So I love my new Touch... what bit rate?

Posted by: Acumowchek

So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 06:19 PM

I don't buy from iTunes.<br>I do have hundreds of CD's to import to my iPod.<br>What format/bit rate do you all recommend?<br>I'd rather have higher quality than storage space.<br>Any advice?<br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: zwei

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 07:25 PM

AAC 256 ...like the new iTunes Plus songs. <br><br>zweisoft<br>
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 07:35 PM

HEY!<br>How have you been!<br>Haven't seen you here in a while, Zach.<br><br>As a matter of fact, that's what I started using.<br>I just wanted to make sure before I started resampling hundreds of songs.<br>I love everything about my new Touch (my first iPod), except the headphones...<br><br>Any recommendations on that?<br>I'm waiting on Apples new headphones, but I'm going to wait on the reviews.<br><br>Thanks for the confirmation.<br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: zwei

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 07:42 PM

Nope, no idea about headphones. I've just been using the same ones. Most of my music is encoded in AAC 128 ...some in 160, but I think I'm going to start re-encoding in AAC 256 to match my iTunes Plus music. <br><br>Oh, and I'm doin fine ...just busy <br><br>zweisoft<br>
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 08:01 PM

Most of mine is 160 MP3.<br><br>[image][/image]
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 08:25 PM

Why?<br>Any particular reason?<br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 08:26 PM

Busy is a good thing.<br>Idle hands, and all that…<br><br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/23/08 09:34 PM

I really like my Sennheiser PX-100 headphones. They aren't earbuds, but they fold up small like a pair of glasses. They've been very durable and sound great--and I've heard from many other people that they are the best sound you'll find for their price ($40 or less).<br><br>For importing, I say 256 AAC. They take up twice as much space as 128, but with smart playlists you can keep your favorites on the iPod full-time, let the rest auto-cycle through your library, and in effect have access to ALL your music without space being that much of an issue.<br><br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 06:53 AM

Well... AAC was still relatively new when I ripped all my music... and I haven't felt the need to go back and re-rip all that music. At 160 bit rate... I have 40+ gigs of music. Figure what that's going to be at 256. Lot's of space and a ton of time.<br><br>Aside from AAC... 160 seemed to be the sweet spot for me in the quality-of-sound vs. space-on-HD discussions that were going on back then.<br><br>[image][/image]
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 08:44 AM

Most of mine's not 256AAC either, and I'm not re-ripping it. But for FUTURE imports that's what I'll use.<br><br>My ears can't detect anything wrong with 128... it's just the IDEA of less compression that I like <br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 09:27 AM

I hear you.<br><br>[image][/image]
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 10:31 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>the IDEA of less compression that I like<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>BINGO!<br><br><br>And thanks for the headphone suggestion.<br>I prefer over the ear as opposed to in the ear.<br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 10:33 AM

Thanks, I figured as much.<br>I won't be re-ripping anything I already have, either.<br><br><br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: garyW

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 11:32 AM

I imported all of my CDs at 320 because I figured more is better ... although I've listened to the arguments which say otherwise. 320 sounds better on my quality Sennheiser headphones and also on the car adapter ... the larger files aren't a problem because I just make a playlist to fit my 30Gb iPod. 160 or 128 sounds really thin in my Audi, even at 320 the sound is much inferior to the original CD. That's why I keep my CDs, to play in the car (6 CD changer) or through my home stereo. <br><br>I still by CDs --- for the sound quality and for the packaging graphics & liner notes.<br><br>If there comes a time in the near future where the hardware makes it simple & affordable to replace and consolidate, I'd re-rip all the CDs as Apple Lossless.<br><br>Recently I listened to an interview with Peter Gabriel as he discussed the nature of digital music. Digital recording and sound engineering technology produces the most accurate and pristine quality ever available, and it keeps getting better with enhanced multi-channel high density discs ... yet the way most people listen to music in severely compressed digital MP3s has lowered the quality from where it was on vinyl from decades ago. And that has got to change.<br><br>Couldn't agree more.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: eckhard

all depends ..... - 09/24/08 01:48 PM

... on the type of music you listen to.<br>I listen to a lot of classical and acoustic music and therefore use only Apple Lossless. Strings, voices, timbres .... all are smoother and more dynamic. You hear things that lower compression just tends to swallow.<br>And ... apart from the tonal quality, the sound stage opens up as well.<br>Lossless makes sense, because the Mac plays really quite well through good phones (and a USB headphone amp), and you may be able to stream the files to your stereo and not even hear a difference to the original CDs. Then just change iTouch playlists once in awhile. <br>Since you own the CDs, you have the advantage of testing a few representative cuts. Try 256 and also try lossless. If you can "feel" the difference, you know what to do. ;)<br><br>As far as the Apple in-ears are concerned, stay away from them. Overpriced. For in-ears, I suggest Ultimate Ears 5 or 4 ..... the latter are designed for the iPhone and have the start-stop etc. The normal buds are okay for the gym or so. <br>In-ears are great in noisy surroundings, but they do tend to localize the sound inside your head instead of extending the stage around it. <br> <br>For most listening, I second nagrome's advice. The Sennheiser PX100 are really quite amazing for their size and price. Airy with just enough bass. They seem to fit the iPhone/Touch well, but they are open designs and do not keep noise out. <br>For more punch, but not quite as portable, look at the Sennheiser 25-1 DJ phones. They really rock and are very robust as well. But not the 25SP or SD .... the 25-1.<br><br>The newer iPhones and iTouches sound better than previous ones. (The classic still sounds best) Their codec are quite improved, so that ripping at higher quality really does pay. No more ear-bleeds after half an hour. ;)<br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: eckhard

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/24/08 02:01 PM

<br>Neil Young actually blamed Apple for the decline in quality wink ...... LINK<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: all depends ..... - 09/24/08 02:38 PM

I always think that maybe someday I will get the kind of sound system or ears of listening skill to be able to tell the difference! So I want to be prepared...<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: eckhard

Re: all depends ..... - 09/25/08 12:16 AM

<br>You probably already have the ears. ;)<br><br>I was pleasantly surprised last week, when instead of bringing "Die Zauberflöte" as 320 VBR mp3s, Katrina took the CDs along for the ride, and even on the car stereo (nothing special), she noted after a few minutes, how much more "3D" (her words) everything sounded, as if the singers were actually moving on stage.<br><br>So, if a youngster without any golden-ear pretensions can hear this, all those experts who claim that differences are all in the mind, either are completely unmusical or are listening to junk, where the difference wouldn't make a difference. ;)<br><br>There are a couple of excellent second hand stores in my area, and I am (re)buying CDs again, because when I moved back to Germany, I sold most of mine. Considering how things are going, with high-compression downloads replacing low compression media, CDs may well be the best consumer audio recording/delivery format we'll ever see. <br>Not enough true musical afficionados to drive or justify higher sampling formats, I am afraid.<br><br>So, lossless encoding is the least one should do.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/25/08 05:37 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>What format/bit rate do you all recommend?<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>AIFF. ;)<br><br>Most of the stuff on my iPod is 320 AAC, and sounds decent enough through the stereo. But, on my Grado headphones and you can really tell the difference between it and the uncompressed CD. So much so, I only ever listen to CD's through the headphones anymore.<br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!®
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/25/08 10:45 AM

There's always Apple Lossless to save to some space!<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: Jashue

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 09:55 AM

A little late in responding to this thread, but it's been on my mind for a few days and I wanted to weigh in....<br><br>Eck-- the experience you had in the car with Katrina has made me wonder: do you see a consistent difference between CDs and compressed music, or was that experience and isolated one? <br><br>320 kbs is awfully high by most peoples standards and I'm shocked to hear that you and she were able to perceive that much of a difference-- most particularly in an automobile. What kind of audio system do you have in you vehicle?<br><br>This issue is a really big deal to me for over the past seven years or so I've spent and inordinate amount of time not only collecting, but meticulously cataloging an iTunes library of about seven thousand songs. Most of what I have is 128-160 AAC, but the acquisition of an Apple TV in conjunction with these speakers and this subwoofer has caused me to rethink everything. Over the past few months I've begun the long arduous task of re-encodeing (and re-cataloging) my collection at 256 AAC. The new sound system has been a revelatory experience relative to the Harmon Kardon Soundsticks + Mac that had sufficed as my primary sound system before. <br><br>Now ya got me wondering... should I give a higher bitrate a try?<br><br>Last night while on my comute home from work I was listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon for the first time in years (it still holds up fwiw). It occurred to me then that I should give the CD as listen on the new stereo. I actually haven't listened to a CD in years!<br><br>Acumowcheck-- learn form my mistakes! You may be encoding now for an iPod touch... but who knows what you may be listening to those files on in the future! I now need to buy a new hard disk for my MBP to cover all the extra space taken by the larger tunes. But it's an expense I'm willing to swallow. Nietsche said that without music, life would be a mistake. He was dead on. <br><br>
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 10:11 AM

Isn't there some way to re-encode from CD and preserve all metadata? (Playcounts, ratings, comments, date-added.) I'd like to do that with some albums maybe.<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: eckhard

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 10:41 AM

<br>Hi,<br>our car stereo is nothing special at all. A Becker with built-in Navi, 6 speakers (no high end). I was astounded that Katrina not only heard a difference, but that she was able to describe what she heard. That, to me, means more than many tests and reviews by experts. And yes, the experience was repeatable with other CDs she had in both formats. All of them Mozart, most of them Opera. ;)<br><br>The question comes down to "good enough". <br>All forms of compression are attempts to offset a lack of bandwidth, a paucity of storage space, or insufficient processing prowess. (That even applies to the original CD specs.) As each of these factors loses in importance, the need for compression decreases as well. These days, 1-2 TB hard drives are affordable and common. Even at full WAV (AIFF), such a drive could hold and stream some 1600-3000 complete albums. Is there really any need, to go even down to lossless?<br>So, all CDs I am archiving, I am saving first of all as uncompressed WAV files. <br><br>The only reason to compress at all, would be for iPhone use, and with 14GB available (apart from other stuff, like photos), I could carry over 20 albums in WAV quality, and about 40 or so in Lossless.<br>To me, that's plenty, because I listen to classical music, and 20 albums would be half a dozen symphonies and concertos and lots and lots of smaller pieces of chamber music, which I like as "ambient" background.<br><br>Katrina has since dumped all her mp3 and AAC files and started to ripp everything again as Apple Lossless (she only rips what she owns and her iPod is only a 4GB G2 nano) But she said: "I rather have less, but then in top quality" Smart kid!<br><br>Now, granted, we hardly listen to rock or pop, but I think the basic principle applies: Unless you really and truly must fit hundreds of albums onto an iPod, go with the least amount of compression.... or none at all.<br>I think in your case, being able to stream the CDs in full quality to your sound system will be a super experience.<br>Have fun and let us know how the process is going.<br><br><br>ps: yes, sorting such a large collection is work .... even more reason to go with the best possible quality. ;)<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: eckhard

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 10:42 AM

<br>that would be super!!!<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: zwei

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 11:47 AM

If you have already imported a CD into iTunes ..and you put it back in to reimport it ...it keeps all the metadata related to it. You keep play count, rating, and you don't have to delete anything afterwards. iTunes makes this task very simple <br><br>zweisoft<br>
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: all depends ..... - 09/27/08 06:50 PM

See... this is why we love Apple. The things that work without having to choose anything There's no step one!<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: Jashue

Re: all depends ..... - 09/28/08 08:50 AM

No doubt about it--- that's very cool.<br><br>But to what extent will the metadata be kept? I've take a lot of boxed sets (the Police, Led Zeppelin to name a couple) and a whole lot more greatest hits CDs and re-tagged the files to reflect original album information. Everything-- from artwork and track numbers to date of release. <br><br>Then (and get this for some seriously sick OCD), I delete the music from the iTunes library (but not the files from the finder) and reimport the music in reverse chronological order so that when I have the music sorted by date added in iTunes the first song of the first album is on top and the last song of the last album is at the bottom. Will iTunes preserve that? <br><br>I know I've confided with all here some really whacked out behavior on my part. But my music collection is a hobby, and I'm actually pretty proud of it. Nobody in my circle of friends and acquaintances in meatspace seems to care about this subject as much as I do. I wonder about this forum? Anyone?<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: all depends ..... - 09/28/08 10:25 AM

Nope, I don't care about it as much as you And yet I would STILL want my date-added metadata to show the OLD date, not the re-import date. I hope that's how it works. I like to sort by how old my music is in terms of how long I have been listening to it, and I don't want all my old CDs to come up on top of my REAL new music.<br><br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: eckhard

Re: all depends ..... - 09/29/08 06:05 AM

<br>Even if you reimport the CD at a different bit-rate? <br>Will the lossless copy simply replace the old 320 rip?<br>That would indeed be nifty.<br><br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
Posted by: zwei

Re: all depends ..... - 09/29/08 06:11 AM

It works at different bit-rates ...you'd just have to try it going to a different format. Let me know if that's the case <br><br>zweisoft<br>
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/29/08 02:11 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>AIFF. ;)<p><hr></blockquote><p>That's why I still buy CD's!<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>all depends on the type of music you listen to<p><hr></blockquote><p>Agreed. All my classical is being ripped lossless, rock and roll at 256.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Acumowcheck-- learn form my mistakes!<p><hr></blockquote><p>No guarantees!<br>I'm basically using the Touch and iTunes as a portable greatest hits solution when I'm on the road.<br>I can always use the CD's to rock the house (and my neighbors house!), if I want to hear the entire album.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>As far as the Apple in-ears are concerned, stay away from them<p><hr></blockquote><p>I understand they are about to release new, high end, in ear headphones with microphone.<br>A microphone would be nice. I'm hoping for an App Store VOIP solution one of these days.<br>(HEY! I can dream, can't I?)<br><br><br><br><br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/29/08 05:28 PM

VOIP is a sure bet. I think Skype has official plans (don't quote me) and I'm sure others do to.<br><br>Apple said VOIP will be allowed--just not over the phone network (obviously). On WiFi, yes.<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/29/08 06:11 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I think Skype has official plans<p><hr></blockquote><p>Nope.<br>Sorry.<br>Too late.<br>I'm quoting you.<br>(But Nagromme said…)<br><br><br>And if my thought-dreams could be seen<br>They'd probably put my head in a guillotine<br>But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/29/08 08:06 PM

Apparently these will all do VOIP on iPhone... they're what came up when I Googled for Skype <br><br>http://www.truphone.com/iphone/<br><br>http://www.shapeservices.com/en/products/details.php?product=skype&platform=iphone<br><br>http://www.fring.com/download/iphone/<br>(Jailbreak app, not yet on the official store?)<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/29/08 10:50 PM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>There's always Apple Lossless to save to some space!<p><hr></blockquote><p>Honestly I think Apple lossless colors the sound, I don't like it.<br><br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!®
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/30/08 03:55 AM

Lossless means bit-for-bit exact, so it must be a psychological effect. (Like a PNG is a perfect lossless image reproduction, even though compressed in filesize. Or like a zip for that matter.) Do you hear the same coloring when you rip to AIFF? (Audio listening tests tend to give different results when they're blind tests vs. when you know.)<br><br>You could use various software to compare the Lossless version to an original, and it would be able to tell you if any bits of data didn't match. But I'm sure that's been done by others, and if Apple lossless were not lossless we'd know by now. (I think Apple has a video codec that's NEAR lossless and they use some weasely phrase that they don't use for their Lossless audio. Like "perceptually lossless" or something.)<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/30/08 05:57 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>Lossless means bit-for-bit exact, so it must be a psychological effect.<p><hr></blockquote><p>No, it's not a psychological effect. After all, it is a codec and must be decoded into the analog realm. Not unlike how MP3 sounds different than AAC, which sounds different than WMA when decoded. Just as one sound card sounds different than another, despite decoding the same file.<br><br>128bit AAC has been shown to be a very close match to source material. I think we're all in agreement it doesn't sound as good as higher bit rates or the source file. Perhaps we're all psycho. ;)<br><br>Perhaps what I should say then is I really dislike the decoder for Apple lossless. To me, 320K AAC sounds richer and fuller off my iPod, Apple lossless sounds terribly flat and has weak bass response.<br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!®
Posted by: Nagromme

Re: So I love my new Touch... what bit rate? - 09/30/08 10:45 AM

I believe you are wrong about what lossless compression is.... but I'd be very interested in learning otherwise or learning more about the issue <br><br>* Never-compressed -> read as a stream of bits -> converted to analog<br><br>* Apple Lossless -> read as the EXACT same stream of bits (the meaning of "lossless") -> converted to analog<br><br>By the time the analog conversion is taking place, the two data streams are identical. So the conversion to analog would indeed vary with the sound card, but the source data is identical and would not vary between the original and the lossless files.<br><br>Compare to:<br><br>* High-end AAC -> read as a very similar but NOT exact stream of bits -> converted to analog<br>(So there IS a difference there, and people can sometimes detect it. And as you say, MP3 and WMA are different too.)<br><br>Which raises an interesting possibility:<br><br>In some past surveys (I forget the codec--MP3?) blind listeners could tell compressed from uncompressed audio... and they happened to prefer the compressed! Which makes some sense: everything we hear is distorted from the live performance, which would itself sound different depending on where you sat. One set of speakers will sound different from another, and one person will prefer on of them--maybe it's warmer, or crisper, or whatever. They're not judging which is closest to being their live (they don't even know what that would have been like) but they know what sounds good to them.<br><br>So maybe it's not that you dislike the distortion caused by Apple Lossless (there is none), but rather that with your gear and your tastes, you LIKE the subtle difference introduced by AAC. Maybe AAC boosts bass enough for you to notice, in a way that has good results with the iPod and your 'phones. And why not? It's no worse than adjusting an equalizer for specific speakers and environment.<br><br>The real test would be to listen blind to Apple Lossless vs. original (AIFF) data and see if you can consistently tell which is which. You wouldn't--but you probably COULD tell the AAC version, if your ears are as good as they seem to be.<br><br>(Aside: codec and DAC/ADC are two different things. Codec is from one digital form to another--a small file into a full audio stream. DAC/digital-to-audio-convertor is the next step: conversion of that digital stream into analog waves. So the codec is not involved with the analog conversion. If a codec creates the same data as the original file, then the next step--the sound card's DAC--is working from the same exact audio and will create the same result.)<br><br>nagr[color:red]o</font color=red>mme<br><br>I require stroyent!<br>TeamMacOSX.com | MacClan.net