I have got all the significant music - almost all but not quite every track - ripped from about 550 CDs in ALAC. I did a little experiment by converting to AIFF on a single track, and side by side, I could detect no change in replay ...
But in the process I set my default standard iTunes "rip" to AIFF, and without realising it ripped Schubert's Great C Major Symphony - Otto Klemperer with the Philharmonia in what I can only describe as the most phenomenal and emotionally satisfying performance I have ever come across - in AIFF. I had this on LP and it was one of those dull, and thick sounding recordings that did nothing to make this great performance, as recorded, lucid and musically satisfying on the vinyl release ...
After three seriously concentrated listens to this transcendental performance, I thought to myself that there is something going on here. The replay is free and at ease - almost totally unforced and natural even if no recording manages to be quite natural in any circumstances - something indefinably better than before. As much of a gain again as playing iTunes rips rather than CDs directly with a CD player.
So I did an experiement, and converted Schubert's Fifth Symphony [same performers] from ALAC to AIFF. And you know what, I am damn sure I could not tell the difference side by side, but after listening through it has the same ease and fluidity as the Great C Major [9th] Symphony recording.
This is a confounded nuisance as it means that as I listen to everything from now on I shall have to convert the file type before starting, and with 7000 tracks to contend with, I am going to be at the conversion process longer than the initial rips took!
Am I wrong? Is there no difference as an AB style listen would suggest or is there something subliminal going on with the uncompressed AIFF presentation, so subtle that it takes a long listen for its ease to become apparent?
Please don't baby me. Be honest and tell me I am wrong to find this apparent ease.
Any contributions will be most welcome, and any downright contradictions of what I am describing will also be read gratefully, but I think there is something good going on here.
Just wait till I get a better DAC as well. This iTunes thing is damn good, and after three years now, I think I have just stumbled onto a good lead to make it better!
ATB from George
PS: I have enough space to accommodate the bigger file type on the dedicated iTunes library HD in the computer ...