Author Topic: Coverting FLAC files to ALAC  (Read 9682 times)

oreills1

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I'm unable to convert FLAC files to ALAC.  I get a "n/a for M4V" message in the status field.  Anyone else have this problem and is there a fix?

Thanks!


sveakul

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What ALAC encoder are you using (qaac, refalac, ffmpeg)?  As M4V is an Apple video format, you may have some option switch set wrong so the encoder thinks it's being asked to encode to M4V, or being sent a M4V.  A screenshot from MusicBee's File Converters window showing your ALAC encoding parameters would be helpful.

oreills1

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thanks for the direction.  Looking at the encoders (Preference => File Converters) it appears that both the encoders for AAC and ALAC are missing.  Should be neroaacenc.exe and ffmpeg.exe respectively.   Do you have a preference for each and where can I download the missing files (plus directions to install)? 

Thanks

oreills1

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sveakul.. 

thanks for your help.  I searched the internet for the missing codec file (ffmpeg.exe), I DL and installed it into the musicbee codec folder.  Seems to have worked!!

sveakul

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Glad you got it working!  As far as preferences for AAC/ALAC, I'm no expert on this so I'll leave it to another to respond.  The sum of my knowledge on the non-ffmpeg methods is:

qaac -- this is what Apple uses for both formats;  it requires that you also either have iTunes installed or have done the workaround described here: https://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=25340.msg145414#msg145414

refalac -- an open source implementation of ALAC that doesn't require the iTunes files, read about it here: https://github.com/nu774/qaac/wiki/refalac-usage

fhgaacenc -- AAC only, requires some additional files from Winamp: https://github.com/tmkk/fhgaacenc/

theta_wave

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For long-term storage, I'd hesitate to use ALAC since it lacks error checking of the audiostream.  ALAC, AFAIK, doesn't retain a md5 hash of the audio data at the time of the file's creation.  FLAC does, which allows it to verify the audio data stored presently whose md5 hash would be different from the original one that is stored if the file got corrupted.

cubsfan129

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Long time lurker, thought I'd chime in -

Just in case anyone is still wondering how to do this:






-Install iTunes (the .exe - not the version from the Microsoft Store)
-Install foobar2000 and the Free Encoder Pack that comes with foobar2000
-Enable ALAC encoding in MusicBee
-Select C:\Program Files (x86)\foobar2000\encoders\qaac.exe for the encoder location

-Use the following encoder options:
--ignorelength -s --no-optimize --alac -o [outputfile] -

-Do a test track to make sure it encodes correctly

I believe it will also work with refalac.exe that comes with foobar2000 if you do not want to install iTunes.  The only difference is that "refalac" is the standalone encoder based upon Apple's open-source code whereas "qaac" is the real deal that comes packaged with iTunes.  I have never heard of there being any audible difference.  


As for keeping your backups in FLAC vs Apple Lossless - it depends on what you are using for playback.  If you use Apple devices, I would suggest staying with Apple Lossless and using FLAC if not.  You do not need to worry about "error-checking" as long as you keep redundant backup copies of your library on an external HDD for example.

For AAC files, stick with qaac or fdkaac for your encoder.  fhg, ffmpeg and Nero are outdated AAC encoders that do not have the same sound quality.  I'd even argue LAME MP3 is a better encoder than those.



Thanks,

cubsfan129
Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 03:57:52 PM by cubsfan129

sveakul

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If you don't want to install either Foobar OR iTunes and still want to use qaac.exe in MusicBee, do this:

1.  Download these 3 packages: iTunes.exe installer (https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/), qaac_268.zip (https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet/qaac_2.68.zip) , and "makeportable.zip" (https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/cabinet/makeportable.zip) to an empty folder.

2.  Extract "makeportable.cmd" from makeportable.zip to wherever you downloaded the iTunes.exe installer from step #1.

3.  Run makeportable.cmd;  it will make a folder named "QTfiles", which contains everything you need from iTunes to use qaac without having to INSTALL iTunes.

4.  Put the folder "QTfiles" in your MusicBee/Codec folder;  then extract qaac.exe, libsoxr.dll, and libsoxconvolver.dll from qaac_268.zip's "W32" folder into the MusicBee/Codec folder also.

5.  Done!  You can delete the three packages you downloaded in step #1.
Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 03:11:31 AM by sveakul

Zak

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For AAC files, stick with qaac or fdkaac for your encoder.  fhg, ffmpeg and Nero are outdated AAC encoders that do not have the same sound quality.  I'd even argue LAME MP3 is a better encoder than those.
OP was asking about converting lossless formats, so sound quality doesn't come into it.

Also, a compiled FDK encoder can be hard to come by for Windows, but the built-in FFmpeg AAC encoder was improved, and is considered basically equivalent now. qaac may be slightly better but also requires more work to set up, especially if you don't want to install all the other iTunes guff to get it.
Bee excellent to each other...

chrismeraz

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I followed all the steps for all the different methods listed in this thread, but I still can't convert fo ALAC in MusicBee. MusicBee says the encoder is not installed. :-(

sveakul

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You must have missed a step then.  Anyway, a fast and easy way (no iTunes needed etc) to get a converter than will convert to ALAC in MusicBee is:

1.  Download the zipped package here: https://github.com/nu774/qaac/releases/download/v2.76/qaac_2.76.zip

2.  From inside the zip, extract just the file "refalac.exe" from the "x86" subfolder, and place that file inside MusicBee's "Codec" subfolder.

3.  Go to MB's Preferences/File Converters, scroll down to "ALAC Enabled," and check that box.  Then, in the "encoder location" box there, hit the browse button ("...") and point to "refalac.exe" inside the MusicBee "Codec" subfolder.  Save.

You now can convert to ALAC.  Depending on what the "stock" MusicBee comes with, you may have to add a couple of basic encoding parameters in step 3, like "-o [outputfile] -"

BTW, if you have a "Store" version of MusicBee, all bets are off, I have no idea if you can add a converter to that one.  Technically though you could put refalac.exe anywhere, as long as you browse to its actual location in step #3.
Last Edit: September 11, 2022, 07:21:30 PM by sveakul

The_Nullifier

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Greetings all,

I've followed the instructions contained in this thread as best as I can, but when I try to convert I get the message: "Failed - No output file was produced - check the encoding command line parameters which may be incorrectly configured in the File Converter preferences". I have Foobar2000 (plus the encoder pack) and iTunes installed, and I've set the preferences in Musicbee to qaac.exe.  I also used the parameters provided above "--ignorelength -s --no-optimize --alac -o [outputfile] -". Can anyone provide some further guidance on this?

Thank you.

sveakul

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Check that in Prefs/File Converters you have the "ALAC enabled" box checked and please provide a screenshot of that section of the window.

The_Nullifier

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Hi, 'preciate the response. Yes, I have the 'ALAC enabled' checked. I managed to get it working earlier this afternoon. I downloaded an updated version of qaac64.exe, put it in the MusicBee Codec folder, set it in the File Converters section under Preferences, and now everything is working perfectly. Thanks again.

BoringName

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ffmpeg.exe also works. Just download a binary from here - https://ffmpeg.org/download.html

Save it somewhere and then browse to it in the file converter settings.