Do The Players Play Apple Lossless (.m4a) or Not

I just took a week converting .flac files to Apple Lossless files so the I could play them on all my devices. I have my iTunes library stored on a custom NAS device. The NAS is conected to both my LiveHub and WDTV via a simple Windows (smb) share, everything is cool there. The problem comes when I try to play the files with the Hub. It sees all of the files but just skips by them when I hit play. All of these files have been ripped by me personally. Even the files that I ripped using iTunes will not play on the hub. Here is the info on such a file.

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Can the hub play this file or not?

I don’t see it on the list of supported extensions.

Well the good news is that the hub does play .m4a files but I’m not sure if they play lossless files. I do note that on other WD players there were some people who said that their lossless files were not being played.

Yup, like Alcucardx23 stated above, the HUB does not support ALAC. There are ways to get Itunes to play FLAC though, and there are also FLAC player apps you can add to your Iphone and Ipod. FLAC is a great format, and although I am sure you spent a ton of time converting to Apple Lossless, getting your Apple products to play FLAC is the best option that you have.

Opinion: FLAC rocks. Lossy audio is terrible and completely takes away from the artist and producers intent of how the music is supposed to sound. Sure it takes a lot more hard drive space, but at the cost per GIG these days, it makes no sense to me to have poor sounding lossy audio. Let the music sound ike it was meant. IMHO the ITunes/MP3 download model is killing the music industry. People no longer care about the sound quality.

Good luck amigo, certainly would have been worth checking out the formats that the HUB supports before taking the time converting your music. Lesson learned I guess.


Pearl - is your opinion paragraph just a general advert for flac as this user is obviously on your side. He has flac files and now he wants to play another lossless format. No terrible lossy format for him. I agree that I would have tried a few to see how they worked before converting the lot.

No richUK, just an opinion that came across my mind as I was writing. Apple Lossless is just as good as FLAC, just that the HUB cannot play it. Like I said, just an opinion, and perhaps not approptiate for this forum. Sorry if I offended you or others.


Don’t see that anyone would take offence, certainly not me. It was just a bit odd seeing how the poster wanted to use a lossless format.

Yeah, just a big fan of open source FLAC so when the topic comes up at all, kinda gets me down that path of how good lossless is compared to lossy formats. Hopefully I answered the  question prior to the rant. :smiley:

Big fan of “hi-fi” here, (used to be in the biz, and have a (still) awesome analog stereo setup. )

Nevertheless, I can live with lossy audio on the new gizmos – if it’s not TOO lossy.  I subscribe to eMusic for my downloaded music source (Bah humbug to Apple!)  I have downloaded a few albums I already have as CDs from eMusic just to compare them with the actual CDs  – using the speakers and the headphones.  I am hard-pressed to hear any difference – appreciable, or otherwise.  Not to say, there isn’t any.  Early on, I examined the way the eMusic files are formatted.  They use 192kbps at a VBR to create their mp3 files.  So, I matched that in the setup of the iTunes program, along with some other “quality” settings, and my mp3 files created by iTunes from CDs sound as good, or better, than the eMusic ones. 

Example:  One of my favorite jazz albums of all time is Stan Getz’s FOCUS.  It was always a lousy recording, fidelity-wise.  The vinyl LPs were edgy and shrill, the first CDs were same – or worse, and I had about given up on a quality reproduction of the original.  A few months ago I bought the remastered CD based upon good reviews.  I was amazed – the sound, although not perfect, is so much better than I had ever heard.  It was a major leap in quality.  I ripped it to a digital version (using parameters I described above) and believe me, it still sounds great and cannot tell it from the CD.

Heck, the music on the WD drive and portable units is not for “critical” listening anyway, but “everyday” listening.  If I REALLY want to hear an album in all its glory, I put on the CD.  Long live the CD!

Thanks for all of the replies! I love the conversation about audio! Luckily I backed up all of the flac files before I converted them. I will attempt to try to get my apple devices to play with flac. I wonder if apple will ever support the format, I love it as well.

I came up with a solution long ago for all these music format incompatibilities, and that was to make ALL my music files as mp3s  – they are playable by anything that plays digital music.  No dup formats for me.  For the audiophiles out there that need the highest quality imaginable, then make the mp3 files from CDs with the highest bit rate (320kbps) and don’t bother with VBR at this rate, because it doesn’t do any good – there’s nothing left to “vary”.  Also, add all the other hi-fi tweaks you can max out that are found in iTunes when you are making your custom setup for ripping the CDs.  If you can hear the difference between this kind of mp3 file and a FLAC file, you are likely an alien and not a human.  So, why bother with FLAC files that come out humongous.

As I said earlier, I create my mp3 files at 192kbps/VBR, because at that parameter, any MAJOR difference between the sound of the CD and the mp3 file is not discernible except by people with vivid imaginations.  Jeez, the digital music we make is mostly for portable gadgets for Pete’s sake.  If one really wants the highest fidelity, put the CD on – if you have it…