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post #1 of 22 Old 10-01-2014, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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iTunes and Hi Res

Hello.

I bought Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories in iTunes and another copy at HD tracks.

I play them optical out from my mabcbook pro, I change the MiDi to 96k 24 2 channels, to a Rotel receiver and B&W speakers

They sound great but I feel that I don't really hear a difference between both files in quality terms. To me they both sound amazing.

I'm I missing something? What should I look for in hi res music?

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-01-2014, 06:46 PM
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You aren't missing anything. If both files are made from the same master, it's not surprising that they would sound the same.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 22 Old 10-01-2014, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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iTunes and Hi Res

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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post
You aren't missing anything. If both files are made from the same master, it's not surprising that they would sound the same.


Oh. I thought Hi Res files were supposed to be better than 256 bit rate files

Thanks

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post #4 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Oh. I thought Hi Res files were supposed to be better than 256 bit rate files

Thanks

256kbps and 320 kbps don't have any audible degradation from a CD. You need to get to 192 kbps before you start hearing a decline in sound quality and 192 really sounds close to a CD.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I see. So why should I pay more for Hi Res music. All the articles I read online praise them. Oh well I guess I keep working on my iTunes library.
Thanks
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Hello.

I bought Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories in iTunes and another copy at HD tracks.

I play them optical out from my mabcbook pro, I change the MiDi to 96k 24 2 channels, to a Rotel receiver and B&W speakers

They sound great but I feel that I don't really hear a difference between both files in quality terms. To me they both sound amazing.

I'm I missing something? What should I look for in hi res music?

Thanks
A few comments:

1. You are in the wrong forum . The answers you got, are canned answers for a larger debate and not relevant to the specifics you asked. You need to ask the question where folks have actual experience with the details you provided. See #2 .

2. Do a google search on hd tracks and title name and usually you get specific feedback. I did that and landed on this thread which even talks about the iTunes version: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...dtracks-16161/. Seems from my quick read that the itunes version may actually have a superior master/source but I did not finish reading the whole thread.

3. The HD track is 88/24. As such, you should set the sampling rate to 88 Khz in Midi control panel and not 96. Higher is not better. If you have a mismatch there will be a sample rate conversion from 88 to 96. Your iTunes version is 44 so it would always get resampled which makes the comparison more difficult unless you kept changing the sample rate back and forth between 44 and 88. Might want to get one of the plug-ins for iTunes that performs the auto-sample rate change based on what you are playing.

4. Seems like this title has comparatively little dynamic range based on my read of the other thread. As such, it doesn't make a good example of such comparisons.

5. When it comes to compressed music, the fidelity changes markedly from track to track or even within the same track. So your evaluation needs to be across the whole track and not say, just a few seconds here and there. iTunes AAC codec is quite good so finding such sections can be hard but listen to high-frequency transients during quieter periods and make the comparison there.

Good luck .
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
256kbps and 320 kbps don't have any audible degradation from a CD.
Of course they do. Where do such statements come from?

Quote:
You need to get to 192 kbps before you start hearing a decline in sound quality and 192 really sounds close to a CD.
For non-critical listeners, sure. But not for people who listen carefully.
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I will do some more listening.
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I would think audio theory would be the place for this topic. But thanks
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post
A few comments:

1. You are in the wrong forum . The answers you got, are canned answers for a larger debate and not relevant to the specifics you asked. You need to ask the question where folks have actual experience with the details you provided. See #2 .

2. Do a google search on hd tracks and title name and usually you get specific feedback. I did that and landed on this thread which even talks about the iTunes version: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f1...dtracks-16161/. Seems from my quick read that the itunes version may actually have a superior master/source but I did not finish reading the whole thread.

3. The HD track is 88/24. As such, you should set the sampling rate to 88 Khz in Midi control panel and not 96. Higher is not better. If you have a mismatch there will be a sample rate conversion from 88 to 96. Your iTunes version is 44 so it would always get resampled which makes the comparison more difficult unless you kept changing the sample rate back and forth between 44 and 88. Might want to get one of the plug-ins for iTunes that performs the auto-sample rate change based on what you are playing.

4. Seems like this title has comparatively little dynamic range based on my read of the other thread. As such, it doesn't make a good example of such comparisons.

5. When it comes to compressed music, the fidelity changes markedly from track to track or even within the same track. So your evaluation needs to be across the whole track and not say, just a few seconds here and there. iTunes AAC codec is quite good so finding such sections can be hard but listen to high-frequency transients during quieter periods and make the comparison there.

Good luck .


Thanks for all that info. Where can I find iTunes sample change plug in? I did a search but it didn't work
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
I would think audio theory would be the place for this topic. But thanks
And that would be correct thinking . The reality though is that the purpose of this subform has become one of talking people out of anything could be better.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo2068 View Post
Thanks for all that info. Where can I find iTunes sample change plug in? I did a search but it didn't work
I am not a Mac/iTunes guy . That said I do know of Pure Music which is $129: http://www.channld.com/puremusic/. There is also Amara but I think that is priced way high.

Do a search for itunes plug in automatic sample rate switching and you will find more choices. This one for example came up: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bitp...55545700?mt=12. It is just $9.

I think I also heard of free ones but can't think of the name right now.
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. For some reason I'm not getting relevant results. Lol. I will try that. Main reason I want something with iTunes it's because my entire library of years is all organized and rate in iTunes.
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I will get bit perfect to try it out
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 06:55 PM
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To clarify what I said above: It is possible for a hi-resolution track to sound better than an iTunes download, because the former might be made from a better master. (The reverse is also possible, for that matter.) But it's not because the former is high-res.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #16 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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My confusion here is that I thought Hi Res files are bigger files. Therefore contain more data extracted from the original master. And iTunes file ACC at 256 contains less data from the original master. Even if both were done by the same master.

I wonder about Mastered For iTunes files too
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 07:14 PM
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My confusion here is that I thought Hi Res files are bigger files. Therefore contain more data extracted from the original master. And iTunes file ACC at 256 contains less data from the original master. Even if both were done by the same master.
Those things are true. But like a lot of things in life, more is not necessarily better.

The constraint here is the sensitivity of the human ear, which isn't as good as audiophiles (or worse, audio salesmen) would like to believe. IOW, there is more information in a hi-res file, but it's usually not information you can use. A higher sampling rate will let you preserve higher frequencies, but at your age higher frequencies won't do you any good, if you get what I mean. A higher bit depth will get you more dynamic range, but CD-quality resolution already offers more dynamic range than any commercially available music recording demands. Again, more information, but not more information you can use.

Once we get to lossy-compressed files, like MP3 and AAC, yes there are real sonic losses. But again, as a general rule, as long as you're using a bitrate of at least 256 kbps, it is only in very rare cases that one can hear a difference between that and an uncompressed CD.
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I see. I understand. I probably won't heard the difference.

I'm trying this bit perfect app. Don't know how I feel about it yet but like the other person said. At least it automatic changes the sample rate according to the track I'm playing.

So it should help to keep the original sample rate. I would think.
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-02-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks both for the info. Very helpful
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post #20 of 22 Old 10-06-2014, 04:33 AM
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I am just beginning to get into high resolution music myself. The issue is that the original master needs to be high resolution. Some of what is on the high resolution download sites is music that is "up-converted" from a master that is not high resolution to 96/24 or something close. If you take the same "low resolution" master and create an AAC file and 96/24 FLAC file from it they will probably sound very similar. Now if you start with a "high-resolution" master and create an AAC/MP3 file and a 96/24 or better files from it you will have a much easier time hearing the difference.

You also need to make sure you have equipment that is not going to down-convert the file somewhere in your chain. For instance, if playing a 96/24 file on Apple TV, it will be down converted to 44/16.

Some good places to learn are www.realhd-audio.com and www.itrax.com. The nice thing about itrax is that the music master files all start as high resolution files.

I think the biggest problem right now with this space is the lack of transparency on many of the download sites. You really don't always know if you are downloading a file that was up-converted garbage or if it truly originated as a high resolution master.
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post #21 of 22 Old 10-06-2014, 04:37 AM
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Also watch or listen to this "Home Theater Geeks" episode on high resolution audio.....

It is very informative.

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post #22 of 22 Old 10-06-2014, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks I will check them out. I play USB from MacBook Pro 2.0 and I use Bit Perfect that seems to change the sample rate according to the each track playing.
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