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  1. #1
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    Trying to work around crap mp3 sound

    Well, we all know compressed music sounds bad. Myself, I have about 500 songs so far downloaded into itunes. Being a newbie at iTunes too, went and downloaded a bunch of my favorite songs from my CD's to mp3. It took many hours, and then after listening to some songs, I realized how crappy the sound really is. So now, I found the way to upload to iTunes with the wave format. Great. But now i'm going to spend many more hours deleting songs from mp3 format to wave. Or, I might just buy a DVD recorder and put my favorite songs from the discs onto blanks. Considering I usually only like 3 to 5 songs per disc, on the rare one all of the songs. So, if I can take songs from 200 CD's or so and make 50 good mixed discs, put them in a CD stacker, I should be good. Can you tell I really hate changing CD's and skipping songs or what? Does anybody have any other suggestions for me to work around this?

  2. #2
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    I don't think you can avoid re-ripping. I did the same thing with 100's of CDs. If you're just looking to cherry pick songs, you might have better success ripping with other applications and importing the digital files into iTunes. Recommendations for software will vary by what system you're using...

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farfromphile
    Well, we all know compressed music sounds bad. Myself, I have about 500 songs so far downloaded into itunes. Being a newbie at iTunes too, went and downloaded a bunch of my favorite songs from my CD's to mp3. It took many hours, and then after listening to some songs, I realized how crappy the sound really is. So now, I found the way to upload to iTunes with the wave format. Great. But now i'm going to spend many more hours deleting songs from mp3 format to wave. Or, I might just buy a DVD recorder and put my favorite songs from the discs onto blanks. Considering I usually only like 3 to 5 songs per disc, on the rare one all of the songs. So, if I can take songs from 200 CD's or so and make 50 good mixed discs, put them in a CD stacker, I should be good. Can you tell I really hate changing CD's and skipping songs or what? Does anybody have any other suggestions for me to work around this?
    Never rip to anything less than lossless. Ripping to anything less than a lossless format is a waste of your time. Disk space is cheap today; (don't forget to back up your files, though.)

    If you're an iTunes user, Apple Lossess, (a.k.a. ALAC), is great. And note that ALAC also supports embedded metadata, (tags), which WAV does not (in iTunes). If I'm not mistaken, iTunes can be set up to copy at lower resolution to your iPod -- anyone know for sure?

  4. #4
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Get a 500Gb SATA drive if you have a PC. If not, still get a 500Gb drive. You can store 750 or so full CD's on it with no compression. Later get a second one and run them mirrored for data backup. My music server has two mirrored 1Tb SATA drives. I can store around 1800 full CD's on one. If you are not wedded to iTunes give Foobar a try. Also, if you are using a music server get ASIO for all. It bypasses the windows Kernal mixer and gives much better sound. I would suggest Songbird (which I really like) but it doesn't support ASIO.
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  5. #5
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farfromphile
    Well, we all know compressed music sounds bad. Myself, I have about 500 songs so far downloaded into itunes. Being a newbie at iTunes too, went and downloaded a bunch of my favorite songs from my CD's to mp3. It took many hours, and then after listening to some songs, I realized how crappy the sound really is. So now, I found the way to upload to iTunes with the wave format. Great. But now i'm going to spend many more hours deleting songs from mp3 format to wave. Or, I might just buy a DVD recorder and put my favorite songs from the discs onto blanks. Considering I usually only like 3 to 5 songs per disc, on the rare one all of the songs. So, if I can take songs from 200 CD's or so and make 50 good mixed discs, put them in a CD stacker, I should be good. Can you tell I really hate changing CD's and skipping songs or what? Does anybody have any other suggestions for me to work around this?

    Wow, a lot of good suggestions, unfortunately some will cost you a bundle. While lossless is always the best way, if your ripping to a laptop like I do, and really don't want to hassle with external HD and such, you can STILL rip to MP3 and get good results. You have to go into the ripping software your using and toggle to rip at 320kbs. I find 320Kbs MP3 good enough for casual listening, I think you will too.
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  6. #6
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Wow, a lot of good suggestions, unfortunately some will cost you a bundle. While lossless is always the best way, if your ripping to a laptop like I do, and really don't want to hassle with external HD and such, you can STILL rip to MP3 and get good results. You have to go into the ripping software your using and toggle to rip at 320kbs. I find 320Kbs MP3 good enough for casual listening, I think you will too.
    Agreed. It's only when I have my headphones on, critically listening, that I pick up on any weaknesses in a 320 file. Saves alot of space too...

    Hey Geoff, did you check out my Dropbox thread in the Rave Recs? I would like feedback from a site mod...see you there.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Personally. I've compared WAV to pretty low bit rates (down to 128kbps) and been hard pressed to notice any differences, on my meager system. Could be my ears (don't think so) or the lack of resolution of my system (higher possibility) or both. I've heard a lot of fuss over mp3 but sometimes wonder if people actually sit down and make serious and extensive comparison, all the whilst blowing out any potential placebo.

    I rip lossless too but sometimes wonder why the hassle. I do hear that the actual ripping/converting progam used can influence on the quality of the mp3. To me, lossless is more a piece of mind than anything.
    Last edited by audio amateur; 11-11-2009 at 09:57 AM.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Personally. I've compared WAV to pretty low bit rates (down to 128kbps) and been hard pressed to notice any differences, on my meager system. Could be my ears (don't think so) or the lack of resolution of my system (higher possibility) or both. I've heard a lot of fuss over mp3 but sometimes wonder if people actually sit down and make serious and extensive comparison, all the whilst blowing out any potential placebo.

    I rip lossless too but sometimes wonder why the hassle. I do hear that the actual ripping/converting progam used can influence on the quality of the mp3. To me, lossless is more a piece of mind than anything.
    Right. From lossless you burn a CD-R with the original, 16/44.1 quality. You can't do that from, say, 320 kbps MP3. Or you can convert from, say, FLAC to WAV, ALAC, APE, or anything other lossless format without loss.

    Also from lossless you can make better quality 128 or 256 kbps than you can from 320 kbps.

    So in case it when by a bit too quickly the first time -- always rip to a lossless format. If you want a lower rez version to conserve space on a portable player or whatever, use a conversion program, e.g. dBpoweramp. It is far, far quicker to convert from lossless to lower rez than it is to rerip your CDs.

  9. #9
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
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    All the above suggestion are good, but to save time and money in restructuring your current system. I would agree with the 320Kps bitrate for all future rippings. Data storage is cheaper than ever before and a getting one for backup or just to use as your main library storage is a great peace of mind saver. The one thing you will never get around is the time needed to invest in ripping, downloading and setting up playlist with any of the software you use. The one thing you need to keep in mind, you will continue to add to your collection of music, so buy twice as much HD space than you currently use and if you looking at having a dedicate server (music storage) check with local business, school or churches for old systems that they are throwing out. All you need is a PIII chip running 700Mhz or higher with 512K ram minimun to run most music software.

    There nothing better than being able to pick up a remote and just scroll through a menu and hit start and sit back and relax, without the hassle of hooking up and unhooking when your done.
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  10. #10
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Here's some quantifiable data. It was done some years back but still holds true.

    http://www.lincomatic.com/mp3/mp3quality.html

    FWIW; I'm happy with 320Kbs MP3, and I was an early adopter of the high rez 192/24 DVD-Audio disks.
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  11. #11
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone

    There nothing better than being able to pick up a remote and just scroll through a menu and hit start and sit back and relax, without the hassle of hooking up and unhooking when your done.
    You got it! Since I don't burn CD's with my digital files, this doesn't play into my format decisions. Lossless is definitely the way to go. It depends on the quality of the recording, but as I already said, there is an audible difference between MP3 and lossless on anything other than a stellar recording.

    However, I do most of my digital listening through my soundcard. As Rec1 so nicely put it, I caually scroll through what I want ala remote control, sit back and enjoy. For these times MP3 and lossless are of no consequence, they both sound great and bring a smile to my face.

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Here's some quantifiable data. It was done some years back but still holds true.

    http://www.lincomatic.com/mp3/mp3quality.html

    FWIW; I'm happy with 320Kbs MP3, and I was an early adopter of the high rez 192/24 DVD-Audio disks.
    Interesting ref, Geoff. {alliteration } It's still relevant and I don't disagree with the conclusions if the height of your aspiration is to listen to iPod or occassionally plug earbuds into your laptop.

    If, on the other hand, you are serious about computer as a primary source for your main hi-fi system, you'll be smart to rip to lossless only. I do emphasis "rip" because ripping is a dedious process and you don't ever want to have to do it again. OK, maybe for 90+% of your listening 320 MP3 would be adequate.

    But archive your ripped material in lossless format even it you don't listen to it that way. As I tried to explain, lossless format offers the most flexibility by perserving original quality so you convert to whichever lossless or lossy format you like at later date at optimum quality for that format. I note that Geoff's linked article dates from 2001; the cost of disk storage has dropped like a stone since then. By the way, I recommend dBpoweramp for both ripping and file conversion.

    Ha! You might be interested to know that there is large school amoung PC audio enthusiasts that say uncompressed, i.e. WAV, format is audibly better for payback than compressed lossless -- I'm not one of them. The contention is that the system stress of uncompressing causes playback anomalies, for example, jitter.

    On the subject of hi-rez, DVD-A or SACD, plenty of people say they can hear the difference from Red Book CD, (again, I'm not one of them). As far as I'm concerned the typical difference in favor of hi-rez is entirely due to better recording practices, not the medium.
    Last edited by Feanor; 11-11-2009 at 08:34 AM.

  13. #13
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Oh, of COURSE I agree! Lossless is the only way to go for archival. However my laptop is a 320gb unit, and I've got it loaded up to the max. 320Mp3 sounds good enough through my Senn cans, and in the portable with the buds too. For a dedicated music server on a main system? Who ever would think to compress for that!? I'm still going under the assumption that the OP is taking about his computer system with at best a decent Logitec or Klipsch computer sound rig. If he's got a set of 3.6 maggies hooked up to it I stand corrected!
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  14. #14
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    To me, lossless is more a piece of mind than anything.
    AND... that would be peace, not piece

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