Music File Formats

   13 January 2004, evening time

I’m getting my iPod in a matter of days. I’m trying to decide what format I should rip music in, and at what bit rate. Right now I am partial to ACC (Apple’s Mpeg-4 format). mp4 files sound better at lower bit-rates, so you can get good quality music out of smaller files. The only problem I see with mp4’s is that they currently can only be played in iTunes and on an iPod (I believe). I’m not sure if this is really an issue or not. I plan to start ripping my CD collection as soon as I can figure this out.



  1. Personally, I use 256 kps AACs. To me, they sound identical to the CD source on my Grado headphones. I suppose the real test would be hooking my iBook up to my 4.1 speakers and cranking it up real loud just to be sure, but eh.

    If iTunes and the iPod both play AAC, why bother with anything else? It's an open format and in a year when you break or lose your iPod there should be plenty of other players out there. HP even just inked a deal with Apple a few days ago to make their own branded iPod clone.

  2. word, i agree with dave. apple isn't the only one with an mpeg4 license, so i'm sure other players will be supporting it soon enough. of course, if sharing the odd track is your primary concern, then you might want to stick to mp3s.

    also, hooking up a sound source to any speakers and "turning it up real loud" is only a test of the speaker distortion and nothing else. you can make better comparisons of sound quality at reasonable listening levels (and on your grados).

  3. Yes, I think your headphones are going to give you a better sense of the encoding quality.

  4. I was thinking of 224 ACC, which is what i've been using right now. I think that is quite close to what a CD sounds like. I just worry it is going to be too large. I have to rip a few albums to get a sense of how big shit is on average.

Don't be shy, you can comment too!

Some things to keep in mind: You can style comments using Textile. In particular, *text* will get turned into text and _text_ will get turned into text. You can post a link using the command "linktext":link, so something like "google": will get turned in to google. I may erase off-topic comments, or edit poorly formatted comments; I do this very rarely.