Converting AAC to MP3:easy?
In the August issue, you give advice to someone who has ripped 50 or so cds into AAC and wants to convert them to MP3. The response given is to convert them in iTunes, which I suppose gets the job done.
However, there is no mention of the following:
-Transcoding from one format to reduces audio quality because lossy codecs such as AAC and MP3 use different acoustical models, each removing different parts of the data, which will cause further degradation to the sound. 50 cds is not a large number to re-encode.
- You recommend iTunes to do the converting, saying that the he is already using it, but there is no mention of itunes in the original question. The iTunes MP3 encoder is not the best out there. LAME, according to most people is the best. There is a lot of free ripping software out there such as Foobar2000 and Max (OSX) with many more options, for example unrestricted variable bitrate (which iTunes doesnt offer) and cd paranoia which can rip a cd bit perfect on any old hardware (ever heard you mp3 encoded in itunes skip?)
- Finally, you recommend using 320kbps for encoding. While generally this is a good idea, it does make the file sizes very big for use on his ipod (depending on the model). If he is that concerned about the quality, ditching iTunes and using Flac would be a good solution. Music can be enjoyed uncompressed on the computer and the PS3, and music for the ipod can be transcoded on the fly into MP3 or AAC (Foobar2000 has this facility). Otherwise, using LAME MP3 with unrestricted VBR is generally considered to be transparent (unable to tell from original source) at around 190kbps.
I was wondering if you get money every time you mention iTunes? There are alternatives. Don't get me wrong, I use it on occasions but it is not the best software out there.
While i suppose you answer the original question, it is far from sound advice.