What is the Sweet Spot for Ripping CD's?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by mark-itguy, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    Short Version:
    I now rip CD's as AAC's with a bitrate of 192, check the VBR box, and check the Use Error Correction box. This seems to be the sweet spot between quality and file size. Do you agree?

    I know the Use Error Correction option slows down the rips, but I read even with all new hardware that has no errors anyway, this option helps prevent those occasional loud pops & noise...


    Longer Vesion:
    Being in the IT field for 13 years, I consider myself fairly knowldegable on things like this. Before Apple came out with the iTunes version that supported AAC, I used to rip my CD's in iTunes as MP3's with a bitrate of 192, VBR. I knew for sure that that was the sweet spot for playing MP3's on my iPod, or even PC w/ good Bose speakers. No question on the VBR being a good idea.

    When they first released the iTunes version that supported AAC, I was an instant convert! No debate [for me anyway] that AAC was the way to go. I ripped my CD's as AAC's with a bitrate of 192. Bummed there was no VBR option, I read up on the finite details of the AAC codec, and learned that it was, by design, VBR in nature, so I gave up worrying about it. Later an iTunes version came out that offerred a VBR checkbox, but I assumed it was pointless. Last time I checked it, and sure do think I noticed an improvment in sound quality!!
     
  2. matthew24 macrumors 6502

    matthew24

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
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    Netherlands
    #2
    Agreed, but to be honest I never took a serious look at 256.

    By the way when was AAC introduced?
     
  3. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #3
    Honestly, I can't remember for sure. It seems like it was about 2003 or so.
     
  4. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #4
    The sweet spot depends on your expectations, equipment, etc.

    For me on my current setup at home 224 AAC is enough, anything less I hear. For my iPod and good headphones I am considering 320 AAC because I can hear a difference. On my dad's stereo I anything less then Lossless is noticable in quality.
     
  5. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #5
     
  6. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #6
    My strategy has been the following:

    - rip all CDs to Lossless and store that on a backup drive and put all CDs in a box in the basement
    - convert them into 224 AAC for iPod and home use (I am still considering changing this to 320 AAC but the difference between the two is not that big and the next big difference I hear is to Lossless)

    There will always be people telling you 128 AAC is CD quality and all you can hear but I disagree. Lossless is just too big for regular use and 224 AAC is right on the boarder of quality/size for me.

    VBR will bring an improvement especially at lower bitrates (at higher bitrates it doesn't do much) but some devices don't support it, so I always refrained from using it.
     

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