I believe you are wrong about what lossless compression is.... but I'd be very interested in learning otherwise or learning more about the issue <br><br>* Never-compressed -> read as a stream of bits -> converted to analog<br><br>* Apple Lossless -> read as the EXACT same stream of bits (the meaning of "lossless") -> converted to analog<br><br>By the time the analog conversion is taking place, the two data streams are identical. So the conversion to analog would indeed vary with the sound card, but the source data is identical and would not vary between the original and the lossless files.<br><br>Compare to:<br><br>* High-end AAC -> read as a very similar but NOT exact stream of bits -> converted to analog<br>(So there IS a difference there, and people can sometimes detect it. And as you say, MP3 and WMA are different too.)<br><br>Which raises an interesting possibility:<br><br>In some past surveys (I forget the codec--MP3?) blind listeners could tell compressed from uncompressed audio... and they happened to prefer the compressed! Which makes some sense: everything we hear is distorted from the live performance, which would itself sound different depending on where you sat. One set of speakers will sound different from another, and one person will prefer on of them--maybe it's warmer, or crisper, or whatever. They're not judging which is closest to being their live (they don't even know what that would have been like) but they know what sounds good to them.<br><br>So maybe it's not that you dislike the distortion caused by Apple Lossless (there is none), but rather that with your gear and your tastes, you LIKE the subtle difference introduced by AAC. Maybe AAC boosts bass enough for you to notice, in a way that has good results with the iPod and your 'phones. And why not? It's no worse than adjusting an equalizer for specific speakers and environment.<br><br>The real test would be to listen blind to Apple Lossless vs. original (AIFF) data and see if you can consistently tell which is which. You wouldn't--but you probably COULD tell the AAC version, if your ears are as good as they seem to be.<br><br>(Aside: codec and DAC/ADC are two different things. Codec is from one digital form to another--a small file into a full audio stream. DAC/digital-to-audio-convertor is the next step: conversion of that digital stream into analog waves. So the codec is not involved with the analog conversion. If a codec creates the same data as the original file, then the next step--the sound card's DAC--is working from the same exact audio and will create the same result.)<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
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