M4A and other Oddities


Question 1:

Is there any freeware that will convert FLAC to Apple Lossless? (For Windows)

Question 2:

Let's say I download a song from the iTMS, burn it to a CD, and have the uncompressed WAV file. Would that song have a higher quality after being ripped, or would it have the same quality as the original, albeit a higher bit rate?

Question 3:

How does Variable Bit Rate affect the quality of the songs, if the songs themselves?

Question 4:

Is there a way, after ripping a CD, to preserve the metadata so I don't have to rename the songs by myself?

Question 5:

If I import a song into iTunes via CD and the track is converted to M4A Apple Lossless, does the quality stay the same or does it need a higher bit rate to sound higher quality.

Thanks to all who try to help!  ;D
1) Convert the FLAC to wav and then convert that to Apple Lossless in iTunes

2) If you burn it to a CD you're uncompressing it into the higher bitrate but information has been lost back when it was compressed that cannot be recovered. So yes it'll be the same quality but a higher bitrate. But at the same time, if you then take that wav and put it back into 128kbps AAC(like it was when you bought it but this time unprotected by DRM), you risk losing yet more data.

3) Variable Bit Rate is nice for song files because it allows the compressor to decide if one part of the song is more complex than another and if so it'll give the more complex part a little more bitrate and the less complex part a little less. This way, you can have a lower average bitrate and hence a lower file size but possibly the quality of a slightly higher bitrate because the parts that need the higher bitrate got it and the parts that don't didn't waste the space.

4) When you rip a CD it should preserve all the metadata there. You'll have to edit the CD metadata before you rip it though for that to take place(if you don't the CD comes up with names like Track 1, Track 2, etc... Most players will check an internet database and automatically download/edit the CD's metadata for you if it's a commercial CD).

5) If you convert something into lossless, it's the same quality hence "lossless." You don't set a bitrate for what you want the lossless file to be. It figures that out on its own. Different tracks converted into lossless will have different bitrates because one might have been able to be compressed down a bit better than the other without losing any of the data.