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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Apple Lossless on iTunes: compressed when downloaded to iPod?

Apple Lossless on iTunes: compressed when downloaded to iPod?
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Jan 27, 2013, 10:45 PM
I've ripped many CDs to lossy AAC compressed files on iTunes. I'm going to hook up my Mac laptop to the amp in my stereo setup so I can start playing my playlists thru my floorstanding speakers.

I want to re-rip my CDs as Apple Lossless files for better sound quality. I assumed I would need two libraries in iTunes, the AAC for downloading to an iPod (to save memory space) and a new lossless library for the better sound; but I was told that iTunes compresses Apple Lossless files when downloading to iPod so space is preserved on the iPod.

Is this correct? If so, how much space does an Apple Lossless file take on an iPod compared to an AAC file (what percent memory comparing one to the other after downloading onto iPod)?
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Jan 28, 2013, 04:45 AM
ALE takes about two to four times as much space as 256-Kbps-encoded audio. It doesn't have a fixed bitrate, since it only compresses as much as it can without losing ANY data – more complex material has higher bit rates and larger files.

iTunes has a per-device option to transcode to AAC At a bitrate of your choosing before transferring onto the iPhone/iPad/iPod.
Mac Elite
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Jan 31, 2013, 07:43 AM
i'll just add that it works very well, i recently enabled this on a maxed out 64 gigabyte ipod touch, and recovered about 20 gigabytes of space. initially it will take longer to sync your audio files as it makes the conversion on the fly, and there are a few choices available for the amount of compression (192kbps, 256kbps, etc.).
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