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Apple Music Lossless

KR500

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I have been enjoying Apple Lossless Music as a way to listen to music I don't have in my physical media library or burned to my iTunes Library as a CD with AIFF set as import or for burning.
Apple Music has an option to " Add To Library" when you are in the App. You can't burn the album to disc, but is in your Library available for listening.
When viewing my CD's song file info the bit rate is 1,411 kbps - 16 bit - 44.100 hZ but the albums I added from Apple Music song file is referenced it shows 256kbps and 44.100 hZ. Is this how the ALAC codec works ? I looked at some of the Apple pages and Wiki pages on this but other than the old ATRAC on my Minidisc Recorders and the rare time when I used to put an MP3 audio file on my Android phone I know nothing.
Can anyone smarter than me put this in perspective as to how this works ?
Is ALAC lossless and no different than AIFF ?

thanks in advance
 

Jimbob54

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I have been enjoying Apple Lossless Music as a way to listen to music I don't have in my physical media library or burned to my iTunes Library as a CD with AIFF set as import or for burning.
Apple Music has an option to " Add To Library" when you are in the App. You can't burn the album to disc, but is in your Library available for listening.
When viewing my CD's song file info the bit rate is 1,411 kbps - 16 bit - 44.100 hZ but the albums I added from Apple Music song file is referenced it shows 256kbps and 44.100 hZ.
Can anyone smarter than me put this in perspective as to how this works ? I am assuming it is Apple's way to make this work but wonder if it is still lossless ?

thanks in advance
That's not lossless. That's their aac files. There must be a setting somewhere.
 

Somafunk

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Here’s a good write up and explanation of how Atmos/Apple music/spatial audio works

 

dufferdan

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Not sure if this cures the issue, but the other day in the preferences window in Misic, you can specify streams as lossless or hi res
 

telemike

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1644365034730.png
 
OP
KR500

KR500

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The issue may lie with the age of my 2012 iMac as there is no option to find Apple Music in settings, Apple Music is in my iTunes window although streaming and song file bitrate appears as "unknown" and no Lossless icon is present.
There is no option for toggling between the 2 audio playback settings of ALAC or Lossless like there are on my Apple TV, phone and tablet.
My 2015 Mini runs the same version of iTunes 12.8.3.1 and the same OS of High Sierra as my 2012 ( won't go beyond HS.........or problems follow) . I had planned on buying a new iMac at the end of the year, now maybe the timeline moved up
 
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dufferdan

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The issue may lie with the age of my 2012 iMac as there is no option to find Apple Music in settings, Apple Music is in my iTunes window although streaming and song file bitrate appears as "unknown" and no Lossless icon is present.
There is no option for toggling between the 2 audio playback settings of ALAC or Lossless like there are on my Apple TV, phone and tablet.
My 2015 Mini runs the same version of iTunes 12.8.3.1 and the same OS of High Sierra as my 2012 ( won't go beyond HS.........or problems follow) . I had planned on buying a new iMac at the end of the year, now maybe the timeline moved up

What OS are you on? ITunes was split in Catalina I think….
 

chelgrian

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The issue may lie with the age of my 2012 iMac as there is no option to find Apple Music in settings, Apple Music is in my iTunes window although streaming and song file bitrate appears as "unknown" and no Lossless icon is present.
There is no option for toggling between the 2 audio playback settings of ALAC or Lossless like there are on my Apple TV, phone and tablet.
My 2015 Mini runs the same version of iTunes 12.8.3.1 and the same OS of High Sierra as my 2012 ( won't go beyond HS.........or problems follow) . I had planned on buying a new iMac at the end of the year, now maybe the timeline moved up
You must update the OS on your Mac for Apple Lossless. The 2014 Mac Mini will run the latest OS with no issues I have several machines doing this.

The current version of macOS Monterey is 12.2 and you need at least macOS 11.4 for Apple Lossless in Apple Music. The current version of Big Sur is 11.6.2.
 
OP
KR500

KR500

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My Mini is a late 2014 model. I had upgraded OS right up to Catalina as my Mini met the system requirements. The Mini slowed down with the 2 most recent upgrades of Mojave and Catalina.
I uninstalled Catalina as it got snail like and still experienced problems.
After speaking with Apple several times about reduced performance and speed I uninstalled Mojave and have stayed with High Sierra per their recommendation.
I don't have any video or gaming or large programs on the Mini.
I clear browsing history and run Clean My Mac regularly.
Time to start picking out a new Mac.
 
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sonitus mirus

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I gave up on the MacBook Pro M1 ever being capable of automatically switching sample rates with Apple Music. I'm sure I can't hear any difference between AAC 256 and any "Hi-Res" lossless, but after coming from Roon Labs using Tidal and Qobuz for streaming, it was nice to get bit perfect music to my RME DAC, and I miss the peace of mind it brought.

I sold the MB Pro to a friend, as it was only being used by me as a jukebox to play music in my office. I had the Audio Midi set to use 176.4kHz, and since Apple makes all the hardware and software, the conversion process was almost assuredly not creating audible artifacts. As far back as 2015, Archimago had run some tests to check this and Apple does a nice job with the conversion process, according to his research.

My new toy is an iPad Mini (6th Gen) with a Smart Folio case. A USB-C digital AV multiport adapter is arriving soon to allow me to keep the iPad charging while it is connected to the DAC. The little magnets on the Smart Folio case hold firmly to the top of my metal RME unit and the whole package seems perfectly matched together. I got the idea from reading a few posts of others on this site with a similar setup. I was able to perform a test run with my bigger iPad Pro before diving in, so I knew what to expect.

This is really nice. My toes are tapping to the music.

Mini.png
 

dufferdan

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I am using an older, c2015 or 2016 iPad Air 2 to stream via a Lightning Camera adapter with USB out to the USB in on my Topping MQA70s DAC.

I have the iPad Air 2 names and on my home wifi network. I subscribe to Apple One Family, so I have full access to Apple Music, iTunes Match (Music Match), etc.

I have a ripped library of some 22,000 songs which due to historical reasons in my iTunes library is done at 320kbps AAC for iTunes use and I also download the files to my phone and an old iPod I use for music in the cabin. This old iPod I will upgrade with SSDs over the course of the summer to take 4 micro SD cards for 1TB of room. I have also ripped this same CD library separately to ALAC lossless and I also have some purchased HD Tracks hi-res FLAC, as well as some ripped DVD Audio disks like the Talking HEads collections, The Doors, some Stones, etc.

Per other threads in this Forum I have tested the sound quality of Apple Lossless and Hi res with my own ripped library , vs CDs and in some cases some hi res files. The key differences are when the master files are different (remastered, etc).

One thing I have run across is an issue when I try to play a matched playlist from the iPad to the DAC/stereo.

The iPad, using iTunes Match has all my playlists from my computer, so I can listen theoretically anwhere to my matched music playlist. However, occasionally, iTunes Match will play a hi res or other lossless file it pulls from the ether. (Wifi connection for the iPad to the music library). It seems random, because on some songs it will only play 15 seconds of the song and then stop. I have to manually skip the recaltrcant tune or do some other jiggery pokery.

When I play Apple Music lossless and hi-res directly streaming (currently listening to a bunch of losslesss and hi res John Mayer from Apple Music app) there are zero issues, lossless or Apple hi res, everything just plays.

i have done a lot of reading/searching on interwebs and forums as well as Apple’s own forums and this seems to be, in varios iterations, a pretty common problem. It seems to be a DRM issue, but all my iTunes Apple IDs and Sharing settings are consistent. So why, when I play from a matched playlist do some songs get timed out at 15 seconds and some don’t ?

It was really odd because last week I was listening to a library sourced C&W playlist (Willie Nelson Startdust and related type songs) and the playbacks were a mix of hi res lossless and lossless files, but that playlist never ran into the 15 second rule.

Thoughts/experience/comments Welcome…
 
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