The age old question: quality vs space

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Jophster, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Jophster macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Hi Folks,
    Sadly, my 16GB iPhone is filling up! I only have 1200 songs on it but 90% are 320kbps MP3.

    I know there is an option to re-encode all songs synced to the iphone to be in 128 AAC.
    That's good because it is not as though I am loosing my high-quality originals, my question is, however, would I notice any real audible difference if I play my music through mid-level headphones? (Apple In-Ear).

    Joe :)
  2. occams razor macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Salem, OR
    Years ago when I mp3's were on the rise I read a article saying that with headphones (unless you buy really high $) that the compression of the mp3's wont play a difference that you will be able to hear. But then there are people out there that swear they can. And if your a true audiophile you have over the ear headphones and to portable record player! :p
  3. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    Why not try a couple of songs you know well and see if you can hear the difference?

    If you use your ipod to dock to other systems, (ie, large speakers/home audio) you will heard a difference

    will you buy an iphone 5 in 6 months time? If so, can you hold on?

    If you have the original CD's you can always re-rip. AAC is better quality and lower file size than MP3.

    Better thread title, music vs deleting a few large apps on your iphone ;)

    hope these reflective questions help
  4. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    As musio said, try it then you'll know. The listening environment also has a big impact. When I'm walking on a busy street or in the bus, I'd barely notice if my music is 320 or 240, heck it could even be in 8-bit and I'm not sure I'd notice.

    If you're an average listener who doesn't always sit down in and takes the time to listen to your music, I think having all your music with you will be much better. give this a shot with your headphones (possibly try it on your iphone an exact representation of what you would hear with your music). I just tried it. I had a really hard time with just my headphones (akg k77s) in my macbook. It was somewhat better through my external sound card (still quite a bit of guessing). At least the bass response was better but that's not where the artifacts are usually think. Through my speakers it was fairly clear. Mind you I've been making music all day, the difference might be bigger in the morning.
  5. Jophster thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Good Advice

    Hi All
    Thanks for the great advice!

    I have done the test on two of the songs I know quite well and are quite complicated and while I heard no difference in the encoding on my iMac's speakers or my headphones (disappointed I couldn't!), when I faced them both with my father's Castle speakers (about £500 each) the difference was really surprising!

    While I don't intend to go near my dad's HiFi for fear of breaking it or something awful, I will stick with my 320kbps MP3s for now and make sure I upgrade to a bigger size come the next version of the iPhone.
  6. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I chose to go with lossless on my computer and my portable devices (ipod 160GB, iPad, and iPhone). With the 160Gb hooked up to my car, even with lossless, 160GB is hard to manage. For the iOS devices, I have Rhapsody, XM, and Pandora for all of my lossy needs. When I want to hear something with the best possible sound quality, lossless gives me that ability....I am not saying I can hear the difference between lossy and high bitrate mp3s, but I don't really feel any need to test.

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