why does iTunes suck?

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

Post by DryCounty » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:30 pm

BTW, Mac-related question here but does anyone remember (or still use) a great little app called SoundApp? Freeware, converter, player, file organizer, etc. great item to have on the desktop for quick referencing of large groups of files.

Anything similar in OS X? Maybe I should post this elsewhere.
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chris harris
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Sat Apr 24, 2004 8:13 am

free.... converter.... player.... organizer.... for osx....

uh... iTunes.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by space_ryerson » Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:44 pm

Monkey Boy, you aren't crazy.

I also use Logic 6 and a Motu 828, and have noted the difference between iTunes and Logic in the past. I turned off 'sound enhancer' and any EQ'ing/fx in iTunes, and still, they sounded different, even after matching the levels. I've tried using mac av, os9 logic and itunes, os9 mac av, and still the problem remains.

To further thicken the plot. I then took the same mix, and opened it in Quicktime. I found that Quicktime sounded closer to Logic (although not exactly the same), and drastically different than iTunes. Now forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't iTunes built on the Quicktime runtime engine?

I have found that Bias Peak and Quicktime sound identical, but Logic just sounds clearer to my ear.

Maybe there is a odd setting Monkeyboy and myself are missing when we mixdown in Logic. I wouldn't be surprised, since logic is so anti-intuitive

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by thearnicasync » Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:23 pm

Wow...I think I said you had to have magic ears to hear this. I feel dumb..I'm going to go check it out...

kb

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:18 am

maybe logic has some kind of hidden processing on the output bus... you know, like soft limiting or something. I've heard rumors of this in the past.

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trashy
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by trashy » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:01 am

I totally didn't believe this thread... until I heard it myself last night. And it was completely by accident, not even trying to hear the difference. I was listening to a track in "columns" view - just using the OS X player (which I suppose is quick time). I realized that I also had iTunes open at the time, and wanting to hear my track in conjunction with neat psychedlic images, I opened the song there. Right away I could tell the difference. I actually turned "sound "enhancement" on and pulled it up halfway to get it to sound close to the quicktime version.

Crazy.

This for me is the first time I've ever not loved iTunes. I still think it is an amazing program. But this is certainly an interesting development. I'm going to experiment using a couple of older versions of iTunes (including an OS 9 version) to see if I notice the same thing.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by maz » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:16 am

this is very strange... I've always known that using Apples converters would suck, but since you guys are all using the same D/A conversion it's really strange.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by biasosc » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:33 am

Maz, (and others)

I few years ago - I was a ProTools fan - I lived for it. This was the era of the 24Mix system running vers 5.0 (or thereabouts). I was needing to do more MIDI with the audio than ProTools did comfortably so I went and picked up Digital Performer. Using the ProTools hardware (24Mix and 888/24) I tryed playing back simple audio (stereo acoustic tracks, guitars, vocs, etc.) and - using DP 3 as the software I switched back and forth between MOTU's MAS system and ProTools TDM system. As I understand it, DP mixes internally in the computer while ProTools mixed utilizing DSP on the 24Mix card. So the MAS audio was just being passed through the ProTools hardware that was working as passively as possible.

To make a long story short, the identical audio file played through the MAS system kicked the TDM system's butt. PT sounded fine - DP was fuller in the lower mids, maybe a bit softer on the highs but just generally more pleasing. On finding this I started pulling listening tests with friends (musicians and engineers). They all chose the DP MAS system as sounding better.

Anyway, that is my story on differing software using the same DA converters. Hope this helps (or at least adds fuel to the fire!)

ken

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by biasosc » Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:37 am

Just thought I should add that I have recently been doing a lot of work with PT HD and the v. 6.x software. It sounds much MUCH better than I remember the 24Mix rig sounding. Have yet to try the DP test running on top of that software though. When I get to it - I'll let you know the results.

ken[/b]

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by Electricide » Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:20 am

trashy wrote:...just using the OS X player (which I suppose is quick time). I realized that I also had iTunes open at the time, and wanting to hear my track in conjunction with neat psychedlic images, I opened the song there. Right away I could tell the difference. I actually turned "sound "enhancement" on and pulled it up halfway to get it to sound close to the quicktime version.
Who's to say that the quicktime standard version doesn't have a sound enhancer? They probably assume that no one is going to you that app for critical listening.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by 1chroma7 » Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:01 pm

i've also noticed logic sounding a little "better" than other applications before, but i think it's a matter of logic sounding good and not itunes sounding bad. it wouldn't surprise me if there were some sort of slight post-processing involved in logic (like soft limiting as someone mentioned, but even a slight volume boost would be perceived as an increase in sound quality). also note that in itunes the audio is going straight from disk to the converters (assuming eq/sound enhancer are bypassed) whereas in logic the audio is coming through a virtual track assigned to a fader on a virtual mixer which is probably 48 or 64 bit or whatever, so there is some sort of minor number-crunching going on here...
if you really want to know whether you're imagining this or not, try recording the same file out of itunes and then out of logic into another digital device. then compare the two recordings of the output of your computer to see if there are any differences between the two. (phase inversion trick mentioned above sounds like a good test)

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