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ITunes v dBpoweramp ALAC sound quality

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, this is my first post here.  I had recently began my venture into the audiophile territory with K550. (with the Fidelio L2 on the way :D)

I re-ripped my whole cd collection from mp3 to apple lossless through itunes, and I was enjoying my music. 

However a couple of days ago, a friend recommended the dBpoweramp music convertor to me.  He insist that music ripped from dBpoweramp sounds better.  But shouldn't songs in the same lossless format taken from the same source sounds the same??

So I went back home, downloaded dBpoweramp (free ver), pop in my cds, rip a few of my fav songs in apple lossless and play them through iTunes (i use a e17+e09k for my DAC and amp).  And I was quite surprised by the difference, playing back and forth, comparing them.  the songs rip from dBpoweramp felt like it has a bigger presence, especially in the bass region.

My old songs felt relatively thin(?) and lacking.  Should I stick with using iTunes or should I go with dBpoweramp?  I am looking for the closest and best possible sound quality I can get from my cd.(like a wannabe audiophile in the making should??:confused_face(1):)



post #2 of 4
There is no difference between converting to ALAC with DBPoweramp or iTunes, the output is identical so the only changes would be from the ripping part.

Since iTunes doesn't support offset correction i have set DBPoweramp to a zero offset and as you can see below the the files ripped from a clean CD are identical.

..\01 Faith No More - Land of Sunshine DBP.wav
39537164 bytes

SHA1: 6479a14f4ab719c992eed5080ba25369708de6b2

..\01 Land Of Sunshine itunes.wav
39537164 bytes

SHA1: 6479a14f4ab719c992eed5080ba25369708de6b2

So the sound difference your hearing is placebo.

DBPoweramp is a much better ripping application though. When you start encountering scratched and dirty discs, this is where DBPoweramp shines.
Edited by A_Man_Eating_Duck - 2/25/14 at 1:05pm
post #3 of 4

For ripping I would highly recommend DbPoweramp.  I ripped my CD collection using it.  When it encountered a badly damaged CD that It simply couldn't rip cleanly it gave me lots of feedback about the sectors it was having trouble with and let me know that it was not a "secure" rip.  So I tried to rip the same CD in iTunes.  Itunes ripped the CD quickly and didn't produce a single error message.  However, when I tried to play the files ripped by iTunes they were completely unplayable, total garbage.  I would much rather know about the problems upfront durring the rip.  Also, IMO, DbPoweramp does a much better job of handling the meta data.


A_Man_Eating_Duck, Good job on testing the conversion function of iTunes.  Good to know, after the ripping experience I didn't have much faith in iTunes functional abilities.

post #4 of 4

The best method to make sure rips are identical is to compare the content. An example: http://designwsound.com/dwsblog/hifi-computer-faq/cas-5-cd-ripping-for-mac-itunes/

In general most ripping software does a good job with disks in a good condition.

If you use iTunes, enable error correction: http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/SW/OSX/Ripping.htm


Tools like dBpoweramp do have some advantages.

If there is a damaged sector, it re-reads it up to 80 times to establish the best possible values.

It supports AccurateRip, this allows you to compare your rips with those of others.

If all of a sudden you get errors, you know your optical drive is dying or your CD badly damaged.


It pulls it meta data from AMG, SonataDB, Music Brains and FreeDB.

You can inspect the result and choose the one you prefer before you start to rip.

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