A High Resolution iPod in the future?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lee Scoggins, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I wonder if we might see a hirez iPod in our future...

    Hard drive space is coming down constantly in price and 120GB drives are commonly available...maybe they can shrink these things into an iPod for a premium priced version aimed at audiophiles or well-to-do geeks.

    Just imagine being able to download DVDA and SACD tracks. I would pay $0.50 extra per track for higher resolution. Maybe iTunes could experiment with DVD Audio tracks to start...

    What do you think?

    Do you think Apple at some point in the future will do this given the overwhelming success of the iPod/iTunes phenomena?

    Maybe I'm just a dreaming audiophile. [​IMG]

    By the way, www.positive-feedback.com Issue #10 is now up and an iPod review follow-up is included. This device is getting high marks for sound quality from the audiophile community...
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    Even with the existing compression, high-res stereo would take to 75 times as much space as MP3s. A typical album would take 3GB or more space. 3GB of download bandwidth for an album?

    Plus, iTunes security has been breached. They'd come up with new encryption, but fear would remain.

    High-res downloads aren't going to happen in this decade.

    My (realistic) opinion.
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  4. RolandDeschain

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  5. Michael St. Clair

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    Roland,

    Regardless of whether or not the encryption was broken, the fact is that iTunes was once secure, and now it is not.

    Once Apple patches it, there will be new hacks...the war will escalate.
     
  6. RolandDeschain

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  7. Michael St. Clair

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  8. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    back on topic...

    I think Hi-rez on iPods would be a waste of time for a number of reasons:

    - Uses up too much HD space. I know the size of these small HDs are getting bigger, but the size of the MP3s really clobbers that space in no time. 3GBs for a CD? Way too much space.

    - Way too long to download. High Speed internet connection is nice, but it would still take too long with files of this size. Plus, many high-speed ISPs have download caps. My download cap is 10GBs/month, and I get charged for each GB over the limit. Downloading 3 hi-rez albums would cost me ALOT more than just paying for the songs.

    - The difference in sound quality wouldn't be worth it. The iPod (and most other MP3 players) aren't audiophile type equipment. They have their limitations, and you would also need to upgrade to some pretty expensive headphones ($200+). Not to mention that outside noise would ruin alot of the advanteges. I use my iPod while commuting on the train everyday - and no matter how loud I play it, I can still hear the trains, people talking, cell phones, pagers, and notebooks. The noise would offset any detail you would hear.

    - I know ripping DVD-A is possible, but how hard/easy is it to rip SACD?

    IMO, MP3s at 256Kbps or 320Kbps would be the best balance between portability/speed/space and sound quality.

    Ripping uncompressed CD-Audio should be good enough for audiophiles - but I still cant see people downloading 700MBs for 1 album worth.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  10. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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  11. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    I have an 20GB iPod and have found a compromise for 'high quality' audio:

    - all my MP3s are fixed bit rate, 320kps
    - songs that have compression issues and artifacting, I store the uncompressed .wav file.

    Works like a charm
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  13. RolandDeschain

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    Lee,

    Keep in mind that your battery life will plummet if you use the iPod in that fashion. iPod has 64MB of flash memory in which it stores data from the hard drive. Normally this is perfect because the avergae MP3 or AAC file is ~ 5MB so it can read 10 songs off the disk and store them in flash, allowing the disc to power down.

    If you are using it to listen to uncompressed 80MB files, then the iPod will have to keep the hard drive spinning constantly, decimating your battery life. I wouldn't expect to get more than 3 hours at a time using it that way.

    Also, because the disc is spinning continuously, the iPod will be more prone to disc damage if it is knocked around or bumped at all while playing. Expect quite a few freeze-ups.

    Regardless of what Stereophile says, the iPod was never intended to be used in that manner.
     
  14. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Ronald makes an excellent point.

    I totally forgot about the flash memory buffer.

    Of course, down the road they could have a larger buffer - but the cost of flash memory still needs to come down considerably.
     
  15. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  16. Michael St. Clair

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    Definitely not flash, just RAM.

    But, yeah, an iPod playing WAV has to work a lot harder (and more often)...battery life would definitely be affected in a big way; shock resistance may take a hit as well.
     
  17. RolandDeschain

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    Flash, not flash, the principle is exactly the same. And the older models only have 32 MB of RAM, further exacerbating the situation.
     
  18. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  19. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    If you want high resolution audio on the iPod, just use WAV or AIFF file format. It will dramatically cut down the amount of music(and probably battery life) you can get on the drive but it's high res. Just as a experiment, I ripped some CD tracks in WAV format while doing the rest in the AAC MP4 format and the difference is staggering. But I use the iPod either while driving or exercising so high res audio(in those realms) is not important as the music itself. Unfortunately, Apple does not put Line In ports on the iPod or its docking cradle where I can dump music from SACD or DVD-A.
     
  20. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    A high resolution Ipod would be neat, but I would first perfer more high-res portable DVD-A and SACD players. In the case of DVD-A, there are a few players available, but at this point they are too expensive to gain any mass acceptance. SACD has yet to put out a portable player. Having already invested in optical disc based Hi-res formats, I would like the opportunity to enjoy them in a portable setting before plunking down any more money on a new hi-res delivery medium and player.

    J
     

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