iTunes Mastering – Apple Tells How

BAAS members have had the opportunity to meet several music producers and mastering engineers. The typical content of these meetings has been how to render a true-to-life recording. Clearly, the techniques vary for vinyl, tape, and digital delivery media.

Apple has now taken this concept a step forward (or backward, depending on perspective) with the launch of the “Mastered for iTunes” specification. As reported by Ars Technica, the specified 256K AAC format retains about 3% of the raw information af a 24/192K master.

Note that I use the term “raw information,” as supporters of high-bitrate AAC (or MP3) would claim – with some validity – that these formats retain well over 90% of the musical content. Of course, we audiophiles spend gobs of time and money chasing mils of fidelity. So the 90%+ talk is beside the point on that frame.

My quick perusal of the current “Mastered for iTunes” selections revealed that many of the recent offerings are from the Bowers & Watkins “Society of Sound” library. So presumably Peter Gabriel is on board.

Anyway, the Ars Technica piece summarizes the recent semi-popular embrace af audiophile values by Gabrial, Neil Young and other luminaries. A good read.


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, Music, News