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iTunes Format question

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iTunes Format question

Postby Henry Chinaski » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:43 pm

I've never actually bought a cd from iTunes. I mainly use it to get pocasts and add stuff from my own collection. Now I want to get some iTunes exclusive material. My question is How will this stuff sound when I burn it to cd to listen on my home stereo?

Please feel free to go on a tirade about lossless formats and other audiophile type stuff.
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Postby ShaneDog » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:51 pm

I believe they are 128kbps AAC encoded files which, I have read, sounds similar to a 192kbps mp3. It is a lossy encoding though so it's not going to sound as good as a CD.
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Postby paulie » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:51 pm

it will sound fine!

people bitch about the itunes store becaues of DRM and the fact you MUST have itunes to get music. if you can get past those things, its great. imho, they do have the best selection of all the music services on the intertubes.

ps, search for the application called jhymn if you are adverse to DRM but just HAVE to have that something from itunes.
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Postby tibor » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:16 am

ShaneDog wrote:It is a lossy encoding though so it's not going to sound as good as a CD.


Shane is right, but whether you'll be able to hear the difference or not is another question. Some can. I can't.

Buy a song you know and love and give it a shot. Pretty cheap test that will only set you back $.99
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Postby ShaneDog » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:28 am

Oh I forgot to mention. I can't hear the difference. I was just pointing that out so that the inevitable audiophile didn't come after me talking about how inferior lossy formats are.
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:18 am

I can hear the difference in my car stereo, which has a high quality amp (zapco) and speakers (morel), but nowhere else so far. When you amp a 128 AAC a moderate amount, it starts to exhibit obvious weaknesses. I re-ripped most of my cds from 128 ACC to 320 VBR Mp3 using Lame, and it made a big difference in the car. A lot of work considering I only drive once a week now.

There are ways around their DRM. I used one tool on most of my AAC files from iTunes solely so I could run iGain on the files to prevent blown ears/speakers when switching from a gained mp3 to an ungained AAC file.
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Postby grumpus » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:16 am

I think there ARE some audible differences if you pump it through a car system or a huge home system.
It may not sound completely crappy, but it will differ from a manufactured CD.

But the AAC files sound awesome when fed through a PC setup or, particularly, when listened to in an iPod. I've listed to songs I've had for 20 years on my iPod and heard all kinds of new things and new nuances I'd never heard before.
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Postby Henry Chinaski » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:21 am

Thank you all. This is the sort of information I was looking for.
Next question: Best way to hook iPod to home stereo. I have this adapter that plugs into the headphone jack that has L + R out that could plug into an AUX in on my reciever.. Would this produce acceptable results or is there something beefier I should be looking into ?
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Postby TAsunder » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:39 am

You might consider a dock connector. The sound quality tends to be a little better on a dock connector and it eliminates the completely unnecessary volume dial on your ipod when you hook into a stereo. There are some connectors that are simply a cable with one end a dock connector and the other a male headphone end. i'm sure you could get one that's female, or you could get a male/female adapter.
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Postby tibor » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:01 am

Henry Chinaski wrote:Would this produce acceptable results


Works great for me. Your definition of "acceptable" might differ from mine, but again - test it first.
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Postby Paco » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:44 am

TAsunder wrote:You might consider a dock connector.

Oh my! I've been having another bad day (some please kill my arsehole boss) and saw this and misread it as

.....You might consider a dork connector.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:22 am

tibor wrote:
Henry Chinaski wrote:Would this produce acceptable results


Works great for me. Your definition of "acceptable" might differ from mine, but again - test it first.

It's also going to be a far cheaper solution than buying an (IMO) unnecessary piece of extra hardware.

If you're running out of the ear jack, the trick is to make sure the iPod is set to at least a moderate volume level, similar to what you set it to when you're listening to headphones. Start with the volume on your stereo all the way down, adjust the iPod and then adjust your stereo volume accordingly. If the volume on the iPod is too low, you'll get a poor signal-to-noise ratio. Too loud and you risk it distorting. But other than that, it's gravy and should provide perfectly good results unless you're really picky (and I'm not sure why those who are even bother with compressed audio in the first place).
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Postby tibor » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:24 am

Here you go - an online test for compressed vs. uncompressed files. A few tries confirmed that they sound the same to me.
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Postby barney » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:40 am

Henry Chinaski wrote:Thank you all. This is the sort of information I was looking for.
Next question: Best way to hook iPod to home stereo. I have this adapter that plugs into the headphone jack that has L + R out that could plug into an AUX in on my reciever.. Would this produce acceptable results or is there something beefier I should be looking into ?


I second the dock as a better option, since it uses the connection on the bottom of the iPod as a line-out. This is a much better solution if you are running it through your home system, since the volume is controlled by your amp, not the ipod itself (as it would be running the cable directly from the mini jack). Then you have to fuck around as someone else mentioned setting the volume right on the ipod, then adjusting the amp, because if you set the ipod volume to high, it distorts.

The universal dock has a line out and then you can hook the AV cable up to that and run through your Aux input (just not the Phono input, assuming you have one of those).
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One word...

Postby Gin&Trombones » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:52 pm

FLAC

No...not as in don't give me no

Rather - Free Lossless Audio Codec
While the compression rate is not as significant as other "lossy" formats, FLAC won't strip any data from the file meaning you won't lose album art, track info, etc.,

FLAC also provides a restorable exact duplication of your cd's, something that is not possible with other lossy or Apples lossless format.

Of course there is a trade off - FLAC won't natively play on an ipod, but it can easily be converted to Apple lossless, mp3 or what ever ipod compatible format you prefer.

If you ever plan to stream your music collection, that's another reason to use FLAC as well.
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