Compact Disk vs. iTunes Store
Oct 25, 2009 at 7:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

Aurora

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So what's got the best sound quality? My decade old CDs or music downloaded from the iTunes Store?
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Oct 25, 2009 at 8:00 PM Post #2 of 20

logwed

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iTunes store music is compressed in a lossy format, so CD's are higher fidelity.
 
Oct 25, 2009 at 9:45 PM Post #4 of 20

Aurora

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Can water damage a CD? My house was flooded and my entire CD collection ended up being wet, i had to throw away a lot of cassettes but kept my CDs since i thought they might work. That's why i am asking this question.
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Oct 25, 2009 at 10:06 PM Post #6 of 20

Gbjerke

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No the ones are big and get caught and washed away by water. The zeroes get all slippery and it will sound like it's raining when you plug them into jazz. Jazz only.

Sorry about your house, and if you believed what i said, it was a joke.
 
Oct 25, 2009 at 10:54 PM Post #7 of 20

Uncle Erik

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Stick with your CDs. Sorry about the flooding - that's terrible.

I think you can get some lossless files from iTunes (I haven't checked for awhile), but most of their downloads are lossy and inferior to CDs.

Further, you actually own your CDs while Apple can change the terms on their downloads. You cannot sell a download, but you can sell a used CD. Also, if your computer gets lost, stolen or damaged, you'll be able to re-rip your collection without potentially wrangling with Apple to reacquire your collection.

Finally, a used CD often costs less than an iTunes download. Look for them at eBay, pawn shops, thrift stores, junk shops, flea markets, swapmeets, etc. I've been finding discs from $2-$4, which is cheaper than a $10 album on iTunes.

At first, I thought iTunes was the greatest thing in the world and bought about 50 or 60 songs. Then all of the above started making more sense to me.

One last thing - older CDs often aren't victims of the Loudness War. Google that if you aren't familiar. So not only are old CDs inexpensive, they often sound superior to remasters and new releases. A lot of what iTunes offers sounds "hot" and isn't recorded as well as older discs.
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 9:18 AM Post #8 of 20

Aurora

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I ripped some CDs yesterday such as "The Amazing Nina Simone" onto my iPod using a lossless format and i was quite surprised, even though the files were huge (1GB album) the sound quality seemed inferior to the songs i had bought from iTunes. I haven't been using iTunes for a very long time, i started buying stuff from them just like 1 month ago and to me the sound quality was phenomenal, did they make some improvements or is it just my CDs that are rubbish?
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 9:32 AM Post #9 of 20

TheOtus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurora /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I ripped some CDs yesterday such as "The Amazing Nina Simone" onto my iPod using a lossless format and i was quite surprised, even though the files were huge (1GB album) the sound quality seemed inferior to the songs i had bought from iTunes. I haven't been using iTunes for a very long time, i started buying stuff from them just like 1 month ago and to me the sound quality was phenomenal, did they make some improvements or is it just my CDs that are rubbish?


The lossy conversion "softens" the record, so it might sound better. I kinda had this with 160 kbps compared to 320 kbps. The smaller file was "easier" to listen to, less detailed.

And, CD over iTunes anytime.

And what I wonder... 1Gb album??? One album?
 
Oct 26, 2009 at 12:25 PM Post #12 of 20

krmathis

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Audio CD = 1411kbps (PCM)
iTunes Store = 128 or 256kbps (AAC)

Hence the CD have a clear potential of higher sound quality.
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Oct 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM Post #14 of 20

krmathis

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^ I think that is a correct formulation.
Since a LOT of people are not able to hear an audible difference between Audio CD and a well encoded lossy file (like AAC). The quality of the source material make a difference as well.
 
Oct 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM Post #15 of 20

BigTony

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Buy the CD's - I find most CD's are cheaper to buy than the download mp3 (???).
They always serve as a backup too - you can always rip them again if your HDD dies.
 

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