Music Files

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I've just joined this forum and I can see that there was a previous thread on music files but I would like to ask advice on my specific situation. I am 67 years old and therefore my hearing is now not as acute as it once was and I am wondering if I am likely to benefit from changing the format of my music files or not? My music has been ripped from CDs to my iMac using iTunes. Some of the files are in Apple Lossless, some AAC and some MPEG. They all sound good to me when listening at my desk in front of the iMac using my 2 Edifier e10 speakers but I am not convinced I am hearing the best sound when I listen through my Sonos Play 3 speaker in a larger room using my iPad as a controller. So I am wondering if changing the file formats would be a wise thing to do or if doing that might be a backward step or a neutral result bearing in mind my age related hearing loss. Also could the fact that I only have one Play 3 be something to do with it, would two Play 3s make a big difference with a view to creating a better (wider) stereo effect? I am not a music or computer expert, I just learn what I need to learn as and when I need to, hence this request for your views. The types of music I mostly listen to are Popular and Country etc not Classical. Thank you.
 

IWT


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Hullo Jeff

A big welcome to the Forums.

As it turns out, we are in a similar age bracket. I am not an acoustics expert, but I do listen to a large and wide range of music.

I have experimented with numerous lossy and lossless formats including "studio quality" FLAC files. The bottom line for me was that I couldn't tell the difference even when playing from my iMac through high-end Bose Speakers. The slight exception was MP3, I accept that. But as far as AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF are concerned—no difference.

Remember also, that if you've downloaded a tune from iTunes in the standard format—sure, you can right click on the track and "convert" to Apple Lossless. All you achieve is a bigger file size. You can't create better sound quality if the original source was inferior.

So my advice is to stick with what you've got for the most part. If you have MP3-standard music, see if you can find the same tune at AAC or Apple Lossless and re-download.

The human ear is the limiting factor in all cases!

Hope this helps.

Ian
 

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There would not be any benefit to changing the file formats of your existing files. The quality would remain the same or be decreased. It cannot be increased, e.g. a format change cannot put back into the new file what is not there in the original file. When ripping any new CDs, I would just make sure to rip them to a lossless format - assuming you can even hear the difference between the 3 formats. AAC and mp3 (am assuming you meant mp3 vs mpeg which is a video codec) are both lossy formats, but AAC is typically better.

I don't know much about the Sonos system to be honest - but, to my ear, regardless of the speakers you're using, when you want to get serious about sitting down and just listening to your music rather than a background filler - setting up two speakers in a Left & Right stereo set up rather than a single speaker playing back both channels provides a much better audio experience. According to the Sonos Play:3 specs, they do have a "Stereo Pair Setting" to permit exactly that.
 
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Thanks to Ian and Bob for the replies. Bob, the MPEG files are MPEG-1, Layer 3. Is that MP3?
 

bobtomay

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Yes, that is correct.
 
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Hello there, youngster. (69 here) What MAY help you is to look for a software equalizer so that you can slightly enhance the frequencies your ears can no longer process as well. You can then "tune" the music for your ears, although it may sound slightly off (based on your adjustments) to anyone whose hearing is younger. But at our age, who cares what others think!

Here is a link to an article about equalizers from a couple of years ago. Link
 

IWT


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Jake, that's a fine idea and I should have mentioned it in my posting as that is what I have done!

The helpful Link you provided is to a site I use a lot and Jeff (the OP) might like to consider other approachs using the native settings within iTunes, iPhone; and his iPad—with which he controls his music I think.

Here's a few more easily readable ideas from the same source:

iTunes Equalizer – the Best iTunes Equalizer settings | OSXDaily
How to set custom equalizer settings on the iPhone and iPod Touch | OSXDaily
How to Access the iPhone Equalizer | OSXDaily

By the way, Jake, I've never figured out how to create a Link (such as the 3 above) with just the word "Link". How do you do that?

Ian
 

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When you are in the window to compose a post type the word "link", or whatever else you want to use (without quotes). Now select the text, click the link button (globe), and enter the url in the box.
 
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I've just joined this forum and I can see that there was a previous thread on music files but I would like to ask advice on my specific situation. I am 67 years old and therefore my hearing is now not as acute as it once was and I am wondering if I am likely to benefit from changing the format of my music files or not? My music has been ripped from CDs to my iMac using iTunes. Some of the files are in Apple Lossless, some AAC and some MPEG.....

The types of music I mostly listen to are Popular and Country etc not Classical. Thank you.

Hi Jeff - well, I also have you beat by just a year - ;) An important issue that has not been addressed relative to (and regardless of codec used) the 'lossy' codecs, such as AAC & MP3, is the extraction bit rates of the files, i.e. kbps - files extracted at less than 192 kbps may show perceptible differences from their lossless equivalents in blind A-B comparisons (and certainly if at the lower rates - there AAC may be somewhat better than MP3).

However, at higher bit rates, e.g. 256 or 320 kbps, numerous blind comparisons have shown that most individuals cannot tell the difference between the lossy & lossless versions of the same music. You can google many of these articles, but a chart from the one HERE is shown below indicating that these higher bit rate extractions are not aurally different.

For myself, I typically rip my music @ 256 or 320 kbps and when I do online purchases, those are the bit rates chosen - the files will be a little larger but there still is a good deal of lossy compression. As to 'country vs. classical' music (the latter which I listen to most of the time), there is likely even less of a concern for your listening preference. Dave :)
.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 12.14.32 PM.png
 

IWT


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Slydude dons appropriate hat and attempts to channel Jake

When you are in the window to compose a post type the word "link", or whatever else you want to use (without quotes). Now select the text, click the link button (globe), and enter the url in the box.

Thanks Slydude. Very much appreciated.

Ian
 
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MacInWin

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Another way is to click on the globe with the chain (the link) and then enter the link URL. When you click OK, you'll see the link and highlighted behind is a second copy of the link. Jut type "Link" or whatever you want and that's what will appear.
URL="http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/os-x-operating-system/320359-music-files.html#post1633336"]Enter whatever here[/URL
 

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