OK I'm getting an Ipod...Encoding advice needed please! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-28-2007, 11:11 AM
My portable CD player got stolen.

My boombox broke down.

That's it...I'm makin' the jump and getting an ipod!

(phew...I knew it would come to this eventually) :-)

I'm picking mine up today and going with the 80GB model.

Here's my initial question...

For the best ratio of sound quality to compression...

What format should I encode with itunes? mp3? etc?

I'm looking at a previous thread and it said "apple lossless" was better than mp3.

And what bit rate should I encode to?

I'm getting the 80GB because I want to encode to higher quality files.

But I also don't want to go overboard and use more bits/bytes than I can

Any suggestions, thoughts?

Thanks much!

-todd amodeo


Dusty Chalk
02-28-2007, 02:01 PM
MP3's are fine as long as you use VBR and >128kbps. 192 is probably good. If you can tell the difference between lossless and 320kbps bitrate MP3's, you're a better man than I. Lossless is just a waste of battery life, IMHO.

That said, if you don't want to lose any sleep over worrying whether or not you're compromising on sound quality based on compression method, then by all means, go lossless. Think of it as a small price to pay for peace of mind.

02-28-2007, 02:24 PM
i just use apple lossless, if you've got all that 80gig, just go with apple lossless, no harm done and you know you're getting CD quality.

03-01-2007, 08:32 AM
Ok...Apple Lossless format.

I'm finding 1 CD is around 500 MB.

That means roughly a 160 CD capacity for my 80GB player.

I'll go with that until it doesn't work...

Thanks for your input and any other thoughts appreciated...


03-01-2007, 08:45 AM
Use Apples AAC format over MP3. Everyone says AAC is better. Don't be confused about the AAC format from the iTunes store. The store sells DRM protected AAC at 192. If you rip your own CD's they are not DRM (digital rights managed, ie copy protection)

As for resolution, it depends a little on how you're going to use it. I'd say the magic quality/size breakpoint its 256kbps VBR. I'm with Dusty on 320 being virtually indistinguishable from lossless, but the files are still pretty big at 320 and it seems you might as well go lossless over 320.

192...depends on what you use to listen. If you have good headphones I think you’ll hear a difference and that you'll prefer 256. You’ll just have to compare the two and see.

However...in the long run if you're thinking about archiving CD's digitally, there's a strong argument for doing it lossless. You can convert from lossless to anything. You can for instance load your computer with files in lossless format and then let iTunes convert them 'on the fly' to a compressed format when you transfer to the iPod. There is a very good script you can add to iTunes that will let you do this at any bit rate that you chose.

The script is called Lossless to AAC workflow (iTunes->iPod) v1.4 (http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/scripts07.php?page=1#losslessaccworkflow) (click for link).

03-01-2007, 09:58 AM
I use 256k AAC with Variable Bit Rate encoding and I'm pretty happy with it. Even sounds good on my nice home stereo.

I use lossless on my better recorded/sounding albums. I'd like to use it on all of them, because i hear certainly hear a difference, but i just don't have the disk space.

03-02-2007, 07:00 AM
yeh, i think i'm going to try that on the fly converter, could be quite useful