I don't know how WAV is handled on a Mac in iTunes software, or whatever other players are built-in
on a standard-issue Mac as sold to consumers. However, in the iTunes for Windows world, WAV files
are converted on the fly to some proprietary Quicktime and played through the Quicktime engine,
definitely audible to my ears (and not for the better). I assume they are default converted to
something lossy, because that's how it sounds to my ears. Files ripped into iTunes in ALAC (Apple's
proprietary data-lossless size-compressed format) sound fine. So, at least in the Windows world,
Apple's main sound-playback software mangles WAV files. It may not be so in the Mac world, I have
never tested or listened on that platform. To my ears, I think iTunes for Windows is doing the same
thing with CD playback -- converting on the fly to something and then running it through the
Quicktime engine. This is why I use Foobar2000 as my playback engine for all formats.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Sam" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2015 12:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Is it time to rethink FLAC ?
> WAV is technically proprietary, as it's a subset of Microsoft's RIFF.
> One of the reasons broadcast WAV became--and is--the defacto standard for
> audio preservation was because of its ubiquity of being read. Don't get me
> wrong, I love FLAC, and it's what I've standardized on at home for my
> digital audio needs, but FLAC isn't universally read out in the real
> world. I know of at least one DAW widely used in libraries and archives
> that can read FLAC but not write it. I also don't know if ProTools can
> read FLAC as I've never tried it. Anyone know that one?
> Getting back to Richard's original question, FLAC isn't the standard for
> audio preservation.
> It's an interesting take of the Aussies to place more faith in FLAC than
> BWF, but I wouldn't use it for preservation. Now that various metadata
> standards and tools are getting out there, it's a no-brainer to me to have
> BWF remain the preservation standard since FLAC and XML don't play as
> nicely together as BWF and XML.
> On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 6:53 AM, Matthew Snyder <[log in to unmask]>
>> Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> What digital audio formats aside from FLAC are considered "non-proprietary,
>> > or open source"? Is WAV? How about AIFF?
>> Both of those are used and have proven their utility. WAV probably has the
>> edge, but a preservation engineer would be a better person to ask. (Matt
>> Sohn, hello?) But the link that started this discussion is the first time
>> I've heard of a compressed format being used for preservation. If a FLAC
>> file is corrupted, can it be at least partially recovered, the way WAV can?
>> The Library of Congress's digital preservation website has an extensive
>> list of audio file formats and their characteristics here:
>> I thought at some point I saw a narrower listing of formats preferred for
>> preservation purposes, but maybe I dreamed that. Still, reading these specs
>> makes it pretty clear which formats are best for preservation and why.
>> Matt Snyder
>> Special Collections Unit
>> The New York Public Library
>> [log in to unmask]
>> Tel: 917-229-9582