iPod and Fidelity?

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I was just sitting beside an older couple who regretted audio quality on an iPod; this reminded me of a friend who has similar sensitivity to fidelity. Even before I shared a taxi later that night with the founder of Gotham Records, I had sent off emails to ask about quality.

The Spoiler: ALAC.

Ken and his wife (I forget her name) had a number of concerns — she didn’t know how to let her Mac switch between two preferred Wifi networks automatically, didn’t know how to use a graphics package on her Mac, and hadn’t considered asking the Apple Store for help… so here are some un-checked paths to problem-solving here.

For what it’s worth, Apple Stores have both in-store experts to help you fix your problems — some stores are 24/7 — and they have classes at more civilized schedules to help you build your skill and independence. Few people seem to consider this perhaps because there’s no Microsoft store, no Dell Store, no HP Store to help them, but Apple’s “Genius Bar” has helped me diagnose problems before, politely and quickly.

As Rev. J. Paul tells me, had Ken and his wife walked into an Apple store, Apple might have recommended ALAC, the Apple Lossless Audio Codec — this is a lossless format similar to FLAC, but can be selected as the Apple Default format — this triggers both CD/media import, and the “convert to” option for converting existing tracks.

J. Paul uses Max, but he’s very particular about his content, and tends to use extensive tagging, and may have additional album art or associated content to keep together. ALAC includes metadata so that moving the file moves the metadata with it.

Ken and his wife may never find this post given their difficulty in finding help in an Apple store. Anyone else searching might get a few pointers from this.

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