5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 7, 2008 10:32 PM by checheung
Nick Syrett Level 1 (55 points)
I originally imported all my 1500 cds as Apple lossless files figuring that would give me the best audio quality for playing back through my AppleTV. But I have realized that sometimes my bandwidth is not enough (when other are downloading from their computers in the house) and the playback stutters. I also want to be able to fit more songs on my iphone.

So now I am thinking about re-encoding using AAC 256khz - I do not think I can really hear much difference.

Firstly what are your opinion on the relative quality of AAV vs. Apple Lossless files....

and secondly is it best to re-encode by ripping all my cds again (please say no) or can I just select all the lossless files in itunes and have it convert them all to AAC - and if that is the best way how do it do it....?

Many thanks for your help...

MacPro - Macbook Air - Macbook Pro 17 - Macbook Black - iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.2), 30" Cinema Display
  • Ron P. Level 2 (300 points)
    I would pick the most challenging songs to encode, ones with a lot of (non-electric) piano, acoustic guitar, wide stereo separation, and see if you're satisfied with going from lossless to 256k.
  • PT Level 7 (20,875 points)
    If you decide to switch to AAC then just use the convert to aac function in iTunes. Since they are lossless, you won't get any worse encoding going from lossless to AAC than you would going fromt he CD to AAC.

    As Ron already pointed out, try converting a few albums and listen to them for a few days. When you do a convert, it makes a NEW copy, so the original lossless versions remain in iTunes until you delete them. So you can compare the two versions side by side on your computer, on the iPhone, etc. and see if after a few days if you can tell (when listening blindly to both types of tracks) any difference between the two.

  • Jan Riggert Level 3 (645 points)
    Well, I have the same question. So last night I compared the original CD vs. Apple Lossless vs. AAC 256kbit/s.
    And to be honest: I cant really hear a difference between AL & AAC@256.

    When I knew which version I was hearing I felt that AL is a bit more clear in the highrange. But when I closed my eyes and asked my girlfriend to randomly pic a quality, I only guessed right in 6 out of 10 trys. So I guess I cant tell the difference.

    My heaphones are Audio Technica: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/e69d047fa2f50ad9/index.html

    The tested music was electronic/trance & pop/rock.
    In case I later start hearing classic music or jazz, I might do this test again.

    Kind regards,

    Message was edited by: Jan Riggert
  • PT Level 7 (20,875 points)
    Jan Riggert wrote:
    Well, I have the same question. So last night I compared the original CD vs. Apple Lossless vs. AAC 256kbit/s.
    And to be honest: I cant really hear a difference between AL & AAC@256.

    Ya really that is the only way to do it, blindly listen to samples in any formats you are considering on your own equipment as you tend to listen to them normally.

    People can spend all day arguing about formats and compression and quality and theoretical missing info and what gives better low end or how this format is better for high end blah blah blah blah. Great, that is all fine, but in the end it means nothing. Listen to the tracks and decide. Your ears are the only thing that really matter.

  • checheung Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the great comments! I just converted my library to AAC@256k yesterday.
    I did not have the time to test out the quality yet.
    But the reason I converted it was that when playing the lossless files on my ipod touch gen2, the numbers randomly have hiccups. They are gone when using apparently smaller files.
    I made 2 smartlists one stated "High Quality" for Lossless and one "Low Quality" for AAC@256k

    When syncing to my ipod I just select the "Low Quality" playlist.

    I'm using Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pro - Will test out the quality today.