Need a lil direction
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BL33DnEaRs

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Wassup fellow audiophiles.  Long time reader, first time posting.  I need a little direction/confirmation.  I recently picked up a 7th generation 160gb ipod classic with the intention of pairing it with a JDS Labs C5, or something close in quality/size, via a Fiio L shaped LOD. I have a pretty big collection of 320kb mp3's already but after reading these forums, seems everyone says thats not the best format for sq. Now to my question, will this setup sq wise, sound good? Should I re-download my music again as a better format? Or just convert the mp3's to FLAC, or AAC ? Which format would give the best "bang for the buck? (I understand this to some may be a subjective question)  Thanks in advanced
 
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Kylv

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 This thread is most likely going to turn into a disaster, as most with this topic do, but my suggestion would be to listen to a couple of songs that you know really well in 320, then download just those songs in FLAC and see if it sounds better to you.  If not, keep what you have and enjoy your music.  If you think it sounds better in FLAC, start all over.
 
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BL33DnEaRs

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I understand, dont want my question to get all caught up in the technical hell of codecs.  To my, just simply listening to a few songs in both AAC and mp3 through Foobar, the AAC sounds better.  So was hoping I could just convert mp3s to AACs, but I think thats a no-go right?
 
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Kylv

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 Sorry, I don't get into converting files much.  I stick with the FLAC only because I am a snob like that.  Maybe someone will come along with more experience to help you out.
 
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Smurfs2010

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Wassup fellow audiophiles.  Long time reader, first time posting.  I need a little direction/confirmation.  I recently picked up a 7th generation 160gb ipod classic with the intention of pairing it with a JDS Labs C5, or something close in quality/size, via a Fiio L shaped LOD. I have a pretty big collection of 320kb mp3's already but after reading these forums, seems everyone says thats not the best format for sq. Now to my question, will this setup sq wise, sound good? Should I re-download my music again as a better format? Or just convert the mp3's to FLAC, or AAC ? Which format would give the best "bang for the buck? (I understand this to some may be a subjective question)  Thanks in advanced

And please do not go through converting your MP3 files into FLAC. Quality won't improve, junk in junk out. If you decide to go FLAC, you will have to download a FLAC version of the song or album.
 
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warrior1975

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I did the ITunes trick, I had old crap songs 128, 96, all lossy. Upgraded to 256, heard a difference. Started experimenting more, wav, flac, etc., I don't hear any difference. Your best bet would be like someone suggested earlier and try diff formats to see if you hear a difference.
One last thing, and it makes sense to me, is that you technically can't upgrade lossy to lossless as the damage was done already. If you have cds still, perhaps ripping them into lossless formats might be the way to go for testing. I just don't hear any difference between 256 and up. Regardless, just remember we listen to music to enjoy it, I think a lot of people get caught up in the search for better sound and often forget the music itself.
 
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BL33DnEaRs

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I understand crap in equals crap out.  What gets me is, why some mp3's at the same bitrate sound pretty clean, and others sound muddy and distorted?  Or I assume they are the same bitrate, I'm using Foobar to see what bitrate and codec they are. The only difference I see is under tool, it shows LAME3.99r.  Could someone explain in plain english what that is? Also as far as my equipment, I dont have the most expensive gear.  Im not interested in the "brand whore" arguments, but do want a nice clean sound.  Im hoping that my source(160gb Ipod 7th gen), paired with the C5 and Vsonic Gr02's will be nice.  As far as the LOD, I see that there are some are fairly expensive, so the Fiio L9 is what I will be using.
 
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  I understand crap in equals crap out.  What gets me is, why some mp3's at the same bitrate sound pretty clean, and others sound muddy and distorted?  Or I assume they are the same bitrate, I'm using Foobar to see what bitrate and codec they are. The only difference I see is under tool, it shows LAME3.99r.  Could someone explain in plain english what that is? Also as far as my equipment, I dont have the most expensive gear.  Im not interested in the "brand whore" arguments, but do want a nice clean sound.  Im hoping that my source(160gb Ipod 7th gen), paired with the C5 and Vsonic Gr02's will be nice.  As far as the LOD, I see that there are some are fairly expensive, so the Fiio L9 is what I will be using.
 
 
Hello BL33DnEaRs,
 
The LAME 3.99 is the encoder used for the mp3.  In Foobar right click on a track --> properties and you will get a meta data tab as well as a property tab.
Once a track is lossy, the artifacts are gone from the original.  It will be forever compressed.

 
Cheers!
 

 
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I understand crap in equals crap out.  What gets me is, why some mp3's at the same bitrate sound pretty clean, and others sound muddy and distorted?  Or I assume they are the same bitrate, I'm using Foobar to see what bitrate and codec they are. The only difference I see is under tool, it shows LAME3.99r.  Could someone explain in plain english what that is? Also as far as my equipment, I dont have the most expensive gear.  Im not interested in the "brand whore" arguments, but do want a nice clean sound.  Im hoping that my source(160gb Ipod 7th gen), paired with the C5 and Vsonic Gr02's will be nice.  As far as the LOD, I see that there are some are fairly expensive, so the Fiio L9 is what I will be using.

I have seen it many time with mp3s from dubious sources that music gets compressed with a 64kbit/s and then afterwards someone re encodes them with 320kbit/s and thinks that enhances the soundquality. These mp3s do still sound like 64kbit/s even though technically they are 320kbit/s.

Cheers,
K
 
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BL33DnEaRs

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Thanks fellas, what confuses me is I hear all about FLAC format, but my ipod doesnt support it.  So how are we to convert it from lossless to what the ipod can read?
 
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Koolpep

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Thanks fellas, what confuses me is I hear all about FLAC format, but my ipod doesnt support it.  So how are we to convert it from lossless to what the ipod can read?

You can convert FLAC into ALAC. Both are lossless so you don't loose any quality. ALAC is Apples open source lossless codec (also royalty free, so everybody can use it free) that is optimized for battery saving decoding.

There are a lot of converters out there you can use for that. I use tunesify on the Mac and love it.

Cheers,
K
 
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Koolpep

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You can use tunesify for example to encode your FLAC files into ALAC if you have the space, or into 256kbit/s mp4 (AAC) or mp3 320 CBR if you want to save space, all of which your iPod can play. I recommend storing your flacs somewhere safe and encoding them for the specific use case.

Cheers,
K
 
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BL33DnEaRs

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I guess I should of been more specific, Im on windows 7, I can convert in foobar to many types, but dont see anything about Alac, I do see AAC, is that the same?  This is so confusing.  So if I understand correctly, start with either FLAC , then convert to ALAC, to keep it from losing anything.  What converter can I use since Im on windows 7.  Or should I just download whatever I want in either ALAC, or just a high bitrate mp3, or m4a.
 
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Koolpep

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I guess I should of been more specific, Im on windows 7, I can convert in foobar to many types, but dont see anything about Alac, I do see AAC, is that the same?  This is so confusing.  So if I understand correctly, start with either FLAC , then convert to ALAC, to keep it from losing anything.  What converter can I use since Im on windows 7.  Or should I just download whatever I want in either ALAC, or just a high bitrate mp3, or m4a.

Well, I think there are a few free converters out there that can convert FLAC to ALAC... I have no idea if they are free.

I store my music in FLAC or ALAC but convert it to 320kbps mp3 or 256kbps AAC (mp4 or m4a all the same) for mobile listening. I did a couple of blind tests and I cannot hear the difference between cd quality FLAC/ALAC and 320 mp3 or 256 AAC. Hence, when I am out and about, that's more than enough for me.

:)

Theoretically I could also directly download everything in 320 Kbps mp3 but I rather convert it myself, so I know it's done well. There are a few websites where you can test yourself if you hear any difference. Every scientific test so far has found that people cannot differentiate between well encoded 320kbps mp3 and lossless. However a select few might.

If you have no golden ears I guess using 256 AAC (m4a) is more than enough.

I don't, so I am living a less complicated life. However I like to maintain as much from the original as possible so I store the FLAC long term.

Cheers,
K
 
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BL33DnEaRs

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Koolpep,  thank you for keeping it simple, and easy to understand.  Its easy to get over-whelmed with all the technical verbage.  I think thats what I will do also is download in FLAC format, then convert it to a high rated AAC(m4a), or 320k mp3.  I just wanted to keep all my files the same as I am only using  7th gen Ipod classic 160gb.  Sorta have OCD if things are not all the same. So excited to hear my gear( IPC > Fiio L9 > JDS C5 > VsonicGr02 Bass Ed.) hoping it sounds as good as others Ive read about. Review will be posted as soon as it all gets delivered.  Thanks all who gave input..
 
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