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What are your thoughts on the New iTunes 11?

113313 Views 1,597 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2014 11:37 AM by Mark Block RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 24, 2013 3:48 PM (in response to rustyintegrale)

    rustyintegral,

     

    Wow... that is definitely a huge difference. I didn't realize until now, but even if we can't hear all those higher frequencies, they seem to create sub-harmonics that bleed into the hearing threshold (or maybe I'm mistaken and the other explanation is they're not cutting out the high end like they do on CDs), but I definitely hear a cocopony of high end frequencies made by each instrument and detail I've never heard before in any CD. (I suddenly feel nostalgic for the music that was at one point recorded and mastered on analog tapes and played on a brand new 33rpm high fidelity stereo LPs with a brand new diamond tip needle).

     

    I think the base guitarist was using a pick rather than fingers, but I'm playing it on my PC speakers... I was going to respond to you and to verbcrunch that in the end, bitrate wasn't entirely important and that CD quality was actually good enough for me as the base source, but I think I might have to reconsider my position, at least for some stuff (deep purple's machine head maybe??).

     

    Storage is a bit of a premium for me (my active music library is 37 days long and growing, though I do believe I've reached my listening saturation point) and recompressing an already compressed audio file is unquestionably audio quality suicide, which is why I'm looking for a non "already compressed" source (I have CDs for those I can get my mitts on, hence the search for an online source for those I can't). For my ipod and for itunes, I've been happy with VBR mp3s (lame encoder -V 3 setting) for most everything in all my activities. I find it's very hard to tell the difference between that setting and the original CD wave file and the file size is pretty much the perfect balance for the quality. I also don't feel like dragging a network storage array around with me to get that extra quality that got chopped.... I am (or should I say was) mostly happy with CDs and will probably still be looking for lossless CD quality files (and DRM free) sources. That http://www.linnrecords.com looks fairly good, from the little I've seen of it, though I couldn't find anything from an artist that I couldn't get a physical CD for. I'll poke around it a bit more and see what exactly they offer and for how much before I settle on it for a while (and thanks for the info... that was along the lines of what I was looking for).

     

    And specifically back to this thread, I'm blowing brain cells trying to process my most recent encounter with itunes 11....

     

    I can't believe how long it took me tonight to discover you have to "right click" on the track then select "play <this song>".... I kept going "queue next" when you see that right arrow which means "play", the obvious choice when presented with a particular song you might want to play, then skip to next song if you're playing something else to start that one, or to start playing the new adhoc playlist that was created, starting with that one.

     

    Nope.... I can't take this new version and I am now perfectly willing to NEVER upgrade itunes, NEVER upgrade the IOS and NEVER buy another IOS device again for as long as what I have works.... I have something that makes sense now (version 10.7 and ios 6.0.1 on my touch) and I'm willing to stay in this world until another company innovates and comes up with something that makes apple's current products look like garbage.

  • iTunesDJ Calculating status...
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    Jan 25, 2013 3:10 AM (in response to Porf)

    Since iTunes 11 was launched the stock is down from 589,36 to 450,50. That is -23,56%.

     

    iTunes has above 400 million registered accounts. -Apple, STOP underestimate them!

  • rustyintegrale Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
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    Jan 25, 2013 11:23 AM (in response to pegaudet)


    Wow... that is definitely a huge difference.

     

    It's amazing isn't it? There are people who claim that it is not possible to hear a difference but I think your experience says different.

     

    Now all we have to do is wait for Apple to act or Neil Young to get his act together with Pono.

  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 25, 2013 4:30 PM (in response to rustyintegrale)

    rustyintegrale wrote:

     

    It's amazing isn't it? There are people who claim that it is not possible to hear a difference but I think your experience says different.

     

    Now all we have to do is wait for Apple to act or Neil Young to get his act together with Pono.

     

    I think what's more amazing is that I could hear it even on midrange computer speakers.

     

    I heard Neil Young was trying to work something out with Sony (and they seem to be notorious for strangling implementation of technology to protect their patents so much they strangle themselves out of the market... betamax, SACD are two examples... betamax was by far superior in video quality to VHS, but was simply priced too high), and now with sites offering 172kbs 24bit raw wav flac format downloads, I think the next leap in technology will have to be ultra compact storage (e.g. store data at the quantum level or encoded in DNA... side note, the entire world's knowledge could be stored in a cup of DNA,... I read it on google news a few days ago.. very interesting read) which would allow us to rip and store raw waves like HD audio on ipods with total abandon due to a quantum leap in storage.

     

    The likes of Apple seem to be repeating the business model of the recording industry in a new format... By controlling the only production of the storage medium (vinyl records, 8 track, audio cassette and later CDs), the recording industry could mitigate piracy.... I say mitigate because it was impossible to prevent people from buying blank cassette tapes and recording songs from the radio or to dub a friends copy. DVD encryption got broken, SACD encryption got broken, I don't doubt someone will eventually find a way to bypass or break the DVD audio encryption. No barrier is insurmountable and it's only a matter of time before it comes down, so why dangle carrot and stick in one hand and baseball bat in the other? It makes no sense.

     

    Apple is trying to create a "buy everything from us and we will supply all your needs" ecosystem that is just poised to backfire. Apple says, "we'll give the users fair play, but they have to play by our rules" and next thing you know, you get a company that gets people used to and invested in their products. Then they adds things, takes things away, changes things on what seems like a whim and without too much rational explanation. How much market research did they really do with itunes 11 before they put that one out? apparently not enough based on the explosion of negative comments recently on twitter (and a lot of it probably stems from people finally getting tired of saying "no do not upgrade itunes", only to find version 11 does so many things *** backwards that loathing is the only option.

     

    Apple is already starting to implode (maps, iphone 5 being little more than an iphone 4s with lipstick compare to samsung's galaxy and now itunes, another post on this thread stating "Since iTunes 11 was launched the stock is down from 589,36 to 450,50. That is -23,56%."), i think they'll be so busy doing damage control, they won't have time to come up with any new truly radical technology, even if it is quite simple to implement....

     

    The money trail is what tends to motivate large companies like them (small companies have to make their mark so they really are motivated. Small companies/businesses only turn into large companies when good talent+good ideas+good opportunities are right) and Apple seems to be losing the "good ideas" war, based on iphone 5 v.s. samsung galaxy reviews and even maps being so horribly inaccurate compared to google maps, so I really doubt HD audio or even lossless audio for that matter will drive their decision making, since very few people will see the value of having the marginal quality so easily overlooked that more money would offer.

     

     

    No, I think the hope for people like us would be if there is a radically new ultra compact storage medium invented that allows us to carry with us as much lossless audio as we can ever dream of, and music distribution companies who price point lossless DRM free music so reasonably, piracy is totally irrelevant.... And with computers pushing bits back and forth, there is no physical infrastructure dedicated to music to worry about chewing into profit (once it's mastered and put online, all the musician has to do is sit back and watch the money come in... and you don't need connections to make even that happen any more, only talent an audience willing to buy it and a site like Bandcamp).... Sites like Bandcamp probably take a small cut to keep the site running and dress the site up a bit more and it's an instant win-win-win situation.

     

    As for the masses, I think I can hear a vaccuum starting to form. I've tried other media management software before and a lot of them are not all that easy to use. I still regard itunes to be on the forefront of music management/player software. However, from the chorus of discontent with this version of itunes (my voice included), it would only take a small talented company the right opportunity to step in, create an itunes/ipod alternative that is very easy to use and will satisfy their needs with something really new (e.g. built in integration with any online music store with a predefined web service for example, so now I could buy from one of many stores, the same way itunes store is integrated with itunes, but have a selection of which store I want to go to) to further steal Apple's thunder.

     

    Which brings me back to something I said elsewhere... All it takes is someone to do to Apple what they did to the walkman (CDs are so archaic compared to mp3s on a tiny device with a harddrive... I bought a walkman CD player... wow.. biggest piece of junk I ever had.. walking made it skip and stop and it chewed batteries faster than anything I owned).... That is, come up with something that is actually and truly better than and different from everything else (and actually usable) that using the old thing just doesn't feel right.

  • shalegria1 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 5:18 PM (in response to Porf)

    Hi Pegaudet, verbcrunch and rustyintegrale, I just want to thank you - and others too - for providing such a wealth of info and leads on how to overcome or say goodbye to Apple's descent towards big-daddy mediocrity. And I just can't help wondering, are they reading any of this? Do they have a clue what is going on at grassroots among people who once loved them for their intelligent, user-SERVING creativity? Or are they all too busy believing their own hype in the probably sponsored reviews about how great this piece of shhh.. called iTunes11 really is?

  • Mark Block Level 2 Level 2 (270 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 6:43 PM (in response to pegaudet)

    pegaudet wrote:

     

    rustyintegrale wrote:

     

    It's amazing isn't it? There are people who claim that it is not possible to hear a difference but I think your experience says different.

     

    Now all we have to do is wait for Apple to act or Neil Young to get his act together with Pono.

     

    I think what's more amazing is that I could hear it even on midrange computer speakers.

     

    I'm sorry, but this ignores completely what's actually happening with SACD remastering. There's a very good reason you can hear a difference between the SACD and the original LP, CD or iTunes download, even on crappy computer speakers: You are not listening not the same mix. You're not comparing like with like.

     

    I've been very interested in SACD from the beginning. I went to several Sony demos when SACD was launching, both in their recording studio in New York and their tech operations in NJ. I'm pretty familiar with it. Some SACD releases are amazingly good; some are dramatically inferior to the original stereo mixes done in the LP era. I could write a book on why that is, but in the end, the differences are do to remixing from the multitracks, different EQ settings, and -- most irritating to me -- overuse of compressor/limiters.

     

    Many SACDs were re-mixed from the original multitrack in order to create a surround mix, by the way. The stereo mix is almost an afterthought.

     

    Modern mixes are usually brighter and hotter than older mixes. I think it's a matter of bad taste in younger mixing engineers to some extent, but also a "best practices" thing in the LP era. When "Gasoline Alley" was released in 1970, engineers had to consider the fact that LPs needed to be made; too much bass and treble caused cartridge mistracking, so bass was mono'ed and rolled off; treble EQ was conservative. The best compressors were tube based, so too much compression made everything muffled and fuzzy. The mixes back then were generally conservative by necessity. When the CDs were mastered later, and when the iTunes downloads were created, the original mixes were used. The CD-mastering engineers were free to add EQ and other tweaks, but sometimes the stereo tape made for LP cutting was used without alteration.

     

    By the time Sony got around to SACD remixing and remastering, the "loudness wars" were approaching. Most SACD-based mixes are more dynamically compressed than the original -- although I don't think that's necessarily the case with the Rod Stewart album. Note: I'm talking about dynamic range compression; I'm not talking about AAC or MP3 compression; the two types of compression have nothing to do with each other.

     

    SACDs usually have better bass and more detail, but are often too bright and too compressed for my ears. But here's the important point: That has nothing to do with DSD/SACD technology; it has nothing to do with AAC lossy compression versus ALAC; it is strictly because the albums have been remixed and remastered by engineers who have different tools in the mix studio -- and different aesthetics between their ears. The engineers, producers (and sometimes the musicians themselves) demand that the SACD releases sound different -- louder, more immediate, more in-your-face. Sometimes they're better, sometimes they're not. Different, definitely.

     

    I would love for Apple to offer ALAC downloads, and hi-res downloads, and even real DSD downloads -- the files the SACDs were made from. The music library on my main system (still running iTunes 10.7, with Pure Music, feeding a Bel Canto 24/192 DAC) is almost all AIFF, either CD rips or HD Downloads. But that's not Apple's thing. The iTunes 256k AAC downloads are more than adequate for 99.9% of music lovers.

     

    Getting back on topic, I don't really care about the iTunes Store. I just wish iTunes 11 was a better piece of software, with better graphics (like an updated Cover Flow) and better search and usability. The inability to easily deal with mixed high-res sample rates isn't a problem as long as software like Pure Music exists. I'd only switch to something else if iTunes became unable to play high-res AIFF files, but that would be highly unlikely.

  • verbcrunch Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2013 9:02 PM (in response to shalegria1)

    shalegria1 wrote:

     

    .. are they reading any of this? Do they have a clue what is going on at grassroots among people who once loved them for their intelligent, user-SERVING creativity? Or are they all too busy believing their own hype in the probably sponsored reviews about how great this piece of shhh.. called iTunes11 really is?

    The official course of action is to click the link for feedback, which Apple claims to diligently read.    I've left feedback on iTunes11 regarding removal of artwork preview for selected tracks, and removal of multiple window capability, and also a comment on Mountain Lion.         I think there's a lot of thoughtful observations in these threads that I hope Apple takes into consideration.     There are also a lot of rants from people who haven't yet figured out how to configure the software to their liking.      This thread also got censored earlier, so it looks like someone is monitoring what's being written, but I give Apple credit for not cutting out a lot of negative posts.

     

    At Mark Block:   thanks for the insight !!       You can't directly compare high resolution audio with the original source if the mix is different.    On the other hand I remember listening to the reconstructed "Yellow Submarine" CD and was wishing they didn't stay so true to the original mix..   would have sounded better if George's vocals had been pulled back on "It's All Too Much".

  • aiwenoid Calculating status...
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    Jan 26, 2013 2:52 AM (in response to Bloodwing)

    Does the people know we most of us find this puff Itunes a pain in the ***? If we bombard them with mails and calls they will knowtis. But if we don't they will not know of the pain in our ***

  • rustyintegrale Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 4:42 AM (in response to Mark Block)


    SACDs usually have better bass and more detail, but are often too bright and too compressed for my ears. But here's the important point: That has nothing to do with DSD/SACD technology; it has nothing to do with AAC lossy compression versus ALAC; it is strictly because the albums have been remixed and remastered by engineers who have different tools in the mix studio -- and different aesthetics between their ears. The engineers, producers (and sometimes the musicians themselves) demand that the SACD releases sound different -- louder, more immediate, more in-your-face. Sometimes they're better, sometimes they're not. Different, definitely.

    Hi Mark,

     

    Thanks for that very informative post, you clearly know a lot more about the technical side of hi-res audio than I do!

     

    I have to confess to being a relatively recent convert and in honesty up to around a year ago I didn't even think there was anything more high res than CD quality!

     

    Regarding the different mixes I had no idea that went on. However most of the high res files I've got are from 70s albums because I was looking to replace stuff I only have on vinyl. That all sits in my loft unplayed because my record deck went soon after I got my CD player. So you see I can't make a direct comparison.

     

    However I do know what pleases my ears. Generally speaking the high res files I have sound detailed - not necessarily louder. I completely get what you mean about the record companies and dynamic compression though. I've opened many a file in Audacity and it is immediate obvious which tracks have been treated this way and which have not. There are many complaints on various audio forums about this practice and I'd guess that is why many people still prefer to listen to vinyl over CDs.

     

    Going back to Audacity and your comment about stereo and surround sound mixes, most SACD/DVD-As that I've found have both. It has been fun fiddling with the surround sound mixes and although what you can do is severely limited, I have had hours of pleasure making my own version of Hotel California   - not that it sounds better than the original of course!

  • Chief55m Calculating status...
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    Jan 26, 2013 10:10 AM (in response to Porf)

    anyone having problems wiht  OS X 10.7.5 and iTunes, mine continualy freezes, get the spinng beach ball and have to force quit.  I cannot use iTunes, any ideas?

  • double_ohh7 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2013 10:26 AM (in response to Chief55m)

    Might be worth reparing permissions and re-booting for a start.

     

    Go to the Utilities folder in your Applications folder and open Disk Utility.  Select your Mac HD in the top left corner, select the First Aid Tab and select Repair Permissions.   Best to have all other applications cloesd and don't use it while it's working.

     

    When it's finished, re-start your mac.

     

     

    Have you recently down graded to 10.7, or is this a new problem...?

  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 26, 2013 5:17 PM (in response to Mark Block)

    Mark Block wrote:


    I'm sorry, but this ignores completely what's actually happening with SACD remastering. There's a very good reason you can hear a difference between the SACD and the original LP, CD or iTunes download, even on crappy computer speakers: You are not listening not the same mix. You're not comparing like with like.

     

     

    Mark,

     

    Thanks for the response and pointing out things I overlooked. That was a very good explanation in terms of eq/compression, etc.

     

    My focus on my very limited listening comparison earlier was primarily on the range of frequencies I heard and less on the mixing or the detail I could make out, although I did think the dynamic range compression and EQ balance were a bit aggressive at times. The mixing itself might have been what allowed me to make out the use of a pick on the bass guitar rather than plucking with fingers, but it would not have had a whole lot to do with the high end frequencies I did also hear.... I would equate what I heard to fiddling with the bass/trebble knobs of the stereo... They might be there from the source material, but you just don't hear them all (where CDs might be concerned).

     

    That being said, it was my very limited exposure to HD audio so I will definitely be on the lookout now and in the future for what I can hear where and what I can't hear where. I will also pay more attention to the mixing of the audio, keeping that in mind too.

  • pegaudet Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 27, 2013 5:59 AM (in response to shalegria1)

    shalegria1 wrote:

     

    Do they have a clue what is going on at grassroots among people who once loved them for their intelligent, user-SERVING creativity? Or are they all too busy believing their own hype in the probably sponsored reviews about how great this piece of shhh.. called iTunes11 really is?

    shalegria1,

     

    You're welcome. I actually delight in freely sharing my knowledge, assumptions and opinions in the hopes of increasing the collective wisdom. I think I might want to start a blog on the subject of music and see who is interested.. I have some ideas already that could make for a very interesting on mp3 audio compression settings and compression in general. For 2.0 stereo or mono audio, like what you get with CD quality music, I still think mp3 VBR is superior to AAC with certain settings, like what we get from itunes in terms of fidelity to the original source v.s. filesize.

     

    Does Apple's silence on their customer's problems remind you of another large software company out there? It would not surprise me if they did have employees reading the comments posted on these forums to get a sense of the general level of discontent or problems, but they probably don't have any direct desire to take our rants here with any seriousness. Instead they encourage us to go through a convoluted process just to get to the right feedback form, and even though they say they read every single feedback form that was filled in, reading them and figuring out to do something about it are two different things.

     

    I think their idea well is fast running out and now they are frantically trying to keep their casual customers who are finding the products have stagnated or dropped in quality/value. Their reputation as a "it just works" company is also being tarnished to the point where people are no longer buying the line.

  • crashanywhere Calculating status...
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    Jan 27, 2013 11:33 AM (in response to Porf)

    Just 'downgraded' to 10.7. Very happy

  • Ellyenne Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 27, 2013 1:04 PM (in response to BopCat)

    LIST VIEW aka song view gave me album art, songs grouped in an album and the VERY important data such as track number, size, & bit rate.  May not be important to you, but I am trying to digitalize a vinyl library and then rip the albums down to MP3 for my Android phone (don't ask).

    I NEED the song view to have the cover art so I can copy it to the MP3.  (yest that worked in iTunes10)

    I WANT the cover flow view because sometimes, that's what I picked to play on my computer.

    The new iTunes is just missing functions.

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