iTunes question

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Brian Elwood, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Brian Elwood

    Brian Elwood Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry -iPod question!

    Not really a SPEAKER question but still sound/music. What is the fidelity on these things anyway. I'm asking HERE because I believe you guys actually know what sounds good.
     
  2. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Unless your CD player costs more than $500 I'd say its close enough to CD that you probably can't tell them apart.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It depends on the sample rate of the media, and of course, the source material. A lousy master will not sound better at any sample rate.

    This most likely belongs in the Sources forum.
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    FWIW, the guys at Stereophile (well some of the guys there, including their editor in chief) think this is the coolest thing since the invention of the thong.

    Well, OK, maybe thats a paraphrase, but they like it a lot.

    On the other hand, I happen to read an issue of Absolute Sound (normally rubbish, but it is at times entertaining) and their guy trashed it as low-fi. He did not say anything about what bit rate or format, and w/o that info, his review was completely useless and without merit.

    And yes, garbage in/garbage out. Lots of arguments on what the best format and bit rate is, but the good news is that it will do Apple Lossless, as well as uncompressed as well (takes a ton more space though).

    With well encoded software, and a good set of cans (lose the ear bads, fast!), there is no doubt in my mind that this is an absolutely hi-fi device.

    BGL
     
  5. GarySI

    GarySI Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got my first mini and I think it is a great toy. I tried importing at 256 and 320K and they both sound good to me. The apple lossless quality is an exact copy of the CD, great seperation and soundstage. I use them with the Etymotic ER6 cans. Brian is right, get rid of those apple buds ASAP. A great set of cans and this mini sings.
     
  6. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    You know how the TiVo changed the way you watch tv? The iTunes/iPod combo will change the way you listen to music. It's like having a radio station that only plays what you want to hear. In four consecutive songs it went from Ice Cube to David Sanborn to George Michael to Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack in shuffle mode. It rocks!

    I have a digital out on my soundcard to my home theater receiver. In prologic II music mode it sounds pretty darn good sitting in the living room.

    iTunes is by far the best online music service. And the iPod is the only device that can play the iTunes downloads in their native format.

    And the best part is you can start having fun for as little as $99 with the iPod shuffle that was just introduced.

    And to think that I hated all Apple products 2 months ago... Hehe...
     
  7. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    OH... I got the Etymotic ER6i headphones a couple of weeks ago. I must agree that they are awesome. Not good for the gym though....
     
  8. Jon W.

    Jon W. Stunt Coordinator

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    The best thing right now is you can drink pepsi and win free songs on iTunes! I have 12 free song caps atm just waiting for the promotion to start. I think it kicks in on January 31.
     
  9. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the posts above. At the higher sampling rates, the sound quality is very good. Like John said, the source makes the most difference if using 256K or higher. With good source recording played back at 320K I don't think most people can tell a difference. Only thing I notice from time to time is the imaging is a little fuzzier than the original if the original is of poor quality.

    Another thing I find interesting is that since you can quickly go from one song to the next the differences in source quality becomes very noticeable. I've fooled myself more than once thinking a song was ripped at a lower rate to find out it was at 256 or 320 and the original source was crap. It wasn't the bit rate at all.
     
  10. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    The whole imaging problem is nothing for me, as I listen in my theater area with the Dolby Pro Logic II DSP. It just really sounds nice.

    And I was a devout 2 channel listener before.
     
  11. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    The imaging really has to do more with the quality of the original source than anything. I just spent the past couple of hours listening to music from my computer through a squeezebox that's hooked up to my HT rig. I would notice great imaging on some songs and not so great on others. I couldn't accurately tell when a wav file was playing, 320k, or 256k. I agree PLII is cool and with some really bad recordings it's the answer.
     
  12. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    the playback device/DACs are also important.

    I rip music with CDex and the latest LAME encoder at 256kbps. I stream MP3's via iTunes wirelessly to an Apple Airport Express that is connected digitally to my pre/pro.

    So the Airport Express is decoding the MP3 stream to PCM, and then the DACs on my pre/pro take it from there.

    Sounds great!
     
  13. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    The squeezebox works the same way. I stream the music to the squeezebox, it converts it to PCM, and I connect it to a digital input on my receiver. I like the DACs on my receiver better than the ones on the Squeezebox.

    I like the direction this technology is going, and the sound quality keeps improving.

    I'm eagerly awaiting a super receiver/component that has:
    A large hard drive that can store both video and music
    Good DACs
    Has a wireless adapter
    Can stream music to high quality wireless/powered speakers
    Can be upgraded via downloads
    Can switch all of my devices - if there are any more separate devices...

    Sounds like a PC, but the receiver/component has to be quiet
     
  14. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Just to add an additional anecdote on the subject, I rip everything at 320K AAC (with a 40g unit, I have room to spare so why not waste some disc space?).

    Th other night, I was listenning to some Zeppelin, and played most of LZ III, then cued up Presence. III is pretty much accepted as one of the poorer sounding Zep LPs, and the iPod will show you that instantly if you rip at a high enough rate.

    I am not sure I would hold Presence up as a paradigm of hi-fidelity, but going straight to Achilles Last Stand from Gallos Pole is night and day dfferent in SQ.

    BGL
     
  15. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I never saw a digital out on the Airport Express Base Stations. I see it has a miniplug, but I thought that was analog only, that the airport has to do the DAC.

    The Airport website says this:
    3.5mm mini-Audio jack for analog or optical digital sound

    How can you get optical out of a miniplug like that? Standard digital I can understand (my soundcard is this way) but not optical.

    I'm confused!
     
  16. Brian Elwood

    Brian Elwood Stunt Coordinator

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    Does the Mini have enough power to power anythign BUT earbuds???
     
  17. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    To get optical out on the Airport Express you need a special adapter.

    There is actually optics in that mini-plug....and the tip of the adapter plug has optics, the other end is a standard optical plug.
     
  18. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Curtis!
     
  19. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Sure. Grado SR-60s are an option. All headphones will work... some just will work _way_ better with a headphone amp.

    I've compared my Pioneer Elite DV-05 to my iPod (with lossless audio ripped via EAC) and have preferred the Denon. I'm using a Cosmic headphone amp with some Etymotic ER-4Ss and the Denon is clearly better. The iPOD is very good though...
     

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