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 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Stefancos   (Member)

It says NOTHING of the music of today. Because these days people listen to older recordings like that also.

There is much more that competes with the attention of the listener now though.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

It's all priorities I guess.
I don't play CDs so I rip them at the highest quality possible (lossless) for sound and archival purposes. With lossless, I have my entire collection within the click of a mouse and I haven't compromised in quality at any step.
If you can't hear difference because of the equipment or if sound quality isn't a concern or space issues, well then you could settle for MP3. I know I did in....1999.
But if you ever decide you do want to go lossless, that's going to be a whole lot of reripping (depending on the size of you collection). eek



This^^

If something ever happens to a CD, a person who ripped it lossless can make as many perfect copies as is needed. That's what "backup" is, in this context.

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

I hate to publicize my ignorance, but, except when I bought a turntable that I connected to my Mac that included the Audacity program (which proved to be unfathomable to me), all I've ever known about downloading music is that I put a CD into my computer (or, now, a USB SuperDrive) and the tracks pop up on the screen (usually with the info courtesy of Gracenotes) and I download it, with the only choice I have the speed of the download. But now that I look closer, I see that while it has had a default of AAC Encoder, I also have the choice of AIIF, Apple Lossless, MP3, and WAV. Does that mean that by keeping it at the default setting of AAC I've downloaded 19,750 songs in a less than optimum manner?

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

You could listen to great music via a tin can and a piece of string and it would still be great.

These days I'm a audio/video professional (I hope). But as a kid, I listened to and learned from the great composers via a simple little mono cassette player. I got all of the joy and benefits despite the primitive gear. Believe me, your ears in tandem with your amazingly discerning brain can sort out most of the psychoacoustic "limitations" of lo-fi delivery systems. The rest is audiophile poser-ish blather really.

Today, I listened to some choice Goldsmith via the crappy speaker in my Nexus 7 tablet. Loved it! For a few minutes, I really didn't need my big studio speakers. The music's the thing.

Formats like wavs (16, 24 and 32 bit) and FLACs are, realistically, the province of audio professionals who might need to re-process loseless audio files. But, in general, 99% of regular listeners could get away with transcoding their album tracks to 192 or even 128kbps mp3s provided decent conversion software is used. If you want a notch up in quality, then 320kbps mp3s are practically indistinguishable from CD files, and are about half the size of FLACs.

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Well, for now I've switched my downloading setting from AAC to Apple Lossless -- and I do make some compilation CDs that I play on my elaborate Klipsch surround system along with SACDs and Blu-rays, so I don't want to unnecessarily scrimp.

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Well, for now I've switched my downloading setting from AAC to Apple Lossless -- and I do make some compilation CDs that I play on my elaborate Klipsch surround system along with SACDs and Blu-rays, so I don't want to unnecessarily scrimp.

Ron, if you are taking the music from your own LPs and CDs, the term in common use would be ripping rather than downloading. smile

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 5:14 PM   
 By:   Warunsun   (Member)

For a long while I was using FLAC files. Recently, I had to get a new automobile and the radio that came with it doesn't support FLAC files so I started using MP3/320 again. I figure I do own all the original discs so if I want to make perfect compilations or backups I can just reinsert the disc into the drive.

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

ZapBrannigan: Re: "Ron, if you are taking the music from your own LPs and CDs, the term in common use would be ripping rather than downloading." I'm not that great in using terminology like "burning" and "ripping." Maybe after a year here I'll grow more comfortable about it. Thanks. But the question remains: By using the default setting of AAC, did I rip an inferior version than I could have had I chosen, say, Apple Lossless?

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2014 - 7:04 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

But the question remains: By using the default setting of AAC, did I rip an inferior version than I could have had I chosen, say, Apple Lossless?


If the AAC files sound good, you're probably in good shape there. I wouldn't break my back re-ripping everything. I might re-do the most precious music, of course, just as a matter of form.

An exception would be if you're planning to hand down your digital assets to audiophilic grandchildren who have saved their hearing by shunning the loud, popular crap in favor of fine orchestral music. Another reason for lossless files is if you edit the music yourself.

I have to be honest about my mortality and the fact that my ears aren't getting any younger. If a music file sounds good to me today, I doubt I'll be aching for better quality ten years down the road.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2014 - 1:19 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

ZapBrannigan: Re: "Ron, if you are taking the music from your own LPs and CDs, the term in common use would be ripping rather than downloading." I'm not that great in using terminology like "burning" and "ripping." Maybe after a year here I'll grow more comfortable about it. Thanks. But the question remains: By using the default setting of AAC, did I rip an inferior version than I could have had I chosen, say, Apple Lossless?

Ron,

As others have suggested, I don't think there is a definitive answer. My simplistic view is that the sound you hear will be restricted to the weakest link in the chain. World class hi-fi won't make the third-class recording sound better ... but you'll hear the faults therein more clearly! Conversely, the professional recording of Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand isn't going to be reproduced faithfully via a portable mp3 player with accompanying earbuds.

I'm an acknowledged hi-fi addict but I have no idea which sound system sounds better than another: I've invested our savings in some kit and will live with it ... I'm too busy listening to my collection of ripped CDs than to spend time trying out different methods of ripping. But I did do some on-line research before starting out.

You may - or may-not - be interested in views expressed by some contributors to another forum I visit on the differences between formats. Whilst the opening comments clearly shun AAC/mp3, later replies show that it is not completely black and white.

http://forums.naimaudio.com/topic/playing-purchased-aac-files-into-nd5

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2014 - 5:46 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

I hate to publicize my ignorance, but, except when I bought a turntable that I connected to my Mac that included the Audacity program (which proved to be unfathomable to me)

If you are going to muck about at all with music editing, effects etc, Audacity, which is a free open-ware (meaning anyone can contribute to it) programme, is easily the way to go...I can't hep enough praise on that programme, and I know that certain studios also use it in preference to other software that costs hundereds of pounds...mentioning no names....ahem...

 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2014 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Mr. Greg: I probably needed someone to walk me through it. At the time it wasn't free and one had to pay for it (although it came with the new turntable I had just bought). I was quite excited at the time, because I wanted to be able to sort of "splice" things together, such as when on tape I had married a principal theme from John Barry's "Masada" with some exotic Tchaikovsky, or when I made my own special "Evita," such as in "What's New Buenos Aires" where I jumped from Patti LuPone to Julie Covington and then BACK to Patti LuPone" -- something I couldn't do when one had to rip cues in their entirety. I've seen several mentions of Audacity here, so it looks like it's something that many members use routinely. Lucky them.

 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2014 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I rip first to lossless with full scans of the booklet and then convert that to mp3 at VBR V-0, the highest bitrate available. I keep both because sometimes I am home with my computer and on good speakers, so I will usually play the lossless. Other times I am out and about so I have music on my Zune and now also on my Google Music Cloud.

I haven't yet gotten to do a side by side comparison on a high end system to really see if I can distinguish FLAC and MP3. I know on my current setup for the most part I can't tell the difference between high bitrate MP3s and FLAC.

What I would say is you absolutely should not rip lower than 192kbps at a minimum. If you are going to encode MP3s you should go even higher but there is a huge difference I can clearly distinguish between 128kbps and 192kbps. Beyond that I encode at VBR V-0 (which averages around 256kbps) because I want the MP3s to be the best quality possible.

I recently put together some playlists of music for my wedding reception and everything my husband gave me was 90% 128kbps. It was really horrible sounding and I spent a good amount of time upgrading it because I wasn't going to play something that sounded horrible. He is not an audiophile but he could hear the difference when I played him the two files side by side.

 
 Posted:   Jan 11, 2014 - 11:05 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Mr. Greg: I probably needed someone to walk me through it. At the time it wasn't free and one had to pay for it (although it came with the new turntable I had just bought). I was quite excited at the time, because I wanted to be able to sort of "splice" things together, such as when on tape I had married a principal theme from John Barry's "Masada" with some exotic Tchaikovsky, or when I made my own special "Evita," such as in "What's New Buenos Aires" where I jumped from Patti LuPone to Julie Covington and then BACK to Patti LuPone" -- something I couldn't do when one had to rip cues in their entirety. I've seen several mentions of Audacity here, so it looks like it's something that many members use routinely. Lucky them.

Projects such as this are almost as simple as doing a copy/paste in Word, or some similar operation...it really has been made as simple as possible (the "owners" of Audacity made a good decision early on to make it almost Music Editing For Dummies, which is really about my level).

I often dip in and out of it, trying things, messing it up, trying again, etc etc, and you can not do any harm - if all else fails, there is always the (oft-used) "Undo" button wink

I would urge anyone interested in that sort of thing to download the most recent version (under no circumstances pay for it - it is freeware) and just have a tinker. If you would like to achieve one of the projects above for yourself, please e-mail me a few details (and the tracks) and I am happy to put together a "Walk-Through" so you can nail it yourself.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2014 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   scrapsly   (Member)

320kbps mp3s are practically indistinguishable from CD files, and are about half the size of FLACs.


I HAVE TO DISAGREE ! Yes the file size is smaller, but sound wise you can hear the difference ! Even listening to music on my computer through a set of Klipsch promedia 2.1 speakers the sound difference between a 320 MP3 or lossless is obvious. Equipment does make a difference but no matter how good or bad the equipment, a bad source is a bad source. They started putting enhancement features on many receivers for MP3 a few years ago and it does help, but you can hear the compression. I have to agree with an earlier post. WAV, FLAC, MP3 ??? Whatever works for you !

 
 Posted:   Jan 13, 2014 - 9:40 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Greg:

That's great! Oh, what a headache I had 4 or 5 years ago trying to follow the instructions but just not able to get it! I'll write a note to myself to contact you when we both have a little spare time to do it. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

Ron

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 1:57 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

If you are going to muck about at all with music editing, effects etc, Audacity, which is a free open-ware (meaning anyone can contribute to it) programme, is easily the way to go...I can't hep enough praise on that programme, and I know that certain studios also use it in preference to other software that costs hundereds of pounds...mentioning no names....ahem...


I couldn't agree more. For a while now I've sung Audacity's praises to an annoying degree around here. Ever since I discovered it a few years back, it's become my favorite hobby... creating custom edits, recreating single versions and whatnot. Professional-quality results. In fact, if I don't stay disciplined I could easily lose an entire afternoon just farting about with it.

Our board-brother Solium has long touted WavePad and on that basis I give it a shot now and then, just trying to get used to the GUI. With repeated experience I am sure I will eventually get the hang of it, but for the time being my brainpan just seems to gravitate towards the Audacity layout. It must have something to do with the way my eyes connect what I see with what I want my hands to do!

 
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