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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier in the year I picked up an iPod Mini and spent a few days importing all my CDs into iTunes as 128kbps MP3. Am I obviously losing audio quality to using these settings? Would 128kbps AAC files be an improvement over MP3? Would one of the VBR MP3 options be better?


I'd prefer to use iTunes, so limit your recommendations to encoding options in iTunes 4.6.0.15.


Thanks for the help.
 

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Are you not liking what you're hearing? Are you using the stock headphones?


I wouldn't really worry about altering what you've already encoded unless you're not happy with the results. I'd also suggest that if you're using Apple's stock headphones you're not going to hear much of a difference between 128kbps MP3's and a better encoded file.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The quality is fine when I'm listening at work (in iTunes) or on the iPod, but I'm also connecting the iPod to my Receiver at home instead of using actual CDs. I'm also considering putting a PC there for playing directly from iTunes (or get something like the Airtunes thing).


BTW, I'm using Philips noise cancelling headphones when listening at work or other places with the iPod.
 

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For me ... 128kbps MP3s sound just fine ... and I'm rather picky about sound. I don't have an iPod (and I refuse to use iTunes), but I do listen to all my MP3s through my car's system, which would be somewhat comparable to your home stereo ... and I don't notice any difference between my car and headphones at work.


I have started to migrate to Ogg and M4A (AAC) ...haven't decidede which to stick with though. They both feature variable bitrates which allows them to get higher quality with more compression.


In general, a 128kbps MP3 will be no different from a 128kbps AAC ... you'd have to RIP the AAC with a max bitrate of higher than 128k to get better quality ... otherwise you'll just get a smaller file. So really, if you want more quality you can rip a 192kbps MP3 and be just as well off ... but again, OGG and M4A have better compression.


With that said ... you will gain nothing regarding quality by converting your current MP3s to AAC ... there's no way to gain back any quality that was lost in the original rip. In order to gain quality, you'd have to re-rip the CDs at a higher bitrate.
 

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I have all my music ripped from my CDs at 192 kbps into mp3 and am very happy with the quality.


But I have some friends with around 500 CDs of Classical and Opera music. BThey are presently considering ripping the music to a HD, but want a performance which will be indistinguishable from the original CDs.

So my question is: What alternatives should they look at or will 192 kbps into mp3 meet their needs? If they look at Ogg etc. will they have playback issues? They want to play back at home rather than on any portable device and would run it through their existing music center.


I have suggested that mp3 at 192 will meet their needs. But am I right?


Thanks.
 

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IRJ; have them rip one of their favorite, more crisp sounding CD's at 192k MP3 and the rip the same disc on a lossless format. Then facilitate a blind test between the 3 sources (CD, MP3, Lossless). I'm guessing that they will be hard pressed to consistantly tell the difference. I like 192k a lot and have a lot of music ripped at 128k. It's really indistinguishable, but it could be more sensitive on classical, opera and jazz...............


I'd say you'd be making a fine recomendation with 192k MP3. There is another thread discussing the same topic on this forum.


Drew
 

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It all depends on how much they want to spend on hard drives. You can find 160 GB drives for $50 after rebates. Using a lossless format will take somewhere around 350 megs per CD. Personally I feel if you can afford the hard drive space, I don't see any reason not to use a lossless format. You can always convert the lossless format without losing any quality. If you've invested thousands of dollars into your speakers why would you not want to feed them the best quality source?
 
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