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Sorry if someone has posted this link already:

Article from May 6 at http://www.msnbc.com/news/krakow.asp

It?s true: Apple?s AAC cuts sound great with the tiny little speakers that come with computers. And they sound pretty good on an original (but AAC upgraded) iPod through the stock headphones. But listen through good headphones and what you?ll hear is dull-sounding bass, slightly sibilant voice quality and a lack of three-dimensionality.

       When I moved up to the DVD player connected to my stereo, the difference was huge. The AAC cuts had a complete lack of air around the singer and instruments in the band. The sound quality was somewhat dynamic, but dull sounding. When I compared the downloaded songs to the real CD it was no contest. The uncompressed CD .AIFF files sounded much, much, much better.

       This might not matter to most people, but consider this: The Wallflowers CD cost me $11.99 when I bought it. I can make as many legal copies as I like for my personal use ? and those copies all sound great and play on any device I can think of. I can also rip the songs onto my MP3 players and the iPod. The Wallflowers download from iTunes cost me $9.99, is limited in where I can play and store it ? and the sound is inferior.
I personally can't get enough of AAC -- I love it. Who else here has completely converted to AAC from MP3?
 

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Wow a COMPRESSED audio file sounds worse than an UNCOMPRESSED file. Who'd a thunk?

Why not compare an MP3 to an AAC file and see what it sounds like.

--PB
 

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Boo Hoo.......Little msnB.S. man.
I love the "I want it but it isnt part of my dorkdom so now I hate it!" approach.
Why do PC user's keep thinking we are in the same category?
I'm sure **** J and Paul M are qualified musical experts as Stevie J got there approval in person.But somehow this fellow probably thinks he is above them too just due to the lone fact that he is a level 48 wizard in Asherons Call 2.
He is my Canadian/American Idol man!
 

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This is the first article I've read that claims AAC-encoded files sound bad. They're not perfect but most (if not all) of the time I can't notice the difference between AAC-encoded files and the original CD (this is through a half-decent set of headphones, too).

The article did raise some interesting points though (like why pay as much as Apple is charging for an imperfect electronic copy with usage restrictions when the perfect physical copy is just $2 more?), but the overall tone of the article makes it seem like the author has an axe to grind.
 

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Gee Dvorak has been renamed Krakow - must need hits on the old website.

And what gives him the right to make such statements? Is he a sound engineer? Nope. How about a conductor? Probably not. Does he play the piano? Doesn't say anything like that. All he has is a web page construction program and that makes him God's gift to music and technology.

I've re-ripped most of my music (still got a couple of hundred left to do) that I had in iTunes to AAC (standard bit depths) and those AAC files sound fine to me via the iPod and the iBud
ear-phones. And I've noticed that the solo voices from "Much Ado About Nothing" are brilliant compared to the MP3 version.

My advice: Listen to a tune you know really well in MP3, AAC (at various bit depths) and uncompressed and decide for your self what format and bit depth you like. If you like one format over another, fine, enjoy it, but remember you're listening on your ears, mine are different.

John
 

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It's not lossless, but (supposedly - haven't seen any code) it doesn't throw away as many highs and lows as MP3 does - and I have written an MP3 encoder - and that does.

And I think that's one honking big server farm that's dishing out the tunes...


John

Edit: Fixed some typo-s.
 

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I've not even looked into AAC yet - but I right away, this piece stinks of hating. 1st of all, we all know there are retail deals/promos out there all the time, so why try to compare a $10 download to a $12 retail copy?? I bet you you that I could find a $7 copy of the same CD. But right now, the full CD is $10 for donwload. Don't blame Apple for that. They're trying to take steam from an unparalleled success story in this music downloading quagmire. Pls...

Posterboy is totally correct. Why don't I compare DVDs to VHS??
 

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I have been quite happy with the sound quality of AAC compared to mp3. However, as I have mentioned previously, I can't see me spending $1 or $1.50 per track of compressed music. Here in western Canada, we pay about $12-$15 for a CD and I can't see me paying that much for inferior sounding music.

As for AAC, the main reason why I'm considering becoming a "reverse-switcher" and going back to mp3 is because I've now had at least five tracks that weren't ripped properly. They have several seconds of garbage included that is very disconcerting... It sounds like the encoder was starved for data, but I wouldn't have expected that. My machine should be able to keep up.

I may have to once again pull out the CD's and re-rip them one more time...
 

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Well, if you don't like the sound quality, that's fine! I like the it.

As for tracks that weren't ripped properly, is it consistent? If so, you should use one of the feedback pages to report the failure reporting the system configuration, what version of iTunes did the ripping, and the CD and track. I'm sure an engineer at the other end might be interested in it.

John

Edit: Didn't finish a sentence. Need more coffee.
 

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Well, I think there is only one version of iTunes that will rip AAC, the latest one...

If I re-rip, the problems are gone. It's a pain, however. In all the years I've been using mp3, I've never had a bad rip. Now with the new version, I've had half a dozen or so.
 

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Well, I certainly would agree that AAC is no match for a regular 16bit/44.1Khz CD. Having said that, AAC is a better codec than mp3, which seems to satisfy so many people that the record companies panic over it.

It's totally unfair to criticise Apple for the AAC codec when it's a better format than mp3. It's a classic "straw man" arguement, which as any Philosophy student can tell you is totally invalid (ie set up a "straw man" that represents what you want to argue against, because the true situation wouldn't apply to your position).

Nobody is offering Redbook CD downloads, and it wouldn't work if they did since over 60% of US 'net users today are still on dialup.

Downloading 650MB file that's distributed on a large scale takes hours on broadband; over dialup we're talking days. If you don't believe me, try getting a Linux OS image sometime, the servers are so busy with only a few dozen users that you're lucky to complete a d/l in 4 hours.

The guy is comparing the Apple Music Store to something that doesn't really exist and probably won't for years; even if Apple's servers could handle the traffic, everything in between, including user's ISPs, won't.

Even if Apple used Shorten (a music file compressor that doesn't throw away data) it would still take at least an hour with both a fast connection and fat pipe to the user.

Previews would be equally glacial; in other words the guy is proposing a system that simply wouldn't work. Then he would really have something to criticise.
 

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From an audiophiles point of view here, of course they sound worse. Most computers make horrible CD players. They have bad transports (CD Drive) and digital DAC's. Also there is all the interference. My Cambridge audio CD player at home slaughters my PowerMac for audio quality. Plus the way you burn your CD makes a difference. Type of burning, program, what type of CD you are using, how fast you burn. AAC will no replace the CD. If this is MSNBC guy is so concerened about sound quality he should be listening to vynil.

Lets think about this. He works for MSNBC. If he praised apple he would get a good lecture from the boss and possibly be fired. If he bashes apple the boss will give hime a pat on the back, be in the bosses good books, and when raise time comes around he just might get a good one.

Let us not be mad at him, for he knows not what he does.
 
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