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iTunes Plus, 256 kbps, AAC, FLAC, Questions, Questions, Questions...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I have a few questions regarding some stuff in terms of audio quality. After listening to some songs in 256 kilos I have noticed a decent amount of quality difference. So, here are my questions:

 

Over half the songs in my iTunes Library are both 128 kbps and AAC. I am now using a more reliable DAP then my iPod and was wondering if there will be a difference in quality If I convert the AAC's to FLAC's (My new DAP won't work with AAC)?

 

Also, I am considering spending the $150 to upgrade my whole library to 265 kbps before I convert to FLAC. Is it worth it?

post #2 of 15

If you convert 128 kbps AAC to Flac you will get the same ACC quality in a much larger file. But if your dap isn't able to read ACC this is the best option to keep the original (low) quality. If you convert ACC to MP3 or OGG you will have a sensible degradation of sound quality due to overlapping of different  compression codes. 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quintron View Post

If you convert 128 kbps AAC to Flac you will get the same ACC quality in a much larger file. But if your dap isn't able to read ACC this is the best option to keep the original (low) quality. If you convert ACC to MP3 or OGG you will have a sensible degradation of sound quality due to overlapping of different  compression codes. 



What if I upgrade to iTunes Plus from 128 kbps to 256?

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post





What if I upgrade to iTunes Plus from 128 kbps to 256?


It won't affect previous downloads. The bottom line is that it doesn't make sense to convert lossy files (mp3) to lossless ones (flac or alac).
post #5 of 15

Hi! 

 

as far as I understand it, iTunes Plus does indeed upgrade all your purchases that offer it to 256kbit. Which is totally worth it if you like good quality. The OP has files that were purchased probaly quite some time ago and had 128kbit AAC WITH DRM. iTunes Plus has 256kbit files without DRM so if you want you files to play on any other device it makes sense to update to iTunes Plus, that way you have files without DRM (they do include you Apple ID though).

 

Rule for converting audio: Whatever is lost is lost. If you rip a CD to MP3 128kbit, you can convert it to FLAC or ALAC but the quality of the MP3 128kbit will be what it is. Once you convert a song into a lossy format the sound information is indeed lost. Converting it back into higher bitrate or other formats does NOT magically add the sound information back again.

 

hope that helps,

K

post #6 of 15

^^ that can only be said if he originally bought his songs from the itunes store. if he downloaded them from somewhere else he wont be able to upgrade the bitrate. 

post #7 of 15

Yes, exactly! iTunes plus only works with original itunes purchases. 100% agree.

post #8 of 15

info about iTunes Plus:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1711

 

post #9 of 15

However, there is a new service Apple will offer soon where if you pay $30 a year, they will allow you to download any music file in your library that is not itunes plus as an itunes plus file from the store, even if you downloaded it from somewhere else - torrents or anywhere.  Might want to wait for this instead of paying a bunch of money to upgrade your entire library purchased from the old itunes.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have my problem silver. I upgraded all my songs to Plus and reimported all of my CD's using Apple Lossless. So, everthing is good now. Thanks guys!
post #11 of 15

Re-encoding will cause a loss in quality every time you do it, because it's lossless compression being applied to an already lossless file.  It's like saving an image in jpeg continuously as you work on it vs keeping a file saved as a tiff.

post #12 of 15


Ahhh, you mean, lossy compression applied to lossy file....

 

you could argue that as long as you compress it again in a higher bitrate or from lossy into lossless, at least it doesn't get that much worse. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Re-encoding will cause a loss in quality every time you do it, because it's lossless compression being applied to an already lossless file.  It's like saving an image in jpeg continuously as you work on it vs keeping a file saved as a tiff.



 

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolpep View Post


Ahhh, you mean, lossy compression applied to lossy file....

 

you could argue that as long as you compress it again in a higher bitrate or from lossy into lossless, at least it doesn't get that much worse. 



 

no, it still gets worse
 

 

post #14 of 15

Converting anything to another lossless format will never make it sound worse...even if it was just an mp3 file to begin with, converting it to FLAC will make absolutely no difference.  You could then convert it to FLAC a hundred times again and the file will be exactly the same as the one you started with.

 

"Lossless" isn't just an arbitrary term, it truly is lossless...nothing is thrown away and you can recreate a bit-perfect copy of the original file again at any time (although I'm not so sure you can do so with mp3...converting to FLAC then back again to mp3 will most likely be no different from simply re-encoding the original file in mp3 with no FLAC in-beween, and that is, bad).

post #15 of 15

Yes, as I said: "not that much worse." so, yes it STILL gets worse and looses bits of information but not as much as re-enconding into a lower or equal bitrate.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunBakedEmoKid View Post



no, it still gets worse
 

 



 

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