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epicwake's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: May 20 2012 - 9:32pm
mp3 to aiff conversion better?

What do you think? Does converting an .mp3 file to .aiff file in iTunes make the track sound better?

I work in a high end electronics store with some pretty serious listeners. I'm hearing claims that when you simply convert an .mp3 to .aiff it all of sudden sounds better. Standard reasoning would assume that you only can get quality as good as what you start with but they are adamant about it. I've tried it and I just can't hear the difference. It could be I spent too many years in a rock band without earplugs but what are your opinions?

Demondog's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 22 2009 - 5:01pm
Converting audio file to improve sound

I would agree with you. I only convert audio file formats for compatibility or compression reasons. I have never heard an improvement in sound quality when converting from one format to another, and I am unaware of any reason to expect one.  But I have heard a lot of questionable claims.

John Atkinson
John Atkinson's picture
Last seen: 4 hours 52 min ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:31pm
Re: MP3 vs AIFF

epicwake wrote:
What do you think? Does converting an .mp3 file to .aiff file in iTunes make the track sound better?

No. Assuming both contain 16-bit data, the AIFF version doesn't put back any of the information that the MP3 encoding has lost. And remember that when you play an MP3 file, before it is presented to the DAC, it is first converted back to PCM just as if it were an AIFF file in the first place.

Perhaps, just perhaps with a dreadful player, not having to perform that decoding step in real time results in less stress on the processor meaning less pull on an optimistically specified power supply hence less jitter, but I haven't heard any difference in my own comparisons, using Pure Music and iTunes running on a G4 Mac mini fitted with 1GB of RAM. 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

dbksliucd's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Apr 9 2014 - 9:02pm
If you want to convert MP3 to

If you want to convert MP3 to AIFF with the same or better sound, i think you need a professional converter to do it. iTunes is one choice, another one is Faasoft Audio Converter.

wkhanna's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 13 2007 - 1:46pm
GIGO....... ;) (garbage in,

GIGO....... ;)

(garbage in, garbage out)

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 36 min ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

Your question is rather naive. You make it sound as if all MP3 files are the same; they are not.

There are several levels of resolution possible in MP3.

I find that 320K MP3 files are hard to tell from the original CD on my high-resolution system.

MP3s with lower bit rates get progressively worse as the bit-rate used is less.

Converting an MP3 files to something else will not add anything to a file that already has been reduced in quality.

You can't put resolution back to a higher level once it has been lowered; you can only make it even worse due to losses in conversion.

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