128kbps or iTunes Plus audio encoding?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by marcel-v, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. marcel-v macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2006
    Hi guys, I currently have pretty run of the mill Logitech speakers and have my library encoded at 128kbps AAC. When I eventually buy a more substantial (5.1) sound system will I be able to tell the difference between iTunes Plus encoding (256kbs)?

    The other option I was thinking was to buy a 1TB external HDD and just archive all my CDs with aiff lossless.

    I guess my question is basically, does the music sound noticeably different on a high-end speaker system?

    Cheers, Marcel.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    iThink if you went to the Z-5500 you might be able to notice it, but... There is no guarantee. If you got an extremely nice system, you would def. be able to tell.
  3. marcel-v thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2006
    And is that the difference between 128 and 256, or 256 and lossless?
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    PC World did a good article about 128 vs 256, here.

    Lossless equates to about 700-1000+, in short 320 is about the maximum you would be able to hear without investment in some serious speakers and other devices.
  5. crisg macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    this is a hotly debated issue.

    On one side you have people who believe Mp3 compresses music
    so well that you can barely hear any difference between a variable
    or constant bitrate and a lossless file.

    On the other side you have people who believe Mp3 compression
    is blasphemy and will always affect sound quality, and can be
    audibly discerned even in low to mid-fi systems.

    I belong to the latter group; but I can tell you that in the end what
    matters is if you can tell the difference or not. I can; but I'm a
    little TOO into that stuff. Most people can't tell.
  6. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    My advice would be this:

    128-256: You'll probably notice it pretty easily if you're paying attention.

    256-Lossless: Maybe you'll notice it, a little bit. But probably only on a very nice system where you're paying very close attention, if you're a real audiophile (but I'm guessing you're not, or else this wouldn't even be a question).

    I would definitely go with 256.
  7. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    I upgraded all my music from 128 to 256. I re-ripped all my CDs and upgraded ~90% of my itunes purchases to itunes plus. The difference is quite noticeable. However, with my listening habits, I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256.
  8. Galley macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2008
    192Kbps AAC is the "sweet spot". If you're going to use lossless, use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). Dunno if AIFF supports tagging; ALAC does.
  9. TJRiver macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2009
    Or..... you could go back to true audio purity and forget all of this digital stuff. There was this round, black piece of plastic with grooves on it that you put on a device that stuck a needle in those grooves, and out came pure, clean analog sound, as God Intended. Of course, there were these plastic things with eight, count them, eight tracks. You pushed them into a playing machine and out came music that never stopped, it would just play and play...........:D

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