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Old Apr 1, 2005, 08:26 AM   #1
CubaTBird
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Found Song On Music Store of Higher Bitrate!

I just downloaded the song entitled "Kickin' It Hard" from Chieli Minucci and in the get info it states it was encoded at 279 kbps!
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 08:32 AM   #2
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well done , maybe they want all of the songs to be encoded at higher bitrate from now on

oooooooo rrrrr me laddie
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 08:45 AM   #3
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That would be a step in the right direction. I imagine that in 3 or 4 years with the increase of both bandwidth, HD size and RAM increase for iPods they can go Lossless only. Then nobody will have the need for a lossy format anyway.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 09:39 AM   #4
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Wow, another one. This is the second report of a song from iTunes Music store being of a higher bit rate.

Darn, couldn't find the link to the other thread.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=116957

another person found a higher bitrate iTMS song.

I wonder what this means... is apple going to be offering both 128 and VBR iTMS files... if they switch to VBR i'll never buy a CD (or use P2P) again!!
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 11:54 AM   #6
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Encoded with FAAC? What's up with that? Doesn't Apple use their own tools?
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 12:26 PM   #7
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I wonder if the distributor is providing Apple with the encoded files instead of having Apple rip the tracks off the CDs? That would explain the higher than usual bitrate as well as the use of non-Apple tools.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 12:41 PM   #8
Mr. Durden
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Hey, I'm not the only one! I downloaded Favorite Things by Saigon and it shows as 301kbps. I was hoping this was a sign of Apple offering them in higher bit rates, but now I'm not sure. It would seem that both of ours would be the same bit rate if that was the case. Cool nontheless, though.

Someone else already offered the link to my post... Thanks Jediboy.

Last edited by Mr. Durden; Apr 1, 2005 at 12:53 PM.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 01:00 PM   #9
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Wait, what was the date it was encoded? May 7th? Huh?
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Durden
Hey, I'm not the only one! I downloaded Favorite Things by Saigon and it shows as 301kbps. I was hoping this was a sign of Apple offering them in higher bit rates, but now I'm not sure. It would seem that both of ours would be the same bit rate if that was the case. Cool nontheless, though.

Someone else already offered the link to my post... Thanks Jediboy.
it could be VBR (Variable Bit Rate), and the bitrate that is shown is probably an average.
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 06:08 PM   #11
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What is the 'normal' bitrate of files supplied by iTunes? I just bought a few tracks today and it appears they were sampled at 128Kbps! I mean, this is awful given that we're PAYING for these files! Personally I would prefer a bitrate of at least 192Kbps.
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATO
What is the 'normal' bitrate of files supplied by iTunes? I just bought a few tracks today and it appears they were sampled at 128Kbps! I mean, this is awful given that we're PAYING for these files! Personally I would prefer a bitrate of at least 192Kbps.
normal would be 128 kbps..
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 08:19 PM   #13
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Apple doesn't do the encoding. They give out tools for music labels to do their own encoding. I guess Apple removed the restriction on their music store of 128 Kbps only. They allow higher bitrates it seems.
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 08:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Durden
Hey, I'm not the only one! I downloaded Favorite Things by Saigon and it shows as 301kbps
I remember that, and also remember that someone else downloaded it and it was only 128
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 09:20 PM   #15
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This is very cool news. I am looking forward to the day we can get lossless from ITMS!
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Old Apr 2, 2005, 10:33 PM   #16
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couldn't you do some calculations to see if the song was actually encoded in that rate, and the info's not just a print error? For instance divide the song length by file size...? Wouldn't that give you an average bit rate?
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 08:13 AM   #17
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I recently purchased "Let's Go All the Way" by Sly Fox, as contained on the "Party Hard 2000" album. Long story as to why...
Anyway...
It is only 3:56 in length, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a 9MB download.
The "Get Info" for the track says it was encoded with "FAAC 1.24+ (Jan 6 2005..." at a 297 kbps Bit Rate.
I'm not complaining about it being higher quality, but I am a bit confused.
I also bought "My Sharona" from the same album to see if it was some kind of fluke, and that gave me a 10.5MB file for a 4:55 song at 281 kbps.
I'm pretty sure it's not just a print error since the file sizes are much larger than normal iTMS files.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 02:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdpfilms
couldn't you do some calculations to see if the song was actually encoded in that rate, and the info's not just a print error? For instance divide the song length by file size...? Wouldn't that give you an average bit rate?
its not a print error.

heres a good comparison
(Mr. Durden's song)
Saigon - Favorate Thingz. Length 1:44. Size 4.3MB - Bitrate: 301kb/s

Faith No More - Midlife Crisis. Length 4:21. Size 4.3MB - Bitrate: 128kb/s

So, that Saigon song that Mr. Durden downloaded, is a third of the length of the Faith No More song I downloaded, but the exact same file size.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 03:14 PM   #19
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are they all made by the same record label?
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 03:36 PM   #20
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not keen on the fact people are finding different bitrates. personally, if they're going to increase the bitrates then make it standard. i don't want to purchase a couple albums and have two tracks at 128, four at 192 and three at 320.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 04:13 PM   #21
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I'd be surprised if Apple did any checks on the bitrates they receive, other than possibly making sure they're at least 128. As someone else said, the labels encode the music and send it to Apple, so there's definitely room for variability. I'll bet that the songs in question were encoded at the higher rate, whether intentionally or not, and Apple simply accepted them.

There's a lot more info on the whole process on this page. Specifically, it says:
  • It's up to the partner/label to submit all the metadata (artist name, release date, song tiles, etc.), do the audio encoding, and upload the materials.
  • You have to use their special Music Store Encoder tool for Mac OS X which will be released in 90 days or so.

I always thought it seemed a bit surprising that Apple has the labels do the encoding. Maybe the labels demanded that just because they wanted more control, who knows? The problem with the current situation is that most of the labels probably encoded once, sent the 128 kbps songs to Apple, and that's it. That means it would be a massive undertaking to move the whole store to 256 or whatever. Everyone would have to re-encode, and there may be cases of songs where it's difficult to get the label to do it again. It would certainly be a long a drawn out process, even assuming they could convince the labels to do it again.

If Apple retained a full quality copy of each song as part of the package sent by the label, then they could make this kind of switch at any time. Just throw a few dozen machines at the task and let them crunch for a few days/weeks or whatever it takes. Instead, it's pretty clear that they expect to offer 128 kbps as their standard for many years to come.

Kinda makes you wonder, when the first competitor comes out with higher quality downloads, will that be the turning point when iTMS starts to lose major market share?

Then again, maybe the labels are demanding no more than 128 kbps quality because they fear that higher quality would attract more piracy. Gotta love an industry that fears its customers!

Last edited by bankshot; Apr 3, 2005 at 04:16 PM.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 04:19 PM   #22
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complaints, complaints...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vieoray
i don't want to purchase a couple albums and have two tracks at 128, four at 192 and three at 320.
Is it just me, or is anything about 128 better than 128, Mr vieoray?
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 04:28 PM   #23
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Higher bit-rate means you have more bandwidth to "catch" things.

The crescendo of the snare in the background (Bolero)? You probably can't hear it on 128, but certainly on 192 or 320 you can start to hear it. Obviously lossless, or something uncompressed like .WAV (70MB lol) you can be sure to hear it.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 04:30 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibilly
Is it just me, or is anything about 128 better than 128, Mr vieoray?
what's your point, Mr ibilly?
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