Poor quality iTunes imports...what to do?

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,763
227
Asheville, NC
I've got a fairly large music collection with about 6000 songs, 5000 of which are on my iPod. As I listen to more and more of it in my car on my daily commute to and from work, I keep finding more and more songs that were imported with pops, glitches, etc. My CDs are all really clean. They are not scratched and they play fine on my stereo...it's just the imported versions of the songs that have this problem.

On the CDs where this happens, it seems I can re-import over and over and I still hear the errors. Usually it'll just be on one or two tracks, not the whole CD. I've tried importing using different formats (320kbps AAC, Apple Lossless), with error correction both on and off. I've tried listening to the tracks on several different systems...in my car, on my computer, on my home stereo. It's not the speakers or the audio equipment causing the problem.

Has anyone else had this problem, and what did you do to resolve it? Is there a better program I should be using to import my music?
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,154
343
The Cool Part of CA, USA
I've seen problems similar to what you describe, but in my case they were always linked directly to a bad CD one way or another. The error correction and "in ear" filtering that goes on when you play an audio CD can be much more forgiving than whatever read/compression algorithm iTunes uses.

Here's something to try, though: First, grab a copy of the raw track off the CD using the Finder or an application other than iTunes. This should give you a bit-for-bit copy of the track, and the Finder's error correction when reading a CD is much more thorough than iTunes (if it's a bad CD you should hear it slow down and re-read the bad spot over and over again). Assuming you are actually able to import the track (if not, it's a bad CD), then check it by playing in something other than iTunes (QT Player, maybe). Again, assuming that it sounds fine, now try importing the track on your HD directly into iTunes (reencoding it to whatever format you use in the process).

If the copy is clean and it goes wonky when importing into iTunes, then there's something weird going on with the iTunes encoder. If not, it's just that the CDs are flakey and iTunes doesn't do good enough error correction.

There are also a wide variety of other encoders which you might try and may well have better luck with, but I'll leave recommendations to someone with more experience, as iTunes AAC encoder has always worked well enough for me.
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
0
sitting on your shoulder
If Mako's suggestion doesn't help, you may want to erase & reinstall your OS, after a backup of course! When I first got my PB, I would get this odd static from all audio after running for a little while. Rebooting would make it disappear for a while, but I never got rid of it completely. Then I got Panther, and erased for the install. It went away completely (well, almost. there's one track with it still... :() after that.
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
First, see if the Error Correction mode in iTunes helps at all. Best thing to ripping in EAC-LAME secure mode. If that does not work, try taking a the raw WAV/AIFF file off of the CD, and see how that sounds. If neither of those works, I fear that a clean install may be the only option. Wipe the hard drive and start anew. Whatever you do, good luck!!!
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,763
227
Asheville, NC
I've tried error correction...no help.

Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone; I'll let you know what happens!