Originally posted by Spart
Maybe I should clarify a bit here, too. When you convert a compressed AAC file to uncompressed AIFF, it's just like copying a compressed JPEG to the clipboard. The compression is duplicated exactly, in the case of the JPEG the bitmap that is the clipboard will duplicate the artifacts in the JPEG image just as you see them, it doesn't magically uncompress the image (like you would get with a zip or sit file.) Therefore when you convert the AAC file to AIFF, no quality is regained. It is exactly the same as the original AAC, only it takes up more space. When you convert the AIFF file to MP3, it is exactly the same as converting the original AAC file to MP3. In much the same way, a compressed JPEG will compress once more in exactly the same way a copy of that JPEG, saved as an uncompressed TIFF will (at the same quality setting, say 60.)
Converting all of your AAC files Audio CDs only to rip them again is a waste of blank CDs and time.
I understand all that. I know that .aac is lossy and .mp3 is lossy and that you can't regain the original quality by converting it to .aiff and then to .mp3 (I'm not an idiot, you know
). What I'm griping about (and it's now full-blown griping by now) is the possibility that the .aac > audio cd > .mp3 conversion could result in a greater degradation in quality than it should.
If, for example, I were converting a .jpg that's at 90 quality from a .tiff and then converting that new .jpg to one that's 60 quality, I should get a new image that's 54 quality. Same thing with the .aac > .mp3 stuff. (Maybe not entirely accurate, but you get the point.)
What I'm saying is that we should take the analogy of .jpg quality settings and apply it to the music files. The overall .aac > audio cd > .mp3 conversion should only result in 54 quality files (using the numbers from the above example). Not anything less. If it is, as the forbes article suggests there would be, then we've got a problem. Does that make sense?
ps - again, I need to convert any .aac files to mp3 files for my car to be able to play them. That's why I would go through all these machinations to get it to work.