For a long long time I’ve had this idea for iTunes. In fact, I emailed the idea to them quite some time ago with no response, which frustrated me. And really this idea could be used for any music management application, I just choose iTunes because that’s what I use.
So here’s the idea, WavPack. Though I don’t care if that’s what they use, it’s just the concept of WavPack I want in iTunes. Lets go back a bit though and get to the reason why I think this is a good idea. All of the music in my iTunes database is lossless, or at least a very sizable portion of it. I prefer this format because it gives me flexibility and storage space on the PC is dirt cheap now. However a problem arises when I try to sync with my iPod. I’m limited to a certain amount of music which is far less than the entirety of my collection. One might argue this is for the better, but I think there’s a solution that could be used, WavPack.
WavPack is unique in that it’s both lossless and lossy. When you encode a track with WavPack it creates two files, and when these two files are combined you get a lossless encode of your music. However, if only the smaller of the two files is played, you get a high quality lossy copy. This would allow you to sync only the lossy copy with your iPod or other music device while leaving the full lossless copy at home. This would allow me to get a great deal more music on my iPod, or fit more videos on it.
Alternatively, this would allow me to buy a smaller iPod such as an iTouch and fill it with a similar amount of music as my Classic. I like this option too, as I think the iTouches are pretty slick little devices compared to my iPod Classic.
Perhaps someone will introduce such a feature in their application (Amarok I’m looking at you!) along with the ability to play WavPack on an iPod (Can Rockbox? Even if it does, it doesn’t work with my Classic). Until then I guess I’ll continue suffering.