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You know the old saying - An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of smashed keyboard
PC's are like women... you can never totally figure them out. You can't even sorta figure them out!
Oh yeah, well Macs are like...
Nope, not gonna get into Mac/Windows here. We have enough to debate without adding that into the mix.
I tend to think we'd probably see more solid points in a traditional Mac vs PC debate than we have in most of the other nonsense that's passed for discussion lately!
Actually I do get the digital clipping on my Windows PC in Itunes but not on my Macbook Pro in Itunes. . . same Apple AAC files. So let the battle begin!
Playing WMA files on my Mac can be a pain in the ass, so I guess we're even. (But I'd much rather use AAC than WMA even if I could play them!)
Okay, I think I got it. I remembered I had one of these Behringer Monitor2USB DACs by my bedside as an interface with some of my other toys:
I hooked it up to my computer by USB, I turned the Itunes software preamp all the way down to -12 db and let the Behringer Monitor2USB do all the heavy lifting outside of the computer. Everything sounds clean now!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and motivation!
Checking a previously troublesome passage one more time before I post this. . .
Yes! Very, very clean.
Not really. I can put together a PC blindfolded. My wife on the other hand, I simply can't figure out.
Hey, just to throw some wood into the fire. I think I found AAC's breaking point.
There's a song called "A Montparnasse" which gets pretty hectic by the end.
I've noticed that encoded with AAC, the bass turns into a fart with a distinct "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" sound as opposed "MMMMMMMMMMMMMM" sound in the original FLAC.
I've tested with two encoders, Nero and whatever Mediamonkey has, and both gave the same results with bit-rates from 256 to over 400 (with Nero).
This issue is not present if encoded with mp3.
Don't know, could be my PC, but I doubt it as I tested with 2 different encoders and this effect was present regardless of the source, whether phone, PC or DAP.
I found a track that was very difficult to encode... it was a Sammy Davis Jr song that had a lush string section that turned into gurgles at low bitrates. By 256 is was clean. One thing you might want to try is ripping your problematic song to AIFF or WAV, then opening it in a sound editing program and lowering the overall volume by 3 or 4dB. I've found that music that is mastered all the way up to a 0dB peak can sometimes clip. It encodes better at a slightly lower volume.
Sounds like it might be clipping? I think Bigshot might be correct.
Nice! that could well be the issue as it's a pretty loud track.
Let me know if it fixes it. I'm always interested to hear if stuff that normally works has limitations.
I dropped the volume by about 4dB and encoded it using Nero (255kbps). It was indistinguishable from the FLAC original!
I'm glad that worked! I wish they wouldn't master CDs all the way up to the line like that. They should allow some headroom.