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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:40 AM   #51
Nielsenius
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There's always something new for the audiophiles to complain about, isn't there?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:43 AM   #52
Otto J
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Originally Posted by djdover View Post
Personally I'd much prefer a lossless format that can convert to a lossy file efficiently. If this isn't it then oh well, maybe next time the magic will reappear. I've always though HD meant lossless, but based on the responses here it seems I'm mistaken.

It won't get more efficient than converting offline server-side to a "core" file, and then adding the data needed to sum up to a lossless file - basically, just like DTS-HD works on blu-ray. You would need very little CPU to "convert" (extract, rather) the lossy file, compared to old-school converting.

Not sure what you mean by the last comment, I don't think any of the comments here contradicts HD meaning lossless.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjwfoasfsaevg View Post
Everyone who hopes for lossless, 94 kHz or 24 bit audio, stop dreaming. This is about converting audio to lower bitrates (e.g. HE-AAC with 64-128 kBit/s) for 3G streaming.

Sadly, I think you may be right.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:44 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by mytdave View Post
256kbps AAC is already good enough - good enough that the format's quality exceeds that of the playback capabilities of any of Apple's products (which are less than spectacular by the way). Any of the compressed formats stream just fine.

...then there is uncompressed (AIFF) or Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio for environments where you might actually be able to tell the difference.

So, why on earth do we need yet another format?
You're answering your own question. For those who want to playback in an environment where you might be able to tell the difference AND in an environment you probably can't tell the difference (eg, apple headphones), you'd need to store copies of the same song.

Wouldn't it be better to store it in just one format and "call up" the parts you require based on the situation?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:44 AM   #54
Julien
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Very ambiguous (as always) as to what Apple is doing but for me:

1: MUST be lossless (use ALAC since don't see the need for a new codec). I have no need for any lossy codec.
2: Offer iTunes music in 16/44.1 or 48 Lossless at a minimum.
3: Offer 24/96 Lossless (could offer at a premium price, but hope not).
4: Offer (some) 5.1 24/96 Lossless mixes for Apple TV/iTunes HTPC use.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:44 AM   #55
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So does this mean I'll have to re-purchase all of my iTunes music that I already bought from the iTunes store?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:46 AM   #56
Diode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post
With all due respect, what the heck do we need another audio format for? It's insanity. 256kbps AAC is already good enough - good enough that the format's quality exceeds that of the playback capabilities of any of Apple's products (which are less than spectacular by the way). Any of the compressed formats stream just fine.

If you are using a Mac (or PC) with optical audio outputs, then there is uncompressed (AIFF) or Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio for environments where you might actually be able to tell the difference.

And we all know what happened with SACD and HDCD formats - they failed, miserably. Apparently 16bit digital audio (standard CD) is more than good enough for humans (those claiming otherwise are nuts - human hearing tapers off after 15kHz). Dogs may have a different opinion...

So, why on earth do we need yet another format?
There's already quite a niche market in the audiophile circuit for 24bit/96 lossless FLACS (hdtracks.com) and extremely expensive components to stream those files to your receiver.

Having the files available in iTunes and the ability to stream them to a cheap $100 AppleTV would really shake the market.

Most recordings are already in 24bit anyhow so it would just take the studios re-encoding the masters.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:47 AM   #57
Julien
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Originally Posted by Diode View Post
...Seems similiar to how TrueHD files contain a core AC3 file to support older receivers.
Actually it's DTS MA that has a legacy DTS core. TrueHD doesn't have a DD core and must include a separate DD track (that can be hidden).
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:50 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Otto J View Post
It won't get more efficient than converting offline server-side to a "core" file, and then adding the data needed to sum up to a lossless file - basically, just like DTS-HD works on blu-ray. You would need very little CPU to "convert" (extract, rather) the lossy file, compared to old-school converting.

Not sure what you mean by the last comment, I don't think any of the comments here contradicts HD meaning lossless.[COLOR="#808080"]
Yep, I edited my post. I completely misunderstood how it might work. Eliminating converting is great and I like the idea of storing a low-fi "core" part, and then adding the required extra data for lossless playback (I assume ALAC?). I got confused because the post I was referring to mentioned converting from 128kbps AAC to 256kbps, which is not HD/lossless.

Core 128kbps AAC + Extra data to bring it up to HD = Brilliant. Look forward to it.

-------------

If it stores ALAC and it can be used on Pioneer DJ gear still, I'll possibly never look at flac again.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:51 AM   #59
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this is very much desired. especially if you want to play in a better equipped hifi-system!

"Most recordings are already in 24bit anyhow so it would just take the studios re-encoding the masters." agree and 24 bit sounds much better than 16bit. especially when u got the right rig i just bought myself a pair of these: http://www.whathifi.com/review/monit...platinum-pl300

and trust me...they will reveal any bad encoding :P
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 09:53 AM   #60
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Match

Quote:
Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
So does this mean I'll have to re-purchase all of my iTunes music that I already bought from the iTunes store?
No, that's what the match service is all about. Just as you didn't have to re-purchase 128 kb songs to get Apple's 256 kb songs. Apple would simply find songs that you already own in the lower quality format and replace them with the higher quality format on systems that could handle it.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:00 AM   #61
Otto J
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Originally Posted by GloryUprising View Post
I'll take any lossless codec, but why cant apple just use FLAC (it's royalty free after all)?!

http://www.stereophile.com/features/308mp3cd


I happen to agree with Apple's choices of closed, efficient, simple and stable standards, over open standards. Apple won't use Flac, for the same reason that they don't support flash in iOS. I haven't had issues playing back Flac as such, but I have had issues with cover art. As in: File A works on player X but not player Y, file B works on player Y but not player X. Apple likes standards that are actually "standard", without choices (you can't choose compression level on ALAC i iTunes, for example). There might be other considerations as well that we as users don't necessarily worry about, such as CPU usage during playback (which would translate into battery life), although that's just a guess. AAC on the iPhone is hardware assisted, perhaps Apple don't find it easy providing hardware support for FLAC files. There's a mighty big difference in battery life on my iPhone when playing AAC files using the standard music player, and playing AAC files in a software app. Just another guess, but all I'm saying is that sometimes there are perfectly good reasons for these decisions that isn't obvious to the end-user.

If Apple really had a choice, I don't think they would support MP3 either, but that would be pushing it. FLAC is nowhere as widespread as MP3, so they can get away with not supporting it. The way I see it, Apple only supports poor standards if they undoubtedly need to.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:03 AM   #62
Drunken Master
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Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
When this comes out, I'll definitely get iTunes Match.

Home Cinema systems are becoming more and more popular in households, so it isn't just audiophiles that'll appreciate this, as the average Joe will probably be able to notice the difference.
I was under the impression that home sound systems were actually becoming less popular with average joes...?

If I go into a Best Buy now, the proper stereo systems are shoved in the back on one shelf, covered in dust and nobody buys them. The iPod and iPhone dock systems however are up front and center. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but we continue to trade quality for convenience.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:08 AM   #63
troop231
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Originally Posted by Explorz View Post
No, that's what the match service is all about. Just as you didn't have to re-purchase 128 kb songs to get Apple's 256 kb songs. Apple would simply find songs that you already own in the lower quality format and replace them with the higher quality format on systems that could handle it.
iTunes Match sucks though, it messed up my library completely. What I'd like to know is if I can redownload my purchased songs in the higher bit rate.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:15 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Explorz View Post
No, that's what the match service is all about. Just as you didn't have to re-purchase 128 kb songs to get Apple's 256 kb songs. Apple would simply find songs that you already own in the lower quality format and replace them with the higher quality format on systems that could handle it.
Well, that's what it's supposed to do. In reality there are many many songs in the iTunes store that it fails to match.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto J View Post
I happen to agree with Apple's choices of closed, efficient, simple and stable standards, over open standards.
ALAC is an open standard now.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:16 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
iTunes Match sucks though, it messed up my library completely. What I'd like to know is if I can redownload my purchased songs in the higher bit rate.
You can redownload at 256K. I would guess that when the new format is implemented, it would download at a bitrate appropriate for your listening device to minimize bandwidth while maintaining best performance for your device. It's a great idea.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:18 AM   #66
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This could mean iTunes 11.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:43 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
So does this mean I'll have to re-purchase all of my iTunes music that I already bought from the iTunes store?
Of course. You really must repurchase it all over again. It's just a trick to make you pay for iTunes Match.

But then I thought nowadays you could re-download purchased music anyway?


Quote:
Originally Posted by milo View Post
Well, that's what it's supposed to do. In reality there are many many songs in the iTunes store that it fails to match.
Didn't have that problem with any purchased songs. And I suppose that Apple can match matched songs as well :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
iTunes Match sucks though, it messed up my library completely. What I'd like to know is if I can redownload my purchased songs in the higher bit rate.
Please explain what happened. I've heard of people not having as much success as they wanted with matching, but never heard of a messed up library.


Quote:
Originally Posted by milo View Post
Right now tons of albums match all but one or two tracks. Offering a higher quality format is a great idea but until Match is fixed it's just going to make the bugs more obvious.
That happened to me for a few albums, but when I checked it turned out that European and US versions of the albums were different. With most songs matched, but any songs that were only in the European version unmatched. Another case was an LP with 3 of 11 songs matched, and it turns out that these three songs were on a "best of" album", and the rest not available on iTunes at all.

Last edited by gnasher729; Feb 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:45 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Ciclismo View Post
What good will this do if the Loudness War continues regardless? HD crap-tastic sound?
I think the Mastered for iTunes program is trying to discourage that somewhat.
http://images.apple.com/itunes/maste...for_itunes.pdf
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 10:56 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by mytdave View Post
Apparently 16bit digital audio (standard CD) is more than good enough for humans (those claiming otherwise are nuts - human hearing tapers off after 15kHz). Dogs may have a different opinion...
Harmonics anyone?
Instruments produce musical information well beyond 15khz! (some instruments beyond 100khz as a matter of fact!!) The frequencies beyond 15khz affect the frequencies we hear, thus altering the musical perception of an instrument! That's why a violin, when reproduced from a CD, will never sound like the real thing... With DVD-Audio and SACD thought it's a different story. Those formats, thought not embraced by the majority of people, are far superior to a CD and much closer to the actual music event. (and that's without bringing multichannel reproduction to the equation) A well mastered SACD or DVD-Audio, even in stereo 2.0, will thrash any CD!! The reason why those formats have failed is not because people could not tell the difference from a CD, but because it costs a lot of money to setup a good multichannel system!!
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 11:01 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by .Locke View Post
Harmonics anyone?
The frequencies beyond 15khz affect the frequencies we hear, thus altering the musical perception of an instrument!
Care to give references to scientific publications for that?
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 11:18 AM   #71
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How did you read "Apple developing an HD audio format" into the actual news "Apple developing a new audio format with 'adaptive streaming'"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Locke View Post
Harmonics anyone?
Instruments produce musical information well beyond 15khz! (some instruments beyond 100khz as a matter of fact!!) The frequencies beyond 15khz affect the frequencies we hear, thus altering the musical perception of an instrument! That's why a violin, when reproduced from a CD, will never sound like the real thing... With DVD-Audio and SACD thought it's a different story. Those formats, thought not embraced by the majority of people, are far superior to a CD and much closer to the actual music event. (and that's without bringing multichannel reproduction to the equation) A well mastered SACD or DVD-Audio, even in stereo 2.0, will thrash any CD!! The reason why those formats have failed is not because people could not tell the difference from a CD, but because it costs a lot of money to setup a good multichannel system!!
No one claiming stuff like this ever passed a blind-test, no one ever could even tell 256kb/s AAC files and a CD apart. Frequencies you don't hear don't alter the perception of frequencies you hear, that's audiophile mumbo-jambo.

*edit* Also, even higher or lower frequencies are probably not even recorded by a standard studio microphone in the first place, because recording equipment is based on scientific knowledge about acoustics as well.

Last edited by cargath; Feb 28, 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 11:31 AM   #72
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Why it matters to us: If it's developed so it's one file that any computer can convert to a lower bitrate "on the fly", it means our own copies of iTunes can store it for streaming in our own homes.

I'm not going to download something from Apples servers every time I want to listen to a song in my own home. But I'd sure love to set up an iTunes server with this capability. iTunes on my computers would access the library on the server and sync low quality versions of the song to my devices, whilst letting me stream high quality versions around the home.
I agree that would be a nice feature. However, the article is referring to what Apple does on its servers, not what you might (or might not) be able to do with iTunes.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 12:05 PM   #73
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I agree that would be a nice feature. However, the article is referring to what Apple does on its servers, not what you might (or might not) be able to do with iTunes.
True, but what format Apple creates now will most likely affect what features they MIGHT release with iTunes in the future. They're not going to release one format they can use on their servers, and then a whole new one for desktop computers if they decide to make it available to the public.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 12:18 PM   #74
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adaptive streaming...

will users be able to stream music from the cloud then or just get better HD sound?

Sorry im a little confused...
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 12:58 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by dashiel View Post
Actually if you wear them the way they were designed to be worn they’re perfectly adequate
You are entitled to your own opinion I suppose, but it just happens to be wrong. Apple's worst product ever!
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