This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

More Bits?

Talking about quality yesterday, and how CD ripping has changed since we started. Gone are the days of persuading clients to move up from 128 Kbps AAC or MP3 files, squeezing music collections onto masses of CD-Rs then onto DVDs. Today's standard is Apple Lossless delivered on a small USB drive.

So what about 24-bit rips?

At heart the source of our digital music libraries hasn't changed, that being the CDs issued over the years. Just to be a little technical, the music on those discs have been mastered from an analogue source using computer software which expresses each note as a digital value, stored in 8 bits. The big "complaint" about CDs and digital music is that it loses the detail, the warmth, the "feel" in the process. Something that doesn't affect vinyl. Suppose you upgraded and converted music using more bits to represent each sound, then you'd get back the elements that were lost. Well, that's the argument and indeed there are now a number of high quality music streaming or download services which are built on 24 bit sound.

Why don't we rip at 24 bit?

First, if we just ripped from the typical CD there would be no benefit. As an 8 bit source there's no way you can get back that which was lost when the CD was created. Second, you'd need 24 bit friendly devices to store, manage and play back the music. That isn't available in iTunes, the iPod or even a system such as Sonos.

Would we rip in 24 bit? Yes, we would, even if the only justification were to future proof our clients collections. However true 24 bit music libraries would require re-mastered CDs, better ripping software, plus storage and replay systems to take advantage of all that extra data. That's not going to happen any time soon.
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