“iTunes 4.5 just completed transcoding the WMA portion of my music library, or about 700 songs. It took the application 5 hours to do this, on a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz system with 768 MB of RAM. That seems a bit excessive, but hey, you only have to do it once,” Paul Thurrot writes for Paul Thurrott’s Internet-Nexus.
“A number of people wrote in, taking exception to my ‘sounds like crap’ comments about transcoding. As I suspected, however, none of these people had actually spent time transcoding,” Thurrot writes.
Thurrott then goes into some depth about transcoding, writing that his “personal experience with transcoding is actually pretty vast.” And he can’t resist throwing in the line, “I’ve switched from the iPod to a Dell DJ,” to explain why he has to transcode so much.
Thurrott writes, “I’m happy to report that the [iTunes 4.5 WMA to AAC transcoding] results are decent within the confines of the limitations of transcoding. Yes, there are obvious issues with tinniness, but these are more obvious with headphones, and less so from the PC speakers. I haven’t listened to every song, of course, but I do have a selection of three songs I’ve set aside specifically for testing purposes, and I’ve been analyzing how they sound compared to online store-purchased WMA and AAC originals. They exhibit the same issues I’ve described again, but… you know, they’re not horrible. Unless you’re an audiohphile, I guess. The end result, of course, is that I’m still surprisingly positive about iTunes 4.5. Good stuff.”
Full article here.