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Does encoding to a higher bitrate improve the sound? - Page 2

post #16 of 33
negative... i have 2 friends now who are confused by this itunes option... it's not the import settings... it's a right click option for your EXISTING files to upconvert to mp3 (whoops i mean alac)... my frieds are even arguing to me that they think their upconverted itunes seem to sound better... and i'm not sure how to explain to them that this itunes option is disrupting all of my teachings of high quality audio to my friends. it's really misleading a LOT of people. and then they believe itunes over the audiophile trying to explain "well then why is the option there" so itunes can keep selling you low bitrate albums but make you think you can just convert it to lossless... i'm sure it's intentional... as this stupid question is popping up everywhere...

i was just coming here to make this thread. lo and behold... it was already at the top of the page. i dont mean to say it's a stupid question. but if you know your codecs and stuff it kinda is
post #17 of 33
I took two albums by Run DMC: Run DMC, their debut and Raising Hell their follow up.

Run DMC was ripped in standard WMA at 128 bits.
Raising Hell was ripped in standard WMA at 320 bits.

The differences: at the same volume the 128 bits album sounds louder and much more 'fun.' The 320 bits album doesn't sound as loud, but does reveal so many details which makes it a more analytical listen. I prefer the 320 bit album, although I miss the more 'fun aspect' of the sound. Still, I like to hear every bit of sound that went in the tracks. Besides, equalizers exist to adapt the music files to our taste.

For sound, my MDR V6-es provided my ears. I used Mediamonkey to play the albums.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post
negative... i have 2 friends now who are confused by this itunes option... it's not the import settings... it's a right click option for your EXISTING files to upconvert to mp3...
Just to confirm this - if you right click on a track on itunes one of the options is to create a version in Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV etc. If you change which option is there go into edit, preferences, import settings and the drop down box for format types and select which format you want to have. Itunes will now import at that format and allow you to create a version in that format.

Going from a lower bit rate to a higher one is pointless. But varying between lossless formats and creating smaller files for your shuffle can be useful.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Funk View Post
I took two albums by Run DMC: Run DMC, their debut and Raising Hell their follow up.

Run DMC was ripped in standard WMA at 128 bits.
Raising Hell was ripped in standard WMA at 320 bits.

The differences: at the same volume the 128 bits album sounds louder and much more 'fun.' The 320 bits album doesn't sound as loud, but does reveal so many details which makes it a more analytical listen. I prefer the 320 bit album, although I miss the more 'fun aspect' of the sound. Still, I like to hear every bit of sound that went in the tracks. Besides, equalizers exist to adapt the music files to our taste.

For sound, my MDR V6-es provided my ears. I used Mediamonkey to play the albums.
That is a similar result to this test comparing the much lower streaming rate of Sky Songs vs Spotify. The lower bite rate of Sky Songs appealed to 6 out of the 16 listeners who liked the 'better bass' of the lower rate. That seems similar to your 'sounds louder and much more fun'.

Spotify vs Sky Songs: Sound quality blind test - Crave at CNET UK
post #20 of 33
I'm not familiar with those two Run DMC albums, but always be careful when comparing bitrates on different music. The differences you are hearing may or may not originate from the differences in encoding. The possibility exists that those two albums were produced/mixed/mastered differently, so they sound different to start with.

For an honest comparison, rip one album in both bitrates and compare those.
post #21 of 33
Sometimes so much attention is given to bit rates that the codec is ignored. The way different codecs remove parts of the file to create a lossy version has just as big an influence IMHO.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post
Just to confirm this - if you right click on a track on itunes one of the options is to create a version in Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV etc. If you change which option is there go into edit, preferences, import settings and the drop down box for format types and select which format you want to have. Itunes will now import at that format and allow you to create a version in that format.
but you would only WANT to import from an original cd or from another equally lossless (flac, wav) format to alac.

the misconception that so many people are under is that they can just buy their albums on itunes (256 most likely). and just abra cadabra alakazam!!! it's lossless now... upgraded. right

wrong. sorry it's not that simple. if you want true lossles you need to import FROM lossless or the cd (or a burned cd which was of coursed burned from lossless files or a direct image of the original).

no you cannot just magically take all of your mp3s and itunes and "voila".
well you can (says itunes) but you're just wasting hard drive space and battery life (what they'd rather you didn't know... they want you to keep buying itunes).
post #23 of 33
I tried this about a year ago. All it did was make the file sizes enormous. There was no improvement in sound, just a lot of wasted space on my iPod.

But I'd go further than that. At the risk of getting flamed, I'm of the opinion that going from 128k to 1 meg doesn't produce a change that I can hear. I'm sure the headfi world is full of people with testimonials of how much better the higher rates. If it sounds better to you, hooray. I have yet to hear any difference. The only difference I've heard is the sub 128k stuff, like the 64k recordings. It's possible that there are certain kinds of music that are so complex that 128k simply doesn't have the sonic resolution to pull it off. But in an A/B test, I frankly could not tell you one from the other. I've tried to convince myself I could, but I can't.
post #24 of 33
well did you try to UPCONVERT your mp3s to lossless like a TARD. cuz that doesn't do **** but make it worse (what i'm trying to explain/the whole purpose of this thread is getting lost)...

the only way to rip lossless media is FROM THE ORIGINAL CD. or from ANOTHER LOSSLESS CODEC. you cannot just take your 128kbps or 256kbps files and MAGICALLY EXPAND THEM TO SOUND BETTER... you need

lossless codecs are better... but you'll never notice the difference if you dont understand how to DO IT RIGHT.

so if i understand correctly you have 1225 posts on headfi and you still dont understand how it works.

i give up. you people are talking about side by side tests when no one even seems to know (or care) whether your music was ripped or converted PROPERLY.

ive done all i can here. have fun expanding your mp3s
post #25 of 33
Rock&rollfrenchfries. The original question and follow up questions were answered on the first page of this thread. My clarification was because your first post started with the phrase

'negative... i have 2 friends now who are confused by this itunes option... it's not the import settings... '

which appeared to be you contradicting the correct answer re the option to creat another file version.

Anyone reading this post will be clear from the first answers that creating a lossless file from a lossy one is a waste of time and space and will not sound better. You are arguing with people who agree with you!
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post
well did you try to UPCONVERT your mp3s to lossless like a TARD. cuz that doesn't do **** but make it worse (what i'm trying to explain/the whole purpose of this thread is getting lost)...

the only way to rip lossless media is FROM THE ORIGINAL CD. or from ANOTHER LOSSLESS CODEC. you cannot just take your 128kbps or 256kbps files and MAGICALLY EXPAND THEM TO SOUND BETTER... you need

lossless codecs are better... but you'll never notice the difference if you dont understand how to DO IT RIGHT.

so if i understand correctly you have 1225 posts on headfi and you still dont understand how it works.
Read much? I clearly stated that it doesn't work to change the file type after you've already imported at a lower bitrate. I offered, as my own experience, the time I tried to do that and it didn't work. (If only it were that easy!) It only leaves you with a bigger file and less storage. I then added that, while I do it the right way and routinely import CDs at the lossless rate (from the outset), it still doesn't make any difference I can hear. I've got tracks on my iPod that were imported 128k, 256k and a full meg as the bitrate - and to my ears, I've yet to hear the slightest difference. I go lossless for peace of mind, but I've never heard anything that rewarded me for doing so.

Now, I was prepared to be flamed for saying the latter part, since it runs in the face of all kinds of claims that lossless is so much better. What I wasn't prepared for was an obnoxious attack from somebody who failed to read my post with any understanding. That's sad. You really should work on that. There's software out there for people who can't read a short post and understand its meaning. You might look into that, provided you can even understand what I'm writing right now.
post #27 of 33
ok im sorry. perhaps i missed the part where you confirmed that you rip the right way. i just want to make sure to anybody who asks this question that they get the right answer... part of the reason i'm so irritated about this is that my friend was trying not to believe me the other day... he wants SO BAD to think that he can just upgrade his itunes... there have to be many more people under this confusion... and it just seemed like people started talking about subjective side by side tests when the thread isn't about which sounds better or if you can tell the difference... it's about how to properly rip lossless music (q: does encoding to a higher bitrate improve the sound). the answer is yes. but you mustn't have any false notions about cutting corners of any kind (encoding from a lower bitrate). i'm sorry bilavideo that i'm being edgy about this... but the truth is some people could read this whole thread and still try to upconvert from lossy hoping for better sound. i'm really just pissed that my friend is still reluctant to believe me about this. i think he's going to keep converting his itunes to alac and listen to see if theres a difference.. and i can't tell you how irritated i am by that. if he just listened (to me) and understood how it worked, his side by side tests could be more than a complete waste of time.

really bilavideo im sorry for getting so edgy. sorry for beating this subject into the ground. honestly though i love my lossless quality music. i can definitely tell whether i am listening to mp3 or not in most cases (not arguing, thats just me.).. i'm just making sure people dont waste their time doing it the wrong way
post #28 of 33
Nice response rock&roll
post #29 of 33
It's cool, man. I get where you're coming from and I am definitely on your side. It's got to be frustrating to watch your friend fool himself and use up his storage with files that are no different from the ones he started with - just holding onto a larger space.
post #30 of 33
Besides EQ if you use a PC "Noise Sharpening" foobar plugin can make your low bitrate stuff sound "better" if not accurate but they were never accurate to begin with.

The creative 24-bit crystalizer does the same thing if you have it.
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