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Music Listening Technology: Which Do You Use?


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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:17:26 PM PST
Dee Zee says:
On iTunes, if you use that software, the Bitrate can be set in the Import Settings. AIFF is another lossless file format. That's what I use ( in iTunes) if I want to make a copy of a CD with no additional compression.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 4:37:21 PM PST
alysha25 says:
B L T, thanks! I never knew I could see the bit rate by right clicking details on the song in media player. So I checked some out and to my surprise the amazon MP3 digital downloads have a Higher bit rate than the CD's I've ripped to my computer.

The CD's are wma files , some are as low as 64 kbps. They seem to average about 128 kbps though. The MP3's range from about 128 to 256. Does this mean Digital downloaded MP3's are Better than ripping a physical CD to your computer? (I always thought CD was better).

I tested one song I found I downloaded the single mp3, and then later bought the album as a CD. The album had a paltry 64 kbps, the mp3 was 256. You would think I could hear a difference, however, I cannot. Does the mp3 vs. wma file somehow make a difference?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:48:03 PM PST
B L T says:
Somebody here smarter than me can answer your questions better than I can. I've never ripped a CD in my life and I don't know anything about wma files.

I do know the system you listen to your music on makes a big difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 6:42:31 PM PST
128 is not good enough for me. I would never go below 192, but I prefer 256 VBR.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 6:43:14 PM PST
I definitely think MP3 is a much better format than WMA. But I prefer AAC over either.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 8:50:21 PM PST
alysha25 says:
Well, here goes. I'm using the new "autorip" download. I didn't think I would use it. I didn't even think I had a cloud account! I never got an E mail, and I've avoided the cloud like a plague so far. The main reason I've avoided it is because I was afraid when I bought an mp3 download I wouldn't be able to find it! And I've heard other people say this also. They downloaded it, it went "to the cloud" where is it?!

But apparently I have a cloud account and when I loaded it, the second time it loaded all the albums I've bought. And a package just arrived in the mail today. Well, I suppose since the "bitrate" is higher , I'll download the mp3 Instead of ripping the physical CD's to my computer.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 9:08:28 PM PST
alysha25 says:
So NOW I get the E mail! Maybe I had to activate the cloud!

It's not without it's faults though, For Instance I bought the 4 CD "Nuggets" set awhile back. The cloud only has the first CD available for download And it's missing the last song on that CD.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 10:24:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 10:39:11 PM PST
B L T says:
re: I was afraid when I bought an mp3 download I wouldn't be able to find it! And I've heard other people say this also. They downloaded it, it went "to the cloud" where is it?!

This works for me...

1. Create a folder on your computer wherever you'd like and name it whatever you want to. I've named my folder "Music New Downloads".

2. Click start on your computer and open the "Amazon MP3 Downloader" program.

3. In Amazon MP3 Downloader, click file, then preferences

4. Under Download Folder, click the box "Change" and change it to the folder you created in step one.

All my MP3s are downloaded to the "Music New Downloads" folder I created under Documents on my computer. From there I move albums I've downloaded to folders I've named "Music Rock", "Music Jazz", "Music Folk", "Music Other", etc. This way all my music folders are together in the same place and easy to find.

*make copies!!! Along with my music that's in the Cloud Player, I also keep copies of my music on my wife's computer, on flash drives and on an external hard drive. Better safe than sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:54:58 AM PST
Derek W. says:
alysha25 - I assume you're using Windows Media Player to rip CDs, in which case you can set the bitrate you want to rip at from the Rip Settings>Audio Quality option

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 8:03:36 AM PST
Thanks Derek W.
I just went into Windows Media Player, Libary, More Options, Rip Music, and changed the bit rate to the maximum, 192 kbps. It says approx. 86 MB per CD. It was set to 128 kbps, and said approx. 56 MB per CD. I will compare future rips with previous rips, to see if I can tell the difference.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:59:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:02:26 PM PST
alysha25 says:
Thanks B L T! Yes I back-up Everything. Every bit of music I have ripped to media player I also burn a CD-R if I don't already have a physical disc. I also have all of it saved to an mp3 player. And I Plan to get a flashdrive big enough (will need a 32 MB flashdrive) to save it all to.

As for finding the download, I don't think I have that probelm anymore, it was awhile ago. I know they are saved under start menu/music. And when I download the mp3 and choose "open" it goes directly to my media player now, so I'm just going to leave it as it is.

Derek W. and Cincinnati Dan, O.K. I did find the bitrate adjustment in media player. Mine is also set at the default "128 kbps". If you change it to maximum it will take up more space though?

I plan to "autorip" all my new CD's soon, and check out the cloud. Maybe it's fixed and will have updated with everything in it. It only has a fraction of what I have in media player though. As what I have ripped to media player comes from a variety of sources , including CD's I bought before there even was an amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:33:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:58:21 PM PST
Derek W. says:
alysha - if you up the bitrate to the maximum, the files you create will be larger, but they should sound better. I suggest you try it on a couple of tracks and see what the difference is in size and whether you can hear a noticable difference in sound quality. Then you need to decide what you prefer.

I personally have everything I own in lossless format, currently just under 1 Terabyte on a 3 Terabyte Network Attached Storage drive which I can access from an Ethernet point anywhere in the house, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist:-)

PS - alysha, I'm assuming you're using MP3, in which case I suggest you try all three higher options (192. 256 and 320), and see what suits you best.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:46:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:50:11 PM PST
Music Luver says:
I prefer AAC as well, that's what I use on the iPod. Though I don't use iTunes to rip, I think Nero AAC makes them sound better, more natural. (I won't use that term..."warmer".) And VBR of course.

The Nero AAC engine is better designed than iTunes music converter, so it's been said.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:02:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 1:16:47 PM PST
Music Luver says:
Cinn Dan, that is totally subjective, you just gotta listen to them and decide what works for you. For me, 128 used to be good enough, but over time, and lots oif experimentation, I found it simply did not sound as good. So for the car I have a USB drive, and everything is ripped to MP3 at the maximum VBR rate. ~ 256-320 kbps. And I said elsewhere, I use AAC at .6 - .75 depending, for the iPod. I have tons that I did at 128 and now have gone back and re-ripped most of it to higher bit rates [I didn't sell my CD's ;-) ] And in the process, have made FLAC copies to store on a 2 TB hard drive, which it's hardly put a dent in the space after about 300 albums.

If you are serious about ripping you should get dbPoweramp. They provide every codec you can think of and it's a very easy interface, even does Apple Lossless.

There is an excellent free program called MediaInfo, that you can right click any media file, music, video or photo, and it will give you all the info on the file you could possibly want. Bit rates, etc.

I have the Beatles USB album and converted those FLAC files to Apple Lossless and now have them in all their 24 bit glory on the iPod. I used the converter from dbPoweramp.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 3:18:41 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
@Music Luver: Thanks for not using the "w" word. You know my rants about it ;-)).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:06:00 PM PST
One difference between AAC and MP3 when using VBR is that MP3 only plays back at multiples of 32kbps (i.e. 32, 64, 96, etc. up to 320). AAC will play back at any bit rate between 4 kpbs and I think up to 384, and it will even go at least to tenths of a kilobit (i.e. a passage might play at 298.3 kbps). I would think this would lead to a smoother, or as you say "more natural" sound.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 6:17:48 PM PST
Phil Perrin says:
While I still have some vinyl,I haven't got a turntable. I have about 250-300 cds,some of which I've rippped to my PC. I'm just now getting into MP3s. I have my sons old I pod,which I put some music on,and I've downloaded some music onto my droid. I think that eventually,I'll come around to total digital,but don't rush me!

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 6:49:15 PM PST
Comment Man says:
I have vinyl, CDs (a lot) and downloaded MP3s (normally reserved for my MP3 player.) Vinyl to me simply sounds best--but is a pain in the tuckus since you have to change the record every few minutes. CDs sound better than normal MP3s to me (actually, a lot); I don't see the point in downloading my CDs to my computer--frankly it would take me forever, my computer harddrive would be filled (although I could do it if I bought an external harddrive) and I don't listen to music on my computer.
This entire discussion seems to have devolved into talk about various file formats for saving music. (This is legit, considering where the thread began). I have extremely little interest in this--it reminds me of audio enthusiasts who argued to death the merits of expensive vinyl, reel to reel and later SACD etc. What matters is the music--and all recorded music sounds worse than live music (except, of course, when you attend a concert like Madonna's where she is simply playing the recording for you while she hops around and shakes her booty).
Since the recorded medium only is a simulacrum of the original, you are basically relying on your hearing and innate instinct to fill in what the recording does not include. Convenience thus is a perfectly acceptable reason to favor a music saving medium. I like CDs--I think the sound is not bad and I enjoy poking around asking profound questions like "What will I listen to tonight, the Memphis Jug Band or Gilberto Gil??"--but this is basically to each their own, and the proliferation of computers in our culture and ubiquity of file sharing (both legit and illegit) will inevitably end CDs altogether. As CDs have no essential superiority to a large enough digital file, they will eventually disappear (unlike vinyl; the analog processes used to make vinyl are essentially superior to all current digital processes.)

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 7:03:24 PM PST
alysha25 says:
I admit, I like being able to sit at my computer , and look at every single album I own (and there's a lot) in media player, on one screen in front of me, and see all the album art, and every song, and other info All on one screen. You really can't do that any other way when you think about it.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 3:14:20 AM PST
Music Luver says:
"As CDs have no essential superiority to a large enough digital file, they will eventually disappear (unlike vinyl; the analog processes used to make vinyl are essentially superior to all current digital processes.) "

That is also, subjective.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 11:48:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 11:50:24 AM PST
alysha25 says:
CD's will become like vinyl is now. Most devices, stereos , computers etc, Won't have CD or DVD drives, so you won't even be able to put the CD in. But , like vinyl, they'll make a "retro" comeback. And special units , stereos with a CD drive will be made, like turntables, and they'll probably be expensive. And all the cool people can insist their CD's have a warmer sound.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 1:05:24 PM PST
"CD's will become like vinyl is now. Most devices, stereos , computers etc, Won't have CD or DVD drives, so you won't even be able to put the CD in."

Maybe so, but I'll continue to buy CD's because I like the ritual of handling the shiny disc. Unlike the large, dull-black vinyl LP's collected by liberals who like warmth, I prefer the cold, silvery feel that the digital disc imparts on my conservative senses ;)

"like vinyl, they'll make a "retro" comeback... And all the cool people can insist their CD's have a warmer sound."

lol.. More important than sound quality, choose a format that fits your preference for warmth. I suspect that cool people enjoy warmer music because it elevates their core body temperature to a more comfortable listening level.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 6:42:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 6:44:31 PM PST
Cookie says:
I liked Vinyl. I LOVED the artwork on most covers.
"I never cared for cassettes. Forward, rewind, where the heck does the song begin??!!
OOps lost that cassette due to the heat of summer in the car!"
Cds are fine. Ipods are bricks. But kinda handy bricks.
I'll keep the cds and appreciate my little Bose which plays one cd at a time.
Can't keep up with everything. Have to buy novels and cat food.
Wish I had kept the vinyl albums as artwork.
peace
PS:@Under -- within the next two years, pcs wont have cd, dvd drives. Go buy back that
little dvd burner we had years ago..

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 6:50:06 PM PST
I listening and buy vinyl most of all. I do occasionally buy a cd. I download to test things but never buy mp3s.
I have about 700 LPs right now and about 400 cds. I also have about 20 tapes and a lot of mp3s.

I have two turntable setups. It also includes big vintage speakers, cd deck, cassette deck.
I also have a couple of IPODS too.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 9:04:17 PM PST
zlh67 says:
First, a big thank-you to all the people selling their cd's! That means I can pick up titles out of curiousity or that I previously couldn't afford because they're on clearance at used shops for $1-3 in many cases. Call me a hoarder but I have about 1500 cd's as I like to have the 'source' hardcopy of my music "just in case". I hit Half-Priced Books and even a pawn shop or two here and there and almost never fail to get something I'm interested in for dirt cheap. On one trip I scored multiple 2cd 'best of' collections that I didn't already have for a whopping $2 each (The Eagles, SRV, Sweet; even Motley Crue, who I'm not a big fan of but they have a few songs I kinda like and for $2? What they hey...).

But as many cd's as I have, nearly all of my collection is ripped to mp3 at 320kbps. Storage hard drives are so cheap these days and mp3's in general sound so bad compared to uncompressed music that I compress it as little as possible. I back up my collection once a month but God forbid, if something somehow happened to my orig. and backup drives I do have the original cd's. I can think of no worse nightmare than to have spent the last 25+ years collecting all this music and then having it all up in smoke in the blink of an eye. And if/when something like FLAC or some other lossless form becomes more the standard and playable on ipods, I can re-rip everything if I have to. Will be a pain if/when that happens but not near as painful as re-buying everything I have!

For that reason, I don't really buy downloads unless it's an exclusive (ie, not avail on cd) or if a CD is oop or just too pricey or if I know for sure that I will only like 1 or 2 songs from an album in which case I'll buy an individual mp3 song here on Amazon (never on iTunes: their lower bit rate = lower sound quality and last I'd heard anyway, they're still screwing around with digital rights managment which restricts what you can do with them, ie, how many pc's you can play them on, etc. Screw that.

When I *LISTEN* it's mostly via iTunes on my PC while I work from home a couple of days a week or via my iPod through my car stereo's "AUX" input jack or connected to a receiver in my house that has speakers all throughout in most rooms, but if I really want to savor something, I do get the CD out and listen to that at home or in my car.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  45
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Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2013

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