compatibility with ID3v2… (I prefer to fully tag my files).

Files Size comparison, 30 minutes:
WAV 24Bit/192kHz - 2.0736 GB [this is what I record my Vinyl usually - and would keep as origin file]
WAV 16Bit/96kHz - 691.2 MB [SIA recommendation - an option / useful for iTunes?]
WAV 16Bit/44kHz - 317.52 MB [Audio CD import]

Apple Lossless (alac) - ???

MP3/AAC 384kbps - 86.4 MB

I want to avoid keeping different tagged files (example: WAV24/96 for archiving and alac for iTunes & Co.)

(Sizes calculated at: Audio File Size Calculator)

The AAC HD Lossless in Wavelab is an interesting format. It’s Lossless and Lossy. You can set the lossless layer for 24 Bit lossless, and the lossy layer for 256 kbps. Seems about the same size as FLAC. And it loads in iTunes with the ID3 metadata from Wavelab. I don’t really get how it works but it seems like an interesting idea. It’s slow to render in Wavelab right now (unless it’s fixed), but I think PG was going to look into that.

Fully agree with you - I already checked in my car, unfortunately: not compatible… (and: as you wrote, it’s not sure what it is so for me it looks like not to fulfil my requirement 2), see initial post)

Anyway - why is a (Pro/Semi-Pro) Audio Software not able to save files in a very popular file format?

@Stadtkind, I think your requirements are a bit contradictory: it seems you want optimum support for current (Apple) playback devices and also the best option for archiving audio. I would recommend splitting the two: keep the best option for archiving (Wav/BWF 24-16b/96k) and use WL batch processing to create whichever your Apple devices like. It’s very unlikely you’ll hear any difference between 44k1 and 96k in the car anyway…

I would Keep the recording file anyway (containing all sides / tracks of a Vinyl). See my workflow:

  1. Recording: WAV24/192 - a complete Album (Vinyl: all sides, all discs)
  2. Tag Album ID3v2: Artist, Album, Label (as componist), Catalogue# (as grouping)
  3. Set Markers: each track of Album, Marker Name = Track Name
  4. Save this file and keep it (=> that is my intention…)
  5. Define Mastering settings - homogenous Album complete or track by track:
    5a) RestoreRig
    5b) MasterRig (if required - smooth only…)
    5c) Resampling 48k
    5d) Master Level (target is slightly above -6 / below -3 and to adjust balance if neccessary)
    5e) Dithering
  6. Render each region (file Name get automatically track name - nice!), with Mastersection settings and in a file format that is good for archiving, but smaller file size (see my initial post)
  7. Add (not import!) file to iTunes and complete specific track information: as this is not possible with WaveLab on complete tracks (artwork - if record comes with generice sleeve I take side specific label jpg, comments - and I use the “Star” feature in iTunes for grouping, could add this in comments too) - These information are added to my archive track-file by iTunes…

1 Album file WAV24/192 containing Album tags, Track-Markers
xx Track files [Apple Lossless preferred] containing Album and Track tags and a Little Mastering - this file could be used in future for other convertings…

I know that I could split the 24/192 in tracks and save each single track incl. tags and Keep this 24/192 as archive and origin file, iTunes could be fed with rendered AAC then. But - from my point of view, isn’t it more difficult/less effecient to adjust Mastering section for each track? And all of Mastering setting get lost when I would switch to other conversion somewhere in future…

Not really. Are you using the audio montage?

+1 IMO would be a good solution.

I use the Audio File Editor only. Markers, that are applied and having track names (put in manually…), indicate the tracks of a complete Album. I don’t use Audio Montage.

Puuhhh… checking again, I’ve learned now that there is one main difference in functionality:

WLE: editable CD Text only
WLP: editable ID3 Tags for Album and Clip/CD Track individual (exception: the picture?!)

Am I right?

If yes, than my workflow could be optimised dramatically: recording done in any software, import file to a Audio Montage (Album - all disc/side of Vinyl Record), split/cut into Clips, apply global or specific effects (RestoreRig, Level adjustment…) and safe. During overnight session I could execute batch processing:

  1. Render Archive files - all tracks only with tags, effects and Lossless ==> not required anymore, I just keep Origin WAV recording and MON file! (if anytime MON would get obsolet/changed dramatically - I could simply start to render archiving batch for all files, writing tracks with tags but no effects…)
  2. Render iTunes files - all tracks in any compatible format (AAC, MP3…) with tags and the complete mastering section

Is this an option that works, does it makes sense?

(if yes - another big plus would be that original recording file wouldn’t be touched - no tags, markers etc.)

I didn’t realize you were working in Elements, but yes, everything you mention above is possible in WL Pro, including album artwork and all metadata. Also, the batch processor is much more powerful in WL Pro.

And do consider using the montage: this is where the power in WL is, first of all because it’s non-destructive plus is has many more advantages.

Back again: does anybody know how to apply Metadata (ID3) individually to clips in a montage? In my case, all clips are indicating tracks and based on one recording (WAV) file, representing an album (ep, compilation… whatever). This is the reason I require ID3 individial for each clip - whereas the Metadata window provides ID3 for complete WAV file only.

Remark: switched to WLP recently, so no functional limitations anymore… :wink:

Thank you!

I have a video coming soon for this but the best/easiest way is to enter all the info as CD-Text, even if a DDP/CD isn’t being made.

Then in the metadata tab of the montage, you can load my preset that will transpose all the important info to ID3v1 and ID3v2 metadata when you render WAV/mp3/AAC etc. of “CD Tracks” from the montage.

Here is the preset file:

When you open the metadata tab in your montage, click the EDIT button (on the bottom right), and when that window pops up, look for the preset section at the bottom. Choose “organize presets” to reveal where WaveLab stores your presets for the montage metadata, manually copy/paste my preset to that folder, then choose JP Start preset.

As you can see, it transposes all the important info from CD-Text to metadata, plus some other info. You can customize it from there as well. You can also add the artwork too.

You can also save this as part of your new montage preset so you never even have to think about or open this again, the preset can be automatically loaded for new montages if you make a montage preset.

Justin - this is awsome!

I fully understand how to manage this… :smiley: Big hug & many thanks!!! :mrgreen:

(But anyway: it’s all but not user friendly… nowadays, metadata / tagging should use a more powerful interface, I guess main subject of WL isn’t CD authoring anymore, is it?!)

I see your point, but the way I see it, we just enter the data once, and it goes everywhere (CD-Text, and metadata). Just ignore that where you enter the data is called CD-Text :slight_smile:

You can populate the CD-Text fields in just a few clicks by using the arrows in the CD-Text editor box, and if your markers are already perfectly named (no extra characters, proper names etc), it’s all very quick work.

I only actually open the metadata tab to add the artwork when needed, or to show people how to do this :slight_smile: Otherwise it’s very automatic, just a little copy/paste, a few clicks, and it’s done, and I never have to open the metadata tab because the preset is stored as being active for my new montage preset.

It’s growing in my mind - I end up the same…

One more issue - important for my album organisation: ID3v2 in WLP does not provide the “TCMP” (Compilation) Tag (see also: Tag Field Mappings – Mp3tag Documentation). Any idea how this could be created?!

That would probably be a feature request for PG, I’m not sure about it.

If you’re on Mac, I found a pretty nice metadata tagging tool to double check and augment what WaveLab does: