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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › 2 Channel Audio › AAC Vs MP3, and iTunes as a Ripping Tool (Help!)
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AAC Vs MP3, and iTunes as a Ripping Tool (Help!)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I like to rip my CD's to a lossy format, as well as a lossless format. I use the lossy songs on my iPod when I'm traveling and am not too concerned with having audiophile gear with me on the road.

Basically, for the longest time I'd rip my CD's to 128kbps AAC in iTunes, but recently I've acquired some devices (like a PSP) that do not support AAC. I've been contemplating re-ripping these CD's into 192kbps MP3's as the format is more compatible cross-platform with all my devices than AAC. I was curious what codec has the better sound for the disk space. Is an AAC file the same size as an MP3 of the same song going to sound better, or is there no real difference? Do you think I'd be better served by having MP3's over AAC files?

Another question; how is iTunes as a CD ripping tool? Does it compress and encode the audio well, or are there many better options out there? I'm currently on OSX (Leopard) so Mac apps are appreciated, but if you want to recommend and Windows programs I'd appreciate that as well...I will be getting a new Windows box soon enough.
post #2 of 3
At lower bitrates, AAC does a better job than MP3. But a 192kbps MP3 should sound better than a 128kbps AAC.

The iTunes coder has a pretty good reputation. Unless you want something it can't do at all (like FLAC), I see no reason to change.
post #3 of 3
The iTunes ripper/encoder is very good, and its error correction seems to work on all but the most damaged CDs. In those cases, you can try EAC, which is available as a Mac application.

My advice is to encode your library as Apple Lossless files, and then you can transcode to AAC or MP3 as needed for particular devices. I use an iMac with OSX and have my CD library encoded as Apple Lossless, which I have transcoded to 256 VBR AAC files for my iPod.

And, I agree with mcnarus that AAC seems more transparent than MP3 at equivalent bitrates. Hydrogenaudio.org has more information than you can read regarding these issues.
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