AAC CD vs MP3 CD

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
Adamo0926
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AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Adamo0926 » 03 Sep 2019 17:53

Was doing some research regarding burning CDs. Knowing that I could burn like 150 songs on a CD in MP3 format (a bit less if I were to use a 256 kbs bitrate), I wanted to ask you guys if any of you can hear an audible difference between a CD that was burned as a standard audio CD (AAC I assume) and a CD burned with music in the MP3 format (either 196 kbs or 256 kbs bitrate).

Also....can any of you say they hear a difference between MP3 files that are burned with 196 or 256 bitrates, respectively ?

If any of you can.....what would you say the difference is ? Dynamic range ? Low frequency or high frequency response ? Signal/Noise ratio ? etc

I just burned 2 CDs of Tool's new album "Fear Inoculum". One in standard audio AAC format (from Itunes), and the other I converted the originally downloaded songs to MP3s and then burned the CD with the songs in MP3 format.

I just listened to some of the standard audio AAC format and just started listening to the MP3 format now. Listening with a Marantz CD 6006, Yamaha CR-2020 receiver and a pair of the original Advent Loudspeaker. Tone controls set at the flat position. MP3 format burned with the 196 kbs bitrate. Right now listening to the first song I don't hear much of a difference. But if there is a difference it sounds to me like the MP3 format might be a bit brighter and not quite as full on the bottom end. But if I am hearing that difference it's pretty subtle....

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by JoeE SP9 » 03 Sep 2019 19:53

Take note of the fact that AAC is not the same as any uncompressed standard CD file. AAC is a lossy compression scheme just like MP3. It's nothing more than Apple's NIH (not invented here) mentality which requires they not use anything not directly from Apple.

The same applies to ALAC and FLAC for non-lossy compression. ALAC is exclusively Apple while FLAC is used by everybody else. I doubt you'll hear much if any difference between AAC and MP3 files.

FWIW: I use FLAC files exclusively.

A file with the AAC file extension is a MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding file. It's similar to the MP3 audio format but includes some performance improvements. Apple's iTunes and iTunes Music Store use Advanced Audio Coding as their default encoding method for music files.May 22, 2019

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Sunwire » 03 Sep 2019 21:12

Audio CDs (like the kind you'd buy in a store) employ uncompressed WAV files with a bitrate of 1411 kbps.
I think converting an AAC file to another format can only cause loss of data and worse sound quality.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by NOYB » 05 Sep 2019 09:45

Well if you can't be certain at 192 kbps then you certainly can't at 256 or 320, or in a noisy environment like a car.
Not sure what the usage environment and concerns are. Storage space, large system HiFi home listening, mobile, noisy environment, etc. But I just go for 320 and throw in on media center. And throw a flac on the smartphone for car Bluetooth. The only reason for flac on the smartphone rather then the mp3 is to kill two birds with one copy. Mobile listening and lossless backup on separate device.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Sunwire » 06 Sep 2019 20:34

I can't hear the difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 320 kbps MP3s.
I don't think I can hear a difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 256 kbps MP3s
I might be able to hear the difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 192 kbps MP3s.
At rates lower than 192 kpbs, I definitely start to hear a difference.

If you are downloading AAC files from Apple, do NOT convert them to another format. You can't make them sound better by doing that.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Adamo0926 » 09 Sep 2019 18:18

Sunwire wrote:
06 Sep 2019 20:34
I can't hear the difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 320 kbps MP3s.
I don't think I can hear a difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 256 kbps MP3s
I might be able to hear the difference between 1411 kbps WAV files and 192 kbps MP3s.
At rates lower than 192 kpbs, I definitely start to hear a difference.

If you are downloading AAC files from Apple, do NOT convert them to another format. You can't make them sound better by doing that.
Not trying to make them sound better.....simply tried a conversion to MP3 in order to fit many more songs on
the 80 minute CD. Only did it because the new Tool album is longer than 80 minutes. I've listened to both versions
and they sound pretty close to identical to my ears. But I will have to listen again a bit more critically and see if
I can hear any subtle differences in fidelity.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Sunwire » 09 Sep 2019 18:59

AAC files are compressed, like MP3s, so there should be no problem fitting the AAC version of the Tool album on an 80 minute CD.
https://www.lifewire.com/aac-vs-mp3-itu ... st-1999705

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Adamo0926 » 10 Sep 2019 00:37

Sunwire wrote:
09 Sep 2019 18:59
AAC files are compressed, like MP3s, so there should be no problem fitting the AAC version of the Tool album on an 80 minute CD.
https://www.lifewire.com/aac-vs-mp3-itu ... st-1999705
All I can tell you is that when I downloaded the album from ITunes in the default format for ITunes, which I believe is
AAC, it would not fit on the 80 minute CD-R when I tried to burn the playlist. And I got a message stating that. So I converted to MP3 which allowed me to do it. And after more research I found that I could fit perhaps as many as 125 to 150 songs on an 80 min CD-R if the format was MP3.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by citizenarcane » 10 Sep 2019 02:46

I don't own or ascribe to any I products but believe Itunes+ downloads are 256 AAC. As such an 80+ minute cd of lossy files burned as data files should only occupy maybe 150 MB. If audio files are chosen to be burned then the software would convert the lossy files to audio (CDDA), then a minute of audio files take up a minute of space on the cd.

It seems to me that you chose burn those files as audio vs. data.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Sunwire » 10 Sep 2019 03:04

Yes, you need to burn the files as data, not as an audio cd.
You must be doing this with the MP3s, otherwise they would not fit on the CD, either.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Adamo0926 » 10 Sep 2019 03:16

Sunwire wrote:
10 Sep 2019 03:04
Yes, you need to burn the files as data, not as an audio cd.
You must be doing this with the MP3s, otherwise they would not fit on the CD, either.
That is correct....I burned it as an audio CD. I know my Marantz CD6006 will read all formats but was not sure
about the decks in my cars. Although I have already found that my Mustang's CD changer read the MP3 cd with no problems. And I know the deck in my other car will read that also.

I will have to burn another CD as data as opposed to audio and see how that works in my cars.

I will have to get more familiar with the settings options on ITunes when it comes to downloading, converting and burning music files.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Adamo0926 » 10 Sep 2019 03:34

I just double checked the format for both the CDs that I burned from ITunes. Both CDs were burned as audio CDs. But here is why the MP3 version fit on the CD. The Tool album clocks in at 87 minutes. The first song is 10:20. The AAC audio file size for that song is 20.7 MB.....the MPEG audio file for that same song has a file size of 14.8 MB.

So even though both CDs were burned as audio CDs, the MP3 versions take up less space, thus the extra 7 minutes could fit on the 80 minute CD-R.

I will now have to experiment with burning both AAC and MP3 as data CDs....

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Sunwire » 10 Sep 2019 04:36

Weird.
There must be some other factor going on here.
Audio CDs that have the same elapsed time should have the same file size once the software converts them to the CD audio format.
The file size of the AAC or MP3 shouldn't matter, since they are being converted to the CD format before the software burns them to the CDR.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by NOYB » 10 Sep 2019 09:09

CDs are so cumbersome.
Smartphones make good car player replacements for CD players.
They can usually be wired or Bluetooth connected to the car's factory or aftermarket sound system.
They can also be connected to most home HiFi systems.

Here's AUX jack and Bluetooth examples.
2007 Ford Taurus Audio System Bluetooth Addition
https://simonslick.com/2007%20Ford%20Ta ... 0Addition/

2007 Ford Taurus Audio System AUX Jack Addition
https://simonslick.com/2007%20Ford%20Ta ... 0Addition/

There are also AUX jack and Bluetooth FM Modulators (not transmitter) available.
Though I'd only go that route as last resort.

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Re: AAC CD vs MP3 CD

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 10 Sep 2019 14:20

NOYB wrote:
10 Sep 2019 09:09
CDs are so cumbersome.
Smartphones make good car player replacements for CD players.
If you have in mind playing burned download files on a CD in a car stereo or playing files on smartphone using aux input, then it is the same, just less mechanical things. But comparing playing files on a smartphone to original Compact disc album release, it is another world of quality of sound.

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