why does iTunes suck?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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marqueemoon
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:19 am

Ummm... dumb question, first of all, are you ripping and burning the stuff at 16 bit/44.1? The default for iTunes is mp3 encoding of some type. It was 160kbps when I got my iBook. It is probably AAC now.

As for the eq in iTunes, the "treble reducer" is the most useful preset I've found. I rip everything at 128kbps becuase I figure if I want to really listen to something I'll play it at home, from a CD. This really helps reduce the nastiness of the mp3 encoding.

One thing I hate about iTunes (and maybe it's been fixed now), is that it would be nice to be able to save two master lists - one for docking with the iPod, and one for burning CDs. If anyone knows how to do this with my old-ass version, please let me know.
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by joel hamilton » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:44 am

Still cant make two master lists, but you can disable the "automatically syncronize when ipod is docked" (or whatever it says) function, so you can simply drag and drop all the stuff you want on the iPod.

it is in the prefs.

That way the iPod functions as its own master library while mounted.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:04 am

Joel Hamilton wrote:Still cant make two master lists, but you can disable the "automatically syncronize when ipod is docked" (or whatever it says) function, so you can simply drag and drop all the stuff you want on the iPod.

it is in the prefs.

That way the iPod functions as its own master library while mounted.
That's what I do currently. I have the sync feature disable. It would just be great to rip a bunch of stuff to an "iPod only" iTunes library, be able to dock it and have all the stuff transfer automatically and keep my recordings and 16 bit stuff separate. Dragging and dropping is not a huge pain in the ass, but when the iPod can hold 400+ records it adds up.

Two other things I would like to see:

1: hierarchical menu for playlists (lists of playlists)

2: the ability to create and alter playlists right on the iPod.
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by the_riff » Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:36 am

subatomic pieces wrote:
the_riff wrote:I am pretty sure that Itunes files are comparable to 128 kpbs, which is not very good to begin with. Probably why it sounds more compressed and less clarity. Pretty lame in my opinion..
this is the kind of stuff that is funny (not really) about music forums.

"I'm pretty sure" is code for "I haven't tried this"

iTunes is FREE SOFTWARE!!! for mac and pc!!!

before you put something down on the internet, you should at least have given it a try. it's not like you have to buy it! Just download the damn thing, listen and stop spreading false and misleading rumors on message boards!

that's EXACTLY why the internet is such a complicated place to get usable information! entirely too many people giving advice about things that they don't really know about.

sheesh!
Actually you are wrong. What I was saying was that when you "buy" the songs off Itunes they are 128 kpbs, which is pretty low quality. Whenever I rip actual CD's I rip them at nothing less that 192. I tunes is a great idea, I use it sometimes, but for sound quality I think ripping the actual CD or downloading from another source is sometimes better. I love my IPOD. LOVE IT. And now ITUNES is going to start raising prices, which is the record label's fault, but again. Lame in my opinion.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by Bony Thompson » Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:36 am

well you can make a playlist just for your ipod only and then direct the ipod to only update that playlist when you plug it in. maybe you know that already. i just treat it like another library, i only have to move any new imports i want for the ipod into the ipod playlist.
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:03 pm

128kbps AAC is WORLDS BETTER than 128kbps MP3!!!

it sucks that they're going to raise prices... I hadn't heard that!

http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/onli ... ory15.html

looks like the major labels are out to fuck up online distribution, too!!

It just amazes me that some people will still defend the majors when they're quite obviously out to kill any- and everything good about music!

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by monkey boy » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:10 pm

wow that's a lot of replies...

1st off the files are definitely aiff (uncompressed and not mp3 or aac) and the sound enhancer and eq are not engaged. actually i played a cd through itunes then imported the file to logic because i wanted to check it through some analysers and that's when i noticed the difference. have messed around listening through my monitors and home stereo...

listening to exactly the same file through itunes or logic does sound different to me (and my 2 roommates also). i'm pretty sure i don't have magic ears but itunes sounds much worse....

i'm thinking that itunes' internal processing or whatever digital wizardry just isn't that happening.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by leigh » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:32 pm

the_riff wrote:Actually you are wrong. What I was saying was that when you "buy" the songs off Itunes they are 128 kpbs, which is pretty low quality. Whenever I rip actual CD's I rip them at nothing less that 192...
Without any mention of buying iTunes songs online, this wasn't communicated by your posting. The original poster was talking about AIFF files being played back through iTunes, no mention of MP3 encoding, much less music bought through some online retailer with a standardized bitrate. So I think Subatomic's point about web forum misinformation is well taken here.

Leigh

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:06 pm

this is definately true. as a roomate of monkey boy, i have participated in said listening tests, and hereby come to the conclusion that if no one else here who is mixing in the box has tried checking mixes in itunes, you must me using protools LE... :lol: j/k... seriously, the audio engine in itunes is complete and utter shite... one would think that playing indentical digital files on the same system through the same converters (test has been done through Motu 828, RME Multiface, and built in Mac AV and was noticable on all 3) they should sound indentical, but the difference is staggering. seriously, go and try this.

i do realize that itunes is a shitty consumer program, but one would think that it would be able to accurately playback an aiff file... maybe i'm asking too much from it, like asking a Coby discman to sound as good as a hifi cd player through some super hitech external converters, but the thing that confounds me is that itunes and logic were palying through the same converters.... i dunno.

or maybe i should just start assuming that the three of us living here have astoundingly good hearing... maybe i should change my name to john 'magic ears' davis.... has a nice ring. :wink:

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by Electricide » Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:35 pm

ok, so then here's the question,

I use iTunes to rip all my cd's before they scratch beyond repair. Is the file sitting on my hard drive, that iTunes imported, already fugged up, or is it just the playback?

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by monkey boy » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:00 pm

Electricide wrote:ok, so then here's the question,

I use iTunes to rip all my cd's before they scratch beyond repair. Is the file sitting on my hard drive, that iTunes imported, already fugged up, or is it just the playback?
the files that i was using to compare were ripped in itunes so i would think that the problem is in playback rather than the importing

aa

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JES » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:23 pm

I gotta say, AAC sounds just fine. On more delicate stuff I can tell the difference between that and CD without trying. Otherwise, I've got to actually listen. MP3 is so-so as a format, and the lower the resolution, the more it sucks.

But I'm a Mac user. I understand itunes for PC isn't quite the same, and that's okay.

Personally, though, I find it a really well-designed, functional program that allows me to move through my collection in ways I normally wouldn't (like I listen to many more EPs than I used).

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:47 pm

I tried it with Cubase SX2 and iTunes and heard no difference.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by PatrickBrown » Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:54 pm

It works ok to my ears. I don't have a MasterLink(yet). and I load recordings in through a MOTU828(with the MOTU's converters at 24 bit) and AudioDesk, and bounce to disk(keeping everything 24 bit till the BTD when I do the dither), and import as an AIFF file into iTunes, and burn through that. As above, no EQ or Enhancement, nor extra gain, and it seems to do fine. I'm not sure the EQ or Enhancer works on a burn.
I have the SoundSticks for listening to iTunes itself, and the EQ and Enhancer are useful there. Many look at my Tannoys and can't believe they're not on when I have the SoundSticks going. The 20 watt bass driver is under the table, and all they see is the two 10 watt mini pods. 8)

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by evan » Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:17 pm

toaster3000 wrote:seriously, the audio engine in itunes is complete and utter shite...maybe i'm asking too much from it, like asking a Coby discman to sound as good as a hifi cd player through some super hitech external converters, but the thing that confounds me is that itunes and logic were palying through the same converters
As limited as my understanding of programming is, I'm pretty sure there's not a "better" or "worse" way to read a file -- it simply takes the data, looks at it in the way appropriate to reading the type of data it is (spreadsheet, text, audio, etc.), and then outputs it. Software reading a file is not the same as an A/D converter translating an audio signal.

Each type of audio file -- AAC, AIFF, MP3, whatever -- is organized in a particular way, and meant to be looked at in a particular manner. You're not "converting" anything when you open an audio file, you're just applying the proper rules to read it, like grammar is to English. Anything divergent from the proper rules is wrong. This is where my analogy with spoken language breaks down however, but believe me, computers are a lot less forgiving about broken rules than we are. If there's an actual difference (not simply percieved) from one program's output to another, then one of the programs is breaking the rules -- and this is extremely rare, since file formats are extensively documented, and code for reading and writing them are publicly available.

Somebody who knows more about programming than me can maybe verify my less-than entirely informed opinion, but I'm pretty sure I'm right about this.
Last edited by evan on Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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