best bitrate to use?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by stvfisher, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. stvfisher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    So what would be the best bitrate and format to use for importing my CDs?

    I was thinking 256 kbit/s AAC would be best, since I believe that matches the tracks you download from iTunes.
     
  2. onebloodonelife macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #2
    You'll get lots of different answers from different people. I personally use 320 AAC when I'm importing. Or, for certain albums, AIFF (Apple Lossless). I have the space to do the higher encoding, so I do.
     
  3. phytonix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    #3
    unless you have really expensive equipment
    192kps AAC should be more than enough.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    I use Max to rip in VBR MP3s since they're widely compatible. I love my paranoia modes.

    AAC is nice but more players need to support it. :(
     
  5. phytonix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    #5
    192kps MP3 encoded with LAME in Max is already very good.
     
  6. stvfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #6
    I'm not concerned about space, what I am concerned about is good quality and a uniform bitrate for my collection.

    320 seems a bit high! I'm not sure my ipod, appletv (future purchase) or any other equipment I have would benefit from such a high bitrate, but maybe I'm wrong?

    What can you guys tell me about VBR and apple lossless?
     
  7. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #7
    VBR is Variable Bit Rate which means the song isn't just at 256 it can be at many different bit rates

    Apple lossless is exactly what it says it is a lossless it means you loose absolutely no audio quality when ripping but file sizes are huge about 40MB for a 4 minute song.
     
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    Here's a comparison of bit rates I did in MatLab after using Audacity to FFT the sound sample (of 30 seconds of classical music) and output as text. Then I was able to plot them against each other. AAC wasn't supported by Audacity unfortunately.
    EDIT: Around 12kHz is where the degradation begins, and the difference between 192 and 128 mp3 is pretty obvious. The Wav file (or AIFF for that matter) has the a higher signal level since it's not compressed.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #9
    You say you have no concerns about space. The obvious answer then is to rip to Apple Lossless. There wouldn't be any reason for you to use any other format. And if you want to use the files in the future on a non-Apple product, they will convert with NO loss of quality into any other lossless format, or can be converted to e.g. MP3 format and will be exactly the same as if you'd converted the CDs directly to MP3. You also then have a full-quality backup from which you can burn a fresh CD should the original get scratched/damaged/lost/etc.

    You say you're not sure the Apple TV or your iPod would benefit from the increased bitrate. Well in a sense they don't get affected by the bitrate, it's the headphones you're plugging your iPod into, or the hifi you're plugging your Apple TV into, that might show the difference.

    Do you have a reason for wanting a "uniform" bitrate? Apple Lossless is variable bitrate, but full quality. Files are about 25-35MB for a 4 minute song. I can usually but not always hear the difference between them and 256kbps AAC files. My hifi is mid-range (about £1k, probably equivalent to $1k knowing the way things are priced here in the UK).
     
  10. stvfisher thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #10
    While I'm not really concerned about space, I really don't want 30MB file sizes per song since I do like to have a variety of songs on the iPod. I'm not too thrilled about 20MB for a 10 minutes song using 256kbit/s, but I can live with it since most my songs are 5 minutes and 10MB or less.

    My main reason for the uniform bitrate is so all the songs sound the same, I don't want one track to be more quiet or sound worse then the next one.

    And you're right, it's not the device that I need to worry about affecting quality, it's the headphones, speakers, etc. Right now, what I have is not the best, but when I get better equipment in the future I want my digital music to be ready for it.
     
  11. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
  12. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #12
    It's really up to you, Basically it's quite confusing what your saying you say yo don't care about space but you don't want files sizes that large on your iPod it's you decision try them and see if you can notice a difference if not stick with whatever format that is. or you could rip the songs in each format and have two separate libraries.
     

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