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Old 09-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #16
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I bought a CD for the first time in years last week and was surprised at how much better the quality sounded vs. my iPod.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:22 PM   #17
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I used to rip all my mp3s at 192k. Then I moved to VBR. Now my minimum is 256k, though I often rip at 320. One of these days I'll get around to re-ripping everything to at least 256. I find once you get into the 256k VBR or just straight 320k rips, it gets really hard to tell apart from the CD. Storage space is cheap, and I likes me some sound quality.

That said, when I'm at home I usually just pop cds into the stereo and listen that way. It does really help to have a good stereo system and/or headphones to appreciate the difference, but even in my car I can easily tell which songs were ripped at higher bitrates than others.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:58 PM   #18
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For the last number of years, when I buy a new album I immediately go home and rip it to my computer and then listen to the rip. I don't rip at too high of a bit rate, as I would like to fit all my music on my iPod and portable harddrive as well. Because of that, I unfortunately have been listening to everything I own at a lower sound quality than I could have been hearing for years.

Here and there I've been trying to listen to CDs again (at least if I'm going to listen to a full album at home). To some extent, I'd almost forgotten that things REALLY DO sound better on CD. That's one of the unfortunate downfalls of "digital media", we've forgotten that 128, 160, 192, and 256 bit rates are still no match for the CD quality sound.

What do the rest of you do to counter this bit rate/digital files/mp3 inferiority quality issue? How many of you still actually listen to CDs? What quality do you rip your albums at, and does ripping at higher levels cause issues with not being able to fit things on your iPod/digital music device or computer? Let's discuss.
Let me ask - what are you using to rip your CDs with? An album ripped at 256kbps with iTunes sounds noticeably different to an album ripped at 256kbps with EAC (Exact Audio Copy).
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:32 PM   #19
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Compressed is compressed. There's still a difference that decent equipment (headphones or speakers) and a discerning ear should be able to easily identify.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:37 PM   #20
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I'm done buying cds for several reasons, despite the better sound quality.

1. I don't have room to keep all the damn things, especially with jewel cases or digipaks.

2. Fuck the prices. Until the industry catches up with modern technology and consumer trends and preferences, I'm more than happy to get my music through iTunes store or illegally these days. And no. I don't care. The industry has had time now to take steps towards a digitally-driven market, and they've only taken baby steps thus far. One day there won't be a difference in sound quality, and will the record company's still be trying to sell us all cd's with this shit on them? Probably. I'll pass, thanks.

I'm more than willing to put up with lossy sound until then.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:44 PM   #21
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We have lost the art, literally, of listening to music.

Getting that vinyl home and cracking it open and setting aside this thing called TIME, with 20/20 hindsight, was the most valuable part of listening to new music.

Reading the lyrics, the credits, actually looking at the artwork (Rush albums were the best, you could always find stuff in there of interest).

Playing side 1, not convenient to skip a song that didn't grab you at first listen, then flipping over for side 2.

All done in 35-45 minutes, no 75-minute albums full of filler to wade through.

Then repeat.

Too many artists feel the need to totally stuff albums to the brim these days, whatever happened to only choosing the prime material ? If you've got too much, save it for the next album. Led Zeppelin for example never released singles and ALWAYS had extra material for the following album, well, maybe not always, they did get a bit indulgent with Physical Graffitti.

When an artist released a non-live double album there was always a bit of trepidation that there would be too much filler. I believe if released in vinyl days that AB, Pop, R+H and possibly others would be double albums.

There were no loudness wars going on either.

CDs are far superior to mp3s, if you have a halfway decent system in your home or car then I seriously believe you are are either in need of a hearing check or you need to pay more attention.

You can DVR the damn show and read the forums later, take some time and just sit down and LISTEN for a while.

There, I'm done reminiscing and ranting.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:44 PM   #22
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2. Fuck the prices. Until the industry catches up with modern technology and consumer trends and preferences, I'm more than happy to get my music through iTunes store or illegally these days. And no. I don't care. The industry has had time now to take steps towards a digitally-driven market, and they've only taken baby steps thus far. One day there won't be a difference in sound quality, and will the record company's still be trying to sell us all cd's with this shit on them? Probably. I'll pass, thanks.
15% of all music sales were digital downloads last year (3/4 of that 15% was on iTunes). The industry has no need to move to digital when 85% of the market is still in physical sales. The industry is not digital driven, not even close.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:24 PM   #23
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15% of all music sales were digital downloads last year (3/4 of that 15% was on iTunes). The industry has no need to move to digital when 85% of the market is still in physical sales. The industry is not digital driven, not even close.

It is though for the singles market; albums on the other hand seem to be holding their own physically for now at least.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:29 PM   #24
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Good point. Which makes it ultra frustrating to try to get a hold of import singles in the US these days!
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by u2popmofo View Post
15% of all music sales were digital downloads last year (3/4 of that 15% was on iTunes). The industry has no need to move to digital when 85% of the market is still in physical sales. The industry is not digital driven, not even close.
Because the only worthwhile places to download music legally are Napster and Itunes? Hardly great options. Which is what I'm getting at. We need some sort of industry standard in digital distribution. The studios themselves need to invest in this for it to take off, while they've been little more than reluctantly cooperative to this point, if not at all. The number of people under 30 who download music illegally/rip and swap with friends is bigger than anyone likes to admit, and that number is only going to continue to grow. Most people who still buy CDs are likely older generations who haven't been raised in the digital era. In order for the industry to grow and survive it needs to cater to the cutting edge, which it is completely failing to acknowledge.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:35 PM   #26
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Because the only worthwhile places to download music legally are Napster and Itunes? Hardly great options. Which is what I'm getting at. We need some sort of industry standard in digital distribution. The studios themselves need to invest in this for it to take off, while they've been little more than reluctantly cooperative to this point, if not at all.
Fair enough. I read some shitty article about Myspace a week or two ago that pissed me off beyond belief. Apparently Myspace is releasing some sort of music downloading option in the near future (they may have already introduced some of it). Their big selling point at bringing in labels to sell on their site is that they'd let them charge more than iTunes charges for new releases or other "specials". All I got out of it was that most of the major labels hate iTunes because they're sticklers with not allowing major labels to charge more than $9.99 for an album.

It does seem that the majors all want to live in dinosaur land still, unfortunately.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:49 PM   #27
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That's exactly the kind of attitude that's pissing me off.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:13 AM   #28
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i only listen to my ipod at work where i do not have a cd player. otherwise, i listen to cds in my car and never the ipod because of the sound quality.




fuck major labels, and fuck myspace.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:26 AM   #29
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Unfortunately I listen to all my music either thru itunes or my ipod (in the car) and there is indeed a dip in quality! The other day I played a CD on my home stereo and it felt like I was listening to a different album!

Dear Readers,

Forgive me if this has been addressed before but is 192 kbps the most optimal speed for importing? Can one get better quality at higher speed/bit rate? But will higher quality sacrifice memory space? Eagerly awaiting your reply,

Clueless in Central Jersey
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #30
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PS: When you burn a CD from an iTunes playlist, do you get that quality back on CD again?

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