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Seineseeker
2006-04-15, 03:14
Beginners question I know, but if I buy a download of an album from iTunes (or any of the download services), is the quality the same as if I had bought a CD of the same thing?

ceejay
2006-04-15, 03:47
Beginners question I know, but if I buy a download of an album from iTunes (or any of the download services), is the quality the same as if I had bought a CD of the same thing?

almost certainly not. Most downloads are at around 128kbits, which is a LOT less than lossless...

There are a very few places which sell FLAC downloads, which would be lossless, but they seem only to sell obscure music or to be of debatable legality (allmusic.com)

Ceejay

AndreasG
2006-04-15, 05:04
Hi!

Disclaimer: I am an enthusiastic Mac user and I love Apple products.

But:

My advice would be to stay away from the DRM-crippled crap they sell in the iTunes music store. Reasons:

1. Quality is not very good -- 128AAC sounds OK for casual listening but there is an audible difference to full CD quality (if your equipment is good enough).

2. Songs purchased from the iTunes music store can be played with iTunes and iPods. That's it. Even if you are only using Apple products to play your music now, do you know what equipment you will be using 5 or 10 years from now?

3. It's not even cheap.

Andreas

Seineseeker
2006-04-15, 08:03
Then why are we being asked to buy music from download services if the quality is audibly poorer?

If I buy something on iTunes (I am thinking of something that is only available at iTunes and not on CD) I can still play it on my squeezebox cant I?

radish
2006-04-15, 08:06
Then why are we being asked to buy music from download services if the quality is audibly poorer?
Errrr....because they want your money and don't think you'll notice?



If I buy something on iTunes (I am thinking of something that is only available at iTunes and not on CD) I can still play it on my squeezebox cant I?
No. Apple will not allow iTunes purchased files to be played on anything except Apple devices/software.

AndreasG
2006-04-15, 08:50
Repeat after me: DRM is evil!

Seriously: I can think of no reason to buy music in an online store... All DRM systems restrict your fair use rights and quality is inferior. And you have no backup on a physical medium. The only upside is convenience.

Andreas

Seineseeker
2006-04-15, 09:27
I never realised it was so bad, cant I even create a CD from something I download, and then rip that without DRM?

snarlydwarf
2006-04-15, 09:39
You can, but if you ripped to a lossless format, you'd have the file size of a "real" rip, and the quality of a 128k lossy file.

If you rerip to a lossy format (like mp3, ogg, wma), you'd get be losing even more of the song.

At $1/track, it's cheaper to buy CD's on Amazon and rip them yourself in many cases.... and you have physical media and can rip them any way you want.