AAC vs. MP3? What's the difference?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by omgwut, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2006
    Hey there,

    I'm just starting the process of going through and ripping my CD library to iTunes to back up on my HDD and iPod. I wanted to use the Apple Lossless format, but I've got a 30GB iPod and like 100 albums so I'm not sure whether they'll all fit.

    I'm looking at ripping them either to 256kbps AAC or MP3, but I don't know if there's some kind of quality difference between the two. Anyone know? Thanks.
  2. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    It's pretty much agreed upon that AACs sound better per bitrate than mp3's. the only drawback is that MP3 will play on any other well...mp3 player. as long as you're planning to use iPods for the foreseeable future, then stick with AACs
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2006
    Ok, thanks guys. One more question about Apple Lossless, though: If I ripped some CDs to my Mac in Lossless format, is there some way in iTunes that I can take those big lossless files and encode them into mp3s or aac files? Like so I'll still have the original lossless files but I can make compressed copies whenever I want to without having to find my CDs and re-rip them?

    Don't know if there is or not, but I havent seen it.
  5. macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    What would be the point? You'd just end up losing quality. The only reason to use Apple Lossless is if you want to keep your music in the exact same quality as it is on the CD.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Mac OS X Ocelot

    Sep 7, 2005
    Yes. Set the importing settings to the MP3 or AAC settings you want and then highlight the songs you want converted, right click them and select "Convert to AAC" (or MP3). But you can't go back to lossless, so you'll have to keep those as well. Well, you can convert AAC back to the lossless but they won't be the same.

    I think it's so they can put the smaller files on their iPod and keep the lossless for the computer.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2006
    Yes, that's exactly my reason for asking. :)

    Thanks for the help, everyone! You guys are splendid.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
    You could have both if you wanted. Rip them in Lossless, copy the files to a second HDD, then convert the ones in the library to AAC. Then depending on the quality you want to listen to, set up the lossless as a second library.
  9. macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
  10. macrumors 68020


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    I've ripped both into AAC 256 kbps VBR and MP3 256 kbps VBR and the only difference between the two is that AAC files are slightly smaller. Fortunately, a lot of newer non-Apple portable media players now support AAC, so using AAC only isn't so bad.

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