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Apple iTunes - Mastered for iTunes
RobertoDomenico
post Feb 22 2012, 18:22
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Mastered for iTunes: Rolling out on a worldwide basis, Apple is now featuring songs and albums that have been specifically mastered for the iTunes Store to provide the best sound quality for the format.

More info http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

An interesting read http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-fo..._for_itunes.pdf

Your thoughts?

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Feb 22 2012, 18:24
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mixminus1
post Feb 22 2012, 23:56
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I had to read through the PDF a couple times to make sure I stifled some knee-jerk reactions, and overall, it's pretty reasonable, and actually quite informative (to the lossy-encoding noob) at times.

@db1989: In reference to your response about AAC's internal bit depth, they more-or-less do say it a couple times:

QUOTE
It is this 32-bit floating [-point] file that’s used as the input to the encoder...


QUOTE
Regardless of the bit depth of the original source file (16- or 24-bit), you should generate a 24-bit file to preserve maximum fidelity resulting from the AAC coding process.


It's also nice to see the afclip utility and its tally of inter-sample overs.

I think they still needlessly cast 16/44 audio in a negative light, but at least they provide mostly technically-sound reasons for their request for 24/96 files (no dithering needed, for instance).

@andy o: Sadly, a lossless file does not necessarily equal the original audio - this was from August of last year:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=89818

Clearly-audible artifacts (watermarking) on FLAC files sold by an online retailer (Passionato) that were completely absent from the same tracks purchased from Deutsche Grammophon's online store. I've since heard similar artifacts on an album that I downloaded from iTunes and that was distributed by UMG (Florence + the Machine's "Ceremonials") - once again, completely absent from a verified FLAC rip.


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db1989
post Feb 23 2012, 00:08
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QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Feb 22 2012, 22:56) *
[…] overall, it's pretty reasonable, and actually quite informative (to the lossy-encoding noob) at times.
Although I only skim-read the first half or so, this is basically what I thought. It’s a total PR piece, obviously; but it’s somewhat redeemed by the fact that they cast a critical eye over the loudness war, explicitly warn against pointlessly upconverting, and a few other things like this—which could do with the extra publicity gained from a mention by such an influential company.

QUOTE
@db1989: In reference to your response about AAC's internal bit depth, they more-or-less do say it a couple times: […]
Thanks! But I did already see those; that’s what I meant by my comment. wink.gif Assumption wasn’t the best choice of word!

QUOTE
I think they still needlessly cast 16/44 audio in a negative light, but at least they provide mostly technically-sound reasons for their request for 24/96 files (no dithering needed, for instance).
As with the first quote/paragraph above, I agree. smile.gif
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Posts in this topic
- RobertoDomenico   Apple iTunes - Mastered for iTunes   Feb 22 2012, 18:22
- - DVDdoug   I don't see anything too bad there. The goo...   Feb 22 2012, 19:15
- - Ron Jones   I'm not sure why they refer to 24/96 as the id...   Feb 22 2012, 19:34
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE I'm not sure why they refer to 24/96 as ...   Feb 22 2012, 20:06
- - andy o   This is from the pdf: QUOTE To take best advantage...   Feb 22 2012, 21:44
- - db1989   I assumed they’re trying to push the ‘AAC has no i...   Feb 22 2012, 21:50
- - skamp   ^ Apparently the Nero AAC encoder takes 24bit/96kH...   Feb 22 2012, 22:04
- - punkrockdude   I have tried out a couple of encoders how they han...   Feb 22 2012, 22:14
|- - C.R.Helmrich   QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Feb 22 2012, 23:14)...   Feb 22 2012, 22:50
|- - punkrockdude   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Feb 22 2012, 22:50)...   Feb 22 2012, 23:11
- - andy o   QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 22 2012, 12:50) I ass...   Feb 22 2012, 22:22
- - andy o   personally, when they stop beating around the bush...   Feb 22 2012, 23:37
- - mixminus1   I had to read through the PDF a couple times to ma...   Feb 22 2012, 23:56
|- - db1989   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Feb 22 2012, 22:56) […...   Feb 23 2012, 00:08
- - punkrockdude   Winamp didn't want to work for me under WINE b...   Feb 23 2012, 00:25
- - punkrockdude   Helmrich: Well the issue with the sound being lou...   Feb 23 2012, 01:35
|- - C.R.Helmrich   QUOTE (punkrockdude @ Feb 23 2012, 02:35)...   Feb 23 2012, 20:57
|- - punkrockdude   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Feb 23 2012, 20:57)...   Feb 23 2012, 22:43
|- - googlebot   You are experiencing another episode of Apple...   Feb 24 2012, 13:28
- - RobertoDomenico   Doesn't look like we'll be seeing ALAC now...   Feb 23 2012, 07:05
- - icstm   From the pdf: QUOTE Movies, for example, have very...   Feb 23 2012, 11:20
- - Brand   I think movies have standards for both audio and v...   Feb 23 2012, 12:09
- - ozmosis82   Did anyone else notice how the PDF also mentioned ...   Feb 23 2012, 20:01
|- - Notat   QUOTE (ozmosis82 @ Feb 23 2012, 12:01) Di...   Feb 25 2012, 01:30
- - IgorC   About AAC and 24/96 http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/...   Feb 23 2012, 21:17
- - JunkieXL   True, but it is still a selling point for their pr...   Feb 23 2012, 22:03
- - Kujibo   This was a bit of a frustrating read: http://arst...   Feb 23 2012, 23:07
|- - Notat   QUOTE (Kujibo @ Feb 23 2012, 15:07) I do ...   Feb 25 2012, 01:41
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Notat @ Feb 24 2012, 16:41) The qu...   Feb 25 2012, 02:26
- - mixminus1   At least the prices are (currently staying) the sa...   Feb 23 2012, 23:24
- - RobertoDomenico   Having bought an album i honestly can't hear a...   Feb 24 2012, 02:19
- - RobertoDomenico   I can't see Apple offering lossless anytime so...   Feb 24 2012, 14:58
|- - tuffy   QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Feb 24 2012, 07...   Feb 24 2012, 17:21
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (tuffy @ Feb 24 2012, 09:21) Or, Ap...   Feb 25 2012, 03:19
- - andy o   They would have to be crazy to stop offering lossy...   Feb 24 2012, 17:16
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (andy o @ Feb 24 2012, 09:16) ...   Feb 26 2012, 14:58
|- - andy o   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Feb 26 2012, 05:58...   Feb 27 2012, 03:34
- - mixminus1   I definitely don't see lossless happening in t...   Feb 24 2012, 17:39
- - greynol   Unless Apple has determined that they will continu...   Feb 24 2012, 20:26
|- - Carledwards   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 24 2012, 11:26) Unle...   Feb 24 2012, 21:26
- - googlebot   I don't see how continuing to serve the mobile...   Feb 25 2012, 01:01
|- - greynol   QUOTE (googlebot @ Feb 24 2012, 16:01) I ...   Feb 25 2012, 02:14
- - RobertoDomenico   Why are my songs taking extra long to download? Wh...   Feb 25 2012, 03:43
|- - andy o   QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Feb 24 2012, 18...   Feb 25 2012, 09:13
- - SHiV   In principle encoding from a better source produce...   Feb 25 2012, 13:52
- - RobertoDomenico   I have not done any ABX tests but with the one alb...   Feb 25 2012, 14:16
- - SHiV   Well.. I think generally speaking ABX is always re...   Feb 25 2012, 23:21
|- - cyberdux   QUOTE (SHiV @ Feb 26 2012, 08:21) Well.. ...   Feb 26 2012, 01:25
|- - greynol   QUOTE (cyberdux @ Feb 25 2012, 16:25) Hav...   Feb 27 2012, 03:19
|- - cyberdux   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 27 2012, 12:19) QUOT...   Feb 27 2012, 05:26
- - MichaelW   I guess the good sign is that Apple thinks there...   Feb 26 2012, 21:58
- - christopher   From a label and content provider standpoint, this...   Feb 27 2012, 03:04
- - greynol   From the paper, it seems that Apple is only pushin...   Feb 27 2012, 05:58
- - zipr   According to this, there may not be any difference...   Feb 28 2012, 19:48
- - smok3   basically what I think is important (especially fo...   Feb 28 2012, 21:47
- - Canar   I have but one thing to add to this thread: ...   Feb 29 2012, 00:11
- - greynol   It does give the impression of SACD all over again...   Feb 29 2012, 00:20
- - skamp   Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Adventures of Rain Danc...   Feb 29 2012, 00:41
|- - bug80   QUOTE (skamp @ Feb 29 2012, 00:41) Red Ho...   Feb 29 2012, 12:47
- - skamp   QUOTE (christopher @ Feb 29 2012, 12:47) ...   Feb 29 2012, 13:20
- - Hengest   Was looking through a recent 'Mastered for iTu...   Feb 29 2012, 14:34
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Andy Vandette)You can't get around it—w...   Feb 29 2012, 15:01
- - Hengest   ^True. Though he does at least speak-out against m...   Feb 29 2012, 15:17
- - db1989   Split: Apple developing new format for “high defin...   Mar 2 2012, 17:59
- - Notat   Ian Shepherd claims that Mastered for iTunes is do...   Mar 4 2012, 00:17
- - greynol   The idea that people responsible for producing mus...   Mar 4 2012, 01:47
|- - C.R.Helmrich   QUOTE (greynol @ Mar 4 2012, 02:47) The i...   Mar 6 2012, 21:12
|- - googlebot   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 6 2012, 21:12) ...   Mar 6 2012, 22:02
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 6 2012, 13:12) ...   Mar 6 2012, 22:56
|- - mudlord   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 6 2012, 15:12) ...   Mar 7 2012, 14:01
|- - C.R.Helmrich   That's your opinion. To me it's just refle...   Mar 7 2012, 21:35
|- - mudlord   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 7 2012, 14:35) ...   Mar 8 2012, 08:54
|- - C.R.Helmrich   QUOTE (mudlord @ Mar 8 2012, 09:54) but I...   Mar 8 2012, 21:42
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 8 2012, 12:42) ...   Mar 9 2012, 01:05
||- - Kees de Visser   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Mar 9 2012, 02:05) Q...   Mar 9 2012, 10:28
||- - skamp   QUOTE (Kees de Visser @ Mar 9 2012, 10:28...   Mar 9 2012, 11:34
||- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (Kees de Visser @ Mar 9 2012, 02:28...   Mar 9 2012, 19:28
|- - nu774   QUOTE (C.R.Helmrich @ Mar 9 2012, 05:42) ...   Mar 9 2012, 05:11
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (nu774 @ Mar 8 2012, 20:11) QUOTE (...   Mar 9 2012, 05:40
|- - db1989   If MPEG-4 SLS had separate lossy and lossless corr...   Mar 9 2012, 09:10
- - Wombat   As customer i feel a bit confused by all this mark...   Mar 4 2012, 02:17
- - krabapple   Interesting thread about this on gearslutz...and n...   Mar 6 2012, 18:06
- - lvqcl   QUOTE (j_j)I'll post a couple of wav files to ...   Mar 6 2012, 20:56
- - Woodinville   Y'all might also want to read the same titled ...   Mar 7 2012, 21:39
- - JunkieXL   I read through that thread and actually wanted to ...   Mar 7 2012, 21:48
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (JunkieXL @ Mar 7 2012, 12:48) I re...   Mar 8 2012, 01:43
- - nu774   MPEG-4 SLS seems interesting for video. It can be ...   Mar 8 2012, 09:33
- - nu774   .oO( Hmm, now is the chance to make some nasty noi...   Mar 9 2012, 08:54


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