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  1. #1

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    Question iPod Sound Quality

    Polkies,

    I am curious, has anyone test iPod as a source, in a two-channel setup (i.e. with real audio gears)? any comments on its sound quality?

    Assuming that iPod is a viable audiophile source, does it matter whether it is a mini iPod or the newly release tiny iPod, in terms of DAC quality?

    TIA
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  2. #2

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    More than anything, its going to depend on the quality of the MP3 that it is playing.

  3. #3

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    wav format doesn't sound to bad on it but then you're taking up a ****-ton of space. But anymore, you can still fit a lot on them (60gig, COME ON!!).
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

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    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  4. #4

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    Default

    let's say, for discussions purpose, I stayed with 256 rate (I know, it will eat up space quickly), at that rate, would you say that it will be very close to standard redbook?
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  5. #5

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    For what it's worth, Apple uses AAC file types for iPod and iTunes.
    http://www.apple.com/mpeg4/aac/
    I have not listened to music on an iPod before but from what I have heard from others it is pretty good quality.
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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by polkatese
    let's say, for discussions purpose, I stayed with 256 rate (I know, it will eat up space quickly), at that rate, would you say that it will be very close to standard redbook?
    Nope. Overall, the amp and DAC on the iPod is pretty weak, so unless you get a digital out signal, its always going to sound fairly crappy, especially with the headphone amplifier built in. When we were doing comparisons of the XM tuner vs. the SkyFi, even before getting a real chance to listen to the SkyFi, you would notice how much quieter it was compared to the XM tuner. Also, the SkyFi lacked dynamics.

    I've A/Bed AAC and MP3 before from one of my CDs, and at the same bitrate, AAC sounds noticeably better.

  7. #7

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    not to mention, the iPod automatically downgrades all high bitrate MP3's to 160, so even if you rip it at 320, you're just wasting your time. Wav is the only decent way of doing it.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

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    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the education, folks...I wasn't aware of the downsampling by iPod, that's suck.
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by polkatese
    Thanks for the education, folks...I wasn't aware of the downsampling by iPod, that's suck.
    Wasn't aware of that either... thanks for the info Toxis!

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    Dumb question, but what is Red book CD? I have seen that several times now.

    Also, are the songs you buy from Itune or other sites the same quality as if you bought the cd, or do you lose something? Thanks.

  11. #11

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    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61476

    Compatible CODECS

    iPod can play songs encoded with these CODECS:
    MP3 (from 32 Kbps to 320 Kbps)
    MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR)
    AIFF *
    WAV (with no compression)
    The following require iPod software 1.3 or later:
    M4A AAC *
    M4P AAC (Protected) *
    M4B AAC (iTunes Music Store Spoken Word files) *
    The following require iPod software 2.2 or later or iPod mini 1.1 or later:
    Apple Lossless Encoder
    * Requires iTunes 4 or iTunes 4 for Windows. AAC files also require the most recent update to the iPod software.


    Compatible sample rates

    iPod can play songs with the these sample rates, and with all compatible CODECs:
    8 kHz
    11.025 kHz
    16 kHz
    22.050 kHz
    32 kHz
    44.1 kHz



    Doesn't say anything about downsampling mp3s...maybe the older version of iTunes downsampled before it transferred to the iPod.
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  12. #12

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    Originally posted by bknauss
    Wasn't aware of that either... thanks for the info Toxis!
    no problem. It was a little thing I found out the last time I was ripping CD's onto the ol' iPod. I was burning them onto the HD at 320k but noticed the file sizes were a lot less when they got onto the iPod. Looked into it further and presto... we're getting screwed. haha
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

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    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by Toxis
    no problem. It was a little thing I found out the last time I was ripping CD's onto the ol' iPod. I was burning them onto the HD at 320k but noticed the file sizes were a lot less when they got onto the iPod. Looked into it further and presto... we're getting screwed. haha
    Are you sure? I took a quick look at iTunes, and you CAN configure it to rip the tracks to different bitrates (check the preferences). But you're saying that it reconverts the files when it transfers them to the iPod? That seems to be a VERY fast conversion, as each song takes a second or two...
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  14. #14

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    I have Installed Ipod to many different home theater and multiroom systems. It sounds ok like what was said above the quality of the MP3 will matter. This isn't a sit down and listen to detail device. But for house music it's fine.

    Lesser quality systems it sounds almost like cd quality. It's close with a good recording. I was actually suprised. Don't get rid of your cd player just yeat but the Ipod id way cool and on my list of things to buy.

    Dan
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  15. #15

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    Much lower on the coolness factor, but if you want a portable digital jukebox, do consider the Archos Jukebox Recorder 20. Its a slightly older model, but it has some amazing features. The coolest part is a freely available upgrade to the firmware called Rockbox whick allows some amazing things like voice menus, built in games, higher quality clear recording and playback.
    It also has a digital (co-ax) out which can be hooked up to any receiver capable of decoding PCM streams (almost any).

    Also, on mp3's, there seems to be a general disdain for them on this forum. My hypothesis is that most folks simply have not got the right tools to rip their mp3s. More specifically, the only way you should be creating mp3's is using the Radified guidelines with EAC and LAME 3.90.3 at http://mp3.radified.com/

    That particular version of LAME will give you outstanding results. Do NOT get later versions - they are mostly inferior.

  16. #16
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    I've used Lame before and compared it to various compression algorithms and CDs, and MP3 is definitely the worst when comparing to the same bit rate with other compression schemes. Back in the day, I couldn't hear the difference between MP3 and CD, but that was on crappy computer speakers and my ears weren't nearly as trained back then.

  17. #17

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    Again, I would agree with you with most versions of LAME, except for the version I listed above. Try it and surprise yourself.

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by jarros
    Are you sure? I took a quick look at iTunes, and you CAN configure it to rip the tracks to different bitrates (check the preferences). But you're saying that it reconverts the files when it transfers them to the iPod? That seems to be a VERY fast conversion, as each song takes a second or two...
    I use MusicMatch so maybe it's that program but there's no where I can change the bitrate. I tried using iTunes but for some reason, it never worked right. Seeing I have a PC, not a mac, the program the disk that came with the iPod gave me MusicMatch. I'm not a huge fan of it but it works...
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  19. #19

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    Originally posted by Toxis
    I use MusicMatch so maybe it's that program but there's no where I can change the bitrate. I tried using iTunes but for some reason, it never worked right. Seeing I have a PC, not a mac, the program the disk that came with the iPod gave me MusicMatch. I'm not a huge fan of it but it works...
    My brother's using his iPod on a PC and hasn't had any problems with automatic bitrate down-conversions with iTunes. Take another look, it'll be worth it if you can get rid of that MusicMatch spyware...
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  20. #20

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    Default shell's question

    Originally posted by Shell
    Dumb question, but what is Red book CD? I have seen that several times now.
    I seem to recall that a redbook cd is just a normal cd ,(silver back), nothing fancy like hdcd or anything.

  21. #21

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    Default Apple Lossless

    If you can use the Apple Lossless format on the PC that is the way to go (I'm a mac user) It is heads and shoulders above both AAC and mp3. THe files are a little larger (~25%) but what you gain in sound quality, for me, it was worth it.

  22. #22

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    thanks, all. well, it looks like there is an option to rip it at CD quality, albeit not MP3:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  23. #23

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    Default RE: IPod

    Hi,

    I messed around with the IPod through my system for quite some time. I am an Apple user. I found that I had to do the larger files because the MP3 files sounded like crap. I have the complete LSI 15 speaker system. Although I still have a 40 gig IPod, I abandoned this setup. The RCA input just stunk and there was no other way around it. What I did was load all of my tunes on my Powerbook G-3 and utilize the airtunes gizmo with optical imput. The sound is respectable, and I have the programming options of ITunes which makes things fun. It still pales in comparison to listening to a CD through my Denon DVD 5900 in 7.1, but I do enjoy the convenience of having a good portion of my music library in one place without fumbling through my 800+ CD's.:)

  24. #24

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    they are not bad i rented one from best buy for my trip to china the olny problem i ran into was the sotware locked up my comp under heavy use.
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