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Any way to get better quality from iTunes store?
Old 18th September 2011
Gear Addict

Any way to get better quality from iTunes store?

Clients want me to do mix refs, but I'm finding iTunes store's quality so low that I can't use it. I compared a song to a song I ripped from the same physical CD as what I bought. The CD rip is usable, the other isn't.

Is there some user preference or setting somewhere I'm missing? In iTunes itself or in some logged in user configuration on Apple's website?

I'm afraid the answer is no, right? That we're stuck buying whole physical CDs at $14 a pop so that we can mix ref to a single track because the digital singles for $1 are all too data-compressed to use?

Isn't there some way to get online stuff with either fantastic lossless compression or no compression at all? (And I wouldn't complain if I could download 24 bit files at 48, 88.2, or 96k)

...Not through iTunes?
Old 18th September 2011
Lives for gear
valis's Avatar
The issue isn't the samplerate, as CD rips are 44.1khz also no? The problem is the bitrate of AAC (the lossy codec used to encode files) that labels are choosing to offer their files in.

Ideally you could buy ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) encoded files from the iTunes store, but I don't know of any mainstream material that's been offered in this format to date, so it stands purely as a theoretical reference and a format you can rip your own CDs in.

FLAC (*FREE* Lossless Audio Codec) and ALAC file are for sale from other vendors, but you'll find a much smaller selection than iTunes/Amazon and may have to search around for a bit to find what you want, or deal with not purchasing all the references you're after.
Old 18th September 2011
Gear Addict

re: higher sample rate or bit depth downloads, that was a vague allusion to the idea of record labels mastering audio for download at higher than CD spec--

if analog mastering chains are used, no matter the origin bit depth/sample rate, all music could be mastered at 24/192 and offered for uncompressed download that way.

maybe 30 years from now.
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