I may have found the problem. Let me describe my symptoms and my fix:
I imported an alumn from disk where the original was just a series of MP3s - very clean and happy MP3s.
They sounded different in iTunes. They sounded bad.
I tried playing the imported copy in the iTunes library folder on disk. It sounded great.
The music on my phone sounded awful too. How strange.
Again, the music on disk sounded fine if I played it by pressing space or putting it in VLC
In itunes, Right click, get info, Options
See that Volume Adjustment at the top. it should be at ZERO
I've filed a bug report with Apple so that they can check it out and see if it's truly repeatable but it was repeatable for me. I hope this helps!
For itunes 10 sound quality issues make sure your audio equalizer is either off or if you want that extra bass/ mid/ treb make sure the EQ has its preamp at 0 or lower, then turn up your master volumes to compensate. just remember the more you stray away on any EQ frequency range to the upper portion of the preamp the distortion will be more prominant. It doesn't take much either.
I think this is a serious issue with sound quality. I made some sound test using 154Hz_-34dBFS_500Hz_-16dBFS_10s, 15Hz_-15dBFS_700Hz_-4dBFS_10 for sec, and so on, it is painful sometimes to hear. Windows MP just play them fine.
I did try to go back to iTunes 9, no chance there, you wont be able to do anything, you can^t go back.
I did try annother thing with Quick Time audio settings, restart itunes but it did nothing. I^m verry surprised to see such a bad version comming from Apple.
Hope there will be a quick fix soon, people are talking about that issue around the net....
Great! Why does itunes have an Equilizer if it effectively changes the dB level of different frequencies, but the quality is compromised??? EQ needs to be worked on for the next itunes update! I'm glad this worked for someone else!
to everyone- If this solution works for you let itunes know your opinion of this flaw. Have your itunes open and click the itunes tab on your menu bar. Click "Provide iTunes Feedback". Push for an update.
EASY SOLUTION to iTunes 10 sound quality issues.
1. Open your iTunes 10
2. From the Window tab at the top of your screen click "Equalizer"
3. On the left side of the Equalizer is the cause of the problem. The "Preamp"
4. Use the check box located at the top of the preamp to turn it off. If you play a song and switch your preamp on and off you will find that the quality will be much higher with the preamp off.
5. Alternatively, keep it switched on and set the preamp slider to 0 dB if you still want better quality sound, and want it balanced a certain way.
It was for a client who got a virus infection, I have to reinstall Windows and iTunes. The client came back, not very happy with this part of my work, complaining of bad sound distortion, I was skeptic, had to reinstall the audio driver.......
Lots of peoples will no be bothered with these distortions, but this client, who is a great melomane did notice what I was having difficulties to hear, It's only when I did some frequencies test that I noticed very bad variations.
I agree with you, this thing should be corrected, lots of peoples don't even know where is the Equalizer and know about Preamp stuff.
Your comment was a real time saver for me, I wish I could have read it before all this :-/
That worked for me, but
Spend a couple of hours solving this (same) problem. I was importing a remastered album (own production) in various formats (320 kbs, Apple losless etc) to hear which conversion sounds best... and was about on my way to the store to buy for once & for all a decent vinyl record player and kick all that digital cr*p out of the window.... all conversions sounded horrible!
What solved it for me: Itunes/Preferences/Play/Optimise sound: TURN THIS OFF, mine was automatically on and maxed out after installing 10.6.1.
I guess I'm using the correct English terms, my Itunes is in Dutch, so Play is second button from the left, and 'Optimise sound' is the slider in the middle.
By the way, to my ears there's no doubt that Apple Losless provides the best conversion (as it should seen the size of the audio files :-).
Well i did all of the things mentioned in this thread and the sound from itunes 10 does change with the equalizer and turning the preamp on and off. you people may want to do a comparison with quicktime playing the same track because no matter how i set anything in itunes it still sounds much clearer when played with quicktime. has much better seperation. i can pick out sounds in new tracks that i can barely hear in itunes because it sounds muffled. give it a try.
I'm completely furious about this...
There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR IT WHATSOEVER... its completely straightforward to make the audio play without errors. In the first place ALL code that somehow modifies the audio, eg, volume control, volume levelling, EQ etc should be disableable...
I am especially annoyed about this... I used iTunes to check some masters recently returned from Metropolis in London... there was in some tracks what sounded very much like clipping distortion. I rang round the band and the other engineers who worked on the album to inform them that the planned run of discs would have to be cancelled because the whole album would have to be re-mastered. A week later, in an idle converation, someone happened to raise the issue of where the volume control in iTunes should be positioned for unity gain.... Naturally I have always assumed that full was unity... but it turns out, the signal is boosted into clipping!!! WHY may I ask have Apple removed the option to disable the volume control?? Do they know that soem folk use iTunes with an Apple router into a high qualtiy coverter for the digital sound input for their hi-fi (yes, some of us still have them)...
I am hugely disappointed by all this... I have been an Apple fan for years and always trusted their products,,, but relatively recently I have discovered that Logic's summing is inferior and reluctantly converted to Pro-Tools...
Apple, are you listening??? If you don't sort these relatively simple problems out very fast you will lose me as a customer... and then you will lose the organisation I work for since I decide what computers we use in the studios....
Come on guys... Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave...
Altering / disabling the preamp doesn't help... I always have all that stuff disabled anyway... I used to have the volume control disabled too...only pulling down the volume control cures the clipping. But, I want unity gain with no poor quality digital "devices" in the signal path... its really simple to achieve.....
Anyone know how to get back to iTunes 9.x?