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A Lark Ascending

Death of the iPod (Everyone's buying vinyl)

482 posts in this topic

iTunes currently offers their standard downloads at 256kbps VBR AAC.

And I hope to one day have a "real system" to test them out on. *rolls eyes*

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well, come on, you know what I mean; most systems these days have essential weak spots. As do most listeners (sorry, my ears are the only ones I trust, as I wash them daily in baby oil). And speakers are what I mean primarily, and the power to run them correctly. OK, you've convinced me; I have the world's best speakers (no exaggeration); I'll see if I can do a little a/b this week.

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ok the moment of truth approaches; just downloaded Mingus' Adagio Mon Troppo. Will play it back later on my state-of-the art Bose Underwater Submarine Sound System with Built in D to A crossover and Grado Rebuilt Styli Constructed by Unsupervised Child Labor in the Poconos.

I just hope I can get my new turntable to stop skipping.

and I have run out of baby oil. Will use Vaseline as a temporary replacement.

Edited by AllenLowe

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I ran my own little test with my phony ;) equipment a few weeks ago using Take Five as my demo track. I used four versions. A direct .wav rip from the CD, an ALAC, a 256kbps VBR AAC, and a 128 kbps mp3.

The mp3 was noticeable, and without even really listening that closely. Of course, I already knew this because I've been able to pick out old 128k rips that I did many moons ago while doing stuff in the kitchen and the stereo playing in the living room.

Next came the hard part. I went back and forth over and over again, on both my speakers and my headphones. Speakers run through my Emotiva DAC, pre-amp, and amp. Headphones had my Headroom Micro amp added to that chain. I actively tried to convince myself that I was hearing a difference in the AAC. But after switching back and forth trying desperately to convince myself the difference was there I simply burned out and exclaimed, "honest to fucking God, who fucking GIVES a shit?!"

Honestly, I'm still not unconvinced that the bass response isn't a bit lighter on the AAC file. But by "bit", I mean so absurdly small that it simply doesn't matter except to those with a serious and somewhat disturbing (IMO) obsession. And I like my low end to be full and sound natural. I've heard systems that sounded better than mine, but none that could touch mine in deep, tight, fast bass. Yet, the difference I couldn't completely convince myself was there simply became a moot point.

I'm going to try to take the time to take the Philips Golden Ear challenge this weekend to see how I score, just for shits and giggles.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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ok you win; sounds real to me - and I'm out of Vaseline, anyway.

but seriously, I wonder now - is there an audio program that allows one to convert to this 256 thing? Or, I'm thinking, does the preferences in I Tunes now allow one to do so?

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I'm not sure what you're asking exactly, but you can indeed rip/convert anything to 256 AAC in iTunes. I'm not at my iMac right now, but I think you can also do either AAC or mp3 as high as 320 in iTunes. Allegedly, 190 is the cutoff point as far as noticing a difference, but I can't say since I don't have anything at that bitrate. But, with the current advancement in audio codecs I wouldn't be shocked if it were true. All I can say is with my equipment and ears, 256 VBR and .wav is a draw.

And although I get that you were kidding, I wasn't looking to win anything. Just posting my own personal results. YMMV.

I need to download foobar2000 and do an honest to goodness ABX test.

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well, what I was hoping was that there was an actual audio program that would allow me to convert to that format so I would not have to store everything in I tunes.

but of course I can convert in I tunes and then save to disc.

Edited by AllenLowe

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AAC isn't proprietary to Apple, so I'd have to think there are many programs out there that will allow you to convert to it. I wish I could give you a more substantial answer, but I'm locked into the Apple ecosystem and am not familiar with other ripper/encoding programs.

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Amadeus Pro (which is Mac, which I use for some of my stuff) allows one to convert to AAC ADTS. Sound like the same thing.

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Sounds good.

Does it give you the ability to choose your own bitrate? I'm only asking because I'm completely unfamiliar with ADTS.

To be perfectly honest, I'd never even heard of it before your post.

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no; doesn't give any other options.

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Interesting.

I'd be interested in hearing your review of something you have on CD compared with a download from iTunes, and the format Amadeus provides you.

Or even just something you have on CD converted in Amadeus to AAC to see if you can hear a difference.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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definitely; I have some time tomorrow and will attempt -

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As somebody who spends a lot of time living in various places of the world where accessing clouds is problematic, my iPods have been very important to me. They make my very large collection available to me always and everywhere.

The question is what will replace iPods for large collections?

On the subject of iPods becoming obsolete, they have always been very uncommon in Nigeria where I am living now. When I turn on my iPod after takeoff on an airplane, they often tell me

"Sir, please turn off your phone."

"It is not a phone. It is an iPod."

"Sir, I said please turn off your phone!"

Edited by John L

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Yes, having access to the large collection on the hoof is what draws me to them. I tend to go through phases listening to a particular style or performer and then suddenly change gear; but I'll return again months later. Constantly deleting and re-uploading would drive me nuts (I did a bit of that with my first player).

Could do with a 10TB iPod!!! Now that would be progress.

When I was a student (mid 1970s) my parents lived in Germany. So when I went to see them (and do holiday work) in the summer I used to take one of those cases that carried 50 LPs on the ferry with me. Few clothes or anything sensible. Just records! So the iPod still seems like a minor miracle to me.

Even ten years ago when I went on long vacations in the car I'd have a box of 50 odd CDs in the boot to feed my addiction. Mysteriously by the time I got home they'd mutated to 80!

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I don't have an iPod and generally don't worry about taking a stash of music with me, I still do most of my music listening at home. I did drop a few playlists into my Android phone in case of emergency and I use Spotify all the time at work.

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In Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, the origin of the iPhone was explained.

It occurred to Jobs that everyone carried a cell phone. The iPod was very popular, but he realized that he was asking everyone to carry with them two items. He felt that there would be many people who would want to carry only one item, and that would be a cell phone. So Jobs had his people invent a single item which was both a cell phone and an iPod.

I think what's interesting about it now is that apparently the iPhone is used only 18% of the time to make phone calls. It is now primarily a portable computer.

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Not really a surprising statistic when you think about it, though. I mean, as you say it is a portable computer as well as a phone and a music player. I'd say even sitting at home, the phone would be the least used of those items. I'd even have to think tthat it's not even used 18% of the time by most people.

Then again, I rarely talk on the phone. So my opinion may be skewed a little.

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Damn me, but I've never owned a mobile phone and don't want one. So, if this 160gb ipod breaks, I'm fucked? What's the alternative?

MG

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buying a mobile phone without using its phoning capabilities?

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Damn me, but I've never owned a mobile phone and don't want one. So, if this 160gb ipod breaks, I'm fucked? What's the alternative?

MG

Do you travel for long periods of time, or something?

I've personally never understood the need to carry tens of thousands of songs around.

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Noooohhhhh!

And what do they offer in exchange? An iphone you can wear on your wrist? That's going to make for some fun in the classroom.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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Damn me, but I've never owned a mobile phone and don't want one. So, if this 160gb ipod breaks, I'm fucked? What's the alternative?

MG

Do you travel for long periods of time, or something?

I've personally never understood the need to carry tens of thousands of songs around.

When I get the bus into Cardiff to go shopping, I like to able to listen to what I like. Ditto when I go on holiday. I don't like trying to forecast what I'll want to hear before I go. So an ipod allows me to choose as the day unwinds. I haven't got my whole collection on it, but most of the recent material I've got is there.

MG

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That's cool, MG. I usually have around 800-900 songs on my phone. And I slowly rotate albums in and out. But, I can see the upside of not having to do that.

Noooohhhhh!

And what do they offer in exchange? An iphone you can wear on your wrist? That's going to make for some fun in the classroom.

I think the iWatch is absolute foolishness.

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