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can u tell the diff between wav and mp3 in itunes?
Old 1st June 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
can u tell the diff between wav and mp3 in itunes?

Often times i rip cd's into wav using itunes. And at the same time I have mp3's (128 kpbs) of downloaded artists.......


Anyway, often times i'll be listening to an mp3 and i'll be hard pressed to hear the difference between my ripped from cd wav file, and my downloaded mp3's. (even though the mp3 is only encoded at 128 kpbs)


Am i alone here?

Could itunes be really just ripping my cd's to an mp3 format, but just have a file size and info description of a wav format?

Is this in anyway possible? I'm asking this because my mp3 files and my wav files sound pretty much the same in itunes.
Old 1st June 2006
  #2
Company Rep
 
DrDeltaM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can't stand 128kbps mp3s. They really sound bad. If you can't hear, something must be wrong with your monitoring, tho normally you can even hear it on cheap speakers too.
Old 1st June 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Head
 
tjkili's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It´s the same here. 128 is just really horrible. You can clearly hear the artifacts.
Try listening to the higer freq. range like Overheads. You should really be able to hear it. For me the lowest acceptable bit rate is 196, and that with a good encoder.
Old 1st June 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkili
It´s the same here. 128 is just really horrible. You can clearly hear the artifacts.
Try listening to the higer freq. range like Overheads. You should really be able to hear it. For me the lowest acceptable bit rate is 196, and that with a good encoder.

Or maybe 192 kbps...

heh


Yeah... heading into the late 90s, I was delighted by the decidedly 'enhanced fidelity' of Mp3 over awful sounding perceptual encoding algos like RealAudio.

I could certainly always tell the diff between most full-range stuff and a 128 kbps Mp3, but, still, the trade-off seemed worth it, particularly on dial-up, where even a 3 minute 128 could take 10 minutes to DL.

Today, I think there's not much reason to limit yourself to 128 kbps Mp3s. Most folks who care tend to have broadband capable of streaming at least a couple hundred bits per second -- AND there are new formats like AAC, WMA, and the open source Ogg Vorbis that sound decidedly better, as a rule, than plain ol' Mp3.


For instance, my on demand streaming subscription service (MusicMatch On Demand) uses WMA files they say are 160 kbps (ABR) and, in my comparisons, they tend to sound almost unquestionably better than 192 kbps Mp3s. I won't say they're indistinguishable from the 'real thing' -- by and large they're not, quite -- but I can CERTAINLY forget what I'm listening to is compromised. Which was NOT the case when I was mostly listening to 128 kbps mp3s. (MM also sells 160k ABR files for the industry standard of 99 cents.)


Now, why people insist on paying a buck a copy for 128 kbps WMAs and AACs when there are 160 kbps WMAs available for the same money continues to bemuse me -- but clearly the media is apparently under the mistaken impression that there is only iTunes (and maybe Napster).


PS... if you really want to hear the effect of (any) peceptual encoding algorithm, focus in on, as someone above suggested, the sound of cymbals -- particularly cymbal tails as the sound of the cymbal fades away -- and listen to what some folks sometimes call "air" -- the subtle sound 'between' the instruments, typically 'filled' by reverb or other ambient sound/effect. Obviously, you need to use music that has air... grindcore, hard techno, etc, are not going to tend to have a lot of room for sonic finesse...
Old 2nd June 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
StefanColson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
iTunes downloads are 128kbps AAC files, which sound significantly better than 128kbps MP3 files. An AAC at 128kbps is more akin to an MP3 at 192kbps+. FWIW I prefer AAC files to WMAs and MP3s at the same bit rate, by quite a large margin.
Old 2nd June 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1


PS... if you really want to hear the effect of (any) peceptual encoding algorithm, focus in on, as someone above suggested, the sound of cymbals -- particularly cymbal tails as the sound of the cymbal fades away -- and listen to what some folks sometimes call "air" -- the subtle sound 'between' the instruments, typically 'filled' by reverb or other ambient sound/effect. Obviously, you need to use music that has air... grindcore, hard techno, etc, are not going to tend to have a lot of room for sonic finesse...
Great info man! Thank you!
Old 2nd June 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Company Rep
 
DrDeltaM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanColson
iTunes downloads are 128kbps AAC files, which sound significantly better than 128kbps MP3 files. An AAC at 128kbps is more akin to an MP3 at 192kbps+. FWIW I prefer AAC files to WMAs and MP3s at the same bit rate, by quite a large margin.
I agree, AAC is very good. I usually use AAC 160kbps.
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