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kjelly's picture
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iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

There are a number of similar posts and questions on this matter, but in the end most seem to run off-topic – as is the way with most WWW forums. My Q is specific and I would appreciate responses that stick to the comparison put forward. iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ….which produces the better result? Hard drive space is an irrelevancy. Most of the web postings I have read suggest the AAC route….thoughts anyone?

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

Sigh...

 

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

What's your upgrade path likely to be? Choose based on compatibility.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

AAC would always be my preference whatever the bit rate.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

@ PAUL HOBBS: All my music is currently in MP3 320CBr - except for the odd file. I was thinking of letting match do its thing and redownload all as the ACC256.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

@ CHEBBY: OK, but can you qualify that statement with objective facts?

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

kjelly wrote:
@ CHEBBY: OK, but can you qualify that statement with objective facts?

I prefer the sound of AAC whenever I have compared it.

Even when the BBC (iPlayer radio and 'live' BBC internet radio) changed to AAC+ it was better.

Radio Paradise is another example of where their AAC offering sounded much better than MP3 via WMP. (Even when using a lower AAC bitrate than the MP3 option.)

Compare 192k MP3 with 128K AAC+ here and see what you think.

Tunein Radio Pro - on my iPhone - defaults to 128k AAC+ on Radio Paradise (when I check on 'choose stream') and sounds superb via AirPlay to my system.

 

 

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

kjelly wrote:

 Hard drive space is an irrelevancy.

If  HDD space is irrelevent, why not use lossless and forgot about pointless comparisons...

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

daveh75 wrote:

kjelly wrote:

 Hard drive space is an irrelevancy.

If  HDD space is irrelevent, why not use lossless and forgot about pointless comparisons...

 

+1

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

To answer your question directly, and using only the supplied rippers i.e. iTunes for AAC and WMP for WMA my choice would be WMA vbr (up to around 356k or thereabouts) everytime. For portability WMA seems to be on the backfoot sadly, but on a Windows PC it's my first choice for compressed audio.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

@ CHEBBY: Thanks, will check those out and run a compariason myself. @ LEE / DAVE H: I have 90gig of MP3. If I go to lossless I will lose some of the streaming compatibility in my house, metadata functionality, and will only be able to caryy around with me a very limited subset of my collection. Am trying to find a balance between quality and practicality. Further, Apple lossless is not an option for me anyway as I have so far happily managed to avoid crossing over to the dark side.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

kjelly wrote:

@ CHEBBY: Thanks, will check those out and run a compariason myself. @ LEE / DAVE H: I have 90gig of MP3. If I go to lossless I will lose some of the streaming compatibility in my house, metadata functionality...

 

Why?

In theory, AAC is supposed to be better. I've never read convincing evidence that it sounds better to most, though. Even the reference in the Wiki article on AAC that they give to demonstrate it's superiority contains nothing that does that, to my mind at least. Just try it and see if you hear a difference?

If it's an option I'd do WMA lossless ripped with something like DbPoweramp for what seems to me like superior metadata functionality to WMP. I can't speak for ripping/tagging in iTunes.

 

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

Alec wrote:

If it's an option I'd do WMA lossless ripped with something like DbPoweramp for what seems to me like superior metadata functionality to WMP. I can't speak for ripping/tagging in iTunes.

 

Or even FLAC, again using dbPoweramp. Still comes with metadata and I stream it around the house. Of course, it depends on your streaming solution. If you go lossless you can always change to another format if you need to.

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

FLAC/WAV/MP3 (320kbps)/AAC (320kbps) 

 

These 4 formats sound more or less the same to me. 

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

kjelly wrote:

@ PAUL HOBBS: All my music is currently in MP3 320CBr - except for the odd file. I was thinking of letting match do its thing and redownload all as the ACC256.

Whilst I personally might find it worthwhile (I have a lot of old 128k stuff), I'm not sure why you'd bother doing Match to get files that will be more or less the same, both in size and in quality.  Are you looking to make it all available via iCloud to other devices?

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RE: iTunes AAC 256 or WMP MP3 320cbr ?

The lossless route just isn’t for me at this moment in time (one day) and I want to stick with a format that is not vendor owned. I gleaned here the same information as that from other forums, although I trust the responses here more. In the end it looks like the best thing to do is just try it out. I have decided to run Apple Match, refresh my entire collection with the Match downloadable AAC256, and have a nerdy night in on the sofa making my own review. Thanks everyone for your input.

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