AAC Anyone?

september 13, 2004

Ever since the move to the new house all my stuff has been in disarray. I sorted out my PS2 and Xbox games already. My DVD collection is now all sorted with the correct discs in the correct keepcases -- and they are all alphabetized also! So, it comes down to my music CDs. Yes, even though I get my singles from Apple's iTunes Music Store, I still get music CDs for the ones that I really enjoy. So, here I am in the office of the new house with one of three huge boxes of CDs pulled open. I am putting CDs in the their correct cases but I am also doing something else. I am not alphabetizing them because I am redigitizing my CD collection. My current digital version of the CD collection is a high quality LAME VBR (setting 4) of most of the CDs in my collection. And though I don't have to carry all my music with me, I am taking the Light Rail now and I want to try to carry most of it with me. I can get most of it to sync from my iBook over to the 15GB 3G iPod that I have, but what if I can get it all? What do I sacrafice? Yes, audio quality. I have been listening a lot to the AAC files that come from the Apple iTunes Music Store and they actually sound pretty decent. They are 128kbps AAC files and they sound as good or better than a 160kbps MP3, which when riding the train is just perfect for me. I am going to archive my current library of high-quality MP3s onto some DVDs and I am going to re-rip all my CDs in 128kbps AAC for my iPod. We'll see how things go, all I know is that ripping with the Quicktime/iTunes combination is pretty damn fast when compared to LAME. Yes, LAME takes it time to produce a great sounding MP3 file, but for on-the-go noisy environments like a Light Rail train, a decent sounding 128kpbs AAC file should do just fine.