AAC import bit rate?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by unc32, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. unc32 macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I've begun reripped my CD collection (200 or so) from mp3 to AAC. I've been using the standard 128 bit rate and then about 40 or so in it occured to me that maybe the 160 maybe better, especially since I don't want to do this again. What do you think? Should I continue with 128 or bump up to 160? What do you use?
  2. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    i use 128. i'm not an audio phile. and i generally just listen on my computer and ipod.

    i have a 5 gig pod, so to me, space is more important.

    i think if you have to ask, you probably don't "need" 160.... ya know?
  3. unc32 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    Yes, I know that. My idea is that eventually I will be using this collection and have it be connected to my stereo and will want it to sound its best.
  4. LimeLite macrumors 6502a


    Mar 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I used to rip all of my Mp3's at 192 bits. Now, apparently AAC at 128 is supposed to be equal to Mp3 at 192, so to be safe I rip my AAC's at 160, since it's still smaller than the 192 I had the Mp3's at.
  5. matthew24 macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2002
    On your MAC 128 is OK. As a test I reversed a 128 file to an audio CD and on my stereo system I clearly could hear a difference with the original. I talked about it with a colleague and he advised if you want to create audio CD's again from AAC or MP3 you should go for 192.
  6. unc32 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I've decided to stick with the 128. 99% of the songs I have I don't listen to anyway and will simply be taking up extra space. If I find that a certain piece is sounding bad or couldd sound better I can either rerip or listen to the CD. My HD is only a 40 and have little desire to start purchasing an external at this time.
  7. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I used to listen to AAC at 128 kbit, but I realized the quality sucks. I'm a music major and listen to a lot of classical music. I re-ripped them at 256 and am much happier.

    My collection is still small by most standards--only 3.3 GB.

    Edit: I should mention, though, that the AAC 128kbit sounds much better than MP3 at the same bit rate. For what it's worth, I was never particularly happy with my 256 kbit MP3 files, but was happier with the 128 AAC encoding. Now, with AAC 256, I am very pleased with the sound.
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    i just did a listening test of one song i had mp3/128 which i re-ripped (from the CD) at aac/192.

    huge difference when played through my near-field monitors.

    i rip aac/192, fwiw.


    the differences in the song i listened to:
    1. in the 128, some of the higher and lower frequencies were muffled
    2. for cymbal crashes, the 128 "added" sort of a phase effect on it. the 192 sounded normal
    3. the high-hats in the 128 sounded a little noisy and compressed
  9. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    I use 64Kbps AAC. I used to use 64Kbps VBR MPEG-2 audio, but the AAC is better.
  10. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    I use 160kbs AAC, to me it sounds just as good if not better then 192kbs mp3. I listen through Cambridge Soundworks speakers connected to my imac, my iPod connected to my car stereo and through headphones when I am on the go, all sound absolutely perfect.
  11. Shiesl macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2001
    Location: Vermont
    So why are iTune files in 128 rate?

    I just noticed that I'm burning my CD's at 192, but downloads from iTunes is only at 128 no matter what my preferences are set to. Is there a way to change this? Thanks. Rick
  12. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    Huh? are you deaf or do yu jsut like your songs to sound really crap. ;) :D
  13. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    Re: So why are iTune files in 128 rate?

    long story short, no way.

    They are ripped for you into 128 AAC files by workers at Apple, if they allowed you to choose their bit rate they would have to store a file for every bit-rate of every song on their servers, and there are a number of bit-rates available, not to mention variable bit-rates, etc.
  14. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    160 AAC sounds very acceptable through earbuds, even my new Sennheisser MX500's, bur I can hear the artifacts on any halfway decent system, but then, I can hear the difference between CD and .5 inch analog 2-track tape at 30ips, and I prefer the tape.

    160 AAC is definitely more musical than 128 AAC and on a par with 256 MP3.
  15. Edot macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2002
    Re: Re: So why are iTune files in 128 rate?

    I believe that they have to have ripped the songs in higher quality bit rates. Bandwidth rates are increasing and quality will be a big issue a few years from now. Having ripped in 128,192,256 they can easily jump to a higher quality for all the songs in the store. If they have not done this I think they are making a mistake. However, you are right they do not let you choose the bit rate at this time.
  16. punkmac macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    AAC vs mp3

    I've ripped some in both formats. I've chose to stick with Mp3 in case I want to burn to CD. Most new players will read Mp3. Ilike the option of 10 albums on 1 CD.

  17. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a


    Nov 22, 2003
    Re: AAC vs mp3


    I store all my music as AACs because it sounds better (160). I still can burn CDs which will play ANYWHERE. All I did is set the burn preference to Audio CD in iTunes
  18. punkmac macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    mp3 CDs

    Sorry, I mean an Mp3 format CD. I don't want the extra convert from AAC to Mp3 or AAC to WAV.

  19. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    is there a way of converting your mp3s to AAC? i cant be bothered to re-rip my entire cd collection.
  20. kidA macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    itunes has a "convert selection to AAC" option, but that won't give you any of the improved sound benefits you'd get from reripping into AAC.
  21. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    thats odd as mine says convert selection to mp3 but all of my files are already in mp3 format. how odd
  22. 27407 macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2004
  23. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i use 192 when i can. its just sounds sweeter
  24. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    You have to go into Preferences -> Importing and change to using AAC encoder.

    About the original question, I use 160 kbps AAC. I did a blind listening test and discovered that this was the bitrate where I couldn't reliably tell the difference between the original CD source and the encoded file. If you really want to be absolutely sure you're getting the best compromise between sound quality and file size, I suggest you do something like this:

    1. Select a couple of songs you know very well.
    2. Rip them in iTunes as AIFF and AAC at various bitrates.
    3. Make sure you rename the AAC versions to reflect their bitrates so you don't mix them up.
    4. Convert all of the AAC versions back to AIFF.
    5. Select all of the AIFF versions in iTunes and drag them to a new folder.
    6. For each AAC bitrate, have a friend make copies of the original AIFF and the AIFF that came from that bitrate of AAC. Have your friend randomly name them "A" and "B". Then have the friend randomly pick one of them and make another copy called "C".
    7. Now you have 3 files, at least one original source, at least one compressed AAC. One of them will be there twice. Listen to all three until you think you know which is which. (If you have QuickTime Pro, you can open all 3 in QT Player and select Play All Movies; then just click back and forth between the different windows as the song plays).
    8. Repeat for all bitrates.

      If you'll be listening on a good quality stereo, I'd say take it a step further and burn your A, B, and C tracks to CD and pop that in the stereo. I don't have one right now, so it's the Mac or the iPod for me, and I found 160 kbps to be my sweet spot on my equipment with nice headphones.

      I'd be interested to see people's results using a method like the above. I really think there's a lot of psychological bias that you can't overcome (no matter how much you think you can!) if you know which file is which while listening. You'll automatically expect the compressed file to sound worse. I expected this, but the results of my blind test surprised me a bit.

      Then again, maybe my ears are going bad after too many years of LOUD music. :D
  25. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Go into the preferences in iTunes, select "Import" and change the settings to whatever AAC rate you want, then when you go the the convert menu it'll say convert to AAC.

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