For those who have questions on iTunes Settings for Audiophiles

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DCapple, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. DCapple macrumors regular

    DCapple

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #1
    i was hoping to be useful and found a good article on how to's for iTunes....


    Read here


    The information is put together by a true audio technician who even worked on the original mpeg format. Read through and you'll see that he's been there and done that. He seems to know his stuff - more so than I do, that's for certain!
     
  2. lurcher macrumors regular

    lurcher

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  3. DCapple thread starter macrumors regular

    DCapple

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  4. Revlimit Punk macrumors regular

    Revlimit Punk

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    #4
    The guy who made that article can't be a recording engineer as he claims to be. He says that "128kbs VBR sounded identical to my CDs".
    Now, i'm not a recording engineer, but the difference i hear between 128kbs (even if they are VBR) and the source cd is like night and day. And that is with just a pair of harman kardon soundsticks connected to the computer line out.
    And yes, i've done blind tests, and i can pick the 128kbs compressed version out of the others 10 times out of 10.
     
  5. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #5
    Sadly, anyone who claims not to hear a difference between any compressed codec and uncompressed PCM is either not using a very good system or not using their hearing properly.

    The differences between AAC/MP3 at 128Kbps and even the lowly 44,1Khz 16-bit CD is very obvious, as long as you know what to listen for. This is nothing to do with "audiophile" snobbery, it's just the professional discernment of people who use their ears for a living.

    I'm not suggesting that AAC is bad, it's a marvelous codec for producing very small versions of tracks for iPods, and it's much better than MP3, but it is an inferior quality version to the original.

    On a well maintained professional monitoring system I can hear the differences between 44.1Khz, 96Khz and 192Khz, and if available 1/2" or 2" analog tape as well, I can hear differences between DA converters (Apogee are slightly more musical) and I can often tell you which mic was used to record a sound...:D

    This means dick in a real world situation, and is only of interest to professional engineers who work at the extremes of recorded sound. My iPod is loaded with 320Kpbs AAC tracks and it sounds OK on the train to work, but I wouldn't dream of putting it through my stereo at home, it sounds poor.

    Loaded with Lossless files or .aiff uncompressed files it sounds pretty good, but still not as good as CD.

    I'm certain the bottom line is that most people are perfectly happy with 128Kbps files, and thats exactly what they get.
     
  6. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

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    #6
    Although I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile, to me 'Perfect Pitch' is something a cricketer dreams of, yet I can certainly tell the difference to the iTunes and my standard CDs.

    Saying that, I have downloaded about 50 albums from iTMS so far, but this is for my in car commute when there is already enough background noise to impede the pleasure of my music. If I wanted to chill at home to concentrate on the sounds, I would only play my CDs.
     
  7. lurcher macrumors regular

    lurcher

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    #7
    I record my cds at 192aac in iTunes and they are fine for my Creatures at home or in the motor. The reason I don't buy from iTunes store is because I don't think 128aac is good enough. Why don't they allow you to decide how you want tracks encoded? Other download services do, so why not the biggest of them all :confused:
     
  8. Revlimit Punk macrumors regular

    Revlimit Punk

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    #8
    I agree with you. I bought about 20 tracks to try and give it a chance, but i found the quality to be unacceptable (especially when you consider the cost and the drm restrictions).
     
  9. DCapple thread starter macrumors regular

    DCapple

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #9
    nice thing we have professionals here...thanks for that info..maybe you can comment it to that article..to correct him or something...:)
     
  10. emaja macrumors 68000

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    May 3, 2005
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    Chicago, IL
    #10
    For an audio technician, he sure has poor hearing. There is no way that you can honestly compare 128kbps AAC to AIFF.

    Take a test. Rip your favorite selection - one that you are intimately familiar with - in both AAC at 128kbps and in AIFF. Use the same equipment and if you can't hear a difference, then you are simply not listening critically.

    Now, if it doesn't matter to you, that's a different story, but do not try to tell me that there isn't a difference to be hear - because it is rather obvious to me that there is.
     
  11. kugino macrumors 65816

    kugino

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    Jul 10, 2003
    #11
    agree for the most part, WinterMute, except that lossless/.aiff sound just as good as CD provided it's put through a good DAC (like the apogee you mentioned or a benchmark or even a bel canto)...likewise, a CD can sound worse than AL/aiff files if it's played on a crappy CD player. put through the same source i think original CD source material (redbook) is indistinguishable from AIFF/AL files. but for most listening situations people use ipods for (commuting, etc.), nicely converted mp3/aac files should suffice.
     
  12. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #12
    No argument here, the difference a good CD player makes is often quite shocking, and I've found that an iPod loaded with .aiff/LL files is a match for a decent CD player, but is left in the dirt by anything with a decent transport and DA converters.

    Aside from that I'm always very impressed at the sheer flexibility of audio delivery from an iPod, although I still maintain a proper line-level output would be a good move, the headphone jack causes too many problems for the pre's on a good amp.
     
  13. ehayut macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    #13
    do you guys really think VBR makes a large difference?
     

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