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Redbook Cds Ripped into iTunes on various formats


Ralf11
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I am wondering if it might make sense to re-rip some CDs. I use Apple Lossless now but have some CDs that were ripped into iTunes on other formats.

 

e.g. AAC with a bit rate of 128 kbps -- how likely is that to have lower SQ than Apple Lossless ??

 

I am also curious if any of the changes to iTunes over the years could affect SQ - for example the above CD was ripped using iTunes 7.x

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I am wondering if it might make sense to re-rip some CDs. I use Apple Lossless now but have some CDs that were ripped into iTunes on other formats.

 

e.g. AAC with a bit rate of 128 kbps -- how likely is that to have lower SQ than Apple Lossless ??

 

I am also curious if any of the changes to iTunes over the years could affect SQ - for example the above CD was ripped using iTunes 7.x

 

definitely re-rip to apple lossless!!!

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
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Anything less than 320kbps is crap. Apple lossless is OK, but why use a compressed format when hard drive space is so cheap? And, some music players, such as the excellent HQPlayer, don't support Apple Lossless. All digital files should be ripped/stored as WAV or AIFF, uncompressed lossless universal formats.

And don't use iTunes to rip your CD's. It will gloss over any errors. Use XLD for maximum accuracy.

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At tail end of 2016 I ripped around 400 cd's on a Mac using XLD to AIFF. I compared some previously ripped cd's using iTunes against the XLD ripped version.

 

I heard a considerable difference in favour of XLD ripped cd's. I really can't recommend enough ripping cd's using XLD on mac.

NUC 7i3 (ROCK) > Ghent Audio Lan cable > SOtM sMS-200 (+Uptone LPS-1) >  0.2m Curious USB cable > Singxer F1 (usb to spdif) > 0.5m XLO digital cable > Audiolab 8000 Dac (25 years old) > Trends Audio 10.1 Integrated Amp > Kef 103/4 speakers

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what is XLD?

 

re-ripping 1,000 CDs may be out of the question; tho re-ripping 100 or 200 in older lower bit rates is ok to do during the winter...

 

 

I don't even understand what bit rate IS anyway - tho I hear it is not sample rate & not bit depth (which I do understand)...

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what is XLD?

 

 

XLD is the program that you use on a Mac to rip your CD's instead of using iTunes. There maybe more such programs for Mac.

 

I would say that XLD requires more work to understand and set up than say using iTunes for ripping. But once set it's doesn't normally require any more tweaking.

NUC 7i3 (ROCK) > Ghent Audio Lan cable > SOtM sMS-200 (+Uptone LPS-1) >  0.2m Curious USB cable > Singxer F1 (usb to spdif) > 0.5m XLO digital cable > Audiolab 8000 Dac (25 years old) > Trends Audio 10.1 Integrated Amp > Kef 103/4 speakers

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XLD is the program that you use on a Mac to rip your CD's instead of using iTunes. There maybe more such programs for Mac.

 

I would say that XLD requires more work to understand and set up than say using iTunes for ripping. But once set it's doesn't normally require any more tweaking.

Illustrate have a MacOS version of their DBPowerAmp application. It is paid software but it is better than any freeware apps I have seen for this sort of thing and it comes with regular patches and full support forum that is fast.

 

iTunes really is for "quick & dirty" rips compared to what XLD, EAC (windows only) and DBPowerAmp can do.

 

Furthermore, DBPowerAmp also comes with a converter to convert existing files to a different format, inclduing metadata remapping. You may also need a metadata editor like MP3Tag or PerfecTunes.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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Anything less than 320kbps is crap. Apple lossless is OK, but why use a compressed format when hard drive space is so cheap? And, some music players, such as the excellent HQPlayer, don't support Apple Lossless. All digital files should be ripped/stored as WAV or AIFF, uncompressed lossless universal formats.

And don't use iTunes to rip your CD's. It will gloss over any errors. Use XLD for maximum accuracy.

 

Because compressed uses less harddisk space and space still costs money? And why would you not do it when you can transpose files on the fly to different formats? So, store in ALAC or FLAC because of the reduced disk space and the better metadata support (i.e. custom tags in FLAC) and then convert on the fly to WAV or AIFF when streaming.

 

Apple Lossless, aka ALAC, is a widely, open source, supported format. So, there is no need to go to AIFF or WAV. Also, ID3 tagging, compared to the tagging that ALAC, and especially FLAC, use, is rather crappy. Apple Lossless is fine.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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What Pepsican said. If you think you can hear a difference between PCM and the compressed lossless formats, just transcode on the fly. Using storage space for the sake of it seems a bit nuts.

+1

 

I already have 3.5 TB of Apple Lossless files across multiple 4 TB drives to provide redundancy / backup. I would have to double my infrastructure investment to move to store uncompressed files, very expensive :/

John Walker - IT Executive

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Because compressed uses less harddisk space and space still costs money? And why would you not do it when you can transpose files on the fly to different formats? So, store in ALAC or FLAC because of the reduced disk space and the better metadata support (i.e. custom tags in FLAC) and then convert on the fly to WAV or AIFF when streaming.

 

Apple Lossless, aka ALAC, is a widely, open source, supported format. So, there is no need to go to AIFF or WAV. Also, ID3 tagging, compared to the tagging that ALAC, and especially FLAC, use, is rather crappy. Apple Lossless is fine.

 

You and I have different takes on this. A 2TB HDD costs less than $100. I have five of them. I don't think $100 is a lot of money these days. Two tanks of gas, or one good dinner at a restaurant, and then you are still hungry again the next day.

 

I use AIFF because my iPod for travel does not play FLAC, and one of the two music player apps that I use at home, HQPlayer, does not support ALAC. I don't have to worry about transcoding on the fly, as all my files will play on any Mac, PC, and most other hardware without conversion. AIFF metadata is perfectly adequate for me. I don't do any fancy tagging, just the basics. To each his own. It's nice we have options.

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what is XLD?

 

re-ripping 1,000 CDs may be out of the question; tho re-ripping 100 or 200 in older lower bit rates is ok to do during the winter...

 

 

I don't even understand what bit rate IS anyway - tho I hear it is not sample rate & not bit depth (which I do understand)...

 

 

No need to re-rip. Lossless is lossless. For low bit-rate files, it might be worth it, but the differences will be incremental and dependent on what type of music it is. Bit rate is essentially a measure of how compressed the file is. Lower is more compressed. Lossless is usually around 600 or more. High-quality lossy is say 320.

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I had to set up a Smart Playlist, with Kind - contains - AAC

 

Finder could not do it and the main search box in iTunes could not do it either - in fact results were quite odd, being both underinclusive and overinclusive (IsAAC Hayes albums were included for example).

 

Thx for the info - it seems that Bit Rate is song specific and relates to how much compression the algorithm(s) decided to use

 

I've seen claims about "pumping" and other artifacts caused by the compression and decompression process... however, it is all done in the digital domain so it is hard to understand how either could degrade SQ.

 

I will leave the AIFF files alone, and re-rip all the CDs in AAC into Apple Lossless. I seem to have some Dead music in mp3 too...

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I violate every one of your edicts without any ill effect.

They are not edicts. I deal with practicalities. I play my files in the car or on an airplane with an iPod. I play them at home, at least half the time, with HQPlayer. Neither ALAC nor FLAC can do that.

 

I prefer to rip my CD's with the most accurate software, which, by the way, costs nothing, and store those files in a universally-playable format, even if it costs me 2¢ more per album for the extra hard drive space. If that makes me foolish in your eyes, I can live with that.

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View your iTunes library in "Songs" list mode.

Enable View Options > File > Bit Rate.

Sort by bit rate by clicking on that header.

Anything less than 1,411 kbps (for stereo) is lossy/AAC/MP3

Unless it's ALAC.

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I've seen claims about "pumping" and other artifacts caused by the compression and decompression process... however, it is all done in the digital domain so it is hard to understand how either could degrade SQ.

 

"Pumping" is a possible artifact of a poor rate control algorithm with a lossy codec such as AAC. It means the instantaneous bit rate is oscillating around the requested target in an audible manner.

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