Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Music Talk
Reload this Page >

AAC Vs MP3 : Which is most similar to the original CD?

Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

AAC Vs MP3 : Which is most similar to the original CD?

Old 09-28-07, 05:19 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 123
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AAC Vs MP3 : Which is most similar to the original CD?

The link below is an article I just read that got me thinking.

What do you do when you rip CDs to your computer. I saw the debate on the 320kbps thingie, but so many people seem to feel that AAC (Apple Lossless) is the way to go as its the 'digital equivalent' of a CD, as compared to the MP3 which compresses sound out even in the higher realms of kbps such as 320.

When I pop a CD into Itunes, it automatically imports it in AAC format. I recently went to settings and changed it to rip to 320kbps MP3. The comments to the article below seems to say that I might be the idiot as I should let it rip as AAC as thats the new standard for digital music......

What do you guys think?

Check out this link : http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/0...531&ei=5087%0A

Last edited by Buckleyesque; 09-28-07 at 05:24 AM.
Old 09-28-07, 07:51 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 18,900
Received 270 Likes on 202 Posts
Apple Lossless (ALAC) is not the same as AAC. They use the same file extension, but AAC is a lossy compression scheme like MP3.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless

I believe that iTune's default setting is 128kbps AAC, so changing it to 320kbps MP3 was a step in the right direction, if higher audio quality is what you're after.

Apple Lossless (ALAC) will give you a 'digital equivalent' of the original CD track, with no loss of information, but at a much larger file size. If you have the space and the ability to play the tracks on the devices you want, then lossless would be the way to go.

However, I wouldn't say that either AAC or ALAC are the "new standard." MP3 is still the standard because of:

1) Compatibility - Pretty much everything can play mp3s, while fewer devices can play AAC, and even fewer can play ALAC.

2) Size - While lossless is a nice idea in theory, in practice most people are willing to give up at least a little bit of audio quality for more space on their audio device/cell phone/hard drive for other things, like more music.

I'm personally hoping that, as far as lossless codecs go, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) wins out as the popular codec over ALAC.
Old 09-28-07, 04:06 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,764
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 6 Posts
With more formats out there, the debate is still hot.

Uncompressed wavs is the best and simplest. But it lacks tags and I've tried using cue sheets but it was a hassle. Only a small percentage of my music is on wavs. But that might change if I get a bigger hd. I still need to read more about FLAC.

I am a fan of both aac and mp3. IMO, AAC is better quality, but mp3 is more compatible. For both, I think 256 kbps is good quality so I do get them from itunes plus and amazon.
Old 09-28-07, 05:51 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lower Beaver, Iowa
Posts: 10,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Buckleyesque
I recently went to settings and changed it to rip to 320kbps MP3.
I much prefer AAC to MP3, but if you're going to go with MP3 and care about sound quality, you'll use EAC and LAME to rip and encode your music rather than the MP3 encoder built into iTunes. iTunes' AAC encoder is the best, but the MP3 encoder is pretty poor.
Old 09-28-07, 10:24 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,758
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And don't use constant bitrates, it's inefficient. Variable bit rate (VRB) is the way to go. The simple (and silent) bits are assigned a lower bitrate, while the more complex bits get higher bit rates.
Old 09-29-07, 12:17 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 18,900
Received 270 Likes on 202 Posts
Originally Posted by Ranger
Uncompressed wavs is the best and simplest. But it lacks tags and I've tried using cue sheets but it was a hassle. Only a small percentage of my music is on wavs. But that might change if I get a bigger hd. I still need to read more about FLAC.
FLAC will give you the same exact audio quality (exact same digital audio information really) as an uncompressed WAV, with the advantage of it taking up less space and having tags. Think of it as like ZIPing your WAVs, but better compression and still easily playable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Lossless_Audio_Codec
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....mparison_Table
Old 09-29-07, 12:48 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Drexl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 16,075
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Technically though, the OP may be somewhat correct about AAC becoming the new standard. It was designed by several companies with the intention of being the successor to MP3.

However, I still use MP3 for compatibility. I use EAC, and LAME with the -V 0 --vbr-new modifier which creates files at 220-250 kbps on average. I also use FLAC for music from CDs not intended for a portable device.
Old 09-29-07, 11:20 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,764
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 6 Posts
I think the new blackberry curve can play aac. So maybe more phones and portable audio players will catch on that.

One problem I have with flac is that I am not aware of a program that allows direct editing of it - probably not possible with the compression structure. Another problem with flac is limited audio cd burning support - only know of burrn and nero with flac plugins.
Old 09-29-07, 06:48 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Drexl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 16,075
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
It's pretty easy to convert FLAC back to WAV though. With FLACdrop, in addition to being able to drag WAV files onto it to convert to FLAC, the process works in reverse. Although, that is an additional step, so those looking for easy solutions with as few clicks as possible wouldn't like it.
Old 09-29-07, 07:14 PM
  #10  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 189
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, player compatibility is a important issue with digital formats. In terms of quality, aoTuV ogg vorbis is usually rated the best lossy format in recent listening tests. The problem is that not too many DAPs can play that format. For years, musepack (.mpc) was easily the best lossy format and is as good as .aac currently even with development stalled/ended a long, long time ago. However, it never received any attention because outside of one or two players, nobody bothered to support it.

In truth, most people don't care about sound quality enough to usher in a new digital standard. Most consumers don't know lossless formats exist and believe 192kbps is "cd quality." The reason why .aac is much more popularlarity is because of ipod compatibility and itunes rips to that format on default. There are too many folks are still strolling around wearing ibuds and listening to 128kbps music.
Old 09-30-07, 04:28 PM
  #11  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Does the ipod/iphone support the EAC/LAME encodes, or only standard MP3/AAC?
Old 09-30-07, 05:01 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lower Beaver, Iowa
Posts: 10,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Does the ipod/iphone support the EAC/LAME encodes, or only standard MP3/AAC?
EAC and LAME are only a ripper and encoder. They produce a standard MP3, just like any other ripper/encoder. They just do it better, with no errors and better encoding quality.

So yes, iPods will play MP3s made with EAC/LAME.
Old 09-30-07, 05:28 PM
  #13  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Excellent. I notice LAME is only available as source code, and there are a variety of applications that use it. Anyone know of any particularly good ones for OS X?
Old 09-30-07, 07:38 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,158
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
The difference between a same-bitrate MP3 and AAC is impossible for my ears to detect. 128 MP3 and iTunes standard 128 bit AAC both sound like compressed crap to me, I have no idea why people pay those prices...

I generally use CDex/LAME to rip to MP3 at 320 for compatibility's sake, it seems to sound OK to me. Flac sounds a little (the difference is certainly noticable) better to me, but the extra file size and processing required runs down my DAP too quickly.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.