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iTunes and digital jukebox on Mac G5

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Anonymous
June 5, 2004 3:17:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

A few questions about using iTunes to create a digital jukebox on my Mac
G5. The Mac has dual 2 GHz processors, 1 GB of SDRAM, and two 250 GB
internal hard drives.

I have been ripping all of my 500+ CDs into iTunes, using AIFF because I
(mistakenly?) believed that any file compression (e.g., FLAC, AAC, or
Apple Lossless) would cause *some* decrease in sound quality compared to
AIFF.

I have had to stop ripping at about 400 CDs, because the 250 GB drive on
which the iTunes file resides is nearly full - mostly with iTunes files,
of course!

Questions:

1) Do FLAC, ACC, or Apple Lossless actually result in a perceptible
reduction in sound quality, when reproduced through a good audio system
(Denon AVR 3803 receiver, Vienna Acoustics speakers), or am I just
wasting disk space by using the AIFF format?

2) Can an iTunes file be split across hard drives? (No, I don't have a
RAID set-up.) My guess is no, since iTunes seems to open by default the
iTunes file on the system disk, and there's no apparent way to open an
iTunes file on another disk, unless I boot from another disk.

3) If I decide to stay with the AIFF format, can I put my System Folder,
iTunes, and the iTunes files on an *external* 500 GB HD and designate
the external HD as my start-up disk? I believe I've used an external
disk for start-up with my PowerPC 7200/90, but have not tried it under
OX 10.x on my G5.

Thanks for any help with these questions.
Bob
Anonymous
June 5, 2004 3:17:08 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <Tp7wc.38153$zO3.2862@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>, Bob
Boutwell <jpma02130@earthlink.net> wrote:

> A few questions about using iTunes to create a digital jukebox on my Mac
> G5. The Mac has dual 2 GHz processors, 1 GB of SDRAM, and two 250 GB
> internal hard drives.
>
> I have been ripping all of my 500+ CDs into iTunes, using AIFF because I
> (mistakenly?) believed that any file compression (e.g., FLAC, AAC, or
> Apple Lossless) would cause *some* decrease in sound quality compared to
> AIFF.
>
> I have had to stop ripping at about 400 CDs, because the 250 GB drive on
> which the iTunes file resides is nearly full - mostly with iTunes files,
> of course!
>
> Questions:
>
> 1) Do FLAC, ACC, or Apple Lossless actually result in a perceptible
> reduction in sound quality, when reproduced through a good audio system
> (Denon AVR 3803 receiver, Vienna Acoustics speakers), or am I just
> wasting disk space by using the AIFF format?

FLAC and Apple Lossless are, as they say, lossless, i.e., bit-for-bit
identical with the source audio. Naturally you don't want to use FLAC,
since iTunes won't play it.

If by "ACC" you mean AAC, that is a lossy compression format but at
high enough bitrates is audibly indistinguishable from the original
source. However, for truly lossless storage, you want Apple Lossless.

> 2) Can an iTunes file be split across hard drives? (No, I don't have a
> RAID set-up.) My guess is no, since iTunes seems to open by default the
> iTunes file on the system disk, and there's no apparent way to open an
> iTunes file on another disk, unless I boot from another disk.

There is no "iTunes file." iTunes stores MP3s in individual files, and
these can be located anywhere on any volume. Simply change the library
folder in the iTunes preferences to a folder on another volume. All
new tracks you rip will go there, while tracks you have already ripped
are in the old place. (Don't use the Consolidate Library function, as
the whole purpose of that is to put all your iTunes files in one
place.)

> 3) If I decide to stay with the AIFF format, can I put my System Folder,
> iTunes, and the iTunes files on an *external* 500 GB HD and designate
> the external HD as my start-up disk? I believe I've used an external
> disk for start-up with my PowerPC 7200/90, but have not tried it under
> OX 10.x on my G5.

External FireWire drives are bootable, and I think USB 2.0 drives are
as well. I would recommend using the internal drive as the system
disk, however, as it will be slightly faster that way.

--
Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <http://www.jerrykindall.com/&gt;

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Anonymous
June 5, 2004 3:17:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <040620041635278942%jerrykindall@nospam.invalid>, Jerry
Kindall <jerrykindall@nospam.invalid> wrote:

There is no "iTunes file." iTunes stores MP3s in individual files, and
> these can be located anywhere on any volume.

By "MP3s" I mean "audio files" since they need not be in MP3 format.
Just to make that clear.

--
Jerry Kindall, Seattle, WA <http://www.jerrykindall.com/&gt;

Send only plain text messages under 32K to the Reply-To address.
This mailbox is filtered aggressively to thwart spam and viruses.
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Anonymous
June 5, 2004 3:53:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <Tp7wc.38153$zO3.2862@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>,
Bob Boutwell <jpma02130@earthlink.net> wrote:

> A few questions about using iTunes to create a digital jukebox on my Mac
> G5. The Mac has dual 2 GHz processors, 1 GB of SDRAM, and two 250 GB
> internal hard drives.
>
> I have been ripping all of my 500+ CDs into iTunes, using AIFF because I
> (mistakenly?) believed that any file compression (e.g., FLAC, AAC, or
> Apple Lossless) would cause *some* decrease in sound quality compared to
> AIFF.
>
> I have had to stop ripping at about 400 CDs, because the 250 GB drive on
> which the iTunes file resides is nearly full - mostly with iTunes files,
> of course!
>
> Questions:
>
> 1) Do FLAC, ACC, or Apple Lossless actually result in a perceptible
> reduction in sound quality, when reproduced through a good audio system
> (Denon AVR 3803 receiver, Vienna Acoustics speakers), or am I just
> wasting disk space by using the AIFF format?
>
> 2) Can an iTunes file be split across hard drives? (No, I don't have a
> RAID set-up.) My guess is no, since iTunes seems to open by default the
> iTunes file on the system disk, and there's no apparent way to open an
> iTunes file on another disk, unless I boot from another disk.
>
> 3) If I decide to stay with the AIFF format, can I put my System Folder,
> iTunes, and the iTunes files on an *external* 500 GB HD and designate
> the external HD as my start-up disk? I believe I've used an external
> disk for start-up with my PowerPC 7200/90, but have not tried it under
> OX 10.x on my G5.
>
> Thanks for any help with these questions.
> Bob



1) AAC probably gives you the best quality to file size ratio, but
there is some loss. The lossless codecs are, of course, lossless.


2) The library can be split. Deselect "Keep iTunes Music folder
organized" in the iTunes prefs. Move your files around then drag them
onto the iTunes library window so iTunes has references to them. It
gets messy, though. #3 is a better way.


3) Go into the preferences and select your external drive for the iTunes
Music folder location. Select "Keep iTunes Music folder organized." If
iTunes doesn't move the files for you, drag your old directory from
Finder onto the iTunes window and it will organize them on the new drive.

I have my library on a server with a 500GB software RAID. I can mount
the volume at work and listen to my music.
Anonymous
June 5, 2004 8:12:10 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <Tp7wc.38153$zO3.2862@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net>,
Bob Boutwell <jpma02130@earthlink.net> wrote:

> Questions:
>
> 1) Do FLAC, ACC, or Apple Lossless actually result in a perceptible
> reduction in sound quality, when reproduced through a good audio system
> (Denon AVR 3803 receiver, Vienna Acoustics speakers), or am I just
> wasting disk space by using the AIFF format?

It depends on how sensitive your ears are, as well as the audio equipment
and the encoding bit rate. Many people are quite happy with MP3's encoded
at 128 kbps, but some can hear a difference even at 320 kbps.

Apple Lossless is supposed to use lossless compression, which means there
is no loss of quality -- it preserves every bit of the original, so it
sounds identical to the original.

You'll just have to experiment and find out what sounds good to you. Try
converting some of your songs to AAC at 128 kbps and see how it sounds on
your audio system. If it sounds just as good as the original, great! If
it doesn't sound good enough, delete those AAC's and try again with a
higher (custom) bit rate. Keep trying until you find a bit rate where it
sounds good enough.

The bit rate of a stereo AIFF is about 1411 kbps, so if you re-encode
everything at 320 kbps, you'll be able to compress 250GB of AIFF's down to
about 60GB. If you use 128 kbps, the same music will be only 25GB.

Oh, and since you ripped everything as AIFF, there's no need to re-rip from
the CDs. You can just set the "Import" preferences for the format and bit
rate you want, select a bunch of songs in your Library, and use the
Advanced -> Convert Selection menu command. iTunes will leave the original
AIFF's untouched, so you can compare them and decide whether to keep the
AAC or the AIFF. (You may want to turn on the "Kind" column in Edit ->
View Options so that you can see which songs are in which format.)
Anonymous
June 5, 2004 10:56:22 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.mac.apps,comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage,comp.sys.mac.system,rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 23:17:07 GMT, Bob Boutwell
<jpma02130@earthlink.net> wrote:
>I have been ripping all of my 500+ CDs into iTunes, using AIFF because I
>(mistakenly?) believed that any file compression (e.g., FLAC, AAC, or
>Apple Lossless) would cause *some* decrease in sound quality compared to
>AIFF.

As others have posted, lossless means bit-identical, so there will be
no difference in the files, so there is no difference in sound
quality. You are mistaken.

The choice between Apple Lossless and Flac is more of a personal
decision. Since lossless is lossless, you could change your
mind at a later date, just uncompress to a temporary space,
get your exact .wav file back, and then recompress it with
whatever other system you want. I like flac because it
is open source, free, etc.

I do this, to generate MP3 files for my kid's MP3 player.
My library is all flac, and I generate MP3 files whenever
there is a need.

There are other lossless audio systems. Meridian invented
Meridian Lossless Packing which is part of the DVD-Audio
standard. Shorten is an older format, most of which was included
in flac. I'm sure that there are more.


Pat http://www.pfarrell.com/prc/
!