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Thread: MP3's or CD's?

  1. #1
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    Default MP3's or CD's?

    Davids response to my eq question sparked another question. Curious as to what ever one uses.

    Plus some of the audio guru's might be able to jump in and rank them from highest to lowest quality.

    Ipod/MP3 through headphone jack?
    Ipod through data connect cord?
    Ipod/MP3 through USB connection?
    Audio CD's?
    MP3 CD's?
    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from actual CD's?
    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from free downloads?
    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from purchased sites such as amazon or itunes?

    I have never used cd's in the boat. I either play through data port on an ipod or headphone jack of a droid. I did notice i need much more volume from the droid. Most of music, as of lately anyways, is purchased from amazon.

    Never gave it too much consideration but after this stereo install i may consider a different route if there are quality differences.
    2006 Supra 24SSV

  2. #2
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    To tag along with the above question...I have a fantastic collection of SACDs plus Telarc and Sheffield Labs recordings, not to mention a few manufacturer demo discs featuring some well produced and recorded material. Ipod play is the only practical solution for me. So my question is what is the best way to transfer these CDs to files without loss. I don't care about storage room.

    David
    Earmark Marine

  3. #3
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    I use usb thumbdrive on my kenwood head. it has no provisions for cd's so I don't use them. it has an ipod connection as well, but I don't own one. wired for xm, used it one year, and may again, but not in the very near future.

    all of my music comes from either brianbass.com, beezo.net, or limewire(guess it's defunct, but something will replace it).

    never really worried too much about the quality, just always tried to pick the highest bitrate available when downloading. realistically, it's an open-air boat combating other boats, a v8, wind noise, and overall horrible speaker placement as it relates to acoustics.
    I've taken the approach that an ipod may offer a better connection, but the thumbdrive is convenient and sounds good to everyone that has boarded the boat..

    not like it's a closed/foamed room and you have krell electronics pushing martin logan speakers mmmmmm......
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  4. #4
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    I use an ipod connected to the usb in on the face of my Pioneer through the ipod data port, easy to use and it charges. I'll use the phones port to the HU aux in on occasion when looking for something specific, don't notice that much quality loss. I also have started using a usb flash drive as it holds it all with less hassle.

    I've only used Limewire for music as i don't collect cd's nor do i want to, too damn much money to sit around.

    Limewire was shutdown by a federal court injunction for unauthorized downloads. I seriously doubt anybody is going to pick up that stick with the feds hovering.

    So now you either have to rip or buy music online! I do have a buddy with a 10K plus cd collection ... naw, way to much work.
    2007 Mobius LSV

  5. #5
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    Have a look at "FrostWire"...
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  6. #6
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    Started off with a SANSA mp3 player thru the 3.5 jack, seems to be a lot of power drop.
    New rig (MBQuart Nautic) has USB port, use a thumb drive, no cd....lov it, but dont like not having the ability to randomly pick songs.

    Dont have an ipod, so not sure if their would be drop on signal with the power/signal cord. My guess the 3.5 jack on one would drop signal power.

  7. #7
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    This is getting way to complicated. I'm about to go back to a tape player, guess I can get some recordables and record right off the radio.

  8. #8
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    As one who works in a recording environment, let me share my thoughts.

    First off, in terms of quality of digital format, the files on a CD, (played from a CD) are superior to every other format EXCEPT for the ones that David points out from SACD discs. Every other digital format is a compromise.

    In a computer, when ripping using your favorite ripping software, a .WAV file is for all practical purposes lossless, and is an exact copy of what exists on the CD. The downside is that a .WAV file is literally 10X the size of even a good MP3 copy. They take up a lot of room.

    Then if considering an MP3 format, given the option of unlimited storage, I will recommend the best course is to go buy the CD, and then rip it at the highest resolution available, (320 Kbps for Windows Media Player). The advantage is that YOU did the ripping, so you know how high a quality you are ripping at. I personally will never rip below 256Kbps bit rate, as the compression artifacts become very audible. Anyone have a Sirius or XM subscription in their car? Ever notice that weird swirly ringy low-quality aspect of it? Ever notice how the cymbals don't sound right? Ever hear a vocal that jsut sounds sort of chipmunk-like when you know it shouldnt? That is a result of MP3 encoding at lower bit rate levels...

    As for KG's list of possibilities, let me copy and paste and add my thoughts:

    Ipod/MP3 through headphone jack? Worst option, you have the noise of the headphone amplifer and the potential to clip the front end of the head unit you are playing it through. This is because you have a volume control; turn it all the way up and you will likely clip the front end with too much voltage. turn your MP3 player down too low and all you will get is hiss. Dependent upopn the quality of the MP3 file put on the player, per my point about low bit rate above.

    Ipod through data connect cord? Better than headphone. The audio is being delivered through analog signal connections in the data connection cord. Dependent upopn the quality of the MP3 file put on the player, per my point about low bit rate above.

    Ipod/MP3 through USB connection? Potentially best, as the signal transfer from the Ipod to the head unit is digital. BUT the DAC's in the head unit need to be of decent quality. A cheap DAC can sound reallly bad... Dependent upopn the quality of the MP3 file put on the player, per my point about low bit rate above.


    Audio CD's? Best for critical listening. Bitrate and compression are not an issue.

    MP3 CD's? Dependent upopn the quality of the MP3 file put on the player, per my point about low bit rate above.


    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from actual CD's? Best option if you do the MP3 encoding yourself at a high bitrate. See note about bit rate above.

    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from free downloads?
    Mixed bag. You are counting on someone else to actualy create a quality recording. You have no control over quality, so when you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Most people try to cram a lot on, so quality suffers. Occasionally you get a jewel, but it is a mixed bag. Choose another option if you are looking for quality.


    Music added to IPOD/MP3 from purchased sites such as amazon or itunes? I am not sure what their typical bitrate is, but my concern is not having a backup. If your computer or your i-whatever pukes, your music is gone, and you have to buy it again. If you bought the CD, you can recreate your library. It takes time, about the same time to re-buy everything, but it is free.


    This is my quick perspective on it, but should serve most of us for our day-to-day listening needs. As always there are exceptions, so feel free to contradict me with a different opinion, but if you do, justify it with your reasoning so someone using this information can make an informed decision!

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 12-17-2010 at 04:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusty2221 View Post
    This is getting way to complicated. I'm about to go back to a tape player, guess I can get some recordables and record right off the radio.
    Dual cassette with highspeed dubbing baby

  10. #10
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    Despite the fact that it is old technology, an analog encoging device, (LP, Reel to Reel, Hi Quality Casette) creates a 100% accurate waveform that is an exact recreation of the original performance. In terms of file size and bitrate, and analog format has an infinitely high bit rate and the physical file size is not bad given the total accuracy of the "file" stored.

    Some will rightly tell you that LP's pop and tapes have hiss. That is a factual statement. The inherent flaws to those formats have to do with how they are played back, not how they are recorded... The wiggiling groove in a record is EXACTLY the same shape as the air pressure or electrical voltage that modulated the groove cutter, with the exception of the RIAA EQ curve applied to the waveform to get it to fit on a typical 33.3 RMP LP. The RIAA curve compresses the bass region and expands the highs during encoding. Then a reverse EQ curve is employed during playback. The bass is brought back up to normal level, and the highs are brought back down, along with all the noise of the friction of the needle sliding through the cut groove.

    Microfiche is another example of an analog format with incredibly high resolution. Take a microfiche slide and try to store it digitally and you will find that the file size necessary to accurately readd the ultra-fine printing will not fit on an old floppy disk, despite being physically the same size. I have not tried to scan a microfice to try to make it readable on a computer, but my bet is the file would be approacing a gig..

    Unfortunately all digital files incorporate some sort of compression; information is lost.... With music, the more you compress it, the crappier it will sound.

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 12-17-2010 at 05:03 PM.

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