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Bitrate: Quantity v quality

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by asimm, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. asimm

    asimm
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    Have just reserved an Ipod 20g but will probably be recording mostly CDs at the highest quality (which I think is apple lossless?). Have seen how many tracks I can get at 128 conversion but am worried that if most of my tracks are in apple lossless then I might only be able to put a few hundred into the 20G. Am thinking of the 40G - which is v hard to find (unless you want the photo version).
    The other thing that might swing it is the apple pod which you get with the 20g - how useful is this?
    Thanks
     
  2. mick's cat

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    I don't want to put you off Apple Lossless which is a good encoding format (file sizes are about half WAV or AIFF CD file sizes), but you may find when using your iPod that the extra quality Lossless files allow isn't actually worth the disk space they use. The difference between them and files encoded in AAC at 160kbs (which is the approximate equivalent of mp3 at 192kbs) will more than likely be undetectable. Of course, subjectively you may be able to discern.

    As to your query about the 'pod' that you get with the 20G, do you mean the Dock that you get with the 40G? The Dock means that you can just drop the iPod into it, without worrying about the connecting cable. The Dock also has a line out, which is useful if you're connecting your iPod to a hi-fi, say. Depends on personal preference, but I like the Dock for both these reasons. If you go for the 20G, you could just buy the Dock seperately if you like.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. probedb

    probedb
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    Also the chances of you realistically being able to tell the difference between lossless encoding and lets say very high quality VBR MP3s encoded using LAME or similar are very small and you'll get sooo much more on the disc :) Put it this way I've nearly filled a 40gb iPod with 6000 tracks all VBR MP3s.
     
  4. Cloysterpeteuk

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    What's the advantage of VBR's? I use cbr 192 mp3, should I stick with them or start using MPeg4 AAC@192 or 192mp3 vbr's? Will I notice any quality differance?.
     
  5. probedb

    probedb
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    Best thing to do is take a track and do some comparisons yourself and see if you can tell the difference.

    Personally 192 kbps was generally ok for most stuff but the odd track ended up with splashy treble etc and using higher quality VBR made it go away :)
     
  6. MagicBoy

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    Bear in mind that Apple Lossless will eat battery - the files are large so it has to keep spinning up the hard disk to copy into the cache. Try AAC at a decent bitrate before writing it off. I find 192k AAC works well for me - sounds as good as 320k MP3 and far superior to 192k MP3.
     
  7. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Is M-PEG4 AAC the right type of file to download for a sound check then?, only that allofmp3.com has mp3, M-PEG4 AAC and a whole slew of other formats. Do they have VBR and CBR versions of these as well?, if so which is preferable?.
     
  8. asimm

    asimm
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    All

    Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I should just go for it on the 20G and experiment with formats. I suppose being realistick it will be difficult to fill 20G no matter what the rate and if space becomes an issue then I can always delete.
    Mick - sorry yes I did mean the dock. It sounds useful and I think costs about £30 - will see how I cope without it.
     
  9. JUS

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    You'll only regret buying a 20gig. The Mrs has had her ipod for just over a week and has well over 11gig! The friends we have with a 20gig really do regret getting one and wish they had bought the 40gig one. We had to search around but we did find one in the local Index shop....Did see a few places with them on the web but the mrs couldn't wait :rollyeyes: nice to have it the other way round :D
     
  10. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Asimm - How much music have you got?, and how wealthy are you?. By the 2nd question I mean will you have the disposable income to spend on a 5G or a larger capacity player in a year or two?, or will you have to stick with your current choice for 3-4 years?. If the latter than make sure it's a 40G you get, whatever the size of your music collection as soon as you get a DAP it just grows an a exponential rate and spirals out of control. Meaning if you want quality as well then 20GB will soon run out.

    I only bought my 20GB as a stop gap until the 5G comes out, then I will upgrade to 40GB. I defo won't run out of space with my music - im forcing myself to stick to a limit of putting just 2 new tunes on a day (bloody difficult), it's the audio books im planning on putting on tht will take up all the room.
     
  11. asimm

    asimm
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    A belated thanks all. Went for the 20g IPOD (will post a review). Went for the 20g because moving to an IPOD for me was a risk. I had listened to one and was not impressed (especially moving from a minidisc). So did not want to spend too much on what for me could have ended up being a waste of money.
    Am v.impressed with what I now have.
     
  12. HMHB

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    I've also found that 192k AAC is the best rate for me. I tried both 320 AAC and 192 AAC on my PC through reasonable speakers and decided that the 320 just wasn't worth the extra disk space it took up.
     

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