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I think Apple made the right choice
Authored by: joshMV4 on May 10, '06 05:18:04PM

I find it funny that sooo many people complain about the 128kbps of the AAC on the iTMS. DVDs that have Dolby Surround sound are the same bitrate, and very few people complain about that quality.

The 128kbps of the audio file is the stereo bitrate (i.e. 64kbps per channel). A 5.1 surround sound DVD is also 64kbps per channel, except 6 channels instead of two=> 384kbps for the whole audio file.

The 128kbps is strictly how much space (bits) per time (seconds) the data takes up. What makes a good encoding codec is "not needing" major bandwidth for good quality, and AAC seems to do just that.

Selling music at 160kbps vs 128kbps requires 25% more file size per song plus 25% more bandwidth to download each song. That is a lot of extra cost for Apple. For the very, very smal percentage of people who can tell the difference between the two bitrates, it isn't worth it.

As far as DRM, I am not happy about it, but without the DRM, the number of songs available on the iTMS would be a lot less, and they would have a lot less customers b/c of that.

Sure I miss not having the CD inserts, but honestly, after owning the CD for a week, I never look at them again anyway.



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I think Apple made the right choice
Authored by: cdubs on May 13, '06 03:50:18AM

"I find it funny that sooo many people complain about the 128kbps of the AAC on the iTMS. DVDs that have Dolby Surround sound are the same bitrate, and very few people complain about that quality.

The 128kbps of the audio file is the stereo bitrate (i.e. 64kbps per channel). A 5.1 surround sound DVD is also 64kbps per channel, except 6 channels instead of two=> 384kbps for the whole audio file.

The 128kbps is strictly how much space (bits) per time (seconds) the data takes up. What makes a good encoding codec is "not needing" major bandwidth for good quality, and AAC seems to do just that."

Sorry -- you seem to be misinformed.

128kbps (64 per channel) of MP3 is VASTLY different from 64kbps per channel Dolby.

It's all in the compression format. Dolby uses AC3 compression, which is lossless. (It retains ALL of the original information.) MP3 is a lossy conversion process. (Much of the original signal is lost.)

The Dolby hardware encoders/decoders found in your receiver or DVD player make it possible to have the same amount of digital info sound much better than MP3. If you listened to a 5.1 soundtrack at MP3 quality, I guarantee you'd notice the difference immediately.



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I think Apple made the right choice
Authored by: natecook on May 15, '06 10:07:30AM
Don't want to get into a big argument, so just a couple quick points here:

1) iTMS sells its songs in AAC format, not MP3 -- AAC is still lossy, but is a much more complex and superior codec. (In other words, a 128kbps AAC file and a 128kbps MP3 file are the same size, but the AAC will sound better).

2) AC3 is not lossless -- lossless codecs can't get anywhere near the file-size-savings that made MP3 popular and are needed for iTMS or other online stores. From the Dolby Wikipedia article:
Dolby is part of a group of organizations involved in the development of AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), part of MPEG specifications, and also considered the successor to MP3. AAC outperforms AC-3 at any bitrate, but is more complex. The advantages of AAC become clearly audible at less than 400 kbit/s for 5.1 channels, and at less than 180 kbit/s for 2.0 channels.


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I think Apple made the right choice
Authored by: joshMV4 on May 25, '06 09:47:05AM

Quote:
"Sorry -- you seem to be misinformed.
128kbps (64 per channel) of MP3 is VASTLY different from 64kbps per channel Dolby. "

First of all, This is exactly my Point!!!! People have no reason to blame the 128kbps of the music store. Dolby is 128kbps and sounds great. If they blame anything it should be the AAC encoding, not complaining that it is only 128.

Secondly, I didn't say anything about mp3 vs Dolby. I never mentioned mp3 in my post. AAC and mp3 are different. mp3 is mpeg 1 layer 3 and AAC is mpeg 4.



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AC3 and ITMS AAC
Authored by: chris_on_hints on May 29, '06 10:40:20AM

a couple of points:

- i can hear the audio artefacts at 128kp AAC, even though it is better and an equivalent MP3.

- i rip cd's at either 192 or use the variable bit rate set to 200-or so. The files end up 40% bigger than an ITMS 128kp file, but the sound is far better. i find the bass is much better defined and the treble seems tighter.

- oh, and doesnt the surround sound system use tricks so it doesnt have to have 6 tracks of 64kb, by recording the 'differences' between tracks??



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