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Is "Master For iTunes Droplet" Using Same Encoder As iTunes?
post Jul 20 2012, 10:30
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After reading some of the Mastered for iTunes documentation and downloading the accompanying tools, I have a question...

In the PDF, they discuss the previous challenges of encoding high resolution files and note the advances they've made in their new AAC encoding process, which I'm assuming is done through the Master for iTunes Droplet encoding tool provided. Anyways, I experimented with some of the recent 24/96 files I own, from the recent Paul McCartney Archive series, and I found myself quite impressed with the results.

This got me to thinking: while this droplet is aimed at high resolution files, would regular CD rips also benefit from using this droplet, as well? Today, I grabbed my AIFFs of my 2011 Smiths and 2009 Beatles remasters and tried it out and, for me, I noticed a definite improvement. The frequency response seemed better, things seemed tighter, and had some "balls" to them, and, for the first time, I had trouble discerning the AAC from the source. But before I get excited and start re-ripping my entire collection, is this just my imagination or is there really anything going on that's different between the droplet and, say, a regular CD rip in iTunes? I fear this might end up being some placebo effect. If they are different, would it be good practice to use this droplet for regular 16/44.1 files?

I'm a little fuzzy on this, and sort of new to all this, so any clarity would be greatly appreciated.

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post Jul 22 2012, 10:25
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QUOTE (BDW42 @ Jul 20 2012, 11:30) *
for the first time, I had trouble discerning the AAC from the source

You made an implicit claim right there: that you can usually tell the difference between AAC and the source, though you don't say at what bitrates. In other words, if I read you right, you claim that Mastered for iTunes AAC is transparent, while iTunes AAC isn't. That requires evidence.

The rule here is that you don't ask why one system is audibly superior than another, without first proving with ABX logs that said system is indeed (objectively) superior to you, and that the differences you heard weren't imagined to begin with. Investigating a false premise would be a waste of time and energy.

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post Jul 23 2012, 03:00
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I get what you're saying, and had I left it at that you'd be right, but it can't be a claim when I subsequently dismiss these same impressions as possible placebo effect, or ironically, because I know it's not objective enough. Again, to demand proof of a conclusion, when the intent of the inquiry is to find one, is nonsensical. If one asks what 5 x 2 equals, and says: "It might be 10, but I'm unsure, so I'll defer to you", it would be silly to demand mathematical proofs, for what would he be proving but doubt? If the conclusion were claimed in the question, there'd be nothing to ask.

I also wasn't asking why one system is superior to another, but if one system is different than another; hence the thread title. What's lost is I wasn't purely asking this due to AAC rips, but per Apple's own MFI document. Page 3 details their improved AAC encoding, and they later note the MFI Droplet, which automates iTunes Plus AAC conversion. O.K., great. But, since Apple does the final encoding, is the Droplet merely an automator of what iTunes already does, or does this Droplet include the AAC improvements? If so, then, theoretically, could 16/44.1 files benefit from it?

Only if Apple is full of it would one be investigating a false premise. But the above is all I inquired about. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, but that's only where I would have erred. So, for that, and because the question was answered, I feel we've exhausted this discussion. The thread's needs have been satisfied, so either it sinks down the page, or one follows up on Kohlrabi's post; or not. Either way, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Good day!

This post has been edited by db1989: Jul 23 2012, 11:59
Reason for edit: deleting unnecessary full quote
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