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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Ripping CDs in iTines vs Windows Media Player

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Member Since: May 14, 2014
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When I use Windows Media Player to burn CDs, it appears to rip an AIFF version, which then gets burned to the CD-R.

I used iTunes for the for the first time to burn a CD. It seems that iTunes rips a AAC version, then converts it back to AIFF when burning the CD-R. Since AAC is lossy, going from AIFF to AAC back to AIFF produces a lower quality AIFF, is that correct?

Honestly, when I played that CD in my car, I couldn't tell any difference in sound quality from CDs I ripped in Windows Media Player. Is ripping an AIFF the best option, or is that being too picky? Is there another program you'd recommend using other than iTunes?

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iTunes has import settings that can create AAC, AIFF, WAV, MP3 and Apple Lossless files.

AIFF and WAV files are uncompressed and significantly larger than MP3 and AAC which are compressed. Since there is compression there is generational loss.

Apple Lossless is a compromise of larger file size than AAC but no generational loss.

Encoding technology has gotten better over the years but there is a real difference with highs and lows in compressed audio. However if you are listening to high quality audio files through regular old speakers you won't be able to appreciate the difference.

Last edited by MacsWork; 05-14-2014 at 09:20 PM.
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I often can't tell the difference either. For what you want I would just leave the files as AIFF and not convert to Lossless. You can still use iTunes to do the burn and it will leave the files as AIFF. Here's how to set things up:

1. Launch iTunes and open Preferences
2. Go to the General tab and look for an option that says "import Options". It's right above the OK button.
3. Click there and a new sheet will pop up where you can choose AIFF as the import option. This should leave the imported files as AIFF and they will then get burned as AIFF files.

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