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"Mastered for iTunes" - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtisinoc View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post

What do you expect to find? 256 kbps will almost certainly sound noticeably better than 32 kbps.

If one just wants to compare master quality, then import the CD at 256 kbps AAC VBR (i.e., iTunes Plus setting). Comparing different masters at different bit rates doesn't give us much useful information.


Ooops . . typo.   I meant 320kbps


Okay. That still leaves the question about what information you are trying to obtain. You have two variables (bit rate and master) and only one comparison. You would need to either use the same bit rate (256 kbps AAC VBR) or files originating from the same master.
post #17 of 23

This who-do voodoo looks to be debunked. Oh, brother.

 

http://9to5mac.com/2012/02/28/mastering-engineer-proves-mastered-for-itunes-doesnt-sound-closer-to-the-cd/

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtisinoc View Post

So . . .  has anyone here purchased a "Mastered for iTunes" album?  

1.  What bitrate does it download?  (256, 320 kbps vbr?)
2.  How does it sound vs "ripping" a cd onto iTunes (@ 256, 320, lossless) ? 

AAC 256kbps, 44.1kHz, just like before, except louder. I purchased The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie from I'm With You by Red Hot Chili Peppers (produced by Rick Rubin), 6 months ago on the iTunes Music Store and yesterday (Mastered for iTunes version). The old one has a replaygain of -9.94 dB, the new one has a replaygain of -11.07 dB.

Suffice to say, it sounds like total rubbish. Whatever hopes I had that Apple's initiative just might improve things, they're gone.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post


AAC 256kbps, 44.1kHz, just like before, except louder. I purchased The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie from I'm With You by Red Hot Chili Peppers (produced by Rick Rubin), 6 months ago on the iTunes Music Store and yesterday (Mastered for iTunes version). The old one has a replaygain of -9.94 dB, the new one has a replaygain of -11.07 dB.
Suffice to say, it sounds like total rubbish. Whatever hopes I had that Apple's initiative just might improve things, they're gone.


Good to know. . . . interesting.

 

thanks

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Great article, posted on another thread (thanks Bonobo Loco):

 

 http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2012/02/24/147379760/what-mastered-for-itunes-really-means

post #21 of 23

It's not like 90% of the Apple's target market would notice any difference anyways out of their crapple buds, skull candies and $5 no-name headphones. Beats owners on the other hand would be demanding that this new codec have moar bass inserted into the music.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Randy View Post

This who-do voodoo looks to be debunked. Oh, brother.

http://9to5mac.com/2012/02/28/mastering-engineer-proves-mastered-for-itunes-doesnt-sound-closer-to-the-cd/

I just finish reading that and this http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/04/does-mastered-for-itunes-matter-to-music-ars-puts-it-to-the-test/ after noticing the "Mastered for iTunes" lable. On the 9to5 link: "Shepherd ended his post by urging Apple to offer a “lossless format” if it really cares about high-quality audio. Today reports from The Guardian suggested Apple was working to deliver a new high-definition audio format, while in the white paper for Mastered for iTunes Apple claimed, “Keeping the highest quality masters available in our systems allows for full advantage of future improvements to your music.”

^ how possible do u think it is they would provide lossless or a higher bitrate version of current music?
post #23 of 23

I have compared songs that were CD ripped to ALAC and the Mastered for iTunes track bought from the store with my Grado 125i headphones.

 

As a casual listener with mid or entry level audio equipment, I found little difference between the ALAC and the Mastered for iTunes tracks. These difference, in my opinion, are negligible. I can now enjoy a 'compressed' or 'lossy' recording of a music without sacrificing too much sound quality.

 

I had my reservations with AAC or MP3 files regarding their sound quality. Now, with Apple's Mastered for iTunes, I may have to consider them as an option when acquiring music.

 

I still prefer having a physical album and rip it to my iTunes library as ALAC. However, considering the amount of disk space a lossless track occupies in my hard drive, having the Mastered for iTunes track is good option for listeners like me.

 

Tracks that I have compared:

 

1. Spark by Fitz & The Tantrums

The bass in the ALAC file is tighter. However, the Mastered for iTunes is not that far in terms of quality. Only noticeable, to me, with repeated plays on a 2-second part in the track.

 

2. Doin' It Right (feat. Panda Bear)  by Daft Punk

Same observation from the previous track. By the 29 sec. mark where the bass will first hit you, lossless version is tighter. But this is only noticeable if you are looking for the differences. But if I were to enjoy and really listen to the music, I wouldn't notice the difference.

 

3. Glad Rag Doll (Alternate Version) by Diana Krall

Diana's voice and her airy singing style in this song is captured by both the ALAC track and Mastered for iTunes track. I found little to no difference between the two.

 

4. Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars

I just noticed there is a little bit of echo in Bruno's singing at the beginning of the song. The echo itself is not really noticeable in the lossless file and playing it again with the Mastered for iTunes, it's still there but barely noticeable.

 

5. One Note Samba by Olivia Ong

High frequencies in the ALAC is a little bit smoother. I can't stress it enough that the 'lossy' does not have that much of a difference in sound quality.

 

In my opinion, if a listener would want great quality music but would like save disk space on your computer, songs that are Mastered for iTunes is definitely something you should consider. If not, then still go for lossless.

 

 

*** UPDATE ***

 

I did a null - test to some of the songs in the list. There are, of course, differences and I would still say that the differences are very small. Only audible when volumes are high. This is very evident when I null-tested Diana Krall's Glad Rag Doll (Alternate Version). The null-test was almost silent. In order for me to hear the differences, I will increase the volume to uncomfortable levels. In my opinion that 'Mastered for iTunes' album is pretty close to the CD. Hence, lossy but with near-lossless quality.

 

Other tracks that I've null-tested were giving out audible hissing sound even at comfortable volume levels. You may describe those hissing sounds as the 'detail' or 'brightness'. It'll depend on the listener.


Edited by Kiddomike - 6/29/14 at 10:25pm
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