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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > best format for sound quality?



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      09-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
miker2013
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best format for sound quality?

which is the best format for sound quality in the bmw hifi system? and please dont answer none....

which format gives the best quality playback in the car on the hifi system, is it the hard drive or cd or iphone attached via y cable or iphone attached via apple cable or bluetooth?

i am just starting to add music to my 2013 and want to figure out what is the best way to get the bulk of my collection over to the car

my collection is on cd and itunes... if i am burning cd's for use in or to store in the car, what burn rate should i use? does it matter for sound quality?

i am thinking that the best way would be to move my music over to a flash drive and then use that in the car? any pros/cons?

can only cd's be stored on the hd or can the car also copy other formats?

thanks
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      09-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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Store it on the HD at the highest bitrate.
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      09-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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I can't tell the difference between 320 bit mp3 and wav files.

I can't tell the difference between 320 bit mp3 and wav files.
If you are using a usb that has a lot of room you can put on anything
the car radio will play . You can get about 4 times as many tunes with
320 bit mp3 as wav files.
Some say there is no difference between 256 bit and 320 bit mp3 sound.
If you want to burn mp3 cd's with itunes you first have to make and mp3 version then you end up with two copys of the same file in each version which is kind of messy.
There is a utility called itunesexport that will allow you to burn you existing playlists to usb regardless of there format.

http://www.ericdaugherty.com/dev/itunesexport/

So much easier to use a USB to either play it or get it into the car
than cd's

Last edited by ctuna; 09-12-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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      09-12-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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Can the BMW play FLAC files? If so, that's the way to go.
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      09-13-2013, 08:08 AM   #5
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It can't play FLAC, but it can play WMA Lossless (same quality as FLAC).
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      09-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #6
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Lossless is overkill in a car, which isn't exactly a pristine listening environment givne the noise of the car, road noise, wind noise, etc. Anything over V0 preset encoded MP3s is a waste.
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      09-14-2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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^^^
Agreed.
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      09-15-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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      09-15-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Any of the digital storage/playback methods should yield the same sound quality (theoretically). As far as format, MP3 at CBR 256kbps and up or VBR V0 and up will be more than enough.
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      09-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
Lossless is overkill in a car, which isn't exactly a pristine listening environment givne the noise of the car, road noise, wind noise, etc. Anything over V0 preset encoded MP3s is a waste.
I don't think it is.
If your sound system is average, you won't really be able to tell the difference because the processing is not here that's for sure.

Even with an average JL 600/6 I can tell a good FLAC file has more details to an equivalent tune in 320 MP3. I use lots of FLAC at over 1000kbps and they sound significantly better than my other 320kbps tunes. They feel more lively, instruments and voices are clearly clearer.

As for road noise in my bimmer, does not really affect the clarity of my tunes. I feel like my car is doing a pretty good job at isolating me from outside road noise. Now we can always do better for sure (Damping etc). My sound system and speakers does the rest pretty well.
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      09-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fooljam View Post
I don't think it is.
If your sound system is average, you won't really be able to tell the difference because the processing is not here that's for sure.

Even with an average JL 600/6 I can tell a good FLAC file has more details to an equivalent tune in 320 MP3. I use lots of FLAC at over 1000kbps and they sound significantly better than my other 320kbps tunes. They feel more lively, instruments and voices are clearly clearer.

As for road noise in my bimmer, does not really affect the clarity of my tunes. I feel like my car is doing a pretty good job at isolating me from outside road noise. Now we can always do better for sure (Damping etc). My sound system and speakers does the rest pretty well.
To each their own. It's entirely possible you have very gifted hearing, but I would definitely say that you're an outlier in the data compared to most listeners.

I've got pretty good ears and audio equipment at home (and Logic7 in the car) and even in a controlled listening environment with good audio equipment, it's damn hard to tell V0 apart from FLAC. The difference is almost always minor artifacting here and there, not sound stage, separation, clarity, etc. A large number of audio enthusiasts will agree (check out head-fi, they've done a few small studies), and I can pretty much guarantee that anyone who isn't already knowledgeable on audio compression and encoding won't know the difference.

If you're just sitting in the car and listening, you *may* be able to notice a difference on Logic7 between FLAC and V0. Maybe. But with road noise while driving and a good part of your brain focused on the road rather than wholly devoted to critical listening? I doubt it.


To address the OP more directly:

For your music, you mention it's iTunes - assuming it's all iTunes Plus with no DRM or other copy protection, just throw it on a flash drive and plug it into the car and either play it directly or copy it to the car's hard drive. If it's older purchases back when iTunes had DRM, you're going to need to look into methods for removing the DRM, otherwise the car won't play it. Any other music files you have (MP3s, whatever), copy them as well.

Any music that is already in a compressed format (MP3, iTunes/AAC, WMA) is already "damaged" in terms of quality. Compression loses a bit of detail, and burning it to a CD won't ever fix that. Once it's gone, it's gone. Similarly, burn speed and the like won't affect audio quality. It can help with temperamental blank discs or CD players very rarely (lower speeds can reduce errors), but the actual digital audio data will be the same.

Regarding your CD collection, if you're really concerned about audio quality, I would rip to V0 MP3 (you can Google for guides) and then transfer it to a flash drive and then to the car's hard drive. If you just want good sound and aren't concerned about it being perfect, just rip it with it iTunes set to iTunes Plus quality settings (256kbps VBR AAC). Copy it to the car and it'll play fine and sound nice.
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      09-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwells View Post
To each their own. It's entirely possible you have very gifted hearing, but I would definitely say that you're an outlier in the data compared to most listeners.

I've got pretty good ears and audio equipment at home (and Logic7 in the car) and even in a controlled listening environment with good audio equipment, it's damn hard to tell V0 apart from FLAC. The difference is almost always minor artifacting here and there, not sound stage, separation, clarity, etc. A large number of audio enthusiasts will agree (check out head-fi, they've done a few small studies), and I can pretty much guarantee that anyone who isn't already knowledgeable on audio compression and encoding won't know the difference.

If you're just sitting in the car and listening, you *may* be able to notice a difference on Logic7 between FLAC and V0. Maybe. But with road noise while driving and a good part of your brain focused on the road rather than wholly devoted to critical listening? I doubt it....
You seem to base your opinion on this single post, which really does not really does not do much to demonstrate anything...
http://www.head-fi.org/t/584741/mp3-vs-flac-revisited

The difference can clearly be heard with decent equipment, and I am not talking expensive equipment. No need to be a sound professional to tell the difference.

Try these instead, this is a fact that even the highest quality MP3 cuts lots of meat off tunes. This can easily be proven. Even my wife can tell the difference, and she is more interested in shiny shoes and handbags than sound systems.

http://homerecording.com/bbs/general...g-mp3s-169993/

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