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Itunes Lossless?


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#1 azure

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:10 PM

I haven't purchased any music from iTunes as its inferior to CD-quality.. but if they start offering 24-bit resolution that would change.
The death knell for optical media? I don't know.. I would hope not.

Apple May Sell Professional Quality Audio Tracks

Apple iTunes and other digital music retailers are negotiating with record labels to offer professional quality, 24 bit audio tracks, CNN reports.

Although recording studios have captured music in 24 bit formats for almost a decade, record labels compress songs into 16 bit audio files for distribution online and through CDs. Then Apple, along with most online music stores, may compress these tracks even more to complement mobile devices like the iPod and iPhone.

However this process could change as record labels and even musicians hope to offer retailers higher-grade recordings.

In an interview with CNN, Jimmy Iovine, chairman of record label Interscope-Geffen-A&M which falls under Universal Music Group, said his parent company was working with Apple and other digital music services to offer 24 bit formats, requiring Apple to retool its mobile devices. "Some of their electronic devices are going to be changed as well," Iovine said. "[We] have a long road ahead of us."

Iovine's disclosure shouldn't come as any great surprise to those who paid close attention to HP's WebOS live blog, however. There, Iovine highlighted the "Beats" technology used in the HP TouchPad, and noted his frustration with the industry's downsampling of professionally-recorded audio into a format with less fidelity.

Earlier this month Radiohead launched its latest album "King of Limbs" album online. The rock band tiered the price according to audio quality: $9 for the 320 kilobits per second, mp3 sound quality album and $14 for the uncompressed WAV file.

http://www.pcmag.com...,2380729,00.asp

Edited by azure, 23 February 2011 - 02:11 PM.


#2 ajm

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:15 PM

I haven't purchased any music from iTunes as its inferior to CD-quality.. but if they start offering 24-bit resolution that would change.
The death knell for optical media? I don't know.. I would hope not.


http://www.pcmag.com...,2380729,00.asp

I've been hoping someone would do this ever since allofmp3 was taken down.

#3 :)

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:22 PM

Linn been selling studio grade recordings for while.

It's good to see from apple.

Now I know some one will come along whining 16bit is good enough. But I think a good thing.

#4 azure

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

I must admit I thought they would have moved to "CD quality" first.. before jumping to lossless 24-bit resolution

I can see the demand there, the whole 'audiophile' media server market.

Apple Could Sell Higher Quality Music Files, But Why Would It?

CNN reports that Apple is in talks with the recording industry to sell higher-quality music files through iTunes.

The only problem: an 60-minute album at top quality would be almost 2GB in size, meaning it would take forever to download and eat up scarce storage space on iPhones and iPods

http://www.sfgate.co...d-it-2011-2.DTL

I've never had this issue with DVD-A playback;

Why 24-bit Audio Will Be Bad For Users
. . .24-bit audio might be the staple of recording studios, but there’s a reason it should stay there. 24-bit has a really low “noise floor” – that hum you hear if you turn a silent amplifier up really high. . . .

http://www.gizmodo.c...-bad-for-users/

My only bugbear with downloaded/ripped material is spacing between the tracks.. placing the same amount of time as placed on a CD/SACD/DVD-A.. maybe there is program out there already that I don't know about.

I must say I'd be happy if they upgraded to lossless CD quality

Were iTunes to offer 16-bit lossless audio, as on a CD, the recording community would rejoice and recommend it.


From what i've read, so far, none of Apple's devices actually handle 24-bit (including the current ATV).. I would gather this is a hardware D/A converter issue.

Also, lets not forget 'Airplay' here
The majority of receivers would be able to handle the higher resolution though.

#5 Gutty

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:40 AM

Now I know some one will come along whining 16bit is good enough.


16bit is fine most the time, and for those occasions when it's not.... we have vinyl ! :P :D

:winky:

Edited by (_*_), 25 February 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#6 Puss in Books

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:52 PM

My only bugbear with downloaded/ripped material is spacing between the tracks.. placing the same amount of time as placed on a CD/SACD/DVD-A.. maybe there is program out there already that I don't know about.

Curious to know how that causes a problem? I always thought a CD was a continuous stream with the "tracks" only being an index to where particular songs start and stop. I have a few CDs that are a single musical piece (eg. a live concert) but still organised into tracks. On playback there are no gaps at all.

#7 azure

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:34 PM

Not a major issue.. just some CDs vary the length of gaps between songs, music tracks.
I would like to do that with the iPhone and ATV
This is what I was talking about, I'll try this;

How do you change the gap between songs in iTunes?

I know how to do it for all tracks but I have an album were tracks 3 and 4 shouldn't have a gap. They are supposed to run together.

How do I eliminate the gap between just those two songs?

http://answers.yahoo...04193846AAC91mD

#8 azure

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:01 PM

Not a major issue.. just some CDs vary the length of gaps between songs, music tracks.
I would like to do that with the iPhone and ATV
This is what I was talking about, I'll try this;

http://answers.yahoo...04193846AAC91mD


EDIT - under the options tab, click on Stop Time.. a cumbersome task though

#9 Puss in Books

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:27 PM

That's strange. I've never had that problem with my ATV for both iTunes and ripped CDs. However, I have only purchased one album from iTunes (The soundtrack from The Wire) where the music between tracks are unbroken. On this particular album the next track starts to fade in while the current one fades out. On both ATV and WMP playback there is no gap that I can discern.

However, on my iPod nano there is the briefest of pauses. Likewise on the MP3 player in my car, but a slightly longer pause. From my experience the gap is down to the player rather than downloads/rips.

#10 MLXXX

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:25 PM

From http://www.gizmodo.c...-bad-for-users/ :-

To the hi-fi industry, audiophile has always been another word for sucker. There’s no doubt that good quality equipment will sound better than iPod headphones, but with the marketing might of the modern music industry, there could soon be more audiophiles than ever.

Were iTunes to offer 16-bit lossless audio, as on a CD, the recording community would rejoice and recommend it. However, 24-bit is shaping up to be a huge con. The industry might be smart to find and sell intangible value, but with higher prices and storage, the consumer loses again.

Yes I'm afraid that double blind tests reveal no audible difference between 24 biits and 16 bits dithered, at normal recording and playback levels. 24 bits although it might be thought "a good thing" by some audiophiles, surprisingly produces no audible difference.



Now I know some one will come along whining 16bit is good enough. But I think a good thing.


16bit is fine most the time, and for those occasions when it's not.... we have vinyl ! :P :D

:winky:

Yes vinyl is certainly a choice for when you don't want 16 bits!

I don't know how accurate the following webpage is in its method of calculation, but it suggests that vinyl 33⅓ rpm LPs have an equivalent bit depth of only up to about 12.5 bits: http://www.enjoythem...nufacture/0909/

Edited by MLXXX, 25 February 2011 - 09:40 PM.


#11 Skid_MacMarx

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:47 PM

It will probably be HD-AAC??

The new MPEG HD-AAC® codec offers music quality superior to the CD and compatibility with iPods and AAC-enabled mobile phones. Based on the MPEG-4 SLS and AAC-LC standards, Fraunhofer's HD-AAC provides future-proof, lossless compression of 16/24-bit and up to 192 kHz quality music content. Today's CDs store uncompressed audio in 16-bit, 44.1 kHz quality, despite the fact that most music is now produced in the improved 24-bit, 96 kHz format. The underlying objective for HD-AAC, therefore, is to make this new high-quality sound experience conveniently available to consumers, electronic music distribution services and the consumer electronics industry.

Audio quality superior to CD (24-bit audio, up to 192 kHz).

State-of-the-art lossless compression preserving every bit of information

Compatible with many mobile phones and PMPs (i.e. Apple iPod®)

Full Metadata support including cover art, ID3 tags and lyrics

Based on the ISO MPEG-4 AAC-LC and SLS open standards

Maximized sound quality under difficult network conditions

High error robustness and boundless editing possibilities


http://www.iis.fraun...iocodecs/hdaac/

Edited by Skid_MacMarx, 18 May 2011 - 05:09 PM.


#12 ncl_knight

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:59 PM

If they do go the 24-bit route (which I hope they do), they will still need to offer the current files, as people will whinge about file sizes, space it takes up etc. Also the compressed version would be better on an iPod, especially if your listening with those God awful standard ear-phones.

#13 gone_bush

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:20 PM

Innocent question: What's wrong with FLAC? :huh:

#14 Gutty

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:10 PM

Good question Kev... One I've never heard a decent answer to.

#15 gone_bush

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:13 AM

Good question Kev... One I've never heard a decent answer to.

Oh, I've got an answer: it's free so Apple can't tie people into a costly, propriety format that cannot be used on non-AppŁe products!

But I'm a cynical sod! :ninja:

#16 ajm

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

Oh, I've got an answer: it's free so Apple can't tie people into a costly, propriety format that cannot be used on non-AppŁe products!

But I'm a cynical sod! :ninja:


Cynical maybe but I'd bet a buck or ten that you're right.

#17 Gutty

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:06 AM

Oh, I've got an answer: it's free so Apple can't tie people into a costly, propriety format that cannot be used on non-AppŁe products!

But I'm a cynical sod! :ninja:




Just like MP3 and WAV that you can use on Apple products ? :P

I don't understand why FLAC is the odd man out.... :huh:

#18 ajm

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:37 AM

Just like MP3 and WAV that you can use on Apple products ? :P

I don't understand why FLAC is the odd man out.... :huh:

The difference is Apple don't sell in WAV or MP3 formats. Apple will let you add your own MP3/WAV files to your iPod but even these are converted to an Apple format when they're added.

When it comes to selling, Apple will DRM these files up the whazoo which is why they'll stick to using a format they can control.

#19 Hi-Fi Whipped

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:00 PM

Lets face it, Apple are in a position where they are looking after Apple first, artists and labels second and consumers third. To ensure they keep feathering their own nest they have created codecs that suit their systems first, again not at all surprising because they are in the business to make money afterall.

#20 myrantz

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:16 PM

Lets face it, Apple are in a position where they are looking after Apple first, artists and labels second and consumers third. To ensure they keep feathering their own nest they have created codecs that suit their systems first, again not at all surprising because they are in the business to make money afterall.

Whatever works I guess... I don't really care since my streamers can play 'em all... :D Doesn't play 'em well, but it still plays...

Had some friends from Singapore last weekend.. They have iPhones so I finally get to try some apple stuffs.. Be it Apple lossless, ACC, my FLAC, their 96/24 HD Tracks ...

Personally, I still prefer CDs.. :ninja: burned the HD tracks to a CD (with dither), and still prefer that (so I think DAC probably plays a very big part)... But I still prefer streamers TBH...

In theory, without a good DAC, the lossless parts, the high sampling rates, the bitdepth are pointless..... But I have no idea what good DACs are out there, maybe an Oppo 95?

Incidentally, the HD tracks I've tried are pretty good, must really get off my lazy butt and register an account, but the files are big (the 96/24 files are >1GB in size :huh:)..

PS: There's actually one guy in Perth who has no idea Apple is the brand of iPhone. To you sir, I say Kudos!! Giving up $910 in the process...

#21 Skid_MacMarx

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

I would like to move away from the proprietary ALAC to say FLAC, I was considering WAV (via say the PS3).
Maybe better to convert my music into HD-AAC if it takes off??
So far its more convenient to stay in the Apple realm (ie Apple TV —> a decent D/A converter via optical)
You're always going on about your bandwidth treblid :D Maybe you should look around for a better ISP.. I don't go anywhere near my limit, and I have two teenagers in the house.

#22 Cheesehead_001

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:09 PM

I would like to move away from the proprietary ALAC to say FLAC, I was considering WAV (via say the PS3).
Maybe better to convert my music into HD-AAC if it takes off??
So far its more convenient to stay in the Apple realm (ie Apple TV —> a decent D/A converter via optical)
You're always going on about your bandwidth treblid :D Maybe you should look around for a better ISP.. I don't go anywhere near my limit, and I have two teenagers in the house.


I've got one of the original Apple TVs as well and I guess as a result most of the 60Gb of music I have is in Apple Lossless. (Apple TV connected to the HK)
With the Oppo 95 on the way I've been thinking of moving the Apple TV to the 2nd system and copying the music collection onto another drive in FLAC format and hooking the drive up directly to the Oppo. If anyone's interested I found a freeware converter called MAX, which did the job on one test album from Apple Lossless to FLAC.

#23 com5984

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:20 PM

I would like to move away from the proprietary ALAC to say FLAC, I was considering WAV (via say the PS3).
Maybe better to convert my music into HD-AAC if it takes off??
So far its more convenient to stay in the Apple realm (ie Apple TV —> a decent D/A converter via optical)
You're always going on about your bandwidth treblid :D Maybe you should look around for a better ISP.. I don't go anywhere near my limit, and I have two teenagers in the house.


I have airport express that is connected to my DAC and have been trying the apple lossless formats and while everyone will tell you it's all the same, AIFF definitely sounds better than ALAC in my system

#24 Skid_MacMarx

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 06:50 PM

I can't see the iTunes store selling "CD-quality" lossless music any time soon after this latest announcement

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs on Monday introduced more than just a cloud storage system for songs that fans buy legitimately through iTunes. He unveiled a system that might finally get music lovers to pay for the songs they got through less-than-proper means.

Aside from offering to freely distribute new and old iTunes purchases on all of a user's devices, the Apple impresario unveiled "iTunes Match," a $25-a-year service starting this fall that will scan users' devices and hard drives for music acquired in other ways, store it on distant computer servers and allow them to access it anywhere.

The service acknowledges a well-known fact - that most music on iPods, iPhones and iPads was ripped or swapped. Apple reached a deal that gives recording companies more than 70 percent of the new fees, addressing a dark secret that has crippled the music industry, and provides them with some economic payback.

Where Apple is able to identify and match songs from its 18 million-song database, it will transfer them into the user's iCloud, a storage area housed on servers, including those at a massive new data center in North Carolina.

"The chances are awfully good that we've got the songs in our store that you've ripped," Jobs said.
Where songs can't be identified - say of bootlegged concert recordings - users can manually upload them to the cloud and gain the same access.


http://www.physorg.c...sic-piracy.html

#25 :)

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:59 PM

apparently already got the recording companies off side as see it as legitimising piracy..

http://www.theage.co...0607-1fq76.html