Originally Posted by bigshot
That has nothing to do with the bitrate of the AAC file. The difference between bitrates above 192 isn't overall distortion or altered response, but momentary artifacting, which is generally clearly apparent. At some point, the artifacting gets less frequent and eventually goes away entirely. For most music AAC 192 VBR is audibly transparent compared to the original CD. Some very complex textures, like audiences applauding might require AAC 256 VBR in some cases. But there isn't much to be gained above 256.
I'm just saying when i try to listen to music at higher levels I hear more distortion at 256 than with 320, which makes it less bearable to turn my music loud. This is especially true in my car because the music isn't right in my ear and I can crank it up, not like like headphones. I like some distortion, as most of the music I listen to already is distortion heavy. But I hear the difference not in sound, but as an inability of the music to be clean at louder levels. It's like looking at 720p vs. 1080p on a 89 inch t.v., you are more likely to notice the difference than on a 20 inch t.v. Maybe it's different with downloads too, but that is what I've found with the program they give you to convert CDs with in itunes. As far as downloading music, I've heard really good low bit rate downloads.
Trust me, I'm stumped by the whole situation too. My lossless files sound very good. Then my 320 make me want to roll down the car windows and let everyone hear what I'm hearing on my 1999 acura speaker system with an upgraded 50watt Sony player (6 way system with stock 6x9s mids and tweeters.) Then 256 makes me think something was missing and caused me to mess with the EQ for most of a 2 hour trip, until i gave up. Then back to 320 and windows down again. All this from the same lossless file, so don't think there's anything wrong with my encoder.