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Moving from PC to Mac - need advice on music formats

Discussion in 'music' started by ExtremePie, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. ExtremePie

    ExtremePie pfm Member

    I'm just abut to have a new Mac mini delivered and getting my ducks in a row over the various things that will need to change moving everything from PC to the Apple ecosystem.
    Mostly I stream FLAC and have the music stored on the HDD and backed up in the cloud. I know I can stick with the same simple structure provided I don't mind iTunes not having access.
    I don't actually mind converting the files to something lossless that Apple supports but I'd prefer not to need to and I certainly want the Squeezebox to recognise all the files.
    A secondary objective would be to have the music at least playable by iTunes, but I don't want to end up with a muddle where it's stored twice in two different formats for me to be able to play iTunes etc.

    Any suggestions?
  2. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    If your music is in FLAC on an HDD, then itunes will not be able to deal with it. I would say - get ROON! its ruddy marvelous. I am sure there is a way it can talk to Squeezebox.
  3. uncl_nigel

    uncl_nigel pfm Member

    I have had a, iMac for nearly 7 years now and only use iTunes to drag mp3 files onto the iPhone or iPad.

    For the hifi the music is on a HDD attached to the iMac. You can run Asset or Minimserver on the iMac if your hifi is compatible with one or the other. I prefer Asset to Minimserver and my dealer has the opposite preference...

    The luxury solution has already been suggested - ROON. Not cheap but then the same can be said for the iMac :)
    I am really happy with ROON on my iMac.
  4. peter312

    peter312 Member

    I believe that your Squeezebox can play AIFF and Apple Lossless files, both of which can be played by iTunes.
  5. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    iTunes can be useful for organising your library, but if you've got this far doing that yourself then it doesn't seem worth going to all the effort to use it, which as you say would include converting the files to Apple Lossless (ALAC) format. I don't know how easily playable FLACs are via Macs, or anything on the streaming side, but if that's easy enough then give iTunes a body swerve I'd say.

    If you do want to use it then Max is the app I use for converting any files and it might - or other free apps - have a batch convert facility that can recreate the folder structure of your FLAC library as ALAC, so you could just set it running on the whole library and leave your FLACs as a disconnected backup.

    My Mac mini is old and runs a free version of Audirvana, which many folks prefer the output from over iTunes, as I do. So when I have new stuff I add it to iTunes to get the organisation done, then quit iTunes and drag tracks or folders from The Finder (file browser) into Audirvana to play.
  6. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    Download the latest version of xld to do flac to alac, superfast.
    tuga likes this.
  7. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    I doubt there's any need to convert. iTunes can't play FLAC files natively, but Audirvana can, and sounds noticeably better than iTunes.


    In days of old, ond on older Macs/OS combinations, Audirvana was 'playback engine' only, typically integrated with the iTunes library. In more recent times, Audirvana has added its own library management, control app etc, so iTunes is no longer really needed.

    Can I suggest perhaps duplicate a dozen albums or so, convert those to ALAC if you want before committing to wholesale library conversion, and compare replay via iTunes and Audirvana – there's a 30 day free trial of the latter which should give you enough time to familiarise yourself with both apps and the Mac generally.
    mikechadwick likes this.
  8. Mark_R

    Mark_R pfm Member

    If your MacMini has Catalina installed it won’t come with iTunes if I understand things correctly (I’m still running High Sierra). The replacement is called Music I believe. Either way (iTUnes or Music) I think you need to convert FLAC to ALAC which should be painless and without compromise on quality. Personally, I hate iTunes and its only function is put music on my ipods.
  9. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    Audacity is a good converter as well, runs native on Mac..

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