372 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2006 10:50 AM by PT
Have a look at these articles, you'll get an extensive comparison of the various formats:
Record Store Review - Quality of AAC v MP3 Part 1
Record Store Review - Quality of AAC v MP3 Part 2
You could also make two copies in MP3 and AAC of something you are familiar with and have a listen for yourself. People will have different preferences so it's always best to go by your ears. Whatever your decision, it's always preferable to re-rip from the original uncompressed format rather than converting from one lossy format to another.
Another thing to consider is that of the compressed formats AAC is less widely used at present. If in addition to your iPod you have a non Apple music player or an in-car CD player then MP3 would be the most compatible.
To parrot what Zevoneer stated, while AAC is supposed to be higher quality (in theory) than the same bit rate MP3 file, I rip everything on my computer using MP3 because I can easily burn MP3 CDRs out of iTunes for use in my wife's Alpine CD Changer or my daughter's portable CD player or my Denon 5-CD changer, all of which play MP3s.
iTunes does not convert on the fly, so if they are not already in MP3 format, they don't get put on a CD. Likewise, I think I noticed that if you want to burn a normal audio CD out of iTunes, which I do occasionally for throwing together mix CDs for my other car's CD changer which is NOT MP3 compatible, iTunes will convert MP3s to normal audio (AIFF) on the fly, while AAC files are skipped over (no on the fly conversion), or at least that is how it worked under iTunes4. I have not tried it since upgrading to v6.
So for me anyway, the use of AAC is very inconvenient for what little theoretical quality might be gained from using it. Since most of my needs are auto and portable listening anyway (i.e. often noisy environments), I am sure I wouldn't notice the difference anyway.