What's Your Format?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by supercooled, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. supercooled macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    Didn't know where to start this but this seemed the most appropriate place. I'm in the process of archiving my media and I've kind of decided the best format for music is 192kb MP3s or AAC. New stuff I rip are in AAC but if I download them, I'll likely keep them as-is meaning it's in MP3.

    Now as for movies, I'm finding a lot of them in Mastroki format. AppleTV cannot handle this and neither can the Xbox/PS3 natively so I tried using Boxee but to be honest, I rather keep things uniformed. And being a Mac user, that means I use iTunes so is it then the best course of action to convert everything to MP4/MPV?

    I'd like to hear some for/against arguments on which format people prefer.

  2. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Although it is no longer in development, I still use Visual Hub to convert those .mkv files to MP4 so that ATV can play them. It still works and there are other people that have picked up the source code, so I hope they keep developing it it.
  3. supercooled thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2007
    That's not really what I was asking but I take t you've chosen to stick with MP4 because of the AppleTV then? What if down the road you're upgrading to something which isn't an Apple device and MP4 falls out of favour.

    It took me all evening to convert one season of Cheers from AVI to MPV but I would really rather have it in MKV except the equipment I have now (PS3, 360, ATV) can't play it diddly squat without other 3rd party software.
  4. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    My CDs are converted into Apple Lossless.

    My DVDs are converted into MV4/MP4 for Quicktime/AppleTV (H.264 with AAC and AC3 audio).

    MP4 may indeed fall out of favor someday, but it is at least a recognized standard, unlike MKV.

  5. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    I like to archive my media and rip my cds as flac and my dvds into unprotected isos. This way I lose zero quality, have open formats that can either be played by anything or encoded to suit a purpose, the only downside is disk space - which is pretty much a non issue nowadays.

    Unfortunately(?) I find windows to be the best platform for both these purposes as there doesn't seem to be software quality that matches EAC and dvd decrypter.
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California

    The only piece I have found to compete against EAC is XLD. But I agree, EAC is pretty damn good!

    DVD Decrypter or DVD Shrink..... maybe Handbrake?

    As for me. New CD's FLAC Then a second copy at AAC/320. So I can have a lossless digital copy incase my AAC becomes corrupted or something new comes along that I can rip too. Like others have said disk space isn't an issue.

    Movies: MP4 (H.264 with AAC and AC3 audio)(Same as below).
  7. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    My CD's are converted to Apple Lossless. I rip CD's with dBpowerAMP's secure ripper and store the log files and write the Accurate Rip results to the comment field of my music once added to iTunes. Definitely use a secure ripper... rip your CD's right and do it once. I made the mistake of ripping everything with iTunes my first go-round. My Lossless files and purchased music/music videos reside in it's own library. I convert all my lossless files to 192kbps mp3. I then mp3gain those files to 89db (album gain to retain relative volume between files).

    I even convert iTunes plus to mp3 (lossy to lossy, but the sound loss is negligible and the purchased music is safe on its own drive and also archived to DVD-R).

    All of my mp3 files,music videos, digital booklets, TV Shows, Movies, Audiobooks, etc. is then placed in my other library for everyday use, like streaming to Apple TV, putting on iPhone/iPod, etc.

    You can always put things in just one library, but I keep two due to low drive space right now, and I have a few externals and I make a mirror of each drive should something happen to one. I may go with a Drobo in the future and combine everything to one library.

    I go with mp3 because of it's universal support, but AAC is gaining ground all the time and if you go with AAC, you have the bennefit of being able to encode with iTunes by right-clicking, convert to AAC. The AAC encoder in iTunes is one of the best there is, I've heard only Nero rivals it. With mp3, you will want to use the LAME encoder which requires an external encoder (meaning you won't want to right-click, convert to mp3 in iTunes because the iTunes mp3 encoder is out of date).

    As for sound quality, you will want to do a blind abx test. Many people say they need 320kbps mp3 or AAC without ever doing any testing. 192kbps VBR mp3 or AAC is going to be transparent to lossless for most people, and for some, like myself, even 128kbps mp3 or AAC is transparent. Anyone can tell themselves they hear a difference, but many are just wasting space and falling ill to the placebo effect.

    As for video, mp4 is fine for me.
  8. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2009
    It took me a while to get past my geeky need to have my files have the numerically "best" quality. I realized that I really can't tell the difference above a certain quality level.

    My music is either 192kbps VBR MP3, 192kbps VBR AAC, or 256kbps VBR AAC depending on where I bought it.

    My ripped DVDs are H.264 video in an mp4 container (.m4v file) encoded with Handbrake's Apple TV preset.
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I've stuck with internet defacto standards because I expect my media to long outlast the platform of the day (today it's Apple, will it always be? Who knows)

    Music is 256Kbps VBR MP3

    Movies are H.264 in MKV container

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