Rip to AAC or mp3?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by riker1384, May 13, 2010.

  1. riker1384 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    West Coast
    I just bought a collection of 200 used CDs. I haven't ripped them yet. I'm not sure how I want to do it. I don't think I have space for lossless. It bothers me that ripping to AAC limits the players I can use. Sansas don't play AAC, and there are tons of car stereos and various things that can play mp3 files these days. I don't like being stuck to only using Ipods.

    In the past I've ripped in 128 AAC, and sometimes 256 AAC.

    What do you guys think is better? If I rip at, say, 192 AAC, is the quality gain over mp3 enough to be worth the loss in compatibility?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you want compatibility why are you even considering AAC? At that bit rate it hardly matters anyways.
  3. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2009
    MP3 at the highest bit rate you can while still maintaining the size footprint you want.
  4. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    MP3 all the way. You can play it on almost anything without a hitch.
  5. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Personally, I'd buy more storage. Ripping 200 CD's is a giant time commitment. By the time every disc is inserted, ripped, labeled and organized you will be at at least 20 hours of your time, likely much more.

    By ripping to lossless, you are assured that you will have good copies of the music and access to the entire collection with whatever device you want (it may require a transcode, but computer time is cheap). You would need ~150 gigs to fit the music as wav. 1 TB now is <$100. Would you work for 20-40 hours and be happy with being paid less than $100?
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The only reason that there are players not playing AAC is because of Microsoft's "PlayForSure" program where all the manufacturers were ******** themselves at the idea of being Apple-compatible and annoying Microsoft. Turns out that Microsoft shafted them all when the Zune was released, not compatible with PlayForSure, and compatible with AAC.

    200 CDs in Apple Lossless is maybe 60 to 80 GB. Rip in Apple Lossless and put the result on your backup drive (if you don't have one, BUY ONE RIGHT NOW), then put the CDs away. Now you can convert from Apple Lossless to anything you like. 192 KBit/sec AAC is for my ears with good headphones not distinguishable from the original. 160 KBit/sec MP3 makes an audible difference. But if you have the original in Apple Lossless, you can change your mind at any time.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Buying more storage is not a bad idea but I'd still stick with mp3s. I've ripped around 1800 CDs into my library (mostly 192k mp3), which is just over 150GB. I know I can play them on almost any player, Windows or Mac, or burn them to CDs with great sound quality.
  8. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    160kbps VBR MP3 if you need the compatibility. AAC doesn't have much of an advantage at that range anyway. If you're used to 128kbps AAC, this is a significant step above that.
  9. riker1384 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    West Coast
    I don't think the time commitment is all that great. I can set iTunes to automatically rip a disk when I insert it. It also automatically get the CD track info and album art. All I have to do is insert the discs and eject them, and let it rip them while I do other stuff on my computer.

    If I want to convert the stuff I already have into mp3, I know transcoding intoo 128 mp3 would lose quality, but does transcoding hurt quality much if I do it into a higher rate, like 128 AAC to 192 mp3?

    I do have a backup drive, it doesn't have 60GB free. My main drive does, but I'd have to set it not to back up the music files, and it would get pretty full holding the lossless AND lossy copies at the same time. I think I have some unused DVD-Rs somewhere, maybe I could put lossless files on those. I don't want to blow $100 on a drive now.

    Are there any compatibility issues with Apple Lossless? In the future, if I'm not using iTunes will other programs be able to decode them?
  10. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
  11. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Transcoding up in bit rate is a terrible idea. You end up with larger files that sound (at the very best) exactly as the smaller files did. Think of taking a thumbnail of an image and printing it on a big sheet of paper, sure it's big, but the data was already lost and now you just have a bigger blurry image.

    If you are encoding in a new format, you should always start from the best copy of the source material available to you (in your case that would mean going back to the CD's as you don't have the room to store lossless).

Share This Page