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excellent article on "mastering for itunes"


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Good article. Thanks for posting. I'd be interested in seeing a description of how good the iTunes Mastering process is. I understand that it will be mixed down to 16/44.1 but somehow in a way that it retains the frequency range. This doesn't sound possible but I'm willing to give it a shot.

 

Macbook Pro i5 --> OSX Lion w/BitPerfect --> Toslink or USB--> Peachtree Nova --> McIntosh MC7300 --> B&W 805 Matrix[br]

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Good article here @ PC World: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400629,00.asp

 

Looks like we won't be happy with the new iTunes mastering process.

 

"it's still pretty clear that these aren't lossless files, judging by the lack of depth in the sound stage and the overly crisp hi-hats that don't ring out and decay naturally."

 

Macbook Pro i5 --> OSX Lion w/BitPerfect --> Toslink or USB--> Peachtree Nova --> McIntosh MC7300 --> B&W 805 Matrix[br]

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I don't see this move by Apple being a benefit to the audiophile community.

 

My impression of the process is that Apple will take a 24/96 file from a record company and compress it into a lossy 256 kbps AAC with sample rate 44.1 kHz.

 

The "Mastered for iTunes" process is performed by the record company. The idea being that the company supplies Apple with a specially adjusted 24/96 which, after Apple compresses it to AAC (via an intermediate conversion to CAF 32-bit float at 44.1 kHz), will sound closer to the original recording than AAC squeezed from a file that was mastered to sound good when not lossy compressed, especially when played with the non-audiophile equipment which is typically used for listening to iTunes downloads.

 

Looking further ahead, if Apple eventually releases the "Mastered for iTunes" tweaked 24/96 files, these files will be suboptimal for direct playback with audiophile equipment.

 

As a grossly simplified analogy, imagine that low quality TVs have a reduced green output relative to other colours while high quality TVs faithfully reproduce all colours. Video could be mastered with an artificially boosted green level to look reasonably good on the low quality TVs. But then that video would look too green on the high quality TVs.

 

 

 

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Good analogy and well put. I agree with you. This move lacks benefit to most, especially the audiophile community. I was waiting for Apple's response to customer expectations of high quality recordings and this simply isn't a good response at all.

 

Macbook Pro i5 --> OSX Lion w/BitPerfect --> Toslink or USB--> Peachtree Nova --> McIntosh MC7300 --> B&W 805 Matrix[br]

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