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Old 05-19-2014   #1
 
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Default HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Before I go dropping a ton of money on a Stage 4 P99RS, are there any other HUs that will play ALAC directly from an ipod?
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Old 05-19-2014   #2
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

80prs? Are you looking for something high end? Or something else? I believe a lot of headunits can read ALAC.

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Old 05-19-2014   #3
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Anything that can play ALAC.

Can't find if the 80PRS plays ALAC on the website.

Show me the paper...
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Old 05-19-2014   #4
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Correction they don't do it internally, but if you have an Ipod with ALAC music and your headunit bypasses the ipods internal dac, then yes it does play ALAC.

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Old 05-19-2014   #5
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

So how does bypassing the iPods internal dac have any influence?

Last edited by sourmango; 05-19-2014 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 05-19-2014   #6
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Well it seems the Pioneer website had conflicting info, where on the specs sheet, the 99RS played ALAC, but the manual said it does not...Now both the spec and manual say ALAC is not supported.

I guess there is not a HU in existence that plays true ALAC, which sucks.

I hope someone can prove me wrong.
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

I have an 80prs. Also have a 120GB iPod classic. Most of my music is ALAC and it plays it via USB with no issues
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Old 05-19-2014   #8
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

I have plenty of lossless music on my iPod and my 9887 and DEH-80PRS played them with no problems. The only time I had issues was when I tried 24 bit and some stupid high sampling rate like 48 kHz or higher. 16 bit and 44.1 kHz was good to go.

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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourmango View Post
Before I go dropping a ton of money on a Stage 4 P99RS, are there any other HUs that will play ALAC directly from an ipod?
You should not spend money on this game.
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Old 05-19-2014   #10
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawan20 View Post
You should not spend money on this game.
Sawan, say what?

You trying to tell me what I can and can't do?

I know what you can go do.

Last edited by sourmango; 05-19-2014 at 11:42 PM..
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Old 05-19-2014   #11
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgotovac View Post
I have an 80prs. Also have a 120GB iPod classic. Most of my music is ALAC and it plays it via USB with no issues
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
I have plenty of lossless music on my iPod and my 9887 and DEH-80PRS played them with no problems. The only time I had issues was when I tried 24 bit and some stupid high sampling rate like 48 kHz or higher. 16 bit and 44.1 kHz was good to go.
Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2014   #12
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourmango View Post
Sawan, say what?

You trying to tell me what I can and can't do?

I know what you can go do.
He said you "shouldn't" which mean you don't have to if you don't want to. No need to get ticked off. Everyone here is trying to help. Some more than others of course.


Personally, I suggest you go with a headunit that you like because of it features. Like I mentioned before if you have a ipod and the headunit bypasses the ipods DAC your all good.

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Old 05-20-2014   #13
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourmango View Post
Well it seems the Pioneer website had conflicting info, where on the specs sheet, the 99RS played ALAC, but the manual said it does not...Now both the spec and manual say ALAC is not supported.

I guess there is not a HU in existence that plays true ALAC, which sucks.

I hope someone can prove me wrong.
It won't play ALAC filed burned to a disc, but it will most certainly play them off of a connected iPod.

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Old 05-20-2014   #14
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Most head units if not all, do not play ALAC from flash drives either.
My JVC arsenal played ALAC from CD's, not sure why this pioneer should not play them.
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Old 05-20-2014   #15
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

My Alpine CDE-HD149BT plays ALAC off my iPod just fine through the USB. Won't through BT though.

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Old 05-20-2014   #16
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Please correct me but isn't ALAC just a recording method that does not compress the signal? It is also a file type? Therefore needs to be read by a device that can read that file type? At what point is it a file type vs. a digital bitstream? I sense the purpose is to bypass the less than great DAC in an apple device (iPod, pad, phone) and use the HU DAC or outboard DAC. Are we talking about what HU will allow its DAC to be used vs. the iPod's internal DAC?
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Old 05-20-2014   #17
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

ALAC is a lossless compression similar to FLAC.

My Sony XAV-602BT plays ALAC, AIFF, and 24bit 48k WAV from my iPod and iPhone via USB and Bluetooth without issue. It won't play any of those straight from a USB drive though and I haven't tried burning those to a CD.
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Old 05-21-2014   #18
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobduch View Post
Please correct me but isn't ALAC just a recording method that does not compress the signal? It is also a file type? Therefore needs to be read by a device that can read that file type? At what point is it a file type vs. a digital bitstream? I sense the purpose is to bypass the less than great DAC in an apple device (iPod, pad, phone) and use the HU DAC or outboard DAC. Are we talking about what HU will allow its DAC to be used vs. the iPod's internal DAC?
I am trying to figure all of this out myself.

From what I have read, apple lossless is still M4a, which is why many head units are able to play it, correct me if I am wrong.

I do not know why apple lossless will not play on burned CDs. Someone please tell me why.


There must be some encoder/decoder that the IPOD has that sends a digital signal the HU can read, where the HU lacks the encoder/decoder to read the .m4a ALAC CD?

The catch is, for the best sound, you have to bypass the apple DAC (if the HU has a better dac), so the signal is not over processed from digital to analog, from analog to digital, and then back from digital to analog, which only compromises sound quality from over processing.

There are many factors to sound quality, some of the most important being source material, first chain equipment (CD/media player), signal length (quality DAC), end chain equipment (speakers). If you have a bad CD player or poor media (MP3 download), no matter the speakers, music will not be optimum due to the source it is receiving...likewise, a pure digital signal that is overprocessed/poorly translated to analog, or sent to cheap speakers, will not be optimum. I am not even getting into speaker placement, wiring, etc.

I really like the 80PRS now that I know it will play ALAC direct from the iPod.

Last edited by sourmango; 05-21-2014 at 12:59 AM..
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Old 05-21-2014   #19
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrojoca View Post
Most head units if not all, do not play ALAC from flash drives either.
My JVC arsenal played ALAC from CD's, not sure why this pioneer should not play them.
I would think it could, but it has been stated on the contrary prior.

I'm going to have to call Pioneer!
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Old 05-21-2014   #20
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

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Originally Posted by sourmango View Post
Before I go dropping a ton of money on a Stage 4 P99RS, are there any other HUs that will play ALAC directly from an ipod?
Mine does (Pioneer DEH-P5100UB) plus it does iPod direct mode, so I can use the iPod's interface instead of the headunit's. I don't remember what headunit Golden Ear and rton20s have, but we couldn't figure out the iPod direct mode on theirs (higher end Pioneer). Could have just been hidden in the menu somewhere though, so I'm not sure.

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Old 05-21-2014   #21
 
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

I run a Kenwood KDC-U7056BT and it can be switched in the initial settings to play ALAC but unless this is done it will not play, just a thought the pioneer may be similar and need to be switched over from the standby mode.
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Old 05-22-2014   #22
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Most ears will not detect or hear a difference between a 320k AAC file and a lossless file anyway specially in a car. Apple has its own version of AAC apple plus, it's a 256k AAC file that is supposed to be similar or close to the 320k version.

Manufacturers are strange when it comes to offer playback of AAC files, most just play mpt3, wav files through CD or flash drives. The funny issue is that AAc files are the default for iTunes, I guess some manufacturers cut costs by not supporting AAC playback in some media formats

All hu's do or should support AAC or lossless through the iPod / iPhone / iPad unless they are cheap low end units.

Manufacturers like JVC does not support AAC files theough flash drives, but it played lossless CD's I made.

I think on the preferences section for itunes I selected CD format and text display to copy ALAC files on the CD, it worked for me. if you select CD media it may not be read or supported by the HU.
I even tested those CD's I made in my old yamaha cd player and a boom box, I see no reason why any HU should not play ALAC files copied on CD's


Kenwood and pioneer are good with AAC files in all playback media assuming they are in the 6 ch higher price range head units.

Alpine for example only supports, AAC files playback from flash drives in the 149bt and 148bt, on the 147bt and below it does not offer AAC playback on flash drives. JVC Does not support AAC Flash D playback in any of their head units.

Therefore, If I would buy a decent 6 ch HU for a family member or extra car,and do not want to spend more on a top of line HU or a 32gb ipod or phone, I would go with Pioneer and kenwood to be able to play AAC files through a flash drive.

Last edited by Alrojoca; 05-22-2014 at 09:02 AM..
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Old 05-22-2014   #23
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Default

FLAC capability on the new Kenwood head units has my interest!


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Old 05-22-2014   #24
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobduch View Post
Please correct me but isn't ALAC just a recording method that does not compress the signal? It is also a file type? Therefore needs to be read by a device that can read that file type? At what point is it a file type vs. a digital bitstream? I sense the purpose is to bypass the less than great DAC in an apple device (iPod, pad, phone) and use the HU DAC or outboard DAC. Are we talking about what HU will allow its DAC to be used vs. the iPod's internal DAC?
Apple actually uses outstanding DACs.

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Old 05-22-2014   #25
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Default Re: HU playing Apple Lossless (ALAC)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sourmango View Post
I am trying to figure all of this out myself.

From what I have read, apple lossless is still M4a, which is why many head units are able to play it, correct me if I am wrong.

I do not know why apple lossless will not play on burned CDs. Someone please tell me why.


There must be some encoder/decoder that the IPOD has that sends a digital signal the HU can read, where the HU lacks the encoder/decoder to read the .m4a ALAC CD?

The catch is, for the best sound, you have to bypass the apple DAC (if the HU has a better dac), so the signal is not over processed from digital to analog, from analog to digital, and then back from digital to analog, which only compromises sound quality from over processing.

There are many factors to sound quality, some of the most important being source material, first chain equipment (CD/media player), signal length (quality DAC), end chain equipment (speakers). If you have a bad CD player or poor media (MP3 download), no matter the speakers, music will not be optimum due to the source it is receiving...likewise, a pure digital signal that is overprocessed/poorly translated to analog, or sent to cheap speakers, will not be optimum. I am not even getting into speaker placement, wiring, etc.

I really like the 80PRS now that I know it will play ALAC direct from the iPod.

ALAC is not a file type, it's a compression system. If you open iTunes and look as a standard Apple downloaded file, it's an m4a. A file ripped as ALAC will say Apple Lossless. That's why you need either an iPod or a HU with the codec built-in. You'd have the same result trying to play an mp3 in a 7909. It doesn't have the decoder in it so it won't work.

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