Please help me find a good bitrate for my Apple TV/iTunes library

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SACD02, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. SACD02 macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hello everyone
    Recently my whole music library was wiped off (on the backup drive as well) so I need to re-encode all my files to my library from the CDs. I used to encode my files in MP3 using Mediamonkey at LAME VBR0 setting (Stereo (not joint), around 250kbps) and then import it into iTunes
    I want to import my music using iTunes and start using AAC. I also bought an Apple TV to stream content to my Home Theater. I have a high quality Home Theater tuned for CD/SACD playback but I realize it's time to be more efficient and have all my files in one place (with moves, photos and their art work) rather than keep changing CDs and what not. I plan to use lossy compression so I can have more music rather than using Apple lossless and store less. I care about sound quality, but I'm no religious audiophile so I can trade a bit of sound quality for more convenience
    Here are my questions:

    )Is iTunes' AAC encoder a good one?
    )What is a good proven setting for AAC files so they sound good on stereo systems as well through Apple TV (perceptually lossless)? I think 320kbps is overkill but I could be wrong?

    Few things to consider:
    I'll use Apple TV's HDMI (or maybe optical) output to my receiver for sound
    I cant do AAC VBR since it is not compatible with my phone

    Thank you all in advance

    PS: I have thought about using Apple lossless but as much as I like the option in terms of quality, It is a hassle. I want to sync my Apple TV with my computer so I don't have to turn my computer to stream music. AAC saves me space and time. I do plan to rip mu CDs using EAC in future for backup purposes, but for now I'd like a good lossy option
  2. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    hi and welcome!

    This is a tough question b/c it's all up to your ears and storage space :)
    I'm not an audiophile per say, but I've come to hear subtle differences in Apple Lossless vs. aac @ 320. The next reply might say they've found something really different.

    The question to be asked is how much music are we talking about it? I ask b/c if you want to sync and store on your appletv, great, but if you're adding movies and/or photos, you might soon run out of space, regardless of what codec you use.

    You might end up needing a media server or at least a larger external hard drive to save you some time down the road. I'm in the same boat - I've been re-ripping my CDs into apple lossless and actively searching for a media server. Hp has one coming out that is compatible with macs and apple is rumoured to be working on one.

    I did find aac @320 to be a great sound compared to the file size. Even 192 was good.

    Hope my response wasn't as convoluted as it looks now that i've re-read it :) I just wanted to poke an idea about the media server or external HD in case you hadn't thought of it.

    best of luck,
  3. macaronie macrumors member


    Jan 10, 2009
    i used apple lossless for my cds, or anything else i imported, which is gonna stink if i ever need to get this stuff off my mac loll
  4. macrazee macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2009
    256 AAC is transparent for me. You could use ALAC (Apple Lossless) but the extra space required is significant and I can't tell a difference.
  5. hipaying macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    AAC is a good encode ,but not the best .
    WAV ,APE and FLAC will be better for sound .

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