Downloaded my first tunes from iTune..my opinion

Discussion in 'Music' started by anthony_b, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    I've never been the kind of guy who downloaded music from the internet becuase I didn't think it was of the highest quality...BOY WAS I WRONG !!...I gave itunes a shot and downloaded an old favorite (Now that we found love what are we gonna do - 12 inch version by Third World). I burned it on a CD and played it on my home system and it was great. Now $25 later I'm glad I did it. The only suggestion I would make is they should add more old school dance music to there library.
     
  2. Shane D

    Shane D Supporting Actor

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    A co-worker drinks about 10 diet pepsi's a day, so he's been giving me all his winners, i have about 15 now and im gonna do me some downloading here pretty soon. Its good to hear that the quality is pretty good when burned out to a disc.
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I have a 40gig iPod that I should get by Friday. This will be me first serious dive into MP3 (or in Apples case AAC, right?) music. I already loaded iTunes, and ripped one of my CDs just to prove that I could do it.

    The default of AAC is 128K. I will probably rip some stuff at differnt rates to see what I like best.

    What rate are the iTunes downloads ripped?

    Out of curiosity, what did you get for the $25? Obviously more than 1 song, right?!?!?

    So far, iTunes seems to be pretty intuitive, as I have come to expect with anything from Apple that I have ever used. Looking forward to going on a ripping binge to populate the iPod.

    BGL
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Given my set-up (Paradigm speakers, SVS sub, Pioneer rec., iPod, JVC DVD player 'to play cd's') I spent weeks listening and was unable to detrmine a sound quality difference between Apple AAC & regular CD.

    But after much A/B comparison listening I have finally discovered the flaw in AAC.

    "Soundstage"

    With a well produed CD, there can be a definate soundstage with instruments clearly audible in a right to left spectrum. However with AAC the instruments & singer seem much more "clumped together". The clumpiness isn't too bad, or even immediately noticable (It has taken me weeks to pinpoint the problem). and AAC is certainly good enought for the headphones, computer, or car that have inferior sound systems than my living room. Actually its even good enough for my living room, because the 100 song playlist with no swapping kicks ass!


    Soundstage has been discovered! My first step towards audiophile/snob begins! (Whats next, drawing green lines around my iPod?)[​IMG]
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Did you try the different AAC sampling rates? I will be doing so myself when the player arrives.

    BGL
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    No. All AAC files were kept at 128kbps.

    Why? : Well, the purpose of the A/B testing wasn't to determine which format/bitrate was best, but just to find a consistent audible difference. After several hundred more hours of dedicated listening I'll probably be more skilled at listening for minute differences before getting experienced enough and decide to test the various bitrates of AAC (or even MP3).

    Shit, then I'll need to buy a $2000 CD player to get better results, then a $4000 pre-amp with a pair of $5000 monoblock amps.... where will it end! [​IMG]
     
  7. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    For $25 I got 24 songs...they charge tax.[​IMG]
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    As my wife will tell you, it doesn't!

    But in my defense, in 1995, I was still slugging it out in 2CH with gear I bought in the 80's. She then mentioned that a local electronics place was going out of business, and maybe they would have some surround sound gear cheap. They did, and I bought a PL decoder, and a center/surround speaker set.

    Its all been down hill from there, much to her chagrin. Two AV receivers, 4 DVD players, an entire new B&W speaker setup, two subs (including a kick-ass HSU), a THX certified HT EQ, two HDTV receivers, a 53" WS TV, even a new turntable.

    She is now seeing the error of her ways![​IMG]

    But hey, I don't drink much, smoke, do drugs, or chase skirts.....a man has to have something!

    BGL
     
  9. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    Oddly enough, a good VBR encoded mp3 far and away exceeds the quality of a 128k AAC file, but no one thinks mp3 is good enough.
     
  10. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Brian, AMEN !!!...That's the same exact thing I tell my wife all the time.[​IMG]
     
  11. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    While I am surely on the steep part of the learning curve with MP3 and codecs in general, I think I have read (David Ranada did a piece some months back in S&V) that you need to get to at least 160k to get to where the sound is almost indistinguishable from uncompressed CD.

    I will have to see if thats available in their archives. But, IIRC, iPods are happy with AAC, MP3, and WAVs, so it should be easy enough to do my own testing.

    Come 'on FedEx, get the lead out! I need my iPod!

    BGL
     
  12. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Well, the kind of music I downloaded was mostly early 90's pop music (not really intended for critical listening) but I must say the bass was tight and the highs were very clean.

    A more realistic test would be with Jazz or classical music. But with music like that, I'd probably buy the CD from a good label like chesky or bluenote. I'm generally picky with sound quality, and I must say these downloads sound good on my home system and in my car.
     
  13. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    The iPod is here, and I just ripped a few tracks in several formats and rates....time for some critical listening.

    I have the same cuts in the following formats/rates:

    WAV
    128K and 320K AAC
    192 MP3(VBR)
    320 MP3(VBR) note: although VBR was selected, I think 320K is the max.

    Side note: I initially tried to use iPod with a Win2K machine using a USB 1.1 connection. While Apple's literature said this is supported, but will be slow, I found I was unable to get it to work well at all, with frequent lock ups. A call to Apple Tech Support revealed that they no longer support a USB 1.1 connection.

    They might want to update the literature on that one!

    Anyway, I was able to purchase a USB 2.0 card for the laptop, and all is well. Amazing how fast you can transfer 200mb of data!

    BGL
     
  14. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    USB 2.0 supports both, so I guess that means they don't support USB at all then.
     
  15. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Yes, 2.0 is backwards compatible with 1.1, but what the gal said was they were no longer supporting 1.1. She advised I get either a Firewire or USB 2.0 card.

    There were no PCMCIA firewire cards to be had locally, but a local, close-by vendor had a USB 2.0 so that what I got.

    Having said all that, knowing that one is apt to get different information depending on which CSR you happen upon, I would not be shocked if someone else said that Apple was in fact still supporting 1.1.

    BGL
     
  16. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    128AAC is higher quality than 128VBR MP3. no a 128AAC is not better than a 160VBR MP3 or 192VBR MP3, but who would expect that?

    i typically encode at 192AAC.

    link to other observations...
    link
     
  17. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    You don't want to try transferring songs to the iPod using USB 1.1. It is far too slow.
     
  18. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    For me it was far worse then just slow....it locked me up to the point I had to yank the battery from the laptop to reboot.

    At $50 or less for a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card, it was a cheap enough way to get decent transfer speeds.

    BGL
     
  19. Jon Mahoney

    Jon Mahoney Stunt Coordinator

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    God bless the Pepsi promo. I got about 20 free songs outta that one. Now that the caps are gone here, it's back to coke for me.

    As for sound quality, I have no complaints. The albums are cheaper than at a store and I don't have to buy the whole album with all the shitty songs on it. (And just for the record I love the album format and prefer full albums but today, not many are worth buying). Throw them on the iPod and I'm happy.
     

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