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AAC for master 'review'


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New to the board here, and this question may have been asked before (I did search for it, with no success).

 

In searching for a way to easily preview my masters, I found yesterday that if I bounce the master to an AAC file and import this to iTunes, then load that onto my iPhone and listen in my car, the quality seemed to be much better than what I had previously done (either burning a CD or using mp3 format). This may be obvious to most, or I may be crazy, or both. I just wanted to ask the experts if AAC is of higher quality than either of my other approaches. I can tell a huge difference. And is AAC an acceptable format for most hosting sites (CB Baby, Tunecore, etc), or will I need to convert--and if so, what is best to convert to (if I have a choice)?

 

Thanks

 

Richie

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AAC is a lossy compression algorithm. That means that in order to reduce the size of the audio data in the file, you're losing some of the information, introducing distortion. So by definition AAC is of lesser quality than PCM. All your masters should be PCM. AFAIK CD Baby and Tunecore ask for a PCM file and take care of the compression themselves.

 

The reason why you thought the AAC sounded better has nothing to do with the file format. Maybe your player (iTunes for example) had some sort of EQ or "sound enhancement" algo turned on.

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