My MP3 tests with Apple iTunes 2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eugene Hsieh, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I cannot do objective measurements but I have done some subjective testing nonetheless. I don't know the specifics of the Apple software, but it uses some form of Fraunhofer, and rumour has it evolved from SoundJam (which I've never used). Anyways, the software is sort of like AudioCatalyst, WinAmp, and CD burning software all combined, but with Fraunhofer instead of Xing.

    Equipment:

    iBook G3 600 MHz with OS X.1.1 and iTunes 2.

    Apex AD-600A DVD/MP3 player with coaxial out.

    Panasonic DVD-RP91 DVD/MP3 player with optical out.

    Kenwood VR-510 receiver with optical and coaxial in.

    Stereo mode: Paradigm Reference Studio/60 speakers.

    Pro Logic II mode: above plus Paradigm Studio/CC and Monitor 7 speakers.

    Perceived quality, in order of best to worst:

    1) CD

    2) 256 kbps CBR stereo

    3) 256 kbps CBR joint stereo

    4) VBR joint stereo with 192 minimum (avg. ~203 kbps)

    5) VBR joint stereo with 160 minimum (avg. ~173 kbps)

    Note that I thought all of them were pretty damn good though. For general use I figure #4 would be the best space/quality compromise. However, I think I'm just going to use #2 and buy a bigger hard drive later. I didn't bother testing 320 VBR or CBR because I figure 256 CBR S is already close enough.

    By the way, 256 CBR S encodes much faster than 192 VBR JS. It's around 5X on my iBook 600 directly off the CD so I suspect it's like the the PC Fraunhofer codecs when optimized for speed (instead of quality).
     
  2. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    By the way, I had no problems playing stereo MP3s on my Panasonic RP91. Other people have problems unless they used Joint Stereo.
     
  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Pretty cool Eugene. I did a lot of ripping with iTunes 1, but haven't had much to rip using 2. I've kept my settings at the default of 160k without VBR, and using joint stereo. On a G4 system (I have a TiBook 667) you get the added speed boost of the Velocity engine, which is nice. I decided to keep it a lower bit rate because I listen to most of the music using the default speakers which suck, or my iPod. With the iPod, I want more music than I do higher quality. In the near future I'll be adding some more storage to my LAN, and be archiving our CD collection on it. I plan on ripping at much higher bit rate then, but probably will still be using iTunes.
     
  4. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I'd love to try LAME, but so there doesn't seem to be an adequate front end. So I suffer some space wastage... However, I have a 30 GB drive on my PC dedicated for MP3, so it should suffice for several hundred CDs at 256 CBR S. I've already got a bunch Xing'd for general use, but now I want the higher bit rates.
     

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