Most players support lossless files. Some claim audiophile playback. But few care the audio quality of your collection.
Lossless ≠ Glitchless
- Some Hi-Res downloads are broken or incomplete.
- Some lossless files are encoded using suboptimal encoders or parameters.
- Some CD rips contain glitches.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all intact Hi-Res downloads or accurate rips have good sound quality. But broken files and inaccurate rips should have no place in your collection.
Collect Before Play
The best time to prevent such glitches is when you download, rip, or encode these files. The second best time is when adding audios to your Tonal collection. The worst thing is hearing pops from your speakers.
Collections built with Tonal are not only fully lossless but also highly predictable in terms of data fidelity. The secret lies in the collecting phase——adding audios to your Tonal collection.
Lossless, Accurate, Intact
There’s no broken download or ripping glitch in your Tonal collection by design:
- Tonal decodes all samples of your source files during the collecting phase.
- For red-book discs, Tonal also verifies ripping accuracy using the AccurateRip database.
- Don’t worry, CUETools fixes broken rips, automatically.
A New Audio File Audiophile Format
Not all lossless codecs are the same. Some encoding configurations demand significantly more CPU time while decoding. Some collectors claim that particular lossless codecs have relatively poor sound.
Tonal eliminates such affecting factors, be it objective or subjective, from your collection completely.
Tonal collects music into .tonal audio files — a lightweight lossless container that repacks PCM or DSD data of a complete disc in standardized FLAC or WavPack encoding. The original audio formats of your source files do not affect even one single bit of the audio files in your Tonal collection:
- DSD audio is encoded using a tailored WavPack codec that handles DSD only.
- PCM audio is encoded using the FLAC encoder shipped and tested with macOS. The Tonal app contains no PCM codec to minimize the number of uncertainties during playback.
Tonal audio files embed no music tag. For more on music metadata, read the 3rd technical brief.
We highlight some of Tonal’s source-file-related design goals:
- Catch as many audio glitches as possible.
- Catch them as early as possible, at least before playback.
- Never use more than two encoders/configurations——one for PCM and the other for DSD.
- Limit the number of uncertainties during playback——don’t ship unnecessary decoders.
- Keep audio files stable——updates to music metadata should never modify audio files.