Yesterday I compared mp3 (192kbps) to AAC (192kpbs) to CD (???kbps) in an effort to decide whether I should re-rip my music collection. Through my tiny iPod ear buds, I couldn’t tell a difference between the AAC and CD versions of the songs. Amazingly, the mp3 sounded very different from the others—I never noticed how much crisper and more staccato they sound. Finally, I tested 128kbps and 192kbps versions of AAC encoding to see if there was a difference between those. To my ears (and on my admittedly low-end audio equipment), I couldn’t distinguish the two. Mind you, these were not double-blind tests but sufficient for my purposes. I decided that I should probably rip the CDs at 192 kbps just in case I ever need to play them on better equipment. I’ve gotten through about 10 or so CDs so far. I’m also putting on cover art using All Music Guide, which has excellent cover art and a broad selection.
In other iTunes Music Store news, there’s a lot of buzz around the Web over Apple’s announcements. What Do I Know analyzes the URLs of the store and discovers some very interesting things—like that you can directly access the XML of albums and artists! Elsewhere, 37Signals dissects the usability issues of the store and offers suggestions for improvement. Dave is his usual smarmy self regarding the announcement. Scoble parrots the Microsoft line. Finally, Chris Adamson dissects an actual AAC file to see what makes it tick, hopefully not violating the DMCA in the process! [UPDATE: Slashdot just posted an excellent review of the iTunes Music Store.] [FURTHER UPDATE: Long ≠ excellent. Upon reading the full review, I see that it is mostly a bunch of gripes. Well, the comments should be fairly decent at least.]
There’s more out there, but I don’t have time on my break to list it all.