which audio format is closest to CD quality?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by benji888, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. benji888 macrumors 65816

    benji888

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #1
    Hey, For music I've been primarily listening to pandora for quite a while now, and am finally wanting to convert my CD collection to something I can put in my iPhone—I'm going to upgrade my car stereo soon w/USB hookup. I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to sound quality, and I used to burn CD mixes so I have CDs in AIFF format on my hard drive:)eek: -I know). I know this is pretty basic, but maybe someone can link me to the right info...here's my question:

    What is the best audio format to convert my AIFF music files to that will have the highest quality, and I'll be able to put in iPhone and play with a new Car Stereo I'm about to purchase?:confused:
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
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    On the fence
    #2
    AAC isn't bad. If you've got space, use the iTunes plus format (~2MB/minute of song). Otherwise use the AAC 128 format.
     
  3. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #3
    If your car stereo can handle it, Apple Lossless is about half the size, but equal quality to a CD or AIFF. Ignoring encoding errors, of course.

    For comparison, 256kb AAC or mp3 is virtually indistinguishable from CD at about 1/5th the size. But that is definitely lossy which will mean you won't want to re-encode it in the future, if you don't keep your AIFF files, which you wouldn't need if you went with lossless.
     
  4. Damo01 macrumors regular

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    Feb 11, 2010
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    Australia
    #4
    Just in theory, the higher the bit rates, the better the quality will be and the bigger the file size will be as well.
     
  5. benji888 thread starter macrumors 65816

    benji888

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
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    #5
    From the two of you I guess I'll try Apple lossless, assuming it can be played on most anything.:confused: ...I could try this with a few songs and bring my iphone to a car stereo store and try it, if it works then maybe I can convert and delete my AIFF files:cool:...they are on a spare USB hard drive I'd like to get rid of, the smaller file size might fit on my newer Firewire drive. If this doesn't work, I'll try the AAC format. ...However, I disagree that mp3 is not distinguishable from CD sound quality:eek:, I can most definitely hear the difference. (I refer to the car stereo for compatibility purposes, I will also be playing through my computer's Klipsch speakers connected via digital optical cable). I've never owned an iPod—until I got my iPhone, so I've not really done this before.



    :p-why am I not getting emails? I asked for emails when replies are posted, I'm not getting them:p
     
  6. benji888 thread starter macrumors 65816

    benji888

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    #6
    —it helps to update my email address!:D
     
  7. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #7
    If you go to Crutchfield.com, they publish compatibility information for most car stereos. Look under the "Hands on Research" tab. Most that play from an iPod will probably just play whatever your iPod can play

    In blind tests, most people can't tell the difference between source material and 192kb or higher compressed audio. There are rare super-hearers that can hear a difference from some source material. I'm not saying that you're not one of those. I'm an audiophile, but I'm (well) over 40 and, while I can easily hear a difference at 128kb, I can't at 256kb. Still, I keep a Lossless copy of everything.
     
  8. benji888 thread starter macrumors 65816

    benji888

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #8
    apple lossless works!!

    :DI'm very happy that the best format outside of CD AIFF works as intended!! I converted a few songs, put them in my iphone brought it to a store that sells car stereos, plugged it into the one at the top of my list, I was able to play the songs in my iPod, and also pandora through the usb connection!! I also got a phone call when I was there and, I may need to test a call on it as I unplugged it as soon as the phone began ringing, but I seems it will work for speaker phone calls with the voice coming through the stereo! (in other words it captures any audio coming through...I've tried this with usb connection in new cars and it usually only works with the iPod function of the phone) :D I'm in the process of converting my aiff files over to apple lossless now and will be deleting my aiff files, saving tons of hard drive space, and am anxious to purchase my new car stereo! :)

    Thanks for your help guys!! :cool:
     
  9. benji888 thread starter macrumors 65816

    benji888

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    no need for smaller files for iphone/ipod/ipad

    FYI for anyone reading this...apple lossless audio downloads and works on my iphone, but takes up a lot of space. I started to make second 128K AAC files just for my iphone, but found that is not necessary...when you sync there is an option on the summary tab to convert all music files to 128K:), just check that box and any songs that are bigger than 128K in your synced playlists will automatically be converted to 128K files for your iphone/ipod/ipad!!:D

    I should have known, apple seems to have already thought of these things, as usual. So I have my audio library on my computer in apple lossless format and now just sync the playlists I want to my iphone (& ipad) and they fit without any extra effort on my part. And the sound quality is just fine for the car. :)
     

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