PDA

View Full Version : IPod playback through an Amplifier




santeria
Mar 5, 2006, 03:31 PM
Please help :( :confused:

I have a fairly decent home sound system: Rotel Amplifier B&W speakers and Subwoofer etc. I have allways in the past used my laptop and good quality MP3s encoded with razorLAME for almost perfect near CD quality playback. I do have a 20GB Ipod, but I never used it through the sound system, as I figured (and still do) that the LAME encoded MP3s will be of a far better quality through the sound system than the IPod would.

However

I have come into about 5000 new MP3s from a friend which are all Poor quality, ie: 128 encoded etc. My question is....

If I take all these poor quality MP3s and put them onto the IPod via ITunes, will the quality from these songs (now being played on the IPod through the Amp) then be better than if they were simply on my laptop playing through the Amp, or will they be exactly the same?

Probably this is very pedantic of me, but on my sound system you really can hear differences in quality, and very clearly. I would really appreaciate any info someone can give me, and are there any websites where one can see (from tests etc) just how good the quality of an Ipod is, when played through an Amplifier?

Thanks,
paul.



Marky_Mark
Mar 5, 2006, 04:52 PM
Please help :( :confused:
Probably this is very pedantic of me, but on my sound system you really can hear differences in quality, and very clearly. I would really appreaciate any info someone can give me, and are there any websites where one can see (from tests etc) just how good the quality of an Ipod is, when played through an Amplifier?

1. Depends on which generation of iPod you own...20GB - 3G? Sound quality has improved with each generation.

2. Depends on whether you listen through the headphone socket or with a device that uses the bottom port (such as a dock) which utilises a proper line-out signal.

My thought is that the lineout will be of comparable quality to the computer; the headphone socket will be noticeably worse.

I don't know any websites, perhaps someone else can help on this one.

mkrishnan
Mar 5, 2006, 05:15 PM
My thought is that the lineout will be of comparable quality to the computer; the headphone socket will be noticeably worse.

I think that this is true, but the encoding quality will be the bottleneck. I don't see any reason to suspect that it will sound *better* on the iPod than the laptop, though, under any circumstance (unless you're using a headphone out on the laptop, and you switch to a line out on an iPod dock).

santeria
Mar 6, 2006, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the comments. Yes I run them both through the Headphones socket and suprisingly, at lest to my ear, the ipod actually sounds a bit better!? slightly more crisp. Thats why I was curious as I heard that ACC encoding which the ipod uses to encode from MP3 to ipod is very good quality, but no idea really.

Marky_Mark
Mar 6, 2006, 06:45 PM
Thanks for the comments. Yes I run them both through the Headphones socket and suprisingly, at lest to my ear, the ipod actually sounds a bit better!? slightly more crisp. Thats why I was curious as I heard that ACC encoding which the ipod uses to encode from MP3 to ipod is very good quality, but no idea really.

This may be because the iPod is designed from the ground up as a music player?

AAC is designed to give a higher quality sound at the same bit rate than MP3 does. In fact, people say that file size for file size, AAC should give an equivalent quality to the next bitrate up in MP3 terms eg: 128mbit AAC encoding is of equivalent quality to a 160mbit MPEG file. The idea is you get a better quality sound than you do with a MP3-encoded file at comparable bitrates. But it's a trade off because AAC can only be played on a small number of devices, making it a relatively inflexible format. MP3 is a much more widely accepted format across a large range of devices - something to bear in mind if you want to 'futureproof' your music and keep your options open.

You don't need to convert your existing MP3 files to AAC as you alude to above - the iPod will play both. Besides, if you re-encode an already ripped file, you degrade the quality further, so converting a 128Mbit MP3 to AAC offers no benefit, and will actually result in worse sound than you started with.

Clear as mud? :)