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      03-22-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
nkweisberg
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Apple lossless encoding and usb flash drive

I'm looking to enjoy the better sound quality mentioned in other posts regarding USB flash drives. Does anybody know which format I should configure the USB flash drive under so the car recognizes it (I have a Mac). Also will Apple lossless files work? If you cannot play lossless files off of the flash drive I would think you are better off using your iPod with lossless files over a usb flash drive with MP3 quality files. I downloaded some apple lossless files on a usb flash drive and the car did not recognize the drive. Want to see if its something I'm doing wrong...
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      03-22-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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The manuall says that USB fash drives should have a bitrate below 256 KBits/S. Otherwise good sound quality is not possible / guaranteed..........

Apple Lossless therefore is not possible IMHO, just use your IPod and the BMW/Apple Y Cable, than lossless should be no problem.................
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      03-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romo View Post
The manuall says that USB fash drives should have a bitrate below 256 KBits/S. Otherwise good sound quality is not possible / guaranteed..........

Apple Lossless therefore is not possible IMHO, just use your IPod and the BMW/Apple Y Cable, than lossless should be no problem.................

I have played MP3 at 320kps VBR using an USB stick thru the 6FL without issues...

To the OP... just burn one song lossless into your USB and see for yourself what happens.
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      03-22-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
I have played MP3 at 320kps VBR using an USB stick thru the 6FL without issues...

To the OP... just burn one song lossless into your USB and see for yourself what happens.
That is what he did.........................and it didn`t work obviously;

Quote:
I downloaded some apple lossless files on a usb flash drive and the car did not recognize the drive. Want to see if its something I'm doing wrong...
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      03-22-2009, 04:43 PM   #5
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I was able to stream acc lossless and wmv lossless from a USB drive plugged into the center console on a 09 V4 iDrive. I was not able to stream lossless off the internal HD.
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      03-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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response

Thanks for the feedback. Not sure I'm on board with the benefits of using a USB flash drive over an iPOD. Just ripped the same track in every option my MAC's itunes offers and did a test to see what plays and what doesn't.

Apple lossless does not work.
AIFF does not work.
AAC works at both 256k and 192k. (somebody mentioned AAC lossless, not sure what that means because to my understanding AAC is a lossy format)
MP3 works but who cares?

For my ear music encoded in Apple lossless played via an iPOD gave better quality sound than AAC at 256k via a USB flash drive. I realize that using an ipod adds in a D to A and then A to D conversion but the lossless file has much more info. In general the larger the file size the better the sound quality you can expect. The AAC file is 7.3 MB while the Apple lossless file is 27.9 MB. Likely the AAC file would sound better on the flash drive over an iPOD but that seems a moot point when a iPOD can play lossless files.

If I'm missing something PLEASE let me know. I want the best sound quality out of my "Enhanced Premium Sound" package, which to my ear sounds pretty good. I appreciate well recorded music and enjoy it even more when it is played on a quality system. (I just ordered the Akrapovic evolution exhaust so I might not be able to hear the sound system anyway

If anybody knows a way to play AIFF (39.2 MB for the track referenced above) or any lossless file on a USB flash drive I'm all ears. Lets put all of our minds together and figure out the best possible sound quality we can input through that USB port in the center console.

PS I used the EQ settings posted by Pencil Geek and found they made a nice improvement in sound. My thanks to him for taking the time to contribute something so valuable.
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      03-22-2009, 09:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Romo View Post
That is what he did.........................and it didn`t work obviously;
So obviously that I did not see it...
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      03-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkweisberg View Post
AAC works at both 256k and 192k.
There is a 320kps setting for AAC as well...
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      03-22-2009, 09:59 PM   #9
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as far as i know WAV files work
that's the best quality as its not a lossy format
but each song is around 50MB
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      03-22-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkweisberg View Post
For my ear music encoded in Apple lossless played via an iPOD gave better quality sound than AAC at 256k via a USB flash drive. I realize that using an ipod adds in a D to A and then A to D conversion but the lossless file has much more info. In general the larger the file size the better the sound quality you can expect. The AAC file is 7.3 MB while the Apple lossless file is 27.9 MB. Likely the AAC file would sound better on the flash drive over an iPOD but that seems a moot point when a iPOD can play lossless files.

If I'm missing something PLEASE let me know. I want the best sound quality out of my "Enhanced Premium Sound" package, which to my ear sounds pretty good. I appreciate well recorded music and enjoy it even more when it is played on a quality system. (I just ordered the Akrapovic evolution exhaust so I might not be able to hear the sound system anyway

If anybody knows a way to play AIFF (39.2 MB for the track referenced above) or any lossless file on a USB flash drive I'm all ears. Lets put all of our minds together and figure out the best possible sound quality we can input through that USB port in the center console.
Sound quality is all dependent on the format and not the medium. Whether you doing it through an iPod or a flash drive should make very little difference. Some people will say the D/A conversion on the ipod is a weakness but we're talking about hearing this in a car (relatively high noise floor) with the OEM sound system so I doubt that is a major factor. The benefit for using a flash drive is not having to deal with iTunes, much smaller physical size than an iPod, and you can play pretty much any format you want. I've never tried apple lossless off my flash drive so I can't comment on that. I've been happy using EAC + Lame for audio encoding for a long time now and its more than adequate. In the end, I use CDs for all critical listening anyway.
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      03-23-2009, 11:18 AM   #11
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formats that work (for me at least) on a USB flash drive. ? for Pencil Geek

AAC 256k works
WMV uncompressed works
AIFF does not work
Apple Lossless does not work

I could not tell any difference in the quality of Apple lossless played off of my iPOD vs WMV uncompressed off a USB flash drive. Changing songs was faster on the USB flash drive but that may just be a function of the flash drive being much smaller in memory and only having a few songs on it.

Guess I'm sticking with the iPOD as I cannot hear a quality benefit to the usb flash drive.

If Pencil Geek reads this I'd be curious what you plug into your USB port (iPOD vs flash drive) and what format of files you prefer.
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      03-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
So obviously that I did not see it...
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      03-24-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romo View Post
The manuall says that USB fash drives should have a bitrate below 256 KBits/S. Otherwise good sound quality is not possible / guaranteed..........

Apple Lossless therefore is not possible IMHO, just use your IPod and the BMW/Apple Y Cable, than lossless should be no problem.................
I have every one of the songs on my USB flash ripped at a much higher rate than this. And, there are dozens of posters who have reported good success with Windows Media Lossless. So, the bitrate is not an issue at all.
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      03-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
I have every one of the songs on my USB flash ripped at a much higher rate than this. And, there are dozens of posters who have reported good success with Windows Media Lossless. So, the bitrate is not an issue at all.

I`m just quoting the manuall..................................
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      03-24-2009, 07:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkweisberg View Post
AAC 256k works
WMV uncompressed works
AIFF does not work
Apple Lossless does not work

I could not tell any difference in the quality of Apple lossless played off of my iPOD vs WMV uncompressed off a USB flash drive. Changing songs was faster on the USB flash drive but that may just be a function of the flash drive being much smaller in memory and only having a few songs on it.

Guess I'm sticking with the iPOD as I cannot hear a quality benefit to the usb flash drive.

If Pencil Geek reads this I'd be curious what you plug into your USB port (iPOD vs flash drive) and what format of files you prefer.
08 or 09 vehicle?

I listen to lossless WMV and AAC on my flash drive all the time in my 09. I assure you it works.
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      03-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #16
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JML. I said that WMV and AAC worked for me. Please look at post again
Tks,
n
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      06-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #17
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MP3 player question

I also have the USB connection in my BMW. You guys have said that with a regular Ipod if you connect through the USB port, you must also connect through the AUX input to get sound, the USB only provides the text information. However, if you use an Ipod Shuffle, the sound will play directly through the USB w/out the AUX connected. Is this because a different type of memory (flash) is used in the Ipod Shuffle? If so, does this mean that any other MP3 player with flash memory (specifically the Cowon O2 is what I'm interested in) would connect and play directly through the USB w/out the AUX connection?

I ask b/c if you connect through AUX, you lose sound quality b/c of D/A conversion.

Also, if anyone is familiar with the BBE technology used in Cowon players to enhance the quality of MP3 music, do you know if the player is connected through a USB port, rather than through use of the headphones, will that circumvent the BBE enhancements? Is BBE only operative and effective when music is played through the headphones (and I presume has passed through a D/A converter)?

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it.
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      06-21-2009, 11:23 PM   #18
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Has anybody attempted to play FLAC files? They are "standard" as far as lossless files go (not tied to apple or windows). Shoot me a PM and I will email you one to test.
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      06-22-2009, 01:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Has anybody attempted to play FLAC files? They are "standard" as far as lossless files go (not tied to apple or windows). Shoot me a PM and I will email you one to test.
Doubt it.. only MP3 and AAC. I'll give it a try though.
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      06-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #20
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Cool... let me know what you find out.

I would love to be able to copy my files to a USB stick and be done with it.
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      06-22-2009, 07:03 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Has anybody attempted to play FLAC files? They are "standard" as far as lossless files go (not tied to apple or windows). Shoot me a PM and I will email you one to test.
Yeah, FLAC won't work.
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      11-01-2010, 02:23 AM   #22
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Has anyone with a 2011.5 able to play Apple Lossless via the USB input?
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