256 kbs vs 320 kbs for iTunes

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Sossity, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have many mp3 albums in iTunes in 256 kbs, I now realize that mp3 can go to 320kbps, is this much better? would it be worth 're encoding my albums that I originally ripped in flac to 320 kbps, or is 256 ok?
  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    In my experience.....

    the people that can get the difference on quality of encoded music have to comply two requisites:

    1-Be naturally gifted with superior hearing capacity
    2-Have the equipment to note the subtle changes in quality

    You can add a little bit more storage to keep the music in the highest encoding to that list.But still, I can be proved wrong.....;)

  3. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    It's noticeable to a trained ear on quality equipment. On Apple earbuds, good luck hearing the difference because you probably never would.
  4. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    It is discernible with the EarPods, but not as noteworthy as with a quality pair of headphones. Still, most won't notice or care.
  5. jruschme macrumors 6502


    Dec 20, 2011
    Brick, NJ
    And to think that I used to do all my rips at "CD quality" 128kbps. :)
  6. pmz macrumors 68000

    Nov 18, 2009
    If you're even asking, absolutely no chance of you noticing a difference.
  7. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    If they're all in FLAC, they are lossless so NO, do not transcode them to 320 MP3. You can transcode them to ALAC - Apple lossless - and play them on an iPad/Pad/Phone.

    If you are talking about iTunes purchases, then you are stuck at 256.
  8. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    Neither. Convert your FLACs to MP3 V0 with XLD (which uses the LAME encoder).

    Encoding Mode: VBR
    Overall Quality: High
    Stereo Mode: Auto
    Sampling Frequency: Auto
    VBR Method: New
    Target Quality: 0.0

    You'll get quality that's typically comparable to 320kbps, but at about 256kbps.
  9. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I agree. I prefer lossless for archiving because you can convert it to new codecs in the future from a lossless file.

    Of course, if you just wanted smaller files for portable player, I would just keep the FLAC files and created separate lossy files from them. With hard drives being so cheap these days, I don't think it is much of an issue to have both.
  10. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    what about AAC or OGG? would I be able to get comparable sound quality of 320 kbps mp3? with smaller file sizes? and if I chose one of the others would I lose universal comparability of mp3? would car stereos and aux input enabled boomboxes be able to play AAC or OGG encoded files on an iPod?
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    320 AAC. Best quality you're going to get compressed, realistically.
  12. unibility macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2012
    My music use to be 320kps and I thought that sounded pretty good. Then I went to an audio store HANSON and the owner played music that was FLAC encoded. It sounded amazing. I later then converted my music to AAC for what iTunes accept. I do not think iTunes accepts FLAC.

    When you encode FLAC I didn't know you can choose 320kps. I thought it was fixed. How are you able to play these on your iDevices? The quality to be us somewhat noticeable but not always. The amount of space it takes up is like the original *.wav file so it's pretty large. About four times as much.

    If you can tell the difference then go for it but they are all losing some type of audio quality just the FLAC, WAV, AAC etc. Is not much so.
  13. cgc macrumors 6502a

    May 30, 2003
    What did the store play the music through? Maybe it wasn't the fact the music was FLAC but rather it was played through a very high-end stereo. I use FLAC to archive one single CD I love, the rest of my rips are 320kbps AAC.
  14. djshack macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    Somerville, MA
    The built-in iTunes Plus setting in iTunes is very high quality (same format as iTunes purchases). I believe it's a variable rate averaged at 256 kbps M4A set to maximum quality, which many people have stated sounds better if not equal to MP3 at 320 kbps or LAME v0.

    Of course, if space isn't an issue, M4A at 320 in iTunes is the best you'll get in lossy (AAC is a better codec than MP3), and ALAC (Apple Lossless) is the ultimate way to go for CD rips.

    Read more:
  15. sideshow23bob macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2005
    Personally I can't notice the difference, so I wouldn't sweat it, but if you do have very detailed hearing or a long musical background then I might consider it.
  16. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    As seen from the various opinions here, everybody is different. If I were you, I would do a sample on a track that you really like and see if you can tell the difference. Then ask the people around you.

    It also depends on the situation you have for listening to music. Commuting to work or school, exercising, or social event BGM situations can create enough noise that even audiophiles would not notice between 320 and 128. OTOH music for studying in quiet rooms, relaxation music, or recordings of once in a lifetime events may be worthy of higher quality.
  17. Rawkfist macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2010
    I've ripped hundreds of CDs in ALAC to an external drive for storage. Done deal. If I need room on an iPod I convert them to a lower bit rate as I transfer them. iTunes will do the work, just takes more time.
  18. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    I use 320 when ripping CD's just because it's not that much more then 256. I think 256 is enough for everyone practically speaking. There is not much proof that 256 or 320 can be consistently distinguished from Red Book (CD Audio). There is much more proof that it cannot.

    That being said, if you analyze FLAC or Apple Lossless files, you'll find it usually comes out to around 500-600Kb/s, which still almost 1/3 of the bitrate Red Book uses (~1400Kb/s).

    Just something to think about. But I encourage you to try yourself. Rip a CD at 320Kb/s and reburn it back to CD Audio. Then ask someone to put them in the CD player and see if you can tell a difference.
  19. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I use an app called dbpoweramp which can rip and convert to many different formats, including converting from flax to mp3, m4a, etc all with their own settings. mp3 can use or be set to different bit rates.
  20. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2014
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Depends on the audiophile in you. Personally, I can't really notice the different, a few digital amplifiers boost / pump up the sound anyway. Rather save the memory space.

Share This Page