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Old 08-27-2009, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick question for those in the know (hope I'm in the right forum):

What's the best way to convert MP3 (or other audio files) to AAC for movement into iPods or iTunes? Despite my love for the iPod, I'd rather not spend fortunes buying from iTunes. I'd rather buy from another source then convert. Is this possible? If so, how? Much thanks for any help...
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:21 PM
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I used iPod for years and never purchased a single song from iTunes. The iPod is versitle, it can play regular MP3 files without converting them to AAC. If you have all MP3's you're in good shape. If you buy MP3 files from non-iTunes sites such a the popular Amazon and Wal-Mart MP3 sites they will work perfectly. Another thing to know is that iTunes songs are no longer DRM protected. Their AAC files can be converted into regular MP3's now and ripped or copied as many times as you want. Since that happened I have started buying a few songs from iTunes.

The only relevant files that iTunes/iPod does not support are Windows Media Files(microsoft version of an MP3) and FLAC files(a popular high quality audio file). iTunes will automatically convert WMA files to AAC. Converting FLAC to something it recognizes takes something like dbpoweramp which can convert anything.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:58 PM
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As WCoast says, AAC is not a requirement to use the iPod.

Anywhoo, even if u want to do this for some reason , converting a compressed to another compressed format is not desirable. Is like making a xerox from a xerox. U wanna convert original wav or other uncompress content to your final format in one step.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Anywhoo, even if u want to do this for some reason , converting a compressed to another compressed format is not desirable. Is like making a xerox from a xerox. U wanna convert original wav or other uncompress content to your final format in one step.

So you mean when you convert a 256kbps AAC file to a 256 kbps MP3 file there is loss of audio quality? Where have you read that? Or have you experienced that first hand?
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:35 AM
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Ok, so I think I answered my own question! I went to the dbpoweramp tech support page and they say that when you convert from one lossy format to another, like AAC to MP3 you do lose audio quality. You're exactly right.

The good news is they said the loss is very minimal as long as you convert to the same bitrate, like I've done with the 256kbps AAC to 256 kbps MP3. They also said you can minimize this even more by converting to a higher bitrate, say 256kbps AAC to 320 kbps MP3. Interesting.....
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCoast02 View Post

Where have you read that? Or have you experienced that first hand?

Is common knowledge.

Ever seen a fax output and compare to original? Bad eh. Even if u can make a perfect copy of the fax, wouldn't u prefer to make a copy of the original?

Once u MP3 a file, some original information is lost, that's why they call it a lossy format. Would u prefer to make a copy of this, of make a copy of the original?

Granted, if u don't have access to the original, the point is moot. U probly learn to live with it.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Is common knowledge.

Ever seen a fax output and compare to original? Bad eh. Even if u can make a perfect copy of the fax, wouldn't u prefer to make a copy of the original?

Once u MP3 a file, some original information is lost, that's why they call it a lossy format. Would u prefer to make a copy of this, of make a copy of the original?

Granted, if u don't have access to the original, the point is moot. U probly learn to live with it.

The analogy is fine, but this is not taking pictures, photocopying, or making copies of a tape. This is digital information, 0's and 1's. I can convert a text file to a word document a thousand times and you don't lose sentences or commas when you convert! I was wondering whether converting from MP3 to AAC is simply changing the file structure, but the music is still the same 0's and 1's. There are so many rumors on the internet that are complete BS, sometimes it hard to know what to believe. I heard for years the "common knowledge" that MP3 encoder on iTunes was really bad and that using the LAME encoder was so much better. Then saw an article formally testing for audible and inaudible differences between MP3's made on iTunes and with LAME and they were identical. I just like to question what I hear on the internet.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:28 PM
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The analogy gave pretty good insight as to what is happening, and I understand your description of the text file/word document idea and can see where you're having issues.

True - it is all 1's and 0's. Using your analogy, the original cd is equal to your word document. Shifting the cd to a wave file on your computer's hard drive would be like converting to a text document. You could convert these two back and forth all day and never lose anything.

MP3, AAC, etc. are all a different beast all together. The compression used by the formats is a combination of things. Reducing repetitive or similar bits into data that the codec can reassemble upon playback. So think of your word document, say that MP3 removes all of the uses of the word "the" or "an" and simply marks their location so that when you play it back they are put back into place. AAC might simply remove all of a certain letter instead, say all of the "e" and "a" 's. They are too dissimilar from one another to read the files.

Instead every conversion from MP3 to AAC is really like going from MP3 > WAV > AAC. Which would be fine, except for both MP3 and AAC are Lossy formats. They physically throw away data every time you conver to that format and it cannot be retrieved. The frequencies are supposedly "inaudible" or barely noticeable, but they are gone for good. These "compressed" areas are based on what is there, so whenever you recompress a compressed file it throws away a little more. So, in your word document, the musical frequencies you can't hear are all the words in Spanish or German you don't understand. Since you don't understand them, they are simply removed forever.....

To test what I have just said, rip an MP3 > convert it back to wav > then compress the MP3 again from that new wave. Do it like 4 times in a row, and save each progressing MP3 file. Then compare. You'll understand for sure then.

I found all this back in the original Shawn Fanning era Napster, and while I'm not proud of all the downloading I did I can tell you that I learned an invaluable lesson about audio compression. KEEP YOUR FILES, EVEN IF YOU BURN TO DISC. Now, the only MP3's I have are from my own CD collection or bought legally online.

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Old 09-06-2009, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebuzz#836 View Post

The analogy gave pretty good insight as to what is happening, and I understand your description of the text file/word document idea and can see where you're having issues.

True - it is all 1's and 0's. Using your analogy, the original cd is equal to your word document. Shifting the cd to a wave file on your computer's hard drive would be like converting to a text document. You could convert these two back and forth all day and never lose anything.

MP3, AAC, etc. are all a different beast all together. The compression used by the formats is a combination of things. Reducing repetitive or similar bits into data that the codec can reassemble upon playback. So think of your word document, say that MP3 removes all of the uses of the word "the" or "an" and simply marks their location so that when you play it back they are put back into place. AAC might simply remove all of a certain letter instead, say all of the "e" and "a" 's. They are too dissimilar from one another to read the files.

Instead every conversion from MP3 to AAC is really like going from MP3 > WAV > AAC. Which would be fine, except for both MP3 and AAC are Lossy formats. They physically throw away data every time you conver to that format and it cannot be retrieved. The frequencies are supposedly "inaudible" or barely noticeable, but they are gone for good. These "compressed" areas are based on what is there, so whenever you recompress a compressed file it throws away a little more. So, in your word document, the musical frequencies you can't hear are all the words in Spanish or German you don't understand. Since you don't understand them, they are simply removed forever.....

To test what I have just said, rip an MP3 > convert it back to wav > then compress the MP3 again from that new wave. Do it like 4 times in a row, and save each progressing MP3 file. Then compare. You'll understand for sure then.

I found all this back in the original Shawn Fanning era Napster, and while I'm not proud of all the downloading I did I can tell you that I learned an invaluable lesson about audio compression. KEEP YOUR FILES, EVEN IF YOU BURN TO DISC. Now, the only MP3's I have are from my own CD collection or bought legally online.

Great explanation. I also have used dbPoweramp to convert ALAC files to other lossless files, mainly WMA lossless to stream to my xbox 360. Is there any loss in quality with those? Shouldn't be right? They sure sound good.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:51 PM
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How do you rip to mp3 files?

What software can/should we use to convert music files to mp3 files? Is there a method to convert multiple files in different folders?


We have multiple iTunes accounts plus music from CDs that we want to share. Maybe we can create a network location to share the files and also copy to individual computer and not have to limited by iTunes user names and passwords.


I always thought if any one of us buys a song we all should be able to listen to it without buying t again.
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