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The Ill-Tempered Audiophool

Checking 16 vs 24 bits on a Mac

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Quote Originally Posted by bottlerocket View Post
Is there an easy way to check for 8 wasted bits on 24 bit files on a Mac? Based on the Joni Mitchell thread, I want to add this to my routine when purchasing 24 bit files.

I am looking for something simple and I do have access to Windows too if necessary.

Thanks in advance.
The original source:

Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
If you expand this at the root level, it will populate /usr/local with the needed files:

Then you can invoke it on the command line with

To do this:

1. sudo mv fbits_etc.tgz /.

2. cd /.

3. sudo tar xvfz fbits_etc.tgz

4. Issue the command

/usr/local/bin/fbits *.flac


  1. bottlerocket's Avatar
    Here is what worked for me based on my very rudimentary UNIX knowledge: This probably misses several obvious shortcuts

    1. sudo mv fbits_etc.tar /. (Moves fbit_etc.tar to the root directory - requires your admin password)

    2. cd /. (call root directory)

    3. sudo tar xvfz fbits_etc.tar (unzips fbits_etc.tar into root directory)

    4. mv *.flac /usr/local/bin/ (move whatever flac files you want to test to the bin directory. Needs the source directory in front of *.flac)

    5. cd /usr/local/bin/ (goes to bin directory)

    6. ls (list the files in the bin directory to make sure your flac files are there)

    7. fbits *.flac (executes fbits on whatever flac files are in the bin directory)

    Thanks wgscott.
    Updated 03-28-2013 at 01:22 PM by bottlerocket
  2. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
    Nice! I just checked the new Van Halen downloads from HDtracks. Full article to come :~)
  3. wgscott's Avatar
    Just to clarify, the flac stuff is all open-source, and the shell script
    Quote Originally Posted by julf
    should really be credited to users "nu774" and "skamp" @ Hydrogen Audio. Passing that test is no guarantee that the material is genuinely 24 bits - it only detects crude zero-padding, and any filtering, rate conversion or dithering will hide the zero bits.
  4. wgscott's Avatar
    Thanks also to Julf for finding this, showing it to me, showing me how to use it, and suggesting I make the dependency libraries available so this could be used on OS X.
  5. nrj53's Avatar
    Thanks wgscott and bottlerocket for the detailed instructions, but I still need help Not being a user of terminal I am probably making some stupid error.
    I have the downloaded file, "fbits_etc.tgz'" on the desktop, type in the line "sudo mv fbits_etc.tgz /." and then get this error message:
    mv: rename fbits_etc.tgz to /./fbits_etc.tgz: No such file or directory.

    Any help would be appreciated I have a number of downloads that I should like to run.

  6. nrj53's Avatar
    Sorry. Sorted the problem out. Needed to put in full directory location. Script runs nicely. Problem now is that I cannot get the files into the bin directory, even using the full directory location, but the script runs well on individual .flac files.
  7. Boris75's Avatar
    Is there a similar utility for ALAC files?
  8. wgscott's Avatar
    No, but in my case I just use XLD to convert from ALAC to FLAC to do the test.