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Is iTunes 256kbps good? - Page 2

post #16 of 27

Go for lossless always I'd say. Your music files are at the very beginning of the sound-chain and you want them to be the highest quality possible.

The better your system gets the more you'll hear the difference in SQ. You might not need it now but later on you could be sorry.

That way you're future proof and won't find the need to re-rip everything later on and believe me, re-ripping a large collection gathered over the years is not something you wanna do!

 

So if you're on a Windows system go for Flac, on a Mac go for Alac.

post #17 of 27

Only FLAC here.

post #18 of 27

I think it is fine.  Maybe it is my 41 year old ears, but I cannot tell the difference between 256 and lossless.  If you have the drive space and the CD, definitely do FLAC or AIFF.  I recently had to sell about 2,00 CDs and saved them all to my MacBook Pro at 192kbps AAC (I cannot hear any real difference between 192 and 256 either).  I transferred most to my iPod Classic and use a Ray Samuels SR-71A and Denon AH-D5000 as my only audio system.  Before I did this, I compared 192 to the source through a high end DAC (which I had to sell as well) and could not hear a difference between the compressed file and the CD played through Alon Speakers (sold) or Denon, Beyerdynamic, and Ultrasone headphones.  The best way to answer your question is for you to purchase a good sounding CD you are very familiar with and download several songs.  Compare the CD to an iTunes version of the same music.  Try an ABX test for confidence.  Yes,, as I said, if you can purchase the CD and burn it lossless, that is the way to go.  If you just want to purchase music from iTunes, I would answer your question "yes."

post #19 of 27

I can easily hear the difference on my good home system, and find mp3s to be inadequate. 

 

In fact, I can hear a difference between lossless over my SBT and the original CD in the CDP.  Although maybe I wouldn't be able to tell if they were both fed into the same DAC.

 

But, I cannot hear a difference using 256 in the car.  And I can't hear enough of a difference to concern me on my ipod because I use it at the gym and on mass transit.

 

So for portable/car, I use MP3 to minimize file size.  At home I play lossless.  (And most of the time at home I play vinyl anyhow.)

 

If you rip to flac you'll have a (hopefully bit-perfect) reference copy.  Then you can mirror it to MP3 easily enough with dbpoweramp or vortexbox.

post #20 of 27

Good? Yes. Good enough? Depends on the gear used, the listener's ears and the standard set.

 

When possible, using lossless is always the way to go, since it warrants all the sound quality with no compromises (which always exist on lossy formats like mp3 and AAC).

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by zowie View Post

I can easily hear the difference on my good home system, and find mp3s to be inadequate.

The question is about iTunes (AAC encoding). An mp3, even if it's using LAME and encoded at a high bit rate, sounds pretty bad to me. With AAC encoding I can't tell a difference above 160kbps and FLAC or ALAC.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 43st View Post


The question is about iTunes (AAC encoding). An mp3, even if it's using LAME and encoded at a high bit rate, sounds pretty bad to me. With AAC encoding I can't tell a difference above 160kbps and FLAC or ALAC.


Considering the ABX trials that have been done between the best lossy formats using the latest encoder versions of each respective format, I find that hard to believe, as a mp3 made in 2001 isn't the same as one made in 2011.

 

EDIT: This to say that a 320kbps CBR mp3 made with the latest LAME version would hardly be inferior to a 160kbps AAC.


Edited by Roller - 3/9/12 at 5:50pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

Go for lossless always I'd say. Your music files are at the very beginning of the sound-chain and you want them to be the highest quality possible.

The better your system gets the more you'll hear the difference in SQ. You might not need it now but later on you could be sorry.

That way you're future proof and won't find the need to re-rip everything later on and believe me, re-ripping a large collection gathered over the years is not something you wanna do!

 

So if you're on a Windows system go for Flac, on a Mac go for Alac.



Yes, that's it.  I have become convinced over the years that the quality of the source material is way more important than most of the playback equipment - the exception being the speakers or headphones; whatever physically reproduces the sounds waves at the end of the chain.

 

That said, don't underestimate the placebo effect.  I can clearly hear the difference between 128 and 256 AAC in my stock car stereo, but 256 to Apple Lossless?  Much harder to tell and, frankly, I suspect the placebo effect comes into play.

 

 

post #24 of 27

Very minor differences, and it also depends on

 

a) on the music itself (ie, how well it was recorded and produced)

 

b) the quality of the compression.

 

I buy from different places, a tiny bit of 24/96 or 24/88 material from HDTracks, flac and the occasional well compressed 320k file from bleep or boomkat, and 256k aac files from itunes. It's not night and day.  But that said, I originally bought a double album from itunes and ended up liking it so much that I couldn't resist repurchasing it in flac from boomkat for 50% more (plus the wasted cost of the original albums rolleyes.gif )  For that album, which is very well recorded, and features lots of easy-to-mess-up bass and subbass articulation, the difference was worth it.

post #25 of 27

For portable use, 256kbps is indeed enough.

For home use, FLAC is a no-brainer.

 

I put everything in ALAC on my iPhone, because I use my iPhone for home listening too (Pure i20 dock // AirPort Express). That's why I'm getting an iPod Classic (modded to 240GB), I want a lot of music for home and portable use.

post #26 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by louis12345 View Post

For portable use, 256kbps is indeed enough.

For home use, FLAC is a no-brainer.

 

I put everything in ALAC on my iPhone, because I use my iPhone for home listening too (Pure i20 dock // AirPort Express). That's why I'm getting an iPod Classic (modded to 240GB), I want a lot of music for home and portable use.



 

Louis, mayIask which seller on eBay you plan to buy the iPod from?

I understood there was one you trusted more?

post #27 of 27

Personally, I use both eh!  I want as much songs as possible to fit in y iPhone 4S so I'm using 256VBR and comparable.  However, then I'm listening to music directly from my Macbook Pro, all my ripped cds are in Apple Lossless.  Yes that is taking a lot of space but with HDD price now, that's nothing

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