MPEG4 audio vs MP3

Discussion in 'iPod' started by gummo, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. gummo macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2005
    I'm trying to decide whether to d/l my cd collecion on my new hard drive as MPEG4 audio or MP3. It seems as though MPEG4 is the default on itunes but I notice it will not play on WMP. Anyone have any suggestions about which will be better in the long run?
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Depends on your criteria for 'better'. MP3s are obviously more universal but the general consensus is that AAC files sound better at the same sample rate.

    At first, I religiously ripped to MP3 320 but when I bought my iPod and Shure canalphones I re-ripped every CD I own (just over 400) to Lossless for the Mac & home use and set up another library using iTunes Library Manager with 256AACs for the iPod. I don't care if I can't play them on a mobile phone or anything else...
  3. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    The best in the long run is to rip it to lossless. That way you can easily reencode it into whatever format becomes the Next Great Thing. That, of course, require a decent amount of space.

    As for MP4 vs MP3. Depends on your needs. The sound quality might not be different to you, somewhat depending on your ears and your equipment.

    If I were to choose I'd go for MP3 since the difference in compatability is greater than the difference in quality.

    I think there's some MP4 codecs that will allow you to play MP4 files in WMP, though I don't think the library will function. (Err, for the Windows version anyway. Not sure about the Mac version).
  4. quackattack macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I agree with the lossless theory, that is what I do. But that takes alot of hard drive space. If you had to choose it depends on how you listen. If you just use iTunes and an iPod (like me) I would use AAC. It sounds better. But if you use another player I would go MP3.

    If you have some high end phones (like Blue's Shures) you should consider lossless anymore. You are much more likely to hear the compression.
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I rip everything in aac@128, i.e. my own CDs, those I loan from (close) friends and relatives and all CDs I borrow at my local public library (all legal here in Norway). If it's good enough for iTMS it's good enough for me (and I play my music from my iBook over my hifi with AirTunes, and I'm more than happy with the quality...) :)
  6. quackattack macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2004
    Boise, ID
    This is a good point. If you can't hear the difference, why waste the space. To me 128 doesn't sound good enough. I need at least 192, but I rip lossless. But if it sounds fine to you, then by all means use lower quality!
  7. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England

    Personally, I ripped all my 650+ CDs to FLAC+CUE using EAC on Windows. I chose FLAC due to the fact that it's GPL the source code will always be available to losslessly take it back to PCM (AIFF or WAV) and then downsample using the codec du jour.

    The whole enchilada now fits on 55 DVD+Rs! Though I guess I could even dump it to a 250-300 G external drive.

    To get them into iTunes I converted the FLAC+CUE to NRG and used Nero ImageDrive to have iTunes see it as a virtual CD and then let it do its thing to 128 kbps AAC. Note that I had to defeat iTunes' virtual CD detection routine to get that to work, but that was straightforward. I need to figure out how to do something similar on OS X, or I won't get tags from iTunes. I guess I'd use cdparanoia to rip and Toast to mount the images?

    One of these days I plan to duplicate the entire collection in Aple Lossless track-by-track instead of disc-by-dics to get the better tagging from Gracenote. This should go pretty fast since I would have to handle a lot fewer discs.

  8. NicP macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2005
    mp4 isnt mpeg4, apple simply use the mp4 extension to make it (AAC) look like a better mp3
  9. NicP macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2005
    hmm seams i was wrong on that last point, mp4 is a container type much like ogg

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