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Thread: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

  1. #1

    Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

    i'm going to rip all my old CD's (~3000) and since all my stuff is Apple based, AND drive space is at a premium, i decided to rip them in the AAC format. i know that's not "lossless" - that's ok with me; i don't have the best ear. so i thought i'd try to match the settings Apple Music & iTunes Store uses.

    i read that if i used the iTunes/Catalina-Music.app to rip, that these settings are what Apple Music & iTunes Store uses...
    - Import Using AAC Encoder
    - Setting to iTunes Plus
    - Details are 128 kbps (mono) / 256 kbps (stereo), 44.100 kHz, VBR.

    to replicate this in dBpoweramp, i chose:
    - the Rip to profile of Apple AAC
    - target of Quality (VBR)
    - set the Quality slider to 256 kbps
    - and the dropdown menu under that to LC AAC
    - i also set the Ripping Method to Secure & followed the "Setup Guide" for those settings.

    i did a test...
    the songs ripped directly within the Catalina-Music.app at the above setting showed a "consistent" Bit Rate of "256 kbps (VBR)".
    but the same songs ripped in dBpoweramp with the above listed settings shows the Bit Rate varying between 264-292 kbps per song.

    QUESTION...
    is this just a difference in how the Mac "displays" the bit rates of these two rips, & that they're essentially the same thing?

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    40,639

    Re: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

    VBR means Variable Bit Rate, where it adjusts to suit the music. If you want constant bit rate choose the CBR option, that said VBR can sound better than CBR because although lower bit rates are used, also higher are used as required.

  3. #3
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,327

    Re: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

    Hey Spoon,

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    If you want constant bit rate choose the CBR option, that said VBR can sound better than CBR because although lower bit rates are used, also higher are used as required.
    that sounds interesting. What do you mean by higher? Higher than the bitrate that is specified? I.e. can a 192kbps VBR file have rates higher than 192kbps? I thought that the specified rate is the highest rate witihin the file.


    Dat Ei

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    40,639

    Re: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

    Yes, if you choose 192 it can go 224 easily, the shown values are just estimates of the average quality it should be.

  5. #5
    dBpoweramp Guru
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,327

    Re: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music

    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that.

    Dat Ei

  6. #6

    Re: Best Settings to Match iTunes Music (SOLVED)

    Thank you all for your replies, but I just found the answer @ https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?top...8939*msg528939...
    If you are using iTunes to display the bitrate of the final file, iTunes masks the real average bitrate and instead displays the target bitrate that you set.
    ...to confirm this, I used this app (https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo) and it truly showed me what iTunes/Music.app was hiding.

    it would also seem that iTunes/Music.app does not use "True VBR" (also according to that forum thread), but instead uses something called "Constrained_VBR".

    additionally, after much more reading, the AAC 256 VBR encoding is the way to go (for me). most people don't hear any differences above that, and my ears are average at best, and my sound equipment is also average.

    if anyone has a strong argument against that, please feel free to share, otherwise, this is what I'm gonna go with considering quality, hearing ability, playing equipment, and limited drive space.
    &*9996;&*127995;

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