Appropriate iTunes bitrate?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by noahsnyc, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Ok, so now that we've got all these choices for encoding our CDs, what's the concensus on any new format or bitrate for encoding with iTunes?

    I've been encoding at 128k with MP3, but I'm keeping an open mind when it comes to anything new. Obviously, space is important, which is why I've been encoding at 128 this whole time, but if I can get more bang for my buck so to speak, it'd be great....


  2. MacFan26 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Francisco, California
    There have been quite a few threads of this, and debating which is better. I'm importing all of my stuff at 192 AAC, except for classical stuff, which I import at the highest bit rate (320). I can't really tell the difference, but if I had more decent speakers it might make a difference. Besides, I have the room for it on my hard drive, so I figured why not.
  3. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    To get 'more bang for your buck' you could try ripping your music in AAC.

    To me 128 MP3 sounds like 96 AAC, so ripping your music in 96 AAC will save you some hard drive space.

    Of course I don't recommend you do the above, until you have to some type of test. Rip a CD several times in multiple format (MP3, AAC, OGG, ect.) and in several bite rates (96, 128, 192, ect.) and you[/] decide which sounds best to you, and rip your music in that.

    I use 192 AAC.
  4. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Seriously, there is no appropriate bitrate, except to the determination as to how low your ears will allow you to go. In my case, that's 64Kbps AAC. :D

    I can certainly tell the difference between the 64Kbps and AIFF, because there is a little loss in some extreme high frequencies and some tapping beats, but I have forced myself into this mindset: It's compressed audio, so it's not supposed to sound like a CD. So it's easy for me to go real low... 56Kbps and lower, though, makes the music sound real lossy and a little errie with the noise that takes over the quality.
  5. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    Also, keep in mind that AAC is not as universal as MP3. So, don't start encoding your stuff in AAC if you intend to use in different media's or share with others.

    I personally encode everything at (196/MP3). It's safe, sounds great. I wish I can encode everything in FLAC but I just don't have the space for the amount of music I own.

    One note, if you don't have any concerns with compatibility, then I would encode in AAC at 196. AAC is a better compression to quality format. Hopefully it'll become as universal as MP3.

  6. quackattack macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I used to encode everything at 192 mp3. It sounds great to my ears. When I recently switched to mac I decided to go with 192 acc. I figure same hard drive space and even better quality . Beside between my ipod and itunes I don't really see the need to encode in mp3. I can always convert them later if I need a different format. :D
  7. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    I'm encoding 320 MP3. I need the highest quality, that is compatible with a variety of hardware/software. For example, I organise my music in iTunes, play it in Winamp (because it dosen't use much RAM), and listen to it on the go with a Creative Nomad MuVo. I am also planning to get an iRiver as soon as possible.

    What is the format that works across all of these? MP3.
  8. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    i used 64aac for awhile and then realized i have ~300 songs in my collection then re-ripped it all in lossless, then noticed horrible battery life on my 'pod from the constant hdd access, then ripped again in 128aac but when i send music to friends (all of which i own and strictly "tell me what you think of this, im putting in a presentation or on a cd or something") i make a copy in ~96mp3 w/ the vbr dealie on. ttytt i cant even tell the difference between 64aac and 128aac and 97mp3 and lossless and aiff and cd and minidisc and audiocassette and live. but i can tell when it's a record or in less than 64aac.
  9. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
  10. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    I rip everything at 192 mp3 or aac. I think that quite often 160 is acceptable as it 128, but sometimes you rip an album and you get to a song you love and then it sounds like crap. By ripping at 192 i feel it always ensures that you get a good version of every track. I usualy rip in mp3 because then i can guarantee it to work everywhere, unfortunately not everyone uses aac yet. Also I have no worries about space on my hard drive, I still have 122Gb of my 160Gb drive! :p
  11. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL, USA
    i rip at 160 mp3. i think it sounds better than 128 aac, plus i've got an mp3 cd deck in my car, and no ipod yet, so this works for me.
  12. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    There is no standard answer to how you should encode your music, it all depends on how you intend to listen to it, how much hard drive space you have and how fussy you are! The best thing to do is rip the same song at various bitrates and decide at which bitrate the sound becomes acceptable to you. A lot of this will depend on where you intend to listen to your music, if it's for your iPod a lower bitrate will suffice than if you're using airtunes to hook it up to your high end speaker for example.

    I would recommend AAC over MP3 (better quality, smaller file size) but then you're limiting yourself to using your music on your computer and your ipod...which, thanks to Apple, works pretty fine for me! :D
  13. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    I spent two or three days ripping my entire CD collection to 128AAC, but now I'm thinking that may be too low. Ugh, it's gonna be a pain to re-rip all of them at 160. :(
  14. aslauga macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Just out of interest, what's Winamp for mac like? I've always been quite impressed with Winamp when my windows friends have used it - the ultra skinnable ness and how it becomes 30% translucent until mouseover and how it hugs the top of the screen, and also how it plays both music and video (seems very useful). Does the mac version have these capabilities?
  15. TenderBranson macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2003
    I would reccommend ripping at at least 192 AAC, if you can ever imagine yourself upgrading your headphones to something truly decent, like the ER6I's

    I got them on saturday. They're leaps and bouns over the standard Ipod buds.
  16. fowler. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2004
    I'm assuming that he's using a PC, not a mac. I don't think I've ever seen winamp for osx.. the closest was macamp a million years ago.
  17. aslauga macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Shame! Oh well, too much to hope for I guess. Winamp and Trillian are two programs that would be much appreciated by me for the mac! I don't think Winamp's features are by any means impossible for OSX, maybe an update of iTunes would include some in the future!
    What's Macamp like then? Worth taking a look?
  18. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    Since space is important I suggest importing in AAC rather than MP3.

    A blind test study performed by "Listeners were to listen to these tracks on their best home audio equipment using quality speakers or headphones and then rate each track from 1 to 5, with 5 being a perfect reproduction of the source track". The sound quality of different encodings were rated as following on average:

    4.52 Lossless
    4.27 AAC 128
    4.27 WMA 128
    4.06 MP3 128
    3.94 OGG 128
    3.29 OGG 64
    3.15 WMA 64
    2.97 AAC 64
    1.44 MP3 64

    "We then converted these compressed audio clips to standard redbook CD audio track ... These were burned to a set of CDs – one for each of the four songs – with the original source audio as track 1 and all the other tracks randomized ... We threw in a WMA Lossless track on each CD too, just to see if all the listeners would give it a 5 rating"

    As you can see the Lossless encoding didn't get a 5 because of the psychological effect, but it puts the other results in a better perspective.
  19. MacFan26 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Francisco, California
    I don't believe macamp is available for OS X, (am I right someone?) And as far as Trillian, have you heard of Adium? You should try it if you haven't already.
  20. aslauga macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    I'm Adium's biggest fan! I just wish it was a leetle bit more stable and occasionally got a file transfer to work, but otherwise I love it!

    Yeah everyone, use Adium!

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