Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
by using itunes 4, i am wondering how much loss of quality when music CDs are 'ripped' (AAC 128 format) then re-burning them back to audio CDs? or the quality difference if using MP3 192kps instead.
which is preferred?
I have not had the time to try this out but any ideas are welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
You will definitely lose some quality. How much depends on where you listen to the music, what kind of stereo you have, and how good your hearing is. ;)

If you want to make a copy of a CD you are better off just ripping them in AIFF format. The file sizes will be huge though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
its more for listening in my car, if burning from AAC or mp3-192 is a better way to go.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,742 Posts
Audio quality is highly subjective. I still think than my LPs sound better than most CDs, although SACD really beats them all.

The subjective quality of your ripped CDs will depend on 'tin' or 'coloured bass' sound of your car stereo and also on the kind of music you enjoy.

My suggestion: make a CD with the same song 3 times, then go and play it on your car stereo. Best is to use vocals with good imaging and complex music (e.g. full accoustic orchestra). If I had to pick only one track I would go for 'Walk on the wild side' by Lou Reed. Remember that AAC/MP3 allow you to put at least 10 albums where one was, so you could have most of the Beatles on a single disk for instance; probably worth a bit of quality sacrifice.

In an ideal world I would go for an SACD player in the car AND an iPod! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
728 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks moscool, i am all for vinyl too, expecially all of the 80s british stuff (there's no bad music then). just got my first SACD yesterday LOL.
your suggestion is what i have in mind all along, just didn't get the time to go around to it, since i am very into playing with my ipod/itrip. cheers!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,485 Posts
If you're willing to use the iTrip, then I don't think you really need to worry much about these sound quality issues. If you can handle your iPod tunes over FM broadcast you can handle the AAC to CD conversion.

Yes you will lose some quality but it will still sound better and suffer less from interference than an iTrip.

Good luck...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
I've done a few tests and I've found that a 160 AAC file is roughly equivolent to a 192 MP3 file in audio quality.

You'll lose some sound quality in ripping to any format, but most people wouldn't here the difference.

I've ripped about 600 discs, most of them are 192 MP3's because I ripped them on iTunes 3 after iTunes 4 came out I started Re-ripping them to 160 AAC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
I personally find AAC 192 to be indistinguishable from CD quality. It is better (to my ear) than mp3 192 ripped from iTunes. That said, if you're using the LAME encoder for mp3's it starts to get difficult to tell the difference w/ AAC 192.

I'm confused though, if you want to listen to CDs in your car, why rip and re-burn? Why not just take the CDs to the car? If you want to rip to make mixed CDs, just import the tunes as AIFFs and then re-burn the mixed disc with no loss at all?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,247 Posts
The major sound degradation would have occoured during the compression to AAC. Resampling to CD's 16bit/44.1K shouldn't cause any noticable degradation of the AAC file.

However, the file size would have increased when you changed it back to Redbook from AAC. If your car player supports AAC or even mp3, that would be a better format to use, because you would preserve the small file size.

The vinyl/CD/mp3/AAC formats all are noticeably different with regard to sound quality. However, if you playback device can't resolve much information in the first place, it doesn't matter much.

For the most part, if you buy your gear (home, car, whatever) from the mass-market manufacturers, the equipment itself masks a lot of the differences, so you don't hear them easily. If the equipment really is good, often the source is already degraded by the time you play it.

It's kind of like radio; AM is quite capeable of very good sound quality, but the stations learned to degrade that quality before it ever gets to you because they want to maximize coverage; it affects the advertising revenue.

I guarantee that if I played a good quality AM station through a McKay-Dymek AM tuner for anyone in this forum, they would hear the difference, and would be blown away at how good AM can sound.

But good stations are rare, and the (Canadian made, by the way) McKay stuff has a price tag that is equal to it's world-wide reputation as the very best, period. Often the ony one the stations themselves own is at the tower for the engineers to monitor the signal, alone, at night, when they're tired an on a service call.

So, engineers developed FM which offers better quality, and up until about 1980 it was clearly audible to anyone, sophisticated ears or not. What happened? Now FM broadcasters do the same stuff to the signal, for the same reasons, so that now FM and AM in most markets sound pretty much the same, and don't differ much from AAC or mp3's inherent quality either.

Vinyl has the potential to resolve much more than CD, but if the recording itself eliminates the differences you won't hear it. CDs are a high quality format, but if the recording engineers compress the dynamic range to near-nothing, it's practically already mp3 quality when it leaves the pressing plant.

Pretty much any album that's designed for mass-market tastes has all the good stuff tortured out of it before you can sample it. What's left is smothered by the broadcaster or Future-Shop type sound equipment.

[I'm not dissing the brands at Future Shop; they have some very good stuff for sale there. Athena Technologies speakers and Velodyne subs, for example. Pioneer and Denon, just two examples sold at FS, have good stuff available.

But FS won't stock the better models from Pioneer or Denon, so you won't get your hands on 'em there. (Better doesn't necessarily mean more expensive, either). The speakers I mentioned won't sound much different from the ho-hum stuff with whatever gear they do stock.]

[ October 28, 2003, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top