[access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM

Thanks Steve for the correction about the formats available from the Apple
Store.
For those who are interested the iTune plus FAQ is here:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1711

As you say the iTune plus is at 256 kbps aac is a bit more efficient than
MP3 so it is probably equivalent to somewhat higher bit rate in MP3 although
aac tends to be more efficient  at lower bit rates, at higher ones there is
little difference.
 
As to conversion...

AAC is a lossy format. If one wants to use this formats in iTunes, iPod or
other players that can play this formats (there are not too many) this is a
good choice.

Conversion to MP3 is a convertion from one lossy format to another which
always leads to loss of quality - if somebody does not notice the difference
this is fine.

For those who wants to use MP3, the best root is to buy MP3 directly (or
ripp from a CD) rather than convert for the best quality.

It is interesting to note what Apples says about conversion (they don't even
talk about conversion from lossy to another lossy which means a conversion
from lossy to lossless and back to lossy).

And from the Apple website...

About compression

When you convert a song, some data may be lost due to the way certain
formats compress data. For this reason these formats are sometimes called
"lossy" formats. The advantage of using a "lossy" format is that the file
sizes are much smaller, which means you can store more songs in the same
amount of disk space. The disadvantage is that the sound quality may not be
as good as the original, uncompressed format. Depending on the song, the
speakers or headphones, and the player you use to play the song, you may not
be able to tell the difference between a compressed "lossy" song and a song
that is not compressed.

Once a song is compressed (meaning some of its data is lost) you cannot
retrieve the data by uncompressing it. If you convert a song from a "lossy"
format to a uncompressed format, the quality of the song will not improve
and the file will only take up more disk space. For example, if you convert
a song in MP3 format (a compressed format) to AIFF (an uncompressed format)
the song will take up much more space on the hard disk, but it will still
sound the same as the compressed file. In order to take advantage of
uncompressed formats you should only import songs using these formats.

End of excerpt

Regards
Isaac
 

-----Original Message-----
From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Ibrahim Gucukoglu
Sent: 25 January 2009 17:30
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM

Hi Steve.

I take it the 256K stuff what you call ITunes plus is the mp3 content they
do.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Nutt" <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2009 5:25 PM
Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM


> Hi Isaac,
>
> Even that is not quite correct.  If you buy regular DRM stuff from iTunes,
> then it is 128 as you say.  But if you buy iTunes plus stuff, then it is 
> 256
> at the very least.
>
> All the best
>
> Steve
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
> Of
> Isaac Porat
> Sent: Sunday 25 January 2009 12:26
> To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM
>
> Hi Ibrahim and all
>
> I did some searching on the Apple store to find the situation...
>
> I got the impression  that apple sell their music in lossless I was wrong.
> As far as I can make apple sell their music in the AAC format which is 
> lossy
> in 128 kbps probably as you say.
>   So it is lossy not lossless.
>
> If you use iTunes you can  ripp (if you wish) your CD to Apple lossless
> which means that the music is exactly as the original.  There are other
> lossless formats the most well known and open source is FLAC.  The 
> advantage
> of this formats is exact replica of the original the disadvantage is much
> bigger file sizes.  Typically lossless is 50% of the original where MP3
> depending on the quality is 20% of the original.
>
> I agree with you; I would buy MP3 to start with, it is the most supported
> format and any conversion of lossless format to another one leads to
> degradation.  There seems to be an understanding that a variable bit rate
> VBr between 192 and 320 is practically lossless for most ears so 256 and 
> 320
> constant bit rate are excellent.
>
> It is a technical fact that converting from a lossy to another lossy one
> (regardless of the bit rate used) is reducing quality because as I said,
> each format shaves a bit of the sound to suit their acoustic model of the
> ear; if you find it acceptable to your ear that is all that matters.
>
> Finally on the question of lossless and Lossy formats:
>
> A Wav file is uncompressed format which is exact replica of the original 
> CD.
>
> FLAC, Apple lossless, MonkeyAudio are all compressed lossless.
>
> MP3, WMA, OGG and AAC are all compressed lossy.
>
> I suspect that as the internet speed goes up lossless format will become 
> the
> norm as it is exact replica of the original CD and there is no compromise.
>
> Regards
> Isaac
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf 
> Of
> Ibrahim Gucukoglu
> Sent: 25 January 2009 06:41
> To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM
>
> Hi Isaac.
>
> ITunes recordings are actually encoded in 128K lossless.  It doesn't mean
> the tracks are lossless, its just the name of the encoding type.  To be
> honest, having heard tracks I've downloaded from Napster and ITunes, 
> you'll
> get roughly the same quality.  As for converting napster to mp3 tracks, 
> well
> if you buy them from Napster then you get mp3 anyway at 256K, but if your
> converting them you can set sound taxi to encode at 256K, so when it plays
> through my high end speakers I don't notice any degradation in quality and
> I'd be more than happy to send you a sample showing this.  Sound Taxi
> converts digitally so its conversion process aught to be lossless.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Isaac Porat" <isaac@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:52 PM
> Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM
>
>
>> Hello Carol
>>
>> First with play.com you can download files again if you loose them see:
>> http://www.play.com/Music/MP3-Download/6-/Help.html?page=playdigitalfaq
>>
>> The MP3 format is most common meaning that it is supported by all 
>> software
>> and hardware players.
>> It is a lossy format meaning that you loose some quality during the
>> conversion process ; largely depending on the bit rate.  Of course price
>> can
>> be an issue but I personally would not consider a file encoded in less
>> than
>> 196 Kbps; play.com do them in 196 - 320 kbps
>>
>> The M4A format offered by apple is lossless (also called Apple lossless)
>> meaning that it is exactly like the original which is the best (FLAK is
>> another lossless format and there are others).
>>
>> Converting a file in M4A to MP3 or WMA is feasible, but as these are 
>> lossy
>> formats,  you will loose something but in practice at about 256Kbps
>> chances
>> are that you will not notice any difference.
>>
>> Finally converting from one lossy format such as WMA to another such as
>> MP3
>> is bad news as you loose quality further; this is because each format 
>> uses
>
>> a
>> different acoustic model (related to the sensitivity of the ear to
>> different
>> sounds) so put simply each format removes their own bit off the sound.
>>
>> Regards
>> Isaac
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
>> Of
>> Steve Nutt
>> Sent: 24 January 2009 19:15
>> To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Subject: [access-uk] Re: MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM
>>
>> Hi Carol,
>>
>> If you buy from Play, you can't download again if you lose them, so back
>> them up.
>>
>> If you buy from iTunes, then you can always re-download, but they are not
>> MP3 files, but higher quality.  They use Flac files which are M4A.  These
>> can be played with Winamp or Windows Media Player, if you download the
>> right
>> plugin for Windows Media Player.
>>
>> There are other companies like 7DigitalMedia http://www.7digitalmedia.com
>> that sell them in MP3 format, and you can re-download from them too.
>>
>> Most stores sell in MP3 or protected WMA formats.  Apple sell in M4A and
>> M4V
>> for video.  These can be converted to MP3 if they are not DRM-protected.
>> Apple is removing DRM from their stuff, so I am beginning to like iTunes.
>>
>> All the best
>>
>> Steve
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
>> Of
>> Carol Pearson
>> Sent: Saturday 24 January 2009 18:11
>> To: Access UK Mailing List
>> Subject: [access-uk] MP3'S FROM PLAY.COM
>>
>> I'm thinking of switching to purchasing MP3's instead of CD's and so here
>> are some questions ...
>>
>> As always, I apologise that I didn't follow the thread when it was last
>> discussed.  Anyway, here are my questions:
>>
>> Are MP3's available in various sampling rates etc., and can you buy
>> individual tracks from CD's, or do you have to buy the whole CD where a 
>> CD
>> is listed rather than a single track?  Are they all .WAV format and, if
>> you
>> lose them, can you get them again without charge?
>>
>> --
>> Carol
>> carol.pearson29@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>
>>
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