MP3 players that will handle/decode lossless files?

OldManDave -- Mon, 05/10/2010 - 18:19

Anyone out there aware of a MP3 player that has the capacity to decode lossless files built in or as an add-on?  I recently purchased one of the new Sony Walkmen (16gig version).  Very cool player that is easy to operate and managing files is an order of magnitude easier than it is through either WMA or iTunes, but it does not play any lossless stuff.

Vade Forrester (not verified) -- Mon, 05/10/2010 - 19:50

The iPod will handle AIFF and WAV files. No add-on is needed.

firedog -- Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:24

 Depends which lossless format. A few (iRiver, Archos) will handle flac; Zune will handle Windows lossless. Apple, Apple lossless. 
 
If you have a library in one lossless format, software like dbpoweramp (any that has a batch converter) will convert your files fairly painlessly.

ScottB -- Fri, 05/14/2010 - 19:27

 This may be heretical, but I don't see (or, more particularly, hear) the need for lossless on portable players. For me, the difference between high-quality 320 kbps encoding and lossless is quite distinct on my high-end stereo rig, but almost undetectable on a lot of source material over my high-end headphone rig (Senn 800/Headroom Balanced Ultra/Ayre QB-9). Since I use my iPod touch pretty much exclusively in the car and outdoors, with a much lower resolution playback environment than even my headphone rig, I choose to use compression and therefore get more choice in music.

wwelly (not verified) -- Fri, 05/21/2010 - 00:20

Most of the Cowon/iAudio players do Flac and Wav out of the box. I use an iaudio 7.
I kind of agree with Scott B's comment from a sound quality perspective. I use the iaudio with a pair of etymotic hf5 and it is difficult to separate high bitrate mp3 from flac. However, from a convenience perspective, I stiil use FLAC because I have ripped all of my CDs to flac for playback through my home Hi-Fi (where the difference between lossless and lossy is noticeable) and having a portable player that also handles flac means one less conversion that I have to do.
Whereas, if I had a player that only handled mp3/wma/ogg, I would have to reconvert all of my music for portable use.

wwelly (not verified) -- Fri, 05/21/2010 - 00:24

Most of the iAudio players do Flac and Wav. I use an iaudio 7. I kind of agree with Scott B's comment from a sound quality perspective. I use the iaudio with a pair of etymotic hf5 and it is difficult to separate high bitrate mp3 from flac. However, from a convenience perspective, I have ripped all of my CDs to FLAC for playback through my home Hi-Fi (where the difference between lossless and lossy is noticeable), and having a portable player that also handles FLAC means one less conversion that I have to do. Whereas if Ihad a player that only handled mp3/wma/ogg, i'd have to reconvert all of my music for portable use.

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