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How to get the best sound from I tunes?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I have tons of music on I tunes. Most of it is from CDs. So I wanted to know when you download a song are or is there a way to get the best quality you can? Also when you put a CD on I tunes when you play it back, are you getting the original quality of that CD?

post #2 of 30

If you're using the CD for playback, you get the original quality.

To get the best quality, you can rip your CDs in ALAC if you only use iTunes, or FLAC if you use Foobar.

post #3 of 30

I'm not an Apple user, but doesn't iTunes have some sort of native equalizer? If so, you should find a way to bypass that.

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

I'm not an Apple user, but doesn't iTunes have some sort of native equalizer? If so, you should find a way to bypass that.

 

Sry but what does EQ have to do with quality?

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

Sry but what does EQ have to do with quality?


If you're EQing, you're not getting the original source material. That should be obvious.

post #6 of 30
To get the best sound quality you need to spend some serious money. One of the shortcomings of iTunes is that it is entirely too free. Luckily, this can be fixed for a modest investment of 189$. Don't wuss out and get the 50$ version, lest you limit your incentive to hear bestester.

Alternately you could limit your online purchases to high bitrate aac/mp3 files and rip your CDs to lossless. Then stop worrying about your playback software and check out better sounding headphones.

& welcome to head-fi!
post #7 of 30
Itunes works perfect. No need foranything else. Apply EQ in your amp, not in iTunes so the correction applies the same across all of your sources.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post


If you're EQing, you're not getting the original source material. That should be obvious.

 

I think one should also invest in AudioQuest cables. The purest sound. Even if iTunes is good, its nothing if the cable is not pure enough.

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

I think one should also invest in AudioQuest cables. The purest sound. Even if iTunes is good, its nothing if the cable is not pure enough.

 

I'm not sure why you're mocking me. What I'm saying is if you want to listen to the source material in it's original form, you shouldn't EQ. Is that concept so hard to understand?

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by OJNeg View Post

 

I'm not sure why you're mocking me. What I'm saying is if you want to listen to the source material in it's original form, you shouldn't EQ. Is that concept so hard to understand?

I'm not mocking you, just the original qn.

Anyways, EQ affecting 'quality' is not necessarily true. Sometimes it can be used to make the chain more neutral.

post #11 of 30

OJNeg - iTunes does not automatically apply any EQ. You can turn it on if you wish, but the default is a pure pass through.

 

 

 

Camjon - To get the best quality from your CD use a lossless format - ALAC is good. But if you want to use MP3s for portable and other storage concerns, I recommend setting a custom MP3 setting of 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and "normal" stereo mode. This will be among the best possible compressed sound formats from your CD originals. Most people cannot reliably tell the difference when using those settings versus lossless. 

 

There are better players for mac (I prefer Fidelia, but there are many), but the differences are more down to memory usage and to my ears a bit more detail and clarity - I honestly use iTunes for 80% of my listening despite have better programs available, just for the convenience, and the sound quality differences are so slight as to be negligible for most source material and most of my listening circumstances. 

 

I do leave the iTunes EQ turned off, and I do run the iTunes ouput through AudioHijack pro, to use my crossfeed plugins, and if I wish to use EQ, I use a parametric eq plugin from that. But this is for my personal preferences only and by no means necessary. 

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

OJNeg - iTunes does not automatically apply any EQ. You can turn it on if you wish, but the default is a pure pass through.

 

 

 

Camjon - To get the best quality from your CD use a lossless format - ALAC is good. But if you want to use MP3s for portable and other storage concerns, I recommend setting a custom MP3 setting of 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz sample rate, and "normal" stereo mode. This will be among the best possible compressed sound formats from your CD originals. Most people cannot reliably tell the difference when using those settings versus lossless. 

 

There are better players for mac (I prefer Fidelia, but there are many), but the differences are more down to memory usage and to my ears a bit more detail and clarity - I honestly use iTunes for 80% of my listening despite have better programs available, just for the convenience, and the sound quality differences are so slight as to be negligible for most source material and most of my listening circumstances. 

 

I do leave the iTunes EQ turned off, and I do run the iTunes ouput through AudioHijack pro, to use my crossfeed plugins, and if I wish to use EQ, I use a parametric eq plugin from that. But this is for my personal preferences only and by no means necessary. 

 

Since I'm new to the headphone game I wish I understood. I have know idea how to do a custom 320kps setting.

post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I'm not mocking you, just the original qn.

Anyways, EQ affecting 'quality' is not necessarily true. Sometimes it can be used to make the chain more neutral.

 

If you ask me, EQ is a band-aid for poor recordings and poor playback equipment. Could you explain what you mean when you say more neutral? Do you mean like turning down the bass on a bass-heavy recording, essentially making it more "neutral"?

post #14 of 30
Balanced frequency response = neutral

EQ isn't a band aid or correction. It's calibrating your response to flat.

Since it's your transducers that you are calibrating, you EQ after the preamp so everything you play uses the same correction. You aren't fixing your recording. You're fixing your headphones.
Edited by bigshot - 7/4/12 at 10:49am
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

What is better for sound than I tunes using windows?

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