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Playing 24/96 files from iPod

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While rebuilding the library on my iPod after installing Rockbox (for the crossfeed filter mainly) I threw in a couple of 24/96 wav files just to see what would happen when I tried to play them. As you likely know, iTunes will not even transfer these files to the iPod.


Anyway, to my surprise, when I tried to play the files back they erm... played. And mighty fine they sound too with the iPod connected by its docking port to an Argon HA1 feeding Ergo 2 headphones. Does anyone know what is happening? I assume the (gen 5) dac will support 24/96 files but I always assumed that the iPod had some kluge to stop hi-res files from being re-produced. I was wrong. The iPod plays 24/96 files just fine. But; are they being down-sampled? I will try to find the time to down-down sample the files myself and do some a:b listening tests but I wondered if any of the experts here knew the answer from a technical perspective?


(Btw, the crossfeed filter works quite well and I am rather please with it so far).


- John.


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... Hi John. With reference to 24/96 audio, you wrote:


" As you likely know, iTunes will not even transfer these files to the iPod.


Anyway, to my surprise, when I tried to play the files back they erm... played."


So ..... They didn't transfer to the iPod, and then they played from the iPod? Which of those two very different statements is correct? Both cannot be true.


AFAIK, the gen5 iPod has the same resolutions available as all the others. It maxes out @ 16/44.1 WAV or AIFF. If you managed to get the files onto the iPod, you must have somehow gotten iTunes to down sample the files or converted them to AAC. I cannot find the 'bit depth' spec of the current iPod right now, but I don't think it has changed.


EDIT: If the files in question are still in iTunes, try right-clicking on them and 'get info' to see if they have indeed been downsampled.


- markr


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:Hi Markr,


Because the iPod is now running Rockbox I did not use iTunes to transfer the files; I just dragged then to an iPod directory directly.


Since my post, I have done the same with 24/96 wav, flac and aiff files. (They all play). Then I copied them back to my mac from the iPod and they are still 24/96 files if I drop them into iTunes. The file size on the iPod is also consistent with 24/96 files.


So, for sure, the iPod can play 24/96 files; I would just love to know exactly what it does with them.


- John.


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WOW!...OK. I wasn't aware of what Rockbox is. I am still in the dark (but not for long.) I'm looking at the website now... I'm still pretty sure that the iPod hardware, that is the DAC = 16/44.1 only.. In fact looking at the website, the software claims to work all the way back to the 1st generation iPod, so..... I KNOW that those were 16/44.1 only. ... This is interesting. "So, for sure, the iPod can play 24/96 files; I would just love to know exactly what it does with them." - me TOO John! Chris, whatthehellISgoingon?


- markr


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Hi there!


Actually the limit I reached with my iPods (Classic and Touch both latest generation) is 24bit/48KHz: and my converters make sure to me the files I transfer and play back from my iPod+Wadia combo are actually 24/48.


But I was not able to transfer any file more than 24/48...


I think I have to check Rockbox out myself and if I discover anything interesting I sure will let you know!







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  • 8 months later...

I too was able to drag my 88.2 kHz-sample rate song files to my iPod 5th generation nano (iTunes refused to copy the files to the iPod, but manually dragging them via the Finder did work). But the iPod doesn't register those song files in its iTunes library, playlists, or anywhere else on its interface, so how can I play them back? I would love to know how John was able to get his iPod to play back high-sample-rate song files, as without that capability, this new iPod is a downgrade from my old first generation 2GB nano, which plays those 88.2 kHz files just fine from within its iTunes library interface.




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Hi kisenberg,


All I had to do was install rockbox. You need to check if your version is supported.


One caveat: Although they play fine I am, after extensive listening, pretty much convinced that they are converted in software by the rockbox player. I can detect no sonic difference between 24/96 and 24/48 versions of the same track.


- John.


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Files will be downsampled to 44.1/16 or 48/16 depending on what they are.


In the specifications it does leave room for sample rates higher than these in every interface they have listed. BUT it does clearly say that files will be downsampled when they exceed the 16 bit 44.1/48 sample rates.


So basically it just takes more room and processing power to play those.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Does the downsampling take place once the 24/96 file is placed onto the iPod or when it is played through the iPod?


In other words, if you extract a digital signal from the iPod and use a DAC with 24/96 capabilities, will the file be in high res?


Or has the file been downsampled already?


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