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320kbps Vs. ALAC - Page 3

post #31 of 110
Thread Starter 

Ok big problem , I converted the files to 256kpbs AAC files , but now all converted files are added to my RECENTLY ADDED playlist ! :s even though some songs are years old !!! :s

post #32 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I cut 1/4 too, and magstripe. I've recorded to 24 track analogue, and I worked sound on the first digitally recorded TV show. I've operated ProTools workstations recording, editing and mixing in 24 bit. I've been around the block a few times.
I posted a track that had been encoded over and over. Now, once I've ripped to AAC, I don't know why I'd ever have to transcode even once. The same file that works great on my iPhone is small enough to email, and it also sounds perfect on my main home stereo. But that's not even the point. The point is I reencoded that file *ten* times. Do you know what ten generations would sound like on a 15 ips quarter inch tape master? Or a 2 inch 24 track master that had been bounced back to tape ten times? It would sound like crap.
The fact that AAC 256 VBR sounds as good as lossless is great. The fact that it can be encoded ten times and still sound good means that it can do anything a normal person would want to do with his music. No one can disagree with that on the basis of listening to the track. All of the disagreement is based on the theory that the reduced file size is somehow degrading the sound in ways that you can't hear.
I don't listen to music with theories. I listen with my ears. AAC is all my ears need. Now someone may have less music in their library, and may have the luxury of archiving as CD disk images, WAV files, FLAC or other jumbo sized files. But those files don't sound any better than my AAC files. No one *needs* to rip to lossless.
P.S. I don't personally know a lot of pro photographers to know what they shoot, but I do know that sports photographers definitely shoot JPEGs. They want their camera to recover from each click as fast as possible, not shuffle redundant bits to the drive in their camera for a few seconds between each shot. I believe Ken Rockwell shoots JPEGs exclusively. JPEGs are used in prepress PDF files too.

 

1: I don't make any "Golden Ears" claims that I could tell the difference between even 192kbps lossy and lossless, especially with my current gear.

 

2: What would you say to the audiophiles who use this same method of thinking (bolded in the quote) to justify their expensive cables and other snake-oil? According to them, the differences that their audio accessories provides is very much evident to their ears. I think we're both objectivists here, but do you think it's wise to live and die by the DBT? There is plenty of audio gear that measures terribly but might fail distinction in a DBT. Why not stick with lossless instead of testing the limits of compression?

post #33 of 110

192 MP3 is easily discernable from lossless. 256 AAC VBR is not.

 

A lot of people base their opinions on the sound quality of compressed audio based on encoders and codecs from many years ago. There have been huge advancements recently. All lossy is not created equal.

 

My opinion of the transparency of MP4 at 256 VBR is based on line level matched direct A/B comparison. I spent more than two full days working on setting up the equipment and making the test files so I could get a clear idea of what the difference was, if it existed. If cable people were that careful in forming their opinions, their opinions might be meaningful. But they're usually vague anecdotal impressions based on casual comparisons, or completely made up stuff just so they can win an argument. That's the only way one could reach the conclusion that cables matter.


Edited by bigshot - 6/25/12 at 10:53am
post #34 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Dawn View Post

Ok big problem , I converted the files to 256kpbs AAC files , but now all converted files are added to my RECENTLY ADDED playlist ! :s even though some songs are years old !!! :s

 

Whenever you sync with that method, you'll be creating entirely new files. The tags will carry across, but your play count and smart  playlists based on that will be wiped clean. If that bothers you, just make AAC and skip the lossless step.

post #35 of 110
One interesting thing I found in my testing of AAC files is that when there is a difference, it is not subtle. Certain sounds are very easy to compress, and sound transparent at lower bitrates; while other kinds of sounds are harder to encode, and artifact after all of the other parts of the song sound fine.

It doesn't take training or golden ears to hear AAC files that aren't encoded at a high enough bitrate. Either they artifact, or they don't. Acoustic instruments make it very easy to detect any problems with encoding, because artifacts sound "digital". They can't be mistaken for any sound made by acoustic instruments.

I would be very interested to know the name of the track that revealed atifacts at 256 AAC. I found a tiny handful of tracks that artifacted at 192, but by 256 they were perfect. I found one track that artifacted every time at every bitrate, but it turned out that the problem was that the peaks were right on the line, and encoding pushed them over the edge into clipping. When I normalized the track down to 85%, it encoded flawlessly at 192. That isn't a flaw in AAC, it's sloppy mastering. I suspect that is what happened with the file that your friends found that they could detect every time.
Edited by bigshot - 6/25/12 at 11:26am
post #36 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Whenever you sync with that method, you'll be creating entirely new files.

 

That’s not true. The “entirely new files” (downsampled to 128, 192 or 256 kbps) only will be placed on the mobile device which is being synced, but these files won’t be added to the local computer’s library.

 

But Twilight Dawn wrote:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Dawn View Post
[…] I converted the files to 256kpbs AAC files […]

 

Now this of course is a completely different step: The moment files are being converted, they automatically will be added to the local computer’s library. However, in ➝ my first reply I suggested to downsample lossless files on the fly while syncing with the mobile device.

 

And once I again, in contrast to your suggestion, I recommend to the thread starter to not “skip the lossless step”. With the playback equipment he currently uses, he probably won’t notice any differences in sound quality. But these lossy 256 kbps AAC files might not sound good anymore if more revealing gear is being used in a later expansion stage of his system.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilight Dawn View Post
I got a few CD's which I encoded with iTunes into Apple Lossless File.

 

I suggest to connect the iPod to the MacBook Pro, make sure that automatical sync is disabled, choose the options as shown in my first reply and sync only those few CDs which recently had been encoded into ALAC.

 

Werner.


Edited by wberghofer - 6/25/12 at 10:21pm
post #37 of 110
I don't believe playcounts sync from the lossless to the mobile version or vice versa, and playlists based on the age of the file will only work on the computer, not the mobile device. Is that correct?

I don't know how future equipment could make a file that's audibly transparent sound any better, but OK, if it makes you feel more secure to maintain three backups of every CD you own, go for it.
post #38 of 110

The reason why photojournalists, including sports photographers, is that i.) they need to get the shots to the editor asap so they have no time for RAW conversion, and ii.) because the resolution of a good JPEG far exceed the resolution of newspaper photographs.  The  Ken Rockwell and sports photographer bits are red-herrings.

post #39 of 110

you do realize that's quite illegal, right? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wberghofer View Post

When I began to rip my CDs more than ten years ago, I used AAC with bitrates of 192 and 256 kbps. Afterwards I sold my CDs because I was pretty happy with the playback quality.


Kind regards,

Werner.

post #40 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

The  Ken Rockwell and sports photographer bits are red-herrings.

A photojournalist isn't a real photographer?

I think all of this comes down to OCD. Some people lay in bed at night worrying about theoretical sound contained in digital bits that they might be missing out on. They convince themself that new caps or a new cable or a DAC will suddenly reveal everything that they're missing. They don't do any real controlled testing, because they have no patience for that sort of thing. Instead, they buy some piece of equipment that costs a little bit more than they can afford, and encode in an overkill lossless file format. Pretty soon, *that* isn't good enough any more to assuage their OCD, and they buy an even MORE expensive piece of equipment and buy 24 bit files of lousy performances by amateur musicians off the internet.

That isn't the way to get great sound. If you want the best music in fantastic sound quality, you carefully compare and determine exactly what you're getting for your money. You identify problems that affect sound quality negatively, and you systematically address those problems. You always make sure you know exactly what the improvement sounds like. If you do this, you don't end up buying DAC after DAC and spend tons of money on cables that don't make a lick of difference. You spend your money wisely and have lots left over to buy music. Good stereos aren't fabulously expensive. High end audio is for suckers. SMART audio is better.

I can't believe how many people in this forum go to the mat over minute stuff like cables and DACs, and then go out and buy speakers and headphones over the internet based solely on numbers on a chart and what other people say. Speakers and headphones they've never even heard before! They make a big deal about how they want the absolute best sound, then they listen to it on two inch drivers pressed right up against their ears.

Here is my "sagely" advice for newbies... Don't believe anything you're told. Learn how to do controlled listening tests and hear it for yourself. Don't be so lazy that the only way you can think of to figure out how to get great sound is to throw money and redundant bitrate at the problem.
Edited by bigshot - 6/25/12 at 10:03pm
post #41 of 110

Rather than concentrating on semantics, you should focus on the core of the rebuttal to your pseudo-argument.  Photojournalists and all other photographers who need to submit their shots immediately shoot JPEG out of necessity, not because JPEG is good enough.  It ain't.

post #42 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

you do realize that's quite illegal, right? 

 

 

It's a massive grey area. Sharing them to the public would be illegal though.

post #43 of 110

Which part is illegal?  Ripping them or selling them?

post #44 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

Which part is illegal?  Ripping them or selling them?

 

Keeping the digital audio formats while selling the CD. Post 39.

post #45 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauricio View Post

Which part is illegal?  Ripping them or selling them?

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but technically you only own the rights to the album while you maintain possession of the CD. Once you sell, the rip becomes an illegal copy.

 

And majors labels wonder why people have stopped buying music...

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