Optimal Settings for Ripping CDs into iTunes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by vi2867, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. vi2867 macrumors 6502

    vi2867

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    #1
    Does anyone now what is the optimal settings I should use for ripping my cds into iTunes.

    I was thinking of using AAC at 320. Is this too high or should I just use 128? I know if I use 320 the file size is much larger, but I have plenty of drive space, so that is not an issue.

    I am looking for the best sound quality...:)
     
  2. Patronus macrumors newbie

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    Jan 12, 2007
    #2
    If you are really looking for the best sound quality, use lossless. I use 128, but I am old and lazy and it sounds fine to me.
     
  3. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #3
    Yes, Apple Lossless.

    I keep two libraries. Apple Lossless for AirTunes and 192-VBR AAC for my iPod.
     
  4. kjdenison macrumors 6502

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    Chicago, IL
    #4
    I did a comparison running through a focusrite saffire into shure E4C's of Apple Losless, and 128AAC, and to be honest as hard as I tried and I have picky ears, I could not find any differences.
     
  5. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #5
    Straight into EC4s, I can hear the difference between 192VBR AAC and 128 AAC files.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #6

    I also keep two libraries — one lossless, the other 256AAC — but it's awkward keeping them synchronised, which is why I'm going to try using this instead.

    http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/scripts07.php?page=1#losslessaccworkflow


     
  7. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #7
    Define "optimal". Or, at least, your personal definition.
     
  8. vi2867 thread starter macrumors 6502

    vi2867

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    #8
    I just want to hear a real clean digital sound...
     
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    #9
    if you've got or can get, lots of hard drive space...go wild with apple lossless.

    i don't right now, but i'm seriously thinking of re-ripping my library. if it doesn't happen now, i'll wait until i have an airtunes gadget and then will re-do.
     
  10. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #10
    Try this: Rip the same handful of tunes multiple times at different bitrates and listen to them comparatively on speakers/headphones that you would normally use. When you can no longer tell the difference between a bitrate and the next one higher up, go with the lower one for all your ripping. Suffice it to say, many people cannot tell the difference between 128kbps and lossless. Not all people, just many people. And 128 takes up a lot less disk space.
     
  11. vi2867 thread starter macrumors 6502

    vi2867

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    #11
    I originally ripped my whole cd library at 192, then I had a hard drive space issue on a laptop pc.

    Now I have an iMac and plenty of drive space.

    I did notice a difference when I reduce to the lower rate, so I know I want something like 160 or higher. I have never tried lossless, I think I am going to try it.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  12. benpatient macrumors 68000

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    Nov 4, 2003
    #12
    that's only good advice to take if you aren't going to be upgrading your speaker expectations....ever. If you're going to the trouble of putting all of your music on a hard drive, you might as well only do it once.

    Now people say they can't hear a difference between 128k and lossless, and that's fine, but there are so many people out there who CAN that it isn't just our imaginations....the sound difference is there. Especially in the highs and lows, and in live music, and in really pristine recordings. If you can't hear the difference, it might just be a limitation of your listening equipment. And your listening equipment might change.

    If you want a fair analysis to see if you can hear a difference, find someone with a very good system and listen to lossless through a digital transport (a mac mini or macpro with an optical output, for example). Then do the A-B comparison with a variety of music you really like. I bought several thousand dollars worth of processing/amplification/speakers about a year ago, and my next purchase was a 300 GB hard drive to store all of the CDs I decided to re-rip to Apple Lossless. Took me a couple of weeks, and it was annoying.

    But the difference, for me (and my wife, by the way) was obvious.

    If you never plan on having a really great sound system in your life, and you don't play music "loud" very often, then compressed music should be fine for you.

    But if you're like me, and you really enjoy sitting down for a few minutes when nobody's in the house and cranking up the tunes and having pure, clear, musical bliss wash over your ears, then don't force yourself to live with lossy persussion and strings. There's a real difference.
     
  13. Maynerd macrumors regular

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    Jan 4, 2007
    #13
    I've read and heard that itunes is a crap encoder for MP3s. This lossless format is interesting for archiving. If I rip my cds into Apple lossless can I take those files and create lower bit rate MP3s or AAC files from them for my Nano? I don't want to rip a cd 2 times.

    Also I would probably have two libraries as a result of this. One lossless library and one AAC lower bit rate library. I would want to use the AAC library to load up my nano but when I'm at home I'd like to use the lossless library. What's the best way to be able to switch between the two on the fly?
     
  14. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #14
    Well, I'm considering re-ripping all my CD collection into lossless when I get an iMac (at some point in the future), and then have another library ripped at 128kbs for my Nano. At the moment I just have one library ripped at 192kbs. If I have my Nano library at 128kbs I think by the time the 16GB Nano comes about I'll be able to fit my whole collection onto it, which'll be nice (even if it is a step down in quality).

    Does the iMac have an optical out so I could take advantage of the lossless?

    I seem to re-rip my CD collection every summer!
     
  15. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #15
    With my 1000+ CD library, that would scare me to death!
     
  16. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #16
    Well, I've a paltry 340ish, but it's still a hassle.

    I'm going to end up ripping in lossless sooner or later, so I may as well do it when I have a bit of time.
     
  17. Maynerd macrumors regular

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    #17
    I've got 1000+ and i'm planning on my 4th rip! YIKES! :)
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    This is a personal choice.

    Personally, back when I started encoding I went with MP3 for the flexibility. I encoded at 256Kbps. Sounds good enough for me. Also, I like being able to play the MP3 songs on everything out there.

    Others prefer lossless encoding.

    Others will keep two libraries, which IMHO, is too much work to keep track.

    It all depends on what quality you want.
     
  19. vi2867 thread starter macrumors 6502

    vi2867

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    #19
    I only have about 80+ cds, so lossless sounds good to me...
     
  20. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    Jan 21, 2005
    #20
    I use the iTunes-LAME encoder (with LAME version 3.90.3) at --alt-preset standard. Works well for me, and gives me the flexibility should I ever desire to get a non-iPod device. They should really compile an Intel version...
     
  21. c-Row macrumors 65816

    c-Row

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    #21
    btw. What's the file size ratio of Apple Lossless compared to the (even so lossless) original WAV file?
     
  22. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #22

    Depends on the type of music. The louder and more complex it is — audio-wise — the less it compresses. On average, by about 55-70%, judging by the 500+ lossless CDs on my Mac.
     
  23. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    Sep 4, 2003
    #23
    Fantastic set of scripts but I'm too nervous try them out. I messed about with scripts in iTunes before, big mistake. :p

    I didn't see anything about selecting the AAC bit rate of your choice. Can this be done or does it go by the settings you've selected in iTunes?

    Again, this is what we need built into iTunes. :)
     
  24. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #24

    That's from the Read Me. I haven't got round to installing it yet... :eek:

    All the other scripts I've used from this site have been fine. :)
     
  25. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    Use Max - a far better ripper and encoder than iTunes + will rip into multiple formats at once. A+
     

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