Converting Itunes Songs to 320kbps MP3s
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Gryz's Avatar
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    Default Converting Itunes Songs to 320kbps MP3s

    Ok, so here is a very easy question.

    When I purchase some of my crappy top 40 from Itunes, they are AAC 256 kbps audio files. This makes is hard to analyze for the key in Mixmeister as it won't recognize them. I am, though, able to convert them to mp3s within Itunes. I have the conversion set to the highest quality...320kbps.

    Does it make sense that they can be converted UPWARD from 256 to 320, or are they really still at 256 since that is what I downloaded them at and just say 320?

    Thanks! Just curious.
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
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    Interesting question...

    As I understood it AAC is a better form of compression than mp3, so at 256 is probably equivalent to 320 mp3...

    TBH though, I think it's minimal difference, certainly not one anyone should give much of a hoot over. I doubt many people would be able to notice any difference at all...
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  3. #3
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    No you can't make a 256 song 320 and IMO there's not much difference between 256 and 320.
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  4. #4

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    it will be pretty close but not a true 320 constant bit rate song. aac 256 is pretty good though so making it into a 320 wont sound to bad. don't expect a 192 or below file to sound better though.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru SirReal's Avatar
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    I disagree. I did a pepsi challenge using a track ripped at 320MP3, 320AAC, 320ATRAC and the original CD played on a really nice system and the difference was astounding. I liken it to Sculpture made out of marble(CD) to the same sculpture made out of Lego's(MP3). The AAC, I felt, just barely edged out the ATRAC with the original CD being the best. That being said, unless you're playing different codecs & bit rates together, I would doubt anybody would be able to tell what format you're playing. To the OP maybe you should re-encode the same track at 320MP3 & 256MP3 and see if you can tell a difference. Just try to listen on a good system and not your computer speakers.
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  6. #6
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    From what I have read, and sorry - no references handy, converting anything from one lossy codec to another is strongly discouraged. I rip in wav and convert to Flac, and buy the same online if I can, admitting to have an aversion to any lossy format.
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  7. #7
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    Never ever convert a song from a lower bitrate to a higher bitrate. When you convert a song to shrink it down it "throws out" information that the human ear can't hear. So when you convert from a lower bitrate to a higher bitrate your just running it thru an algorithm that throws out some of that information again. Unless you are encoding from a Direct Copy like FLAC or .WAV then you will only do more harm than good.

  8. #8
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    The previous two posts are spot-on. I'm only repeating the information because it's really important, and a lot of people don't understand lossy codecs and transcoding: Never, never take a lossy (MP3, AAC, etc) file and encode it again into another (or the same) lossy format. This goes for increases in bit rate too. Taking a file at 256 and changing it to 320 absolutely does not give you a higher quality file than the original. In fact, you are degrading it. Up, down, keeping the same bit rate, or even going from one format to another it doesn't matter. Every time a file is encoded into a lossy format, the encoder permanently removes information from the file. Only do it once, if you do it at all.
    Side note: Transcoding a lossy file into a lossless one (WAV, AIF, etc) is not damaging your file, you can do this without worry. But keep in mind, that this does NOT improve sound quality either. And once you do it, as before, do NOT re-encode the file into a lossy format.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Gryz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info everyone. Never new most of that, so thanks again!

    I guess I should convert them to WAVs?....not really sure what to do with them as most programs have problems running AAC. What do you say?
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  10. #10
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    That doesn't work either here is an excerpt from a transcoding guide.

    Every time you encode with a lossy encoder, the quality will decrease. There's no way to gain quality back even if you transcode your MP3 128 kbps into a MP3 320kbps. The sound quality of the result will always be worse than the (lossy) source file along with having a larger file size. Even transcoding from a 320kbps CBR MP3 to a 192kbps CBR MP3 will result in worse quality than if you just transcoded directly from a lossless format to 192kbps CBR MP3 in the first place.

    You already know what happens when you transcode a lower quality bitrate file to a higher quality file bitrate; the result is a file with a larger file size and no added quality. The same is true of a lossy to lossless transcode. When one downloads a lossless file, he/she expects a bit-by-bit replication of the original source.

    Lossless formats include: .WAV, FLAC, ALAC, APE. The first 2 being the most popular. You can transcode any of these formats to any other format and bitrate as they are direct copies of the original.

    Lossy Formats include: MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3), Advanced Audio Coding (AAC),Ogg Vorbis ,AC3, DTS.

    If this still doesn't make ay sense let us know I'll be happy to help you out.

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