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dummptyhummpty
Jul 13, 2005, 03:21 AM
I can't decide if I should use Apple Lossless or ACC to rip all my cds to my new powerbook. On my PC I used a program that ripped to MP3 with VBR. I consider my self some what of an Audiophile but i'm not all out into it. So what should I do? Thanks guys!



JW8725
Jul 13, 2005, 03:57 AM
go Lossless, im an audiophile and im doing so..etc

Diatribe
Jul 13, 2005, 04:47 AM
All depends. How much free space have you got? Can you tell a difference? How good is your stereo? Etc.

I rip everything in Lossless for my ext. HD (for my stereo and for it to be future proof)and convert it to 224 AAC for my Powerbook and my iPod.

dummptyhummpty
Jul 13, 2005, 05:18 AM
All depends. How much free space have you got? Can you tell a difference? How good is your stereo? Etc.

I rip everything in Lossless for my ext. HD (for my stereo and for it to be future proof)and convert it to 224 AAC for my Powerbook and my iPod.

Well the reason i'm doing this is im going to college and don't want to bring a ton of CDs. I have my Powerbook with 100gb but right now it's around 50gb (all my cds are on there in MP3 format). I might get an external HD soon though. Also I'm not sure what kind of speakers I will get for college...something good I hope.

Diatribe
Jul 13, 2005, 05:27 AM
Well the reason i'm doing this is im going to college and don't want to bring a ton of CDs. I have my Powerbook with 100gb but right now it's around 50gb (all my cds are on there in MP3 format). I might get an external HD soon though. Also I'm not sure what kind of speakers I will get for college...something good I hope.

See, then it wouldn't even fit on there in Lossless. You might want to decide on an AAC format (as I said, for me 224 is all right, even on a decent stereo). It is up to you if you want to rip all in Lossless to an ext. HD as a backup so you can go higher/lower whenever needed (i.e. reconvert the Lossless to a lower AAC). I'm doing it this way.

Solafaa
Jul 13, 2005, 06:55 AM
I riped all my cds using AAC Encoder @ 128 kbps, sounds good to me i dont see any reason to use anything else. Maybe if i was a DJ or used music in radio i might up the quality but for me it works great :)

ObsidianIce
Jul 13, 2005, 07:45 AM
I riped all my cds using AAC Encoder @ 128 kbps, sounds good to me i dont see any reason to use anything else. Maybe if i was a DJ or used music in radio i might up the quality but for me it works great :)

Well besides the fact that music is a bit subjective, 128 isn't that great. It will sounds decent on an ipod or through a "standard" stereo. I'm becoming much more of an audiophile than i was before. I played around with different bitrates when ripping CDs. I ripped in a few formats 128, 192, 256 and 320 AAC. Then went even further and burned them back to a cdr. so i essentially had 6 version of several different songs. I then took them to my car since that stereo happens to be much better than my home stereo, (eclipse deck, Boston acoustics pro series speakers and arc audio amps for those of you who are curious) and basically played with each. My opinion for all bitrates covers the AAC file..and Cd burned from it. In my opinion 128 was crap, 192 really was crap too, but more livable With both of those there is a huge loss in sound, highs lows and mids suffer, but really it's fine for cramming music into a shuffle when you're working out. 256 was definitely much better a fair amount of vitality is restored. If you have the room though definitely go with 320 AAC. I'll never use anything less than that again. Basically i would say minimum requirement 192 because it maintains "enough life" and is still pretty small; recommended requirement of 256+. But this is just my humble opinon. :)

kjr39
Jul 13, 2005, 08:04 AM
I'd get an external drive and go with Lossless.

Once your are lossless, you do not need to have the CD ever again...

Will_reed
Jul 13, 2005, 08:43 AM
I rip all my stuff in lossless as well its basicly the best quality you can get in itunes I think.

Capt Underpants
Jul 13, 2005, 09:06 AM
How big (in megs) is that average song encoded in lossless?

Yebot
Jul 13, 2005, 09:34 AM
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure an Apple Lossless song is half the size of the same song on an audio CD.

So I figure you need to allow 4.39 MB per minute of Apple lossless; 17.57 MB for a 4-minute song.

quackattack
Jul 13, 2005, 11:04 AM
I have quite a large lossless library. The file size is usually between 20-30 mb. It is much better, but really takes up the HD space. I would recommend it only if you get that external. If not use 256 AAC.

The great thing about lossless is you get an exact copy of your CD. If you ever lose or damage it, you have it archived exactly on your computer. Very nice!

Zman5225
Jul 13, 2005, 11:21 AM
Yep, ive got some lossless on my hd and will be deleting it all very soon, or moving it to an external. Each file is between 20-30mb like previously stated so they are pretty big. 224AAC files for me as far as my itunes files go.

+Z

ham_man
Jul 13, 2005, 01:12 PM
Most audionphiles (and I mean hardcore) rip LAME VBR --alt-preset standard MP3s at about 200 kbps. Some of the more paranoid ones use --alt-preset extreme (~240 kbps). I did some testing and everything above 224 AAC was impossible to distinguish. I would suggest ripping at 224 AAC or 256 AAC. I feel that Lossless is just plain overkill...

dummptyhummpty
Jul 13, 2005, 01:40 PM
Well besides the fact that music is a bit subjective, 128 isn't that great. It will sounds decent on an ipod or through a "standard" stereo. I'm becoming much more of an audiophile than i was before. I played around with different bitrates when ripping CDs. I ripped in a few formats 128, 192, 256 and 320 AAC. Then went even further and burned them back to a cdr. so i essentially had 6 version of several different songs. I then took them to my car since that stereo happens to be much better than my home stereo, (eclipse deck, Boston acoustics pro series speakers and arc audio amps for those of you who are curious) and basically played with each. My opinion for all bitrates covers the AAC file..and Cd burned from it. In my opinion 128 was crap, 192 really was crap too, but more livable With both of those there is a huge loss in sound, highs lows and mids suffer, but really it's fine for cramming music into a shuffle when you're working out. 256 was definitely much better a fair amount of vitality is restored. If you have the room though definitely go with 320 AAC. I'll never use anything less than that again. Basically i would say minimum requirement 192 because it maintains "enough life" and is still pretty small; recommended requirement of 256+. But this is just my humble opinon. :)

Thanks for the info (nice system by the way). I guess it's time for that HD.

quackattack
Jul 13, 2005, 03:19 PM
I feel that Lossless is just plain overkill...

It may seem like overkill now. I have a feeling that in a few years once HD capacity goes way up you will be glad to have lossless files when space isn't such a big concern.

ham_man
Jul 13, 2005, 03:23 PM
It may seem like overkill now. I have a feeling that in a few years once HD capacity goes way up you will be glad to have lossless files when space isn't such a big concern.
Other than the fact that I cannot, and I doubt too many can, honestly tell the difference between an Apple Lossless file versus a 224 AAC + file on a studio album in multiple blind tests. Why do more than you have too?

TrenchMouth
Jul 13, 2005, 08:03 PM
honestly...i just use AAC at 160 for most things. some overly complex stuff i will top it off at 192. but for the most part i dont require higher than that. i know there is a difference...and i can here it, but i dont much care.

i think that the files availible at the iTMS are better than if you just rip the same song at 128 AAC, this can be atributed to the higher quality of the master copy that Apple uses. I think a higher bit rate version of those would rock supreme. but maybe in the future.

freiheit
Jul 13, 2005, 09:17 PM
What I did was put all my CDs into lossless and burn them onto DVD-Rs (given that most audio CDs aren't "full" I can fit about 9-10 CDs onto one DVD-R) and then I use 192Kbps AAC (in iTunes) or Ogg Vorbis (in WinAmp) on my computer. This way I have a full quality backup in case something should happen to my CDs, I can listen to them right off the DVDs if I want, but they don't take gigabytes upon gigabytes of my hard drive space.

RAS admin
Jul 13, 2005, 10:06 PM
I import all my CD's as Apple Lossless. I recommend it if you have the space.

Capt Underpants
Jul 13, 2005, 10:12 PM
I import all my CD's as Apple Lossless. I recommend it if you have the space.

This coming from a person with 1.2 TB of hard drive space :eek:

Xtremehkr
Jul 13, 2005, 10:23 PM
If I had more space all of my music would be lossless. Unfortunately I only have enough room to keep my favorite music in lossless form. The rest is high quality MP3. Hard drive size needs to catch up a little though. If I wanted to have all of my music stored in lossless, and be able to use my Mac as a Tivo and storage for everything else I would need a lot more space.

Hard drives will need to quadruple (from the average size) to be able to allow computers to become media storage centers as well.

iTunes could improve on 128kb as well, the only reason I don't buy all of my music from iTunes is the limitations when it comes to the quality of the downloads. I wish iTunes offered a lossless download option. CD quality music downloads.... oh yeah!

/sorry Duffman, seemed appropriate.

Demon Hunter
Jul 13, 2005, 10:37 PM
Some thoughts...

I rip at 320 AAC, I think the size/quality is great. I would import with Apple Lossless, but since I only use a PowerBook and an iPod that would be overkill.

MP3 is a very old format now... over 10 years old. AAC is vastly superior, but some audiophiles may dispute that.

Also, it may be hard to tell the difference between say 160 and 320. Here's the difference: after three hours of 160 you'll have a splitting headache, and won't know why. At least for my ears, those indistinguishable sounds add up, and the lower the bitrate the faster my ears become fatigued.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Jul 14, 2005, 08:20 AM
I've said this in more than one thread, but if you have a portable computer HD space will always be an issue. I've found that AAC@128 gives me the best space/quality ratio there is. I use an AirPort Express to stream my music to a Onkyo amplifier that is fairly high quality (a great low-end receiver), and all music is more than good enough for me (except for Metallica's ...And Justice For All for some insane reason sounds like ****** when I import it, no matter which encoding, but that's another discussion).

An added bonus is that the iPods are optimized for AAC@128 and the battery will hold the longest if the majority of your music is encoded that way. ;)

Sedulous
Jul 14, 2005, 09:45 AM
Well, since I have all my music on the original CDs, I don't see why I need to bother ripping to Lossless, and as far as anything my computer might play through... I doubt I could possibly hear a difference.

The point is the format and bitrate depends on each person and the conditions under which they expect to listen to their music. In my case - crap speakers or iPod (which has poor "sound bandwidth" in my opinion) seem well matched with 128 or 192 AAC.

WinterMute
Jul 14, 2005, 09:52 AM
Can I just point out that no "Audiophile" worth the name would ever dream of using a lossy codec like AAC or MP3, most true audiophiles claim to be able to hear the differences between different makes of cable let alone different bit rates.

The term audiophile is widely abused today, which is OK in itself, but don't call yourself an audiophile at a Hifi convention while listening to your iPod, cos the iPod doesn't sound very good at all.

For the record, I can hear the difference between MP3 and AAC at the same rates, and I can hear the coding in .aiff files through good speakers, I record at 96Khz, 24 bit habitually now.

Yes I own an iPod, you can't examine audio quality on a tube train... :D

I rip CD's at 320Kbps AAC and often Lossless for quality recordings, 60Gb makes for a lot of listening.

FoxyKaye
Jul 14, 2005, 10:01 AM
Well besides the fact that music is a bit subjective, 128 isn't that great. It will sounds decent on an ipod or through a "standard" stereo. I'm becoming much more of an audiophile than i was before. I played around with different bitrates when ripping CDs. I ripped in a few formats 128, 192, 256 and 320 AAC. Then went even further and burned them back to a cdr. so i essentially had 6 version of several different songs. I then took them to my car since that stereo happens to be much better than my home stereo, (eclipse deck, Boston acoustics pro series speakers and arc audio amps for those of you who are curious) and basically played with each. My opinion for all bitrates covers the AAC file..and Cd burned from it. In my opinion 128 was crap, 192 really was crap too, but more livable With both of those there is a huge loss in sound, highs lows and mids suffer, but really it's fine for cramming music into a shuffle when you're working out. 256 was definitely much better a fair amount of vitality is restored. If you have the room though definitely go with 320 AAC. I'll never use anything less than that again. Basically i would say minimum requirement 192 because it maintains "enough life" and is still pretty small; recommended requirement of 256+. But this is just my humble opinon. :)
Wow - great writeup. I'm not as much of an audiophile as a "good-enough-for-government-work-audiophile" but I also have noticed significant quality differences going from 128 to 256 AAC audio rips. Now that my hard drive is much larger, I've started ripping in Apple Lossless, BUT it won't work on my 2G iPod so I wind up converting for its playlists to 256 AAC. MP3 is still OK too, though since AAC came out I haven't used it much and am in the process of re-ripping all my old CDs that were imported as MP3.

Here's a really old thread that was still on my subscriptions list about AAC importing as well: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=37229

ham_man
Jul 14, 2005, 12:47 PM
Can I just point out that no "Audiophile" worth the name would ever dream of using a lossy codec like AAC or MP3, most true audiophiles claim to be able to hear the differences between different makes of cable let alone different bit rates.

The term audiophile is widely abused today, which is OK in itself, but don't call yourself an audiophile at a Hifi convention while listening to your iPod, cos the iPod doesn't sound very good at all.

For the record, I can hear the difference between MP3 and AAC at the same rates, and I can hear the coding in .aiff files through good speakers, I record at 96Khz, 24 bit habitually now.

Yes I own an iPod, you can't examine audio quality on a tube train... :D

I rip CD's at 320Kbps AAC and often Lossless for quality recordings, 60Gb makes for a lot of listening.
Just curious, but what equipment are you using? Because most of the audiophiles I know have transperency at LAME-MP3 APS, or LAME-MP3 APX...

fanbrain
Jul 14, 2005, 01:34 PM
I've ripped some music using the Lossless encoder and I still get static and noise during intense parts of the music. This happens only when I listen to organ music. The pipe organ plays beyond the range of human hearing, both high frequency and low frequency, but I thought Lossless was supposed to include the whole range. It doesn't static etc when I play the CD. What gives? Do I have my computer's output levels too high? I'm wondering if there is better way to encode this type of music.

I listen to music on a Klipsch Promedia 4.1 system.

mactastic
Jul 14, 2005, 02:37 PM
Lossless on your laptop? You got to be kidding me. Not until HDs can hold a LOT more than they do today. I've only got 5000 songs or so on my laptop, and it's taking up at least a third of the drive right now. The whole point is to have your entire music collection (plus some room to grow, and a couple megs left over for new programs and stuff) with you. How much can you possibly fit in your 50 gigs of free space? You're going to college, remember? The place where everyone's music collection mystically swells to gargantuan proportions despite the lack of much cash outlay for CDs...

Lossless will choke your HD too quickly. Use a high-bitrate AAC so you can keep everything on your laptop drive and still use it for PShop. If you're really feeling choked up about it, buy an external HD and rip lossless to that, then convert to AAC on your laptop.

WinterMute
Jul 14, 2005, 05:27 PM
Just curious, but what equipment are you using? Because most of the audiophiles I know have transperency at LAME-MP3 APS, or LAME-MP3 APX...

I'm a commercial recording engineer turned to lecturing, I use Focusrite or Amek Purepath preamps into either a Digidesign 192 interface or a set of Apogee 24-bit A/Ds into Protools or Logic for recording.

I listen through Dynaudio BM6a monitors in the smaller rooms and Dynaudio M1/M2's in other rooms by choice although the PMC TB2's are nice as nearfields. I like the Chord or Bryston amps.

For home kit I run KEF 105.4 reference monitors with twin Quad 303's and a Quad Pre, I have a Marantz CD and a Garrod slate turntable with an Adcock carbon fiber tone-arm and an ADC capsule.

I like what Sony are doing with Super Audio CD's and a good DVD-a 96Khz recording is nice, but I grew up on analog multitrack and 2-track machines and they still sound better than digital to me at high speeds.

Digital is getting there, especially the high sample rate pro stuff, but I don't know of a single pro engineer who would use a lossy codec as a master format, a target format sure, but most masters go 96 or 192Khz 24-bit directly back to the multitrack system, depending on the session.

NicP
Jul 14, 2005, 08:21 PM
Just curious, but what equipment are you using? Because most of the audiophiles I know have transperency at LAME-MP3 APS, or LAME-MP3 APX...

i dont think u know any audiophiles then :rolleyes:

Demon Hunter
Jul 14, 2005, 10:28 PM
I'm a commercial recording engineer turned to lecturing, I use Focusrite or Amek Purepath preamps into either a Digidesign 192 interface or a set of Apogee 24-bit A/Ds into Protools or Logic for recording.

I listen through Dynaudio BM6a monitors in the smaller rooms and Dynaudio M1/M2's in other rooms by choice although the PMC TB2's are nice as nearfields. I like the Chord or Bryston amps.

For home kit I run KEF 105.4 reference monitors with twin Quad 303's and a Quad Pre, I have a Marantz CD and a Garrod slate turntable with an Adcock carbon fiber tone-arm and an ADC capsule.

I like what Sony are doing with Super Audio CD's and a good DVD-a 96Khz recording is nice, but I grew up on analog multitrack and 2-track machines and they still sound better than digital to me at high speeds.

Digital is getting there, especially the high sample rate pro stuff, but I don't know of a single pro engineer who would use a lossy codec as a master format, a target format sure, but most masters go 96 or 192Khz 24-bit directly back to the multitrack system, depending on the session.

But I thought Rome was sacked in 390 BC... :confused: :eek: ;)

Xeem
Jul 14, 2005, 11:33 PM
I just thought I'd point out that 90% of the population probably can't tell the difference between 128 AAC and CD quality unless they are actively comparing them right after each other; it's a little like the Quake 3 60 fps limit argument from a few years ago.

.:*Robot Boy*:.
Jul 14, 2005, 11:49 PM
*sigh* Why do these threads always turn into an 'audiophile' pissing contest :rolleyes:.

Does anyone know what goes on during the Lossless encoding process? Surely some data has to be lost during that process? Or is it just that the Lossless encoder/decoder is capable of describing and decoding audio more efficiently than .wav or .aiff?

WinterMute
Jul 15, 2005, 03:02 AM
*sigh* Why do these threads always turn into an 'audiophile' pissing contest :rolleyes:.

Does anyone know what goes on during the Lossless encoding process? Surely some data has to be lost during that process? Or is it just that the Lossless encoder/decoder is capable of describing and decoding audio more efficiently than .wav or .aiff?

The basic form of any lossless encoder is the ability to reproduce the original wave form identically when compared with the original source recording, and to do it while using less information. Theoretically there should be no audible difference between copy and source, but obviously using less data.

The maths is beyond me, but Dr. John Watkinson has some interesting things to say about lossless encoding. His book "The art of digital audio" is a set text at the Uni.


dferrara:

New ain't necessarily better... The power supplies and Capacitors alone in those 303's are worth the effort...:D


I don't claim to be an audiophile, I'm an engineer, I'm listening for different things in music. The systems I use need to be flat and un-coloured, most Hifi systems are deliberately enhancing the sound, who wants to spend thousands on a system that sounds crap when you play a crap record? Most audiophile systems I've heard make poor records sound good, I need a system that sounds crap when the recording is crap, otherwise I've got no idea what I'm listening to.


.:*Robot Boy*:.:

My hifi's bigger than your hifi... ;)

RAS admin
Jul 15, 2005, 06:12 AM
This coming from a person with 1.2 TB of hard drive space :eek:

Actually, I have 1.65 TB of hard drive space, but who's counting... :D

dubbz
Jul 15, 2005, 06:31 AM
Does anyone know what goes on during the Lossless encoding process? Surely some data has to be lost during that process? Or is it just that the Lossless encoder/decoder is capable of describing and decoding audio more efficiently than .wav or .aiff?

Like when using Zip on a Word document, there's no loss of data.

And there should be no audiable difference in audio between a Apple Lossless file and a WAV/AIFF.

If there is, it's most likely because of a buggy Encoder or Decoder. Winamp on Windows suffer (or used to suffer from, don't know if it's fixed) from this in regards to the FLAC decoder, which have resulted in that some people erroneously belie that FLAC (or any other lossless format) isn't truly lossless.

Capt Underpants
Jul 15, 2005, 10:02 AM
Actually, I have 1.65 TB of hard drive space, but who's counting... :D

Ahh Someone needs to learn multiplication :o

Dave00
Jul 15, 2005, 11:10 AM
[...] I then took them to my car since that stereo happens to be much better than my home stereo, (eclipse deck, Boston acoustics pro series speakers and arc audio amps for those of you who are curious) and basically played with each.[...]
You didn't mention whether you did a blinded test or not. :) What's really interesting is to do exactly what you did, burn it on six unlabelled CD's at 6 bitrates, and try to put them in order of quality. I've found that around 192 AAC, it becomes virtually impossible to reliably differentiate bit rates. Even if you can, you really have to think long and hard about it.

The bit rate at which you encode really depends on your use for the music. If you're using it because you want to ditch your CD's and move totally to a compressed format, you can convert everything to apple lossless and then from that central repository resample at different bitrates depending on the use. The disadvantage to this is that you suck up a lot of disk space for something you already have on CD.

If, on the other hand, you're trying to save space, you'll want to encode at the lowest bitrate your ears enjoy. Lower bitrates also conserve iPod battery power. If you're basically using the music for a dormroom and playing through the headphone jack to a set of small speakers, the most sense would be to go with a bit rate between 128-192.

Dave