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Import music into itunes 8.0


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Hi Matt, and welcome to the site.


I don't mean to sound confrontational in any way, but I think I'm unclear as to what you are really wanting to do. On the one hand you are asking for a "perfect" copy but then you are also asking about some of the most "lossy" compressed formats which by nature delete lots of bits and bytes.


Any consideration to using Apple Lossless format which gets you about 50% file size but is also bit-perfect to the original?






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Hi Matt,


Unless you have a particular reason for wanting MP3, you would be better off using AAC, as it is a more advanced codec (part of the MPEG4 standard). AAC at 128k is going to be pretty similar to MP3 at 192k.


Are you pushed for storage space, as if you want the best quality it would be better to use a lossless codec such as FLAC or Apple lossless ?


That said, in tests I made a while ago, I couldn't tell the difference between AAC at 256k and lossless !




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The general consensus is that typically AAC sounds better than mp3 at the same sampling rate, but I have to think that any significant jump in sampling rate would make a bigger difference. I have listened to Amazon.com's 256 kbps mp3 downloads versus iTunes' basic 128 kbps AAC downloads and I can hear a difference. So, why not go even higher and do 320 in whatever format you choose?


If your motivation is to have your music in iTunes for playback through your 2 channel stereo AND to be able to have it very compressed on your iPod then you have a few decisions to make - rip everything at one "compromise" sampling rate like 320; or rip everything twice, once lossless and once lossy; or rip everything lossless and then over time make lossy/compressed copies of songs that you want to have on your iPod and make separate playlists or libraries of those songs that you can sync your iPod with. I think there have been some discussions here from people wanting to accomplish this....if that is what you are trying to do here.





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I'll stick my oar in too!


As alluded to by Chris, I started a thread a while back on does it need to be lossless and both Chris and I could not tell a difference between 256 kbps AAC and lossless - see http://www.computeraudiophile.com/node/796


I still mainly rip in lossless, but 256 kbps AAC would seem the perfect compromise for home use on a decent system, whilst still nicely compressed for ipod use.


Always best to trial it for yourself - rip music you know well in several different formats and see if you can tell a difference - I struggle!




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I would like to convert all my cd's to FLAC because I am a PC guy and I think that it is a more universal format! I am looking to make perfect copies of my cd's. If I was to use Apple Lossless (ALE) (ALAC) would I be able to play it on as many devices (Portable or Music Servers) as I would with FLAC?




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One more option for compressed files (for iPod or suchlike) would be to use the Variable Bitrate (VBR) option with AAC. This dynamically varies the bitrate according to the music content - increasing the rate if there is a lot of high frequency content.


Typically, AAC-VBR increases the file size by ~ 10%, but gives a significant increase in quality. AAC-VBR at 128k would sound better than MP3 at 192k.




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