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bkhuonk
05-04-2004, 02:46 PM
If I import my cd's into iTunes for my iPod, what is the best method? I use them at my desk through iTunes (Mac), on the go with my iPod and at home on my wife's Window's machine.

Which is the best for mac? Which for windows iTunes and which for both platforms?

bri

huskerchad
05-04-2004, 05:15 PM
In order of quality, highest to lowest, obviously lossless is first, then aac, then mp3.

If you have the drive space, lossless is obviously the way to go. Apple claims 2:1 compression, so you need about 300-350MB per CD.

That probably means you won't have enough space on your iPod for all the music you want, even if you do on your hard drive. So either import them to AAC, or keep them as lossless on your computer but convert them to AAC for the iPod.

The only reason to use mp3 is if you want to use them on another brand of player that doesn't support aac, or if you want to play them on a computer without iTunes.

It doesn't matter if you use windows or mac, they both support all three formats.

miklb
05-05-2004, 12:12 AM
forgive me for intruding, but I am trying to find out how to convert to .aac on my mac. I have a mp3 player that only accepts that format, save the .mp3. For the life of me, can't find a utility that will convert from the itune .m4a to the windows .aac. Any suggestions?

staypuft
05-05-2004, 10:33 AM
I'm not totally sure but I think you need to burn those files to an Audio CD and then rip them as AAC off of the CD with iTunes.

miklb
05-05-2004, 10:36 AM
I'm not totally sure but I think you need to burn those files to an Audio CD and then rip them as AAC off of the CD with iTunes. Forgive me, I may have confused the .m4a with the unlocked AAC format. I simply want to find a conversion from the unlocked AAC format via Quicktime to a windows compatible .aac format.

Kirin
05-05-2004, 01:00 PM
You can use dbPoweramp (found at www.dbpoweramp.com ) for Windows (make sure you also download the appropriate AAC plugins for that program as well) to convert the .m4a container into an .aac container.

cudaboy_71
05-05-2004, 01:54 PM
[edit] just realized this answer is not for the original poster. so, for miklb: here's (http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20031221152135219&query=itunes+aac+mp3) a hint i submitted a while back that describes what you want via iTunes.

the only difference is my endgame was an MP3 CD. so, obviously you'd skip burning that disc...but otherwise you'll end up with a playlist of converted MP3s that doesnt touch your precious AAC files.

miklb
05-05-2004, 02:11 PM
You can use dbPoweramp (found at www.dbpoweramp.com ) for Windows (make sure you also download the appropriate AAC plugins for that program as well) to convert the .m4a container into an .aac container. I don't have a windows box. I only have a Nokia phone/mp3 player that supports .aac format. Otherwise, I have my Mac.

For cudaboy:

I don't think I'm doing a very good job of explaining, or I'm not understanding you. The device I have, only supports .mp3 or .aac. It doesn't recognize the .m4a or .mp4 formats that Itunes uses for AAC encoding. I simply want to convert from the Quicktime AAC to a windows format. I'm not trying to get around any protections on my iTunes Store Music, etc. I just want to save space on the MMC.

houchin
05-05-2004, 02:54 PM
I don't think I'm doing a very good job of explaining, or I'm not understanding you. The device I have, only supports .mp3 or .aac. It doesn't recognize the .m4a or .mp4 formats that Itunes uses for AAC encoding. I simply want to convert from the Quicktime AAC to a windows format. I'm not trying to get around any protections on my iTunes Store Music, etc. I just want to save space on the MMC.

Did you try just changing the file extension to .aac?

cudaboy_71
05-05-2004, 03:26 PM
just FYI, my suggestion does NOT get around any apple protection. if you follow the directions, you will create mp3 files from your aac files, which i thought you would be able to put on your player.

on the other hand, now that i see more of your issue (apple aac files vs. p.c. aac files)...assuming they are the same files with different extensions, you should look at a p.c. aac file for a clue as to what the extension should be. aac, maybe? maybe not. whatever it is, try just changing the extension to one your p.c. is expecting.

miklb
05-05-2004, 05:31 PM
Did you try just changing the file extension to .aac? yeah. Still didn't show up. I'm perplexed, to say the least. In the grand scheme of things it's no big deal, the phone was a prize in a contest, and I'm just trying to see if it's going to be worth it to actually activate it when the GSM technology becomes available in my city (6/11). I don't really want to shell out the extra ducets for a 128k card, as it is necc. to get one that works with Nokia phones. It just seems a bit odd that the two formats for the same basic encoding is not that easy to interchange. I've done A LOT of googling on the subject....


cudaboy - sorry, didn't want to insinuate that you were trying to, I have simply confused the two iTunes formats so much, that I wanted to make clear that I wasn't trying, as I've posted this dilemma in a few threads now. At this point I'm fishing for someone who's discovered the solution, or understands the encoding.

As much as I hate to think it, between screwy things like this, and software included with text books for school, I may just buy I one of those cheap boxes out of the paper and bare bones build it so as to use some of these options. OR, when that student loan check comes in the fall, buy an eMac and get VPC. Ughh!

Thanks all for the input. I'm hoping the more I ask, the more I'll learn.

spooky
04-24-2006, 10:43 PM
In order of quality, highest to lowest, obviously lossless is first, then aac, then mp3.

If you have the drive space, lossless is obviously the way to go. Apple claims 2:1 compression, so you need about 300-350MB per CD.

That probably means you won't have enough space on your iPod for all the music you want, even if you do on your hard drive. So either import them to AAC, or keep them as lossless on your computer but convert them to AAC for the iPod.

The only reason to use mp3 is if you want to use them on another brand of player that doesn't support aac, or if you want to play them on a computer without iTunes.

It doesn't matter if you use windows or mac, they both support all three formats.

I converted my collection to Lossless, and almost all of the songs have a bad start at the beggining of them, like, some of it is cut off,
so i redid them all back to AAC, and no problems at all.
anyone else experiance this?

ThreeDee
04-25-2006, 07:24 AM
omfg. this post had gotten 15000 reads?!

ArcticStones
05-01-2006, 09:19 AM
omfg. this post had gotten 15000 reads?!
Wow! I wonder if that’s a record. Clearly there’s more than a couple of people interesting in controlling audio formats and converting them when possible. ...on the other hand, although short, the thread soon celebrates its "2nd anniversary". ;)

voldenuit
05-01-2006, 11:12 AM
Either it got somehow slashdotted or there might have bee a glitch in the read-count.
One would have to have a look at the raw server stats to know for sure...

If only the music industry finally wisened up and stopped requiring DRM, that would rid us of this kind of extremely annoying problems.

Just because some fat cat industry has managed to sleep through a major change in the marketplace and now lobbies for repressive laws (and amazingly gets them) instead of offering what customers want:

Buy content to own it, without any fussing around with some world domination scheme involving incompatible file formats...

spacepirate
05-27-2006, 11:43 AM
When typing in "aac vs mp3" in Google, this specific thread is the third result. FYI.

scarface7810
07-02-2006, 02:01 PM
I'm a little confused. I have about 3000 mp3s. Bitrates range from 128-360. Many are 128 because years ago in the first days of napster that was what was available. If the files are already compressed, will converting them to apple lossless or mp4 noticeably improve their quality? Second question is, when I tried converting a song to apple lossless is showed it was an mp4 file, not mp3. Will apple lossless files/mp4 files play on all the car stereo head units that can play mp3 discs? And since the files are larger, less will fit on a disc, so hopefully they can be burned onto DVDs and used on players that can read mp3/mp4/lossless DVD discs. I have a 300 gig external hard drive, the 3000 files I have now take up about 13 gigs but files vary in terms of bitrate. I wonder if I could put two folder sets of music on my hard drive. My old original set with varying bitrates of mp3 (just in case to have as backup) and another folder with all the same files, only converted to mp4/lossless, or would that totally confuse the computer. I'll pay for the hard drive space if 300 gigs isn't enough. It's taken me many years to build my collection and I want high quality, but I also want to be able to use and play the music on an aftermarket car stereo, ipod, or home stereo. Can someone shine some light on this for me before I screw something up and mess up my whole collection.

funkycfunkydo
07-02-2006, 03:48 PM
a song will only sound as good as the lowest bitrate it ever was. converting 128 to lossless would do nothing but make the file much larger.

also, i believe those units that play mp3 cd's will not play mp4 files.

scarface, it seems that converting your mp3's would be pointless beyond having just 1 file type.

Jacques
07-03-2006, 10:29 AM
... import my cd's ... what is the best method ... for both platforms?


I'm an avid Apple user, but I don't like any lock-in technology when I can avoid it. Only Apple and new Sony units (just released or coming soon) use unprotected AAC, why bother when MP3s are nearly the same quality (not quite) and are COMPLETELY universal. All platforms have no problem with MP3s.

I switched from AAC (160 bit) to MP3 (160 bit, VBR highest) to compensate for quality. I feel 160 is fine for the car, for good headphone however you may want to raise it a bit more if you ears are picky for better resolution.

On the other hand, when running voice (books, sermons, speeches, lectures, etc) through to an iPod - it's MUCH more handy to convert the root MP3s to bookmarkable AAC format. This way, if you stop short - when you come back to the recording it picks up where you left off. VERY nice. (PS - to do this, first convert to AAC, then use the bookmarkable script from Doug's iTunes script site to make the AAC file bookmarkable.)

Jacques

scarface7810
07-03-2006, 01:11 PM
Thanks funkyc. So basically if a songs bitrate is anywhere from 128-360 it's useless to convert it to a lossless format? Because I see alot people converting anyway. Also, isn't the bitrate that comes off a store bought CD only 320, in which case converting to lossless would not be beneficial? I'm not sure why everyone is converting then.

Another thing I noticed is the volume differences of songs when I play them in my car. The Itunes "get info" summary windows on my mp3s always show that a song has a volume "change" of -7.6, +2.4, etc. I want all the songs to play at the same volume so I'm not constantly adjusting my stereo's volume, but there doesn't seem to be a way to change this. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a way to fix it?

trevor
07-03-2006, 04:47 PM
So basically if a songs bitrate is anywhere from 128-360 it's useless to convert it to a lossless format?

If a song is an .mp3 or an .aac, or any other format which uses lossy compression, then it is useless to convert it to a lossless format.

Also, isn't the bitrate that comes off a store bought CD only 320, in which case converting to lossless would not be beneficial?

No, CDs are not usually measured in 'bitrate's, although they do have a fixed bitrate, of course. They are 16 bit 44.1 KHz uncompressed. The 44.1 KHz is the sampling rate. 16 bits x 44100 samples per second = 705600 bits per second, or 705.6 kbps.

Converting a CD (full quality uncompressed) to Apple Lossless Encoding (full quality lossless compression) will save you about half the file size with no loss in quality.

Trevor

ArcticStones
07-03-2006, 06:19 PM
If a song is an .mp3 or an .aac, or any other format which uses lossy compression, then it is useless to convert it to a lossless format.
So basically we cannot convert lower quality to higher quality? Makes perfect sense.

Two questions:
• Should 320 kbps AAC or MP3 be considered hi-fi quality?
• Do you think that Apple’s iTMS will offer Lossless downloading quality anytime soon?

trevor
07-03-2006, 10:42 PM
So basically we cannot convert lower quality to higher quality? Makes perfect sense.

Right--you can't create extra quality from nothing, if that's what you're saying.

Of course, it's possible to convert the file format from 96 kbps MP3 (for example) to Apple Lossless Encoding, but you haven't gained any quality, just a lot of useless extra file size. The right way to do it is to encode from CD or other full quality digital format into ALE. That way, you reduce file size and keep all the quality.

Should 320 kbps AAC or MP3 be considered hi-fi quality?

Well, that's an opinion question, not something that can be answered absolutely. 320 kbps is very good quality for an AAC or MP3 file, and only people with well-tuned hearing and a really nice playback system are going to be able to tell the difference between that and the source CD. But since there are a few people who CAN tell the difference in double blind tests, it's obvious that something was lost in the lossy MP3 or AAC compression. Not much, but something.

It's probably best if you form your own opinion on this. Do the tests yourself on your playback system--rip a CD as an AIFF or WAV file, then rip it again as a 320 kbps AAC or 320 kbps MP3. Have someone go back and forth between the two files and try to tell the difference. If you can't, then for you it's hi-fi quality.

My guess is that 320 kbps will be hi-fi quality for 95% or more of the people who try this test.

Do you think that Apple’s iTMS will offer Lossless downloading quality anytime soon?

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/ByteOfTheApple/blog/archives/2006/06/rumored_apple_l.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_blogspotting

Trevor

ThreeDee
07-04-2006, 11:22 AM
So basically we cannot convert lower quality to higher quality?

You can cut a piece of paper, but can't get it to look exactly the same again, even if you try and tape it.

scarface7810
07-04-2006, 12:37 PM
Okay, so now I know I won't be converting anything, but can I do anything about the volume...

Another thing I noticed is the volume differences of songs when I play them in my car. The Itunes "get info" summary windows on my mp3s always show that a song has a volume "change" of -7.6, +2.4, etc. I want all the songs to play at the same volume so I'm not constantly adjusting my stereo's volume, but there doesn't seem to be a way to change this. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a way to fix it?

funkycfunkydo
07-04-2006, 12:59 PM
i believe you can jusst adjust that volume thing + or - 10 db. you also probably have the setting on that adjusts track volume to try to get it even. you should check if the lowered ones are too quiet or too loud, or see if there's some pattern

chabig
07-04-2006, 01:05 PM
...CDs are not usually measured in 'bitrate's, although they do have a fixed bitrate, of course. They are 16 bit 44.1 KHz uncompressed. The 44.1 KHz is the sampling rate. 16 bits x 44100 samples per second = 705600 bits per second, or 705.6 kbps.
You forgot that there are two channels. The bitrate is really 1,411.2 kbps.

Chris

trevor
07-04-2006, 02:54 PM
You forgot that there are two channels. The bitrate is really 1,411.2 kbps.

Ooh--good point. You're absolutely right.

Trevor

ArcticStones
07-04-2006, 02:59 PM
You forgot that there are two channels. The bitrate is really 1,411.2 kbps.
Thanks! You’ve put things in a bit of perspective.

mkoreiwo
07-05-2006, 06:36 AM
....

Another thing I noticed is the volume differences of songs when I play them in my car. The Itunes "get info" summary windows on my mp3s always show that a song has a volume "change" of -7.6, +2.4, etc. I want all the songs to play at the same volume so I'm not constantly adjusting my stereo's volume, but there doesn't seem to be a way to change this. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a way to fix it?

Have you tried enabling the "Sound Check" feature if iTunes located in the preferences for iTunes?

There is an app iVolume which claims to adjust volume for use with iPods to take into account some "bugs" in the iPod s/w - don't ask - this is only what I have read by the author... Apple may have fixed the bug in the iPod s/w by now.

Try the sound check....

StarNoStar
03-31-2007, 08:53 PM
i use a logitech z-5500 connected to a mac pro with an optical connection, if you cant tell the difference between the sound quality on my system then you need your hearing checked.

all of my friends can tell the difference, on anything other than lossless the bass sounds muddy and (even with an awesome sound card) there are occasional pops and such, with lossless the bass sounds crisp and responsive and the sound is completely clear.

just my 2 cents, i will never again rip a cd in anything other than lossless.

ubucraig
05-11-2007, 10:24 PM
It should be noted that AIFF belongs at the top of any quality list. Huge files, but plays on ancient CD players as well as new ones. When I use CD-Spin Doctor, I export to AIFF, then down-convert to MP3 for the pod.

Why? As one of the ancient ones, I've seen softwares, codecs and players come and go - and AIFF, Lossless, AAC and MP3 will too. But as noted in this forum, you can't "up-convert," and I know I have the best on my LaCie (backed up on a Maxtor) for that inevitable day that the "better" format arrives.

Jacques
05-12-2007, 08:57 PM
It should be noted that AIFF belongs at the top of any quality list.

Lossless does not suffer any quality loss from the original CD - you can cut your storage space in half by using Apple Lossless instead of AIFF. Lossless to AIFF should produce the exact same results as going from CD to AIFF.

The big benefit is, half the space. The downside is, before conversion to another format (or burning another CD, which would be the exact same quality as the original CD) Apple Lossless is only usable by iTunes or QuickTime.

Jacques

Trademark Nick
02-19-2008, 05:26 PM
On some of the newer 6g ipod classics, 3g iPod nanos, and 2/3g iPod shuffles alot of MP3 files will not play on the player, and if it does it wont play for long, i dont know why this is, i think it has to do with the actual encoding.

once converted to AAC those files work like a charm. also in quality acc at 128k sounds just as good to me as 192k+ mp3, but with less than half of the size. seems like a bargain? only if you have a iPod, a Zune(dont see why youd have one of these), or certain nokia cell phones. Also AAC only works with quicktime or iTunes, not with any other players. so if you have anything else your back to MP3. but in the eyes of Apple and iPod, AAC is the best bet. hands down.