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FLAC vs. 320 Mp3

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by icedup, Sep 7, 2011.
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  1. proton007

    Its all crap, now in high resolution!! [​IMG]
    However, we also need to see that times have changed. Listeners no longer listen to the whole album, its usually one or two songs, so I guess the music industry has to come up with new ways to revitalize the business.
  2. Iamnothim
    I misspoke.
    I've compared them (flac) to iTunes Mp3 and ripped CD's.
    I asked does iTunes deliver 320 Mp3's ?
    Aren't they 256 AAC ?
    If not, I don't believe I have any 320 Mp3 to compare.
    And yes, I have not performed any specific controlled tests, other than some iTunes tracks that are duplicates of my HD tracks.
    Very ad hoc.
    Hey, I'm just a rube engaging in a bit of banter.  I'm pseudo technical and I'm an easy sell.
    Right now it's very easy for me to purchase from HD Tracks.  I import the files, convert them and listen through via iTunes / Apple Remote / RedEye Pro.
     Again, I'm confused, where do I purchase 320 Mp3's  Legit music ?
    Is there an option on the iTunes store?
    Do I convert my iTunes files?
    What is the upside?
    The prices on HD Tracks don't bother me......  Yes, I'm an idiot that paid more for 192kHz.  (no more)  Logic told me that was the case.
    The 16/44.1 or 24/92 are fine at $18 per album.  My biggest concern is that I'll run out of music I like in their catalog.
    Then 320 Mp3 sounds like the ticket.  To be redundant, where do I purchase the music?
    Perhaps you've answered me and it went right past me.
    So, to peak my curiosity I will acquire foobar2000 for the file conversion and ABX
  3. bigshot
    ITunes has always delivered AAC files, not MP3. AAC is a better codec than MP3. AAC 256 is equivalent to 320 LAME MP3. Both of those settings sound as good as any other format. Sound quality isn't an issue of file format after a certain point.
  4. Iamnothim
    I will let ya'll have the last word.
  5. c61746961
    Always focus on getting the best masters available, mp3 or otherwise, if you have a trusted source for decently mastered music, then by all means go for it.
  6. rn3037

    Is the difference in SQ of the source much more apparent when using FLAC vs. MP3's at 256 or 320?  Like iPod touch 3G/4G vs. J3 vs. classic 5.5 etc....
  7. bigshot
  8. tremolo
    Thanks for this thread. I like flamenco music and usually buy the CDs from Spain, and they cost a bundle. Now many of the albums are being made available directly from iTunes. I have been hesitant to buy from iTunes since I only have lossless files. I have now compared the preview tracks on iTunes to the CDs that I have, and I just cannot tell a difference.
  9. Iamnothim
    I've asked this before and haven't received an answer...
    Where/How do I acquire 320 Mp3 music?
    I have not found anything online except obscure artists.
    Is it strictly ripping CD's to files?
    Foobar?  I use Macs
    iTunes now has mastered for iTunes but that's still 256k.
  10. bigshot
    256 AAC VBR, like the files at iTunes have the same sound quality as 320 LAME MP3. The AAC codec is more advanced, being mp4 instead of mp3. Amazon uses 256 LAME MP3, which isn't quite as good as iTunes, but it's up in the range where it really doesn't make a difference.

    The quality of mastering is MUCH more important than the quality of the format. In some cases, an original release on CD sounds better than a remastered one in the iTunes store, and in other cases a remastered MP3 at Amazon can sound better than an original release CD. In most cases, it's all the same. The only way to find out which is which is toread reviews by people who have directly compared the various remasterings.

    Personally, I buy CDs and rip them myself to AAC 256 VBR. I did extensive comparison tests and couldn't detect any difference between that setting and the CD I was ripping. People worry too much about lossy/lossless and various settings. Just find the dividing line where it doesn't matter any more and stay on the right side of it.
  11. Iamnothim
    Thank you.
  12. Iamnothim
    So it's entirely possible that an HD Tracks recording, (in a format that shall not be spoken), could sound better than a CD recording, a remastered CD recording, an iTunes recording, a remastered iTunes recording, or remastered Amazon recording. Where "sounds better" is the same thing as "tell the difference" ?
    This really has me confused..... I'm supposed to take an 88kHz/24bit recording (Stones Let it Bleed), in a format that shall not be spoken, and use a process to "knock it down" to 44kHz/16bit, then use another process to convert to 320 MP3. Then I won't be able to hear a difference?  Why not take a 44kHz/16bit and knock it up to 88kHz/24bit and then compare?
  13. Iamnothim
    I should add, conversely, that all the formats mentioned in this thread can sound better than the format that shall not be spoken or any other format.  It all depends upon the engineer and the techniques he/she uses to master / remaster the music.
    Since I can't find and 320 MP3 online, I must deduce that the file format debate is only about a choice to import CD's.  Which is fine, choose the one you like "best".
    To summarize:
    Big Shot hit it one the head, this is a thread with 207... no 208 posts that mean nothing.
    The only reason anyone posts on this forum is to talk about what they hear and the subjective differences.
    Why should The format that shall not be spoke vs. 320 Mp3 be any different.
    Can you hear the difference?
  14. bigshot

    Yes. But the reason it would sound better would have less to do with the file format than it would the quality of the mastering done for that particular release.

    Either way, the result will sound the same as the original.

    The people who take the time to do a controlled, line level matched direct A/B comparison of file formats (which I've done) overwhelmingly find that high bitrate lossy sounds just as good as any lossless format, even high bitrate lossless. The people who swear they hear a difference are generally those who have just done informal listening and have the impression that lossless sounds better. This impression disappears when they do a controlled test for themselves.
  15. Brooko Contributor
    What's with all the "The format that shall not be spoke"?  It's called FLAC.  Many of us still use it for archiving.  I use it on my home system.  One of the main reasons those of us do use it - is simply because it is lossless.  If there are advances in the future (of codecs / formats etc) it makes more sense to transcode from a lossless master than a lossy one.
    However for normal day to day listening on my portable, I'm totally with BigShot.  I've tested my self, and to me aac256 is transparent.  So for my portable listening, I transcode to aac256 and am completely happy (no space issues).
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