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iTunes 4.5 Out Today

Discussion in 'Music' started by Patrick Larkin, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    iTunes 4.5 was released today. The best new feature from my standpoint is the ability to print CD jewel box covers from itunes. There are several pre-canned templates and it uses the artwork in iTunes to make a very nice looking cover. Also, there appears to be many printable report options.

    Apple also introduced the "Apple Lossless Encoder" which they say can encode a file in its original quality at half the space.

    There is something new called "Party Shuffle" but I'm not sure of its purpose yet.

    There is also a direct link from each song in your Library to the iTMS (which you can disable).

    Windows users can covert WMA to AAC.

    Give it a whirl. The printing thing alone makes it worthwhile, IMHO.
     
  2. ElevSkyMovie

    ElevSkyMovie Supporting Actor

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    We've been able to do that for a long time with shorten and flac.
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    FLAC is standard, why a new format? DRM?
     
  4. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    But there's no shn or flac plugin for iTunes. ???

    And perhaps they can't build shn support into itunes because of open source guidelines?

    And really, it doesn't really matter what format its in since its purpose in iTunes is to rip a CD for personal use and not sharing.
     
  5. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    I just tried out the Apple encoder. I imported a 64.5MB track and it imported at 45.9MB. The file extension given is .m4a
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Jumping to conclusions, Apple are trying to push their own "Mpeg4audio" format then?
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    I don't totally agree..open standards aren't just good for sharing, they are good for consumers that want to be able to own multiple brands of equipment and have interoperability.

    I'm sure many people use MP3 instead of AAC (or WMA) for their personally ripped music, and I'm sure not all of them do so in order to share. I sure do, and it's because I want the maximum flexibility and future-proofing. I know I won't have to rip or convert again unless I really want to.
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Which is the same that I get when ripping to AAC.

    I ripped a 650MB CD and it ripped down to 450MB. Not really "about half", as they say it can do, but better than WAV and AIFF if you are super fussy about sound but don't want full size files, I suppose.

    I will stick with 320K AAC, but I suppose if there was something I really, really wanted to be the absolute best that it could be, I can see going lossless.

    BGL
     
  9. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    When I used the Apple Lossless encoder, iTunes reports the track as "1004 kbps." Also, since they assign the extension m4a, is their encoder not just making AAC files at 1003 kbps? And if their lossless file is really just an AAC file, is it not "standard?"

    I'd try it on another player but I don't have anything handy to play AAC files besides iTunes.
     
  10. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Patrick, what I don't know about this dwarfs what I do know, but ripping an entire CD seems to result in different rates. On the tracks on the CD I ripped (Govt. Mule - Dose, FWIW) as Lossless, the rate varied from 819kbps to 1031kbps.

    So, there does not seem to be a fixed rate. And when choosing lossless, there are no user settings that you can tweak (at least I don't see them). So, you get what you get.

    I don't know that the file extension can be used to draw any conclusions. It obvious that iTunes does treat AAC and Lossless differently. And until I updated my iPod to the latest SW, I could not transfer the lossless files. So file extension of not, the iPod knows they are different.

    But as I said, I am way over my head on codecs at this point.

    BGL
     
  11. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    Lossless compression cannot be set to a fixed rate. The amount of compression depends on the randomness of the data. Just like when you zip a file. The compression rate will vary.

    As for the extension .m4a. This doesn't mean it's AAC. The AAC files are in an MPEG4 wrapper. AAC is a standard audio format for MPEG4. But like DVD which can use PCM, DD or DTS for the MPEG2 stream, other audio codecs can be used. So this is still an MPEG4 wrapper, but with the lossless codec.
     
  12. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    WHen I check for updates, it says that my version (4.2) is the current version. I'm surprised they haven't updated that function. I'll download 4.5 from the site instead and see how it works.

    Where did 4.3 and 4.4 go by the way? [​IMG] Or have they been out but not included in the update check?
     
  13. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    iTunes 4.5 is now in the Software Update for MacOS X. It wasn't there this afternoon....

    And there was no 4.3 and 4.4 as far as I know.

    Craig F - thanks for the explanation.
     
  14. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Good for you, so could Mac users.

    There's an iPod update as well which works on older style 2nd gen 20GB iPods and likely all others. QT update as well.

    From what I can tell the new shuffle mode is to allow you to modify the shuffle prior to and while the songs being played.

    Free songs and the 5 Computer limit on purchased songs are fantastic. I just need to get a third Mac to go with my two PCs and two Macs. [​IMG] Rendezvous is working to the limit now feeding the other three.
     
  15. Shane D

    Shane D Supporting Actor

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    isn't that what the mpeg consortium chose as the next standard of mpeg? was apples mpg 4?
     
  16. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    i've been using Shorten for Mac but now I use xACT which can encode and decode shn, flac, and ape files. The problem is playing them. You can use MacAmp with the shorten and flac plugin but none exist for iTunes (that I know of...)
     
  17. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Evidence that Apple Lossless is a bit-perfect lossless codec:

    A DTS audio CD can be used as a tool for verifing bit-perfect playback. I downloaded iTunes 4.5 and imported a DTS audio CD using the Apple Lossless encoder. There were no problems playing the tracks via SPDIF output to my receiver. Note that there are only a few sound cards with drivers that bypass Windows Kmixer and provide bit-perfect output for players without ASIO support:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=168792

    I'm using a Hoontech Soundtrack Audio DSP24 Value sound card with optional digital I/O bracket.

    Any hope of music in the lossless codec from the iTunes store?
     
  18. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I would be happy, and maybe (I said MAYBE!) even willing to pay, if they upped the ante to 320K AAC.

    Even over crap PC speakers, 128K AAC (or MP3 for that matter) sounds bad to me. I just downloaded the free-be Foo fighters and Avril Lavign tracks. While these are not sonic masterpieces to start with, at 128K they just are not pleasant to listen too.

    The number of songs they claim to be selling is astounding to me, given the sound quality.

    BGL
     
  19. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    I'd love to see them offer their classical titles with the new lossless codec.

    Neil
     
  20. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Can't seem to get the "automatic download" of 4.5 to start (T1 connection speed). Any suggestions?
     

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