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Is "Master For iTunes Droplet" Using Same Encoder As iTunes?
BDW42
post Jul 20 2012, 10:30
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After reading some of the Mastered for iTunes documentation and downloading the accompanying tools, I have a question...

In the PDF, they discuss the previous challenges of encoding high resolution files and note the advances they've made in their new AAC encoding process, which I'm assuming is done through the Master for iTunes Droplet encoding tool provided. Anyways, I experimented with some of the recent 24/96 files I own, from the recent Paul McCartney Archive series, and I found myself quite impressed with the results.

This got me to thinking: while this droplet is aimed at high resolution files, would regular CD rips also benefit from using this droplet, as well? Today, I grabbed my AIFFs of my 2011 Smiths and 2009 Beatles remasters and tried it out and, for me, I noticed a definite improvement. The frequency response seemed better, things seemed tighter, and had some "balls" to them, and, for the first time, I had trouble discerning the AAC from the source. But before I get excited and start re-ripping my entire collection, is this just my imagination or is there really anything going on that's different between the droplet and, say, a regular CD rip in iTunes? I fear this might end up being some placebo effect. If they are different, would it be good practice to use this droplet for regular 16/44.1 files?

I'm a little fuzzy on this, and sort of new to all this, so any clarity would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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skamp
post Jul 22 2012, 10:25
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QUOTE (BDW42 @ Jul 20 2012, 11:30) *
for the first time, I had trouble discerning the AAC from the source


You made an implicit claim right there: that you can usually tell the difference between AAC and the source, though you don't say at what bitrates. In other words, if I read you right, you claim that Mastered for iTunes AAC is transparent, while iTunes AAC isn't. That requires evidence.

The rule here is that you don't ask why one system is audibly superior than another, without first proving with ABX logs that said system is indeed (objectively) superior to you, and that the differences you heard weren't imagined to begin with. Investigating a false premise would be a waste of time and energy.


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