iTunes encoder, mp3, AAC or Apple lossless?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ScotRobson, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. ScotRobson macrumors 6502

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    Torquay UK
    #1
    Hi all

    my partner is just about to start copying all his Cd's to iTunes so he can put them on his new iPod mini, but what is the best encoder to use. I really don't understand the difference between them all, but what do you guys use?

    All of mine is mp3 but I have read that this takes up more room on the hard drive and the iPod (I have a 20GB on the way). So I thought I would convert my whole library, but also read that i would loose quality. Is this correct? So i presume if I dont want to loose quality on my songs but wanted my whole library in, for example, AAC format, I would have to delete my whole library and rip all my cds again - is that right? I have less that 4 Gigs on there at the moment so it wouldn't take long for me to do that - so do you think its worth it?

    Thanks in advance
    Scot
     
  2. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

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  3. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2004
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    #3
    wow thanks for the quick reply.

    Is mp3 a higher quality tho?

    I notice in itunes its says High Quality 128kbps and for mp3 it goes up to Higher Quality 192kbps, I guess this is speed and not size, so this is whats confusing me. Also i thought Apple lossless was the smallest, but like i said i dont know much about it and i would like to understand how it works.

    Thanks
    Scot
     
  4. jimthorn macrumors 6502a

    jimthorn

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    Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    #4
    You can set whatever bitrate you want for MP3 or AAC. The higher the bitrate, the better the quality of sound and the larger the file. AAC is a newer and more efficient audio codec, so a 128kbps AAC sounds much better than a 128kbps MP3 and is a smaller file. General rule of thumb in iTunes is that 128kbps AAC is perfectly good for "general use" and produces fairly small files suitable for the iPod. The Apple Lossless format produces much larger files that are near-CD quality and are way too big to be appropriate for use on the iPod.

    For what it's worth, I use either 128kbps AAC or 192kbps MP3. The iTunes Music Store uses 128kbps AAC.
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    Unless your an audiophile and have really good earphones and or speakers you won't be able to tell. however, if you ever want to burn just a plano-mp3 cd that will work in another computer or that work off burnt cd's i would choose mp3.

    to answer your question though:
    loss-less is bigger size, still smaller than the orignal PCM file on the cd.
    aac is mpeg-4 smaller than a mp3 and supposedly better quality bit for bit than an mp3
    mp3 standard format, everything plays it.

    as the previous poster said you can choose different bit rates to record at whatever you desire. it will take up more space however. if you are really concerned. rip it three times and play it on the audio monitor you will use the most. can you tell the difference?
     
  6. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Torquay UK
    #6
    Thanks guys that really helps, now i understand a little bit more.

    One last question, does AAC work on a pc using iTunes?

    Many thanks
    Scot
     
  7. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Yes pc iTunes will play AAC.

    Just a small correction, a poster said that 128 kbit MP3 and a 128 kbit AAC would be difference sizes but they would be exactly the same, just the AAC would sound a bit better.

    kbit = the amount of data allowed per second of audio, higher the number the more data is put and the more 'descriptive' the data is. Ergo, it sounds better.
     
  8. mojohanna macrumors 6502a

    mojohanna

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    #8
    If you go lossless with the mini, you will reduce your max songs from 1000 to about 350 to 400. I started that way and then switched to AAC and got tons of space back.I currently have 487 songs on my mini and only 1.92gigs used.
     
  9. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Seattle
    #9
    Isn't it true that Apple Lossless *IS* CD-quality, not 'near' it? My understanding is that that's the whole point of that particular format -- it dispenses with psycho-acoustic, perception-based compression methods and compresses/decompresses bit-for-bit with _no loss_ (same as, say, Stuffit or Zip), so the uncompressed data is the same as the original CD. If so, there should be no reduction in sound quality due to the compression method (though there will be if you use, say, small speakers, cheap headphones, an FM transmitter, etc).
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    True. Same as CD, smaller size. Hence the "lossless" part!
     
  11. jimthorn macrumors 6502a

    jimthorn

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    #11
    Yes, of course you're right. I don't know why I said it that way. :confused:
     
  12. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

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    May 31, 2004
    #12
    I recommend ripping at 192kbps MP3. I do, because it is a good balance between quality and size, and MP3s are more universal than AACs. (I ripped around 400 of my albums using it, no regrets). It would be nice in theory to rip them all in lossless, but you lose space on your iPod pretty fast that way, and lossless audio files drain its batteries a little faster.

    Lee Tom
     

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