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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
nharrietha
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Will Apple ever improve iTunes audio quality?

Okay, I honestly didn't think Id be listening to 256kbps in 2012. What gives? I mean, why can't they sell CD quality at the very least? Hell, for people who don't care they can give the option to upload to devices at a compressed size. But with Pono coming out, offering master quality recordings, will more than likely be my main music media source (coming from someone with over 1,000 purchased iTunes songs). Apple will have to up the quality, right? I sure hope so.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:25 PM   #2
KRB24
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Won't happen. I listen to ALAC only and wish apple would upgrade. A small minority care for CD quality music these days. Each song on average is 30 mb in ALAC and 8 mb in 256 kbps. That's almost 4x more space than 256 kbps. To them, it's a completely unnecessary upgrade.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:31 PM   #3
nharrietha
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Gotta say I hope you're wrong. :/
If Apple loves music as much as they say they'll upgrade... Hopefully.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:42 PM   #4
KRB24
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Originally Posted by nharrietha View Post
Gotta say I hope you're wrong. :/
If Apple loves music as much as they say they'll upgrade... Hopefully.
If you notice their new retina display laptops are being made with relatively small HDs. e.g. 128 GB, 256 GB. They are offering 512 GB as the most expensive model. This tells me that they won't increase kbps. In fact, everything is moving toward cloud based streaming. e.g. iTunes Match. Streaming requires 0 space. They are looking to downgrade, not upgrade. Lol.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Don't let the placebo effect take over. For listening 256 VBR AAC is perfect.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 09:09 PM   #6
KRB24
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Don't let the placebo effect take over. For listening 256 VBR AAC is perfect.
You have to have good enough hardware to tell the difference. Some songs there is no difference because they were mastered for MP3. I compress to 256 kbps when transferring to my iPhone because you won't be able to tell on the iPhone. Throw in a good DAC, a tube amp and a good pair of headphones, you will notice things you never have before. For most people this is unnecessary and overkill, but not for me. And I would much rather own the physical CD, this way I have it forever!
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BlackMangoTree View Post
Don't let the placebo effect take over. For listening 256 VBR AAC is perfect.
256 sounds craptacular. I won't buy anything from amazon or itunes at 256 unless it's impossible to find on CD.

New music is being released now at higher bitrates than CD's in multiple formats. 1411 aiff is not the be all, end all, it's ridiculous to claim that 256 is.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:51 PM   #8
Weaselboy
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Originally Posted by BlackMangoTree View Post
Don't let the placebo effect take over. For listening 256 VBR AAC is perfect.
Here is an interesting test supporting that.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:57 PM   #9
nharrietha
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Originally Posted by KRB24 View Post
If you notice their new retina display laptops are being made with relatively small HDs. e.g. 128 GB, 256 GB. They are offering 512 GB as the most expensive model. This tells me that they won't increase kbps. In fact, everything is moving toward cloud based streaming. e.g. iTunes Match. Streaming requires 0 space. They are looking to downgrade, not upgrade. Lol.
Makes sense I guess. That's really depressing though. I hope they make a Pono phone then. Maybe license the Pono Store or whatever it will be called to WP or Android, if this happens I can say I will never buy an iPhone ever again, unless audio is taken into consideration.

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Don't let the placebo effect take over. For listening 256 VBR AAC is perfect.
I disagree. With a set of reference headphones I think there is a difference. It may negligible to most, but I want the best sound possible. That being said, there will be a MASSIVE difference between the master recordings and 256kbps.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 09:45 AM   #10
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"This tells me that they won't increase kbps. In fact, everything is moving toward cloud based streaming. e.g. iTunes Match. Streaming requires 0 space. They are looking to downgrade, not upgrade."

It's almost as if the recorded & factory-pressed CD, from about 1984 until the late 1990's (when mp3's came into vogue) will historically represent the "pinnacle" of distributed audio sound.

And that we've been going downhill since!
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 01:03 PM   #11
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It's almost as if the recorded & factory-pressed CD, from about 1984 until the late 1990's (when mp3's came into vogue) will historically represent the "pinnacle" of distributed audio sound.

And that we've been going downhill since!
Almost?

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Who wants 30MB files that would only provide a very slight improvement over 8MB ones?
Me.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 12:45 PM   #12
chorner
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Originally Posted by KRB24 View Post
If you notice their new retina display laptops are being made with relatively small HDs. e.g. 128 GB, 256 GB. They are offering 512 GB as the most expensive model. This tells me that they won't increase kbps. In fact, everything is moving toward cloud based streaming. e.g. iTunes Match. Streaming requires 0 space. They are looking to downgrade, not upgrade. Lol.
At least get your facts straight. You clearly don't own one of their retina Laptops as I do. I have a high-end configuration with a 768GB SSD.

They aren't looking to downgrade. For the average listening, Apple's losless 256kbps format is perfectly fine outputting from a Mac. For those who want audio-phile quality audio, why would you even be using iTunes to purchase the music anyhow?

Some people are really oblivious to reality, and realistic usage scenarios.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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At least get your facts straight. You clearly don't own one of their retina Laptops as I do. I have a high-end configuration with a 768GB SSD.

They aren't looking to downgrade. For the average listening, Apple's losless 256kbps format is perfectly fine outputting from a Mac. For those who want audio-phile quality audio, why would you even be using iTunes to purchase the music anyhow?

Some people are really oblivious to reality, and realistic usage scenarios.
And since when is a 256kbps iTMS file "lossless"?
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 07:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nharrietha View Post
Okay, I honestly didn't think Id be listening to 256kbps in 2012. What gives? I mean, why can't they sell CD quality at the very least?
So you can hear the difference between 256 KBit/second AAC, especially 256 KBit/second AAC created from 24 bit, 192 KHz masters, and CD quality? Complaining about sound quality is easy, actually hearing the difference is a lot harder.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 07:54 PM   #15
nharrietha
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So you can hear the difference between 256 KBit/second AAC, especially 256 KBit/second AAC created from 24 bit, 192 KHz masters, and CD quality? Complaining about sound quality is easy, actually hearing the difference is a lot harder.
As stated by others in the thread, with good hardware and a reference pair of IEMs or headphones it is easier to hear the difference. Especially if we're talking master recordings.
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