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dgrnyc
11-11-2005, 07:06 AM
What is the best version of iTunes to use on Windows XP for ripping MP3s, playing MP3s and burning CDs? Currently I'm using 4.9.0.17. I tried version 5 but liked the interface of 4.9 better so I switched back. I'd prefer a version that's less of a resource hog than having one that has every feature under the sun. I like to rip MP3s using VBR with the minimum kbps set to 128, 160 or 192.

Daniel
Dell Inspiron 8600
1.4 GHz Pentium M Banias CPU
512 MB Memory
60 GB 5400 RPM hard drive
4x DVD+RW drive

Tomb
11-12-2005, 04:31 AM
The mp3 encoder contained within i-tunes is poor when compared to the lame encoder. SeeHydrogen Audio (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org) for more. You will be better off using the i-tunes aac codec if you want to stick with i-tunes unless of course you have a portable player that only supports mp3.

I would suggest using lame with a frontend and then import the files into your i-tunes library.

dgrnyc
11-25-2005, 01:09 PM
On my Windows XP Pro PC I used Exact Audio Copy V0.9 beta 4 with LAME 3.90.3 to rip and encode a song using (--alt-preset standard). Then I ripped and encoded the same song 3 times with different settings using iTunes 4.9.0.17. All files are MP3 format (no AAC). Here are the settings and the resulting files with bit rates:

Program - Setting - File Size - Bit Rate
EAC with LAME - (--alt-preset standard) - 4.7 MB - 240 kbps
iTunes - 192 VBR - 4.2 MB - 214 kbps
iTunes - 160 VBR - 3.6 MB - 185 kbps
iTunes - 128 VBR - 3.0 MB - 152 kbps
time of song 2 minutes 41 seconds

I listen to the songs on headphones connected to my notebook. I can't tell a difference between any of the files. I plan to listen to the files on my notebook with the built-in speakers or connected headphones. However, any of these 4 files does sound better than the 128 CBR that I used to rip and encode MP3s with using iTunes. I admit that EAC LAME will produce a higher quality MP3 file for a given bit rate based on what I've read on the internet. Why am I still thinking about using iTunes then? Well, first, for my uses, I can't hear the difference. True, in the future I could buy a high end sound system which would show the difference. But second, and more important, iTunes is just so much easier to use. I plan to use iTunes as my MP3 player/organizer. Using EAC/LAME requires me to retag a lot of the info in the files. In iTunes, I just insert a CD, import, eject and repeat. I have about 150 CDs to import. I'm going overseas with my notebook and want my music on my hard drive instead of carrying around 150 CDs with me. If there were a way to automatically get correct tag information into iTunes by using EAC/LAME or another program then I might consider sticking with EAC/LAME. As it stands now, I'm leaning toward iTunes with 192 VBR. Suggestions?

Daniel

locustfurnace
11-25-2005, 04:37 PM
In iTunes, I just insert a CD, import, eject and repeat. I have about 150 CDs to import. I'm going overseas with my notebook and want my music on my hard drive instead of carrying around 150 CDs with me. If there were a way to automatically get correct tag information into iTunes by using EAC/LAME or another program then I might consider sticking with EAC/LAME. As it stands now, I'm leaning toward iTunes with 192 VBR. Suggestions?

Daniel

Not sure why your not getting song titles auto filled in while using EAC, but it does handle this. Check you settings, use a up to date EAC if your using an older version, or make the necessary changes to the CDDB database address - if applicable.

You might also want to use LAME 3.97 or 3.98 over 3.90.
Can download those here
http://lame.bakerweb.biz/


LAME MP3 Encoder 3.90.3 is no longer being recommended as preferred version - LAME MP3 Encoder 3.97 beta took its place.

dgrnyc
11-25-2005, 10:32 PM
I upgraded to EAC 0.95 beta 3 and LAME 3.97 beta 1. Both versions of EAC did add tags but Artist was incorrectly being shown as the same as the song title. I've reduced the work some. I'm still on the fence. Higer Quality of LAME vs less work with iTunes. Thanks for the replies.

dgrnyc
11-28-2005, 06:04 AM
I've decided the higher quality of EAC and LAME is worth the extra work. I'll rip and encode with EAC and LAME and then use iTunes as a player and correct any error in the tags.