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Windows 7: Wow, I actually bought digital music today

25 May 2012   #11
pincushion

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

The only problem I have with Amazon is that their bit rates seem to vary and often are way below the maximum. Spotify as far as I can tell always gives 320 Kbps but perhaps the service is not available to you? Personally I can wait for the CDs to arrive and I can then rip them how I want and I'll always have a backup.

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25 May 2012   #12
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
I refuse to pay that and have my downloads backed up to an external hard drive and DVD-Rs.
Yeah, I keep my files local and keep them backed up as well. I keep a couple of external hard drives offsite to ensure that if I burn to the ground or am robbed, I don't lose everything. Being able to utilize the cloud a bit more, makes this less necessary

For me, I love being able to access my cloud storage across the web on various devices. For example, my Droid when I am running, or my tablet when I am just sitting on the couch surfing the web. While I "could" download everything and store it locally, it's nice not having to bother.

Amazon cloud is 100% free, and any amount of music purchased from them can be stored free.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pincushion View Post
The only problem I have with Amazon is that their bit rates seem to vary and often are way below the maximum. Spotify as far as I can tell always gives 320 Kbps but perhaps the service is not available to you? Personally I can wait for the CDs to arrive and I can then rip them how I want and I'll always have a backup.

Yeah, you do have to accept the bit rates the music is ripped at. For me, the bit rates from Amazon more or less seem to match about what I would have gotten myself, as I use a variable bit rate and don't want massive file sizes. Plus, I listen mostly when I am running, when I am at work, or when I am in the car...and with all of the ambient background noise...the fact that the songs might not be 100% perfect just isn't an issue for me.

Over the past few years, i have found it harder and harder to find the actual physical CD's without ordering them online. I'm a metal head, so my stuff is not uber popular to begin with, and with digital taking over, stores have cut back massively on the disks.

I guess I've reached the point where instant gratification, savings of around $5 per disk, and not having to store all of these CD's has taken top priority.
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25 May 2012   #13
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Wishmaster, thanks for the information on Zune, I think I'll check it out.
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25 May 2012   #14
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I have an iPod attached to the kenwood in my Firebird, I really like the way I can control the iPod from the radio.
I recently bought an inexpensive jvc media receiver for my truck, was $100 shipped with the harnesses and install kit.
Has hands free Bluetooth and plays my music and controls my iPhone from the radio using Bluetooth.
Jvc x50bt I think is the model.

I've been buying digital for the past few years, but recently bought a dozen cd's from amazon since they were so cheap, 69cents to $2.49 for a cd. It was a price error and they honored it. I thought they were just blowing out physical cd's.

I will say this, 320kbps is the data rate you want, it's a noticeable difference to 128 & 192kbps.
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25 May 2012   #15
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zepher View Post
I will say this, 320kbps is the data rate you want, it's a noticeable difference to 128 & 192kbps.
Well, it's certainly a much larger file. I don't think there is a universal standard bitrate that somebody wants. If you have a smaller sized MP3 player, you probably would want a smaller bit rate to get more files on your player. If you listen with an iPOD and crappy iPod standard headphones you probably don't need as high of a bitrate as you might need with some hi end gear and really nice speakers/headphones.

On music I rip myself, I couldn't really detect a difference between a variable bitrate file between 192 and 240kbps over a constant bit rate at 320kbps using my computer and my Grado SR125 cans.
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25 May 2012   #16
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

My iPod sits in my Pure Avanti Flow wi-fi internet radio, with which I use a pair of Sony headphones and I'm more than pleased with the sound quality.
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25 May 2012   #17
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zepher View Post
I will say this, 320kbps is the data rate you want, it's a noticeable difference to 128 & 192kbps.
Well, it's certainly a much larger file. I don't think there is a universal standard bitrate that somebody wants. If you have a smaller sized MP3 player, you probably would want a smaller bit rate to get more files on your player. If you listen with an iPOD and crappy iPod standard headphones you probably don't need as high of a bitrate as you might need with some hi end gear and really nice speakers/headphones.

On music I rip myself, I couldn't really detect a difference between a variable bitrate file between 192 and 240kbps over a constant bit rate at 320kbps using my computer and my Grado SR125 cans.
I can hear the difference on my computer speakers, the 320kpbs rips are crisper, so I went ahead and re-ripped a few of my CD's that I had previously ripped at 192.
I used 192 in the past due to the file size, but now with 2+TB drives and multi gigabyte media players and thumb drives, file size doesn't make too much of a difference.
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25 May 2012   #18
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

^ Yeah, if you can hear the difference, then by all means use the higher bit rate. I don't hear a difference in my files But like I said, I don't use a constant bitrate, I use a variable bit rate....and that could certainly explain my experience. It can go to a higher bitrate when needed and drop back low when it's not required.

I'm satisfied thus far with my purchase from Amazon. It runs around 240Kbps across the board it seems. And it was an entire cd for $6.99. That's certainly cheaper than it would have been at the store.
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27 May 2012   #19
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

With Audio, Bitrate really doesn't mean a lot sometimes.

I've typically use a Constant bit rate when ripping to a lossy format, such as 320 MP3. But variable is a very good lossy format.I have some tracks ripped with AAC variable 256ish bitrate.

Really high bit rates when needed, and low when it isnt. I find its quite similar to a MP3 @ 320, and in some cases better than the MP3 alternative.


But Ive found the bitrate alone is not exactly a good indicator of how a track will sound. Alot depends on Sound Card, Speakers, and then the complexity of the track itself.

For example, if its just spoken word, with perhaps very little going on you can get by with 192, sometimes even 160 bitrates as more will not help.
Most music a 320 MP3 or 256ish variable will sound very good. ((These two are comparable IMHO))

But theres some things where it sounds good, but could be better. For example, I listen to a LOT of symphonic metal. You have your Metal Guitar Riffs, Keybaords, sometimes Choirs in the background etc. Lots going on. In something like this I find Lossless is better. Such as a WAV lossless or FLAC.
But even with this type of music not all tracks are the same.


But again, as mentioned your speaker/sound card setup really makes a HUGE difference as well. Playing through my Klipsch 2.1s most everything sounds good with either of these lossy formats.
But, if I plug in my Sennheiser headphones, they start picking up the flaws in the lossy format, with certain tracks. Most still sound good though.

So I truly think with all of these factor considered + the complexity of the track = what bitrate to use.
But I also think for a large majority 256 variable or 320MP3 is just fine.
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