Jump to content
IGNORED

Downloading file question and its quality limitations


HIFI

Recommended Posts

My question is if I am downloading music from any one of the popular places like Itunes is it realistic to think quality. My thought is the file they provide is likely limited to start. Even if I download for best SQ opportunity it is still a mid-fi file at best . . . is this correct thinking?

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

Link to comment

Currently, iTunes is limited to 16 bit/44.1kHz, 256 kbps AAC encoded files, so you're correct in your thinking regarding quality (if I'm fully understanding your initial post...and if I have my facts perfectly straight).

 

Apple Mac Pro / SSD / FLAC / Logitech Media Server >> Wi-Fi >> Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w/EDO) >> TOSLINK >> Chord Qute EX >> RG6 >> Goldpoint SA-1 >> RG6 >> James Burgess "Baby Ongaku" (EML 2A3M) >> 12 AWG zip cord >> Omega Speaker Systems Super 8 XRS

Link to comment

is mid-fi and much lower than cd quality, let alone hirez. It has been rumored that Apple will sell higher quality in the future, but none of us are holding our breath. iTunes is convenience over sound quality. Many music services like Rhapsody, MOG, Sopotify, etc are more about access to music than sound quality. Don;t get me wrong, I like MOG and believe their 320k MP3 (a bit better than 256k) is at least good enough for many portable applications, but the main goal is to hear lots of music (then one can decide to purchase for sq later).

 

P.S. AAC is not an exact equivalent for MP3 so their 256k doesn't exactly match in sq with MP3's 256k but you get the idea.

 

Link to comment

So then . . . for the most part, other than downloading from a source like HDtracks, people need the original cd to start . . correct?

 

And a follow up question. I use Itunes. Do I also need a second music player for downloaded FLAC files from sources like HDtracks? I am a PC user.

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

Link to comment

"iTunes Plus is the new standard on iTunes. iTunes Plus downloads are songs and music videos available in our highest quality 256 kbps AAC audio encoding (twice the former rate of 128kbps)..."

 

So, it seems as of about a year ago, Apple upped the quality of their files to 256 from 128.

 

If you compare this quality to that of the files ripped from, say, a Red Book CD, using Apple Lossless encoding, it is a far lower value. For example, the highest bit rate of my current tracks ripped from Red Book is 1055kbps.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Apple Mac Pro / SSD / FLAC / Logitech Media Server >> Wi-Fi >> Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w/EDO) >> TOSLINK >> Chord Qute EX >> RG6 >> Goldpoint SA-1 >> RG6 >> James Burgess "Baby Ongaku" (EML 2A3M) >> 12 AWG zip cord >> Omega Speaker Systems Super 8 XRS

Link to comment

or wav, then iTunes will handle them fine. iTunes will PLAY just about any sample rate, etc...it's the iTunes STORE, not the player, that we have major issues with. Of course, once you use cd quality or higher in iTunes you then might to greedy and want to graduate onto a 3rd party player that many of use feel sounds better than iTunes...like Pure Music, Amarra, Audirvana, Bit Perfect, Fidelia, etc.

 

Link to comment

You're not going to get any better than 16/44.1 from CD, but ripping the data to a lossless format such as FLAC, WAV, AIFF, or ALAC* will at least render an exact copy of the data. Ripping the data to a compressed format like MP3 or AAC, however, essentially subtracts data from the original medium and renders a compromised output.

 

As for the playback of FLAC files, there are quite a few players out there to choose from. A quick search of the CA Forum and Google will get you on your way.

 

*ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) is a compressed format, but decompresses the files just prior to processing (playing) them. Some suggest that if you have the hard drive space to accommodate the larger files then there's no sense in adding this unnecessary processing step to the mix. That's your call. In my opinion - and it's just an opinion - it makes no difference. There are other reasons, such as future proofing the data from being stuck in a proprietary format that may become outdated, but in my opinion that could be the fate of any digital format.

 

Apple Mac Pro / SSD / FLAC / Logitech Media Server >> Wi-Fi >> Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w/EDO) >> TOSLINK >> Chord Qute EX >> RG6 >> Goldpoint SA-1 >> RG6 >> James Burgess "Baby Ongaku" (EML 2A3M) >> 12 AWG zip cord >> Omega Speaker Systems Super 8 XRS

Link to comment

PC User. I am going to copy CD's in Flac. I will download any HiRez in Flak. My Itunes will not play Flac but my JRiver will. Should I import these Flak files and convert to .wav for the Itunes library if I want to use the Itunes player?

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

Link to comment

to any lossless format that iTunes will read (AIFF, Apple Lossless, wav). There are plenty of posts here on CA talking about converting FLAC. Since you are pc-based I'd suggest ripping and converting with the best program out there, DBPoweramp. It will rip accurately and effectively, and will convert to just about all formats (you may have to download addtl format codecs from their site if you want to use one that isn't included up front...no big deal).

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...