Lossless audio library

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ThemacNub, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. ThemacNub macrumors regular

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    #1
    I want to redo my library with better quality music as mine all sounds terrible on my new headphones. Im wondering what the best option would be for getting the best quality. Should i just find 320 bit rate mp3s or go lossless which i have no idea about? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Lossless offers the best quality but uses a large amount of space. I'd suggest doing a handful of tracks at 320 and seeing whether it sounds good enough, and then making a decision from there.
     
  3. ThemacNub thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Do you know where i can download a lossless and 320 fike to compare. If i do chose lossless where do i get them from?
     
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #4
    If you have a cd somewhere around you can rip it twice. Once in lossless, once in aac or mp3.
     
  5. Jmouse macrumors 6502

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    Mar 14, 2011
    #5
    if you have LOTS of hd space, go lossless. However i find 320 is more than enough to be played on my ipod.
     
  6. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #6
  7. Jeordeon macrumors newbie

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    Jul 19, 2011
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    #7
    Also Beatport offers lots of tracks in 320 or lossless, so you can listen to them and compare (actually I'm not sure if you can preview in lossless?). I get all of my music in 320 kbps, but if there's an album/EP that I absolutely love, then I go for lossless. However, I basically only listen to EDM (electric dance music); if you listen to rock or something, then go for 320, because it wipes out recording errors. If you do download any lossless music, I recommend making an ALAC version from the right-click menu in iTunes so that you can play it on your iPod, and delete the original one to save space.

    FYI, a 320 mp3 is usually around 14 megabytes in size, and flac is usually about 45. However instead of 320 kbps, it's up around one thousand.
     
  8. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #8
    Bit of a generalisation when there are Rock bands that use recording techniques better than any other!!! e.g. Pink Floyd.

    I could say the same about Dance music, most of it is made on rubbish systems with poor cabling and lots of noise in the recording.....
     
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    I'm kind of the same way with my music. 90% of my music in at 320kbps aac, but a couple albums I really enjoy or I know are recorded well I rip into wav for the sake of having it in wav even if it doesn't really make a difference. I can't agree on the 320kbps wiping out recording errors. It's good enough of a bitrate to highly emphasized all the clippings, sibilance and distortion in poorly recorded songs. As long as you have the equipment to play it, 320kbps will show you just how bad your recordings are.
     
  10. Chunk Style macrumors newbie

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    May 23, 2011
    #10
    I used to try the mix-and-match, stuff I liked in lossless route. HD space is so cheap now, I just reripped everythig in lossless a couple years ago and moved on. If you have the space, there's no real downside.
     
  11. Catch macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2004
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    London, UK
    #11
    Unless you really can't afford the drives I highly recommend going lossless. I ripped and re ripped a large library and it was not much fun! If you need space on a phone or iPod you can have it compress when you sync. That way you have great quality at home and quantity on the road...


    Have a nice day,


    C
     
  12. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    #12
    Go lossless for archiving.

    I do not believe you can test one song in your current setup and assign those attributes to every song in your collection or to every system you may own in the future. Go lossless and you do not have to worry about double blind tests or worry that you might be missing something when you have a system that is better than the system you used for testing.

    Also, for archiving it is beneficial to have a perfect copy of the original file. If they come out with smaller lossless formats in the future, you can always convert to those formats without any loss of data. Not true of lossy files.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    In the furure you can always convert lossless back to 320 bit rate or even 128AAC to save space on a mobile device but you can never convert the other way.

    Also why worry about the cost of the space you can buy a 2TB drive for about $100

    It takes so much work to rib a big collection of CDs yu never want to have to do it again.
     
  14. ThemacNub thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Thanks I think ill go with that route, i can just make a distinction between alac and 320 mp3.
     
  15. philipt42 macrumors 6502

    philipt42

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    #15
    No offense to all who feel as though they perceive a difference between 320k and lossless, but DBT usually confirm that even diehard audiophiles cannot.

    I'd go with 320k - unless you have Orpheus' it's unlikely you'll really notice the difference.

    Oh, and go to head-fi.
     
  16. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

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    #16
    Ridiculous, come round to my place and i'll show you a perceivable difference between 320 and lossless (aiff or flac).
     
  17. LaazyEye macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #17
    Seeing as you have that much confidence, I'd love to see a pic or list of your setup =D
     
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #18
    Yup.. slowing converting to apple lossless or AIFF.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #19

    I have a pair of AKG K240 headphones plugged into a PreSonu "Firebox" It's a pretty basic studio setup.

    Thething is that the difference between lossless and MP3 320 is not the same with time. That is you pick most any random short bit of music you will likely not be able to tell. For example test tones come out _identical_ But there will now and then be short passages that MP3 just gets dead wrong. Yet another way to say it is the MP3 will introduce short artifacts now and then. Mostly this happens in percussion and in some kinds of electronic music. MP3 is not bad at encoding most simple acoustic non-percusion instruments. Vocals come out OK too. But I hear enough transient artifacts.

    My audio setup is pretty good. The K240 have been the "standard" for recording engineers for a couple decades now. they are not expensive ($100 at Sweetwater) The Presonus box just happens to have a pretty good headphone amp and the DAC is overkill for CD sources as CD are only 16 bit and 44.1KSPS.
     
  20. Grandpa1947 macrumors member

    Grandpa1947

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    Sep 12, 2011
    #20
    Go Lossless

    I have a tuned ear. All my life I have listened to music with the best I could afford. CD quality is much better than 320 mp3. It's most noticeable in the "depth" of the sound. Lossless sounds 3D compared to 320 mp3, which sounds flat when compared to lossless. If you listen to nothing but 320 mp3 you will get used to it and not miss a thing. But once you hear the difference, you'll never go back. Definitely store at lossless. Then you can compress it any way you want.

    PS: Just got the 64 GB iPhone 4S because it plays lossless the best of any phone on the market. Android phones are really really nice but lossless just sounds better on the iPhone. IMHO
     
  21. Liffey macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2010
    #21
    I can tell the difference and I don't even have that great of a set up. However I only go lossless for certain types of albums, ones that are very immaculately produced, require attention to detail to fully enjoy and so on. 320 is generally just fine.
     

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