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quality of amazon and itunes mp3s
crodgers
post Jun 22 2012, 04:45
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Does anyone know what the quality of mp3s is from Amazon mp3?

What about the quality of mp3s from iTunes (the store, not ripping on pc)?

How are either of these qualities compared to buying a CD and ripping it myself with EAC and lame?
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kornchild2002
post Jun 22 2012, 10:29
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They do vary depending on what was provided to them. So far, these are the ones I have come across:

-V 0 Lame 3.98 joint-stereo
-V 0 Lame 3.97 joint-stereo
256kbps CBR Lame 3.96 stereo
256kbps CBR Lame 3.91 stereo
256kbps CBR FhG stereo

I downloaded a new song a couple of weeks ago and it was 256kbps CBR FhG stereo as well so I don't think Amazon has tried to do anything to even out their offerings. That is one of the reasons why I stopped buying from them. Although the chances of me actually ABXing anything are slim to none, I don't like the idea of not knowing what I will get and I like my lossy library to be uniform.
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crodgers
post Jun 22 2012, 12:11
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jun 22 2012, 05:29) *
They do vary depending on what was provided to them. So far, these are the ones I have come across:

-V 0 Lame 3.98 joint-stereo
-V 0 Lame 3.97 joint-stereo
256kbps CBR Lame 3.96 stereo
256kbps CBR Lame 3.91 stereo
256kbps CBR FhG stereo

I downloaded a new song a couple of weeks ago and it was 256kbps CBR FhG stereo as well so I don't think Amazon has tried to do anything to even out their offerings. That is one of the reasons why I stopped buying from them. Although the chances of me actually ABXing anything are slim to none, I don't like the idea of not knowing what I will get and I like my lossy library to be uniform.


So, do you think they do the actual rip? Or do they all get it from the cd provider and state a minimum quality standard and the folks that provide the CDs to the stores also make the mp3s for distribution?

I am kinda torn. I have downloaded some things from iTunes and Amazon and the quality sounds good, but then again, I do not have the CD to compare it to. I saw a box set that goes for $200 in CD format, but they are offering the whole thing in mp3 format for $36. And quite often a new CD may still be at $12-15 while the mp3 version is $10 or less. The physical CD is also a good form of backup... and I get the album art that I do not see offered with most mp3 downloads.
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kornchild2002
post Jun 22 2012, 19:41
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QUOTE (crodgers @ Jun 22 2012, 05:11) *
So, do you think they do the actual rip? Or do they all get it from the cd provider and state a minimum quality standard and the folks that provide the CDs to the stores also make the mp3s for distribution?


I'm not sure how Amazon's mp3 store works. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that they specify some minimum encoding while offering other suggestions. That may explain why there are so many discrepancies and song encoders/settings appear to be rather random. I do have some knowledge as to how the iTunes Store operates though as those are either supplied by the record company/band/artist as-is or are encoded by Apple. The music source (band, artist, record company, etc.) has the option of taking their master and encoding it to ALAC and then having Apple transcode that to 256kbps AAC VBR_constrained for an iTunes Store upload, outputting a 256kbps AAC VBR_constrained from their master, or they can actually have an engineer/producer follow the procedure to make an album with the "Made for iTunes" label. Either way, files downloaded from the iTunes Store will always (at least at the moment) be mpeg-4 LC-AAC and most are encoded at 256kbps VBR_constrained. I say most as I do remember some older files (~2005) that were encoded using 256kbps CBR AAC. That was around the time when they first started offering DRM-free 256kbps AAC files and they were definitely CBR, not VBR_constrained as they are now. Even then I think the modern settings are a little different than just VBR_constrained. If I remember correctly, the standard encoding settings in iTunes use the "medium" quality setting while the iTunes Plus option (i.e. what is offered on the iTunes Store) uses the "high" quality setting. I could be wrong but songs downloaded from the iTunes Store/encoded using the iTunes Plus setting are a little bit bigger (maybe 0.2MB for a 4 minute song) than songs encoded using 256kbps VBR_constrained in iTunes.

In all honesty, I don't really think it matters which service you use. I used to buy from the least expensive one but I didn't like not knowing what I would get from Amazon so i just stick with the iTunes Store now.

This post has been edited by kornchild2002: Jun 22 2012, 19:43
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Posts in this topic
- crodgers   quality of amazon and itunes mp3s   Jun 22 2012, 04:45
- - eahm   Amazon = MP3 (LAME) (.mp3) VBR V0 iTunes (Music S...   Jun 22 2012, 04:54
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 21 2012, 22:54) ...iTun...   Jun 22 2012, 11:58
|- - HamilcarBarca   QUOTE (eahm @ Jun 21 2012, 21:54) Amazon ...   Jun 22 2012, 22:26
- - RobertoDomenico   At those bit-rates under abx tests it would be ext...   Jun 22 2012, 06:14
- - slks   I've never used Amazon MP3 myself, but I recal...   Jun 22 2012, 09:46
- - kornchild2002   They do vary depending on what was provided to the...   Jun 22 2012, 10:29
|- - crodgers   QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jun 22 2012, 05:29...   Jun 22 2012, 12:11
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (crodgers @ Jun 22 2012, 05:11) So,...   Jun 22 2012, 19:41
- - Porcus   I wouldn't worry that much about possibly audi...   Jun 22 2012, 12:16
- - crodgers   For my own ripping and encoding, I use EAC and let...   Jun 22 2012, 15:14
|- - slks   QUOTE (crodgers @ Jun 22 2012, 09:14) For...   Jul 4 2012, 19:35
- - eahm   crodgers, don't worry about the quality in ter...   Jun 22 2012, 16:20
- - Jedi82   Why is so difficult for these company say to us wh...   Jun 22 2012, 20:58
|- - kornchild2002   QUOTE (Jedi82 @ Jun 22 2012, 13:58) Why i...   Jun 23 2012, 00:51
- - Aleron Ives   Amazon does indeed bury that page, but it does exi...   Jun 23 2012, 06:26
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Aleron Ives @ Jun 23 2012, 07:26) ...   Jun 23 2012, 07:03
- - kornchild2002   Thanks Aleron for providing that link. I gave up ...   Jun 23 2012, 13:00
- - Jedi82   also the AAC files download via iTunes match are T...   Jun 24 2012, 12:28
- - db1989   You could search. One example for the query iTunes...   Jun 24 2012, 12:35
- - Blutarsky   While attempting to abandon Apple for my rare ...   Oct 21 2012, 15:29
|- - lvqcl   QUOTE (Blutarsky @ Oct 21 2012, 18:29) an...   Oct 21 2012, 15:48
|- - Blutarsky   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Oct 21 2012, 09:48) QUOTE ...   Oct 21 2012, 16:28
- - lvqcl   I just wanted to say that you compare AAC (M4A fil...   Oct 21 2012, 16:40
|- - Blutarsky   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Oct 21 2012, 10:40) I just...   Oct 21 2012, 16:43
|- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Blutarsky @ Oct 21 2012, 17:43) QU...   Oct 21 2012, 17:54
- - [JAZ]   @Blutarsky: From your post and replies to what oth...   Oct 21 2012, 19:04
- - Porcus   It strikes me that perceptual noise substitution i...   Oct 22 2012, 00:28


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