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MP3 320 vs AAC 320

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by salannelson, Aug 29, 2009.
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  1. visanj
    Off late, I'm feeling bit different with respect to MP3 and AAC

    I purchased same songs from both itunes (AAC) and Google Play Music (MP3). I'm listening music using Brainwavz B400 earphones. I feel that GPM's mp3 has good mids though it lacks in bass and treble extension (obviously as I can see it using spectrun analyzer). But GPM's MP3 sounds fuller in mids whereas iTunes AAC sounds thin though it has good bass and treble extension

    Does anybody feel the same?
  2. bigshot
    That sounds like a textbook example of different mastering.
  3. Killcomic
    Doesn't iTunes have music which is mastered exclusively for iTunes?
  4. bigshot
    They don't do the mastering themselves though. They just have certain submission standards for the files that the labels provide them. The labels can get mixed up and provide one mastering to one streaming service and another to another.
  5. Steve999
    Were the songs purchased from the same-titled music vehicle--I mean, were they the same song but from a greatest hits on one hand or a compilation on the other hand vs. the original album on the other hand, etc.)--because in my experience that's a real easy way to run across different masterings of the same song.

    I looked up your headphones quickly--it looks like they're wired--that gets rid of a ton of variables.

    Can you A/B/X switch the tracks on a computer using Foobar? That's one way to tell if you're really hearing a difference.

    Do a test! Do a test! It's the new thing here!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  6. visanj
    Both mp3 and aac are same songs (i mean version) and so there should not be any difference in mastering. Actually I'm using B400 with Shure RMCE-USB which has built in DAC (I believe its Cirrus Logic). Sound quality is nice thogh

    Now I checked even with foobar and I'm getting same results. GPM's mp3 has better mids (fuller mids) than itunes AAC

    But this is the first time I'm feeling GPM's mp3 to be better than iTunes AAC. All these days I have liked only iTunes AAC and I have purchased too many songs from iTunes. Now after using this headphone I don't know what to do
  7. Steve999
    If you’re not confident in what you’re getting sq wise from iTunes AAC there are other games in town. Ironically I’ve had some trouble with ITunes AAC in iTunes running under Windows 10, but the same files sound fine in any other playback chain. I know the number of variables can be bewildering. I am getting help from an expert (i.e., not myself) and am taking my time with it. I have lots of ways to get those ITunes AAC files to sound fine—just not in ITunes under Windows 10–and I have lots of alternate places to get audibly transparent equivalents from other services. So it’s just an annoyance for me at this point because I have alternatives. I’ve been using ITunes AAC as my go-to for years as well but I won’t be buying any more until I get this problem solved. If you figure something out let me know!!!

    Are you using the comparometer plugin In Foobar so you level match? If so I really have to give a lot of credit to what you are saying. If not it might be worth it as a trouble shooting step.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  8. bigshot
    Record labels have more than one mastering of an album. Some albums have a dozen or more different masterings. The only way you can be sure that you are comparing the codec and not the mastering is if you rip and encode from the same CD. Grab a CD. Rip it to MP3 320 VBR and AAC 256 VBR. Compare them blind in Foobar with lossless. That will give you the answer you're looking for.

    I've done extensive blind comparison tests with AAC and MP3 and I've determined that the point of complete transparency is AAC 256 and MP3 LAME 320. I've shared a listening test with dozens of people and no one has ever been able to discern the difference between lossless and those settings. If you think you can hear differences at or above that point, I'd suggest applying more control to your comparison before you decide for sure.... level matching, blind comparison direct A/B switching of files you create yourself from the same source CD.

    Steve, the stability of the iTunes software on your computer isn't the same as the fidelity of the file. The file may be perfectly transparent, and your computer is creating the errors. If that's the case, the solution would be to fix the computer, not the file.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  9. Steve999
    Yep. I'm on it. :)
  10. bigshot
    If I was to venture a guess, the problem would be the installation of quicktime. I don't know much about PCs, but I think quicktime is what handles all the encoding and playing back.
  11. Steve999
    I'll check it out. Thanks. I really appreciate it. That sounds like a real possibility. I've got Apple stuff all over my computer. Today I also need to change some settings in the Windows sound panels and in Itunes as those are possible culprits for causing imcompatibilities also. I just haven't made it my highest priority. [Steve999 goes about to reinstall quicktime.]
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  12. bfreedma
    Not too likely - Quicktime doesn't see many installations in a Windows environment these days and the Windows version hasn't been updated in a while. Windows 10 has the same capabilities built in.

    Much more likely. Between the Windows sound panel settings and the App that comes with your soundcard, there are often priority/output conflicts and misconfigurations.
  13. Steve999
    Thanks my good man. [Steve999 goes to make recommended changes in Windows sound panels and ITunes.]:) I don't suppose doing both could hurt.
  14. bfreedma
    No problem. Can't hurt, but I'd make one change at a time and see if the issue is resolved (sorry if I'm stating the obvious). If you really want to be safe, take a screen shot of the settings before you make changes in case you want to go back.

    Not that I've ever forgotten where I started and made things worse on my system. That's never happened. Nope, never...
  15. Steve999
    Message heard loud and clear. Advice will be taken into account. :)
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