Thurrott on iTunes 4.5 WMA to AAC transcoding: results ‘surprisingly positive, good stuff’

“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.


  1. Thurrott: “about iTunes 4.5. Good stuff.”
    I think I’m going to have a heart attack. He liked it?!! I guess there’s still hope for people like him!

  2. And I care what he thinks why?
    This is news why?
    Why, why, why do you continue to post his crap.
    I suspect MDN is soely responsible for his continued relevance.

  3. “I’ve switched from the iPod to a Dell DJ,” wrote Thurrott. That’s like switching from DVD to VHS. What’s next, Thurrott switches from Windows XP to Windows 3.1?

  4. theloniusMac,

    If you don’t want to read it, why did you click it? Some of us like to read Thurrott’s lunacy through the MDN prism. It is entertaining for us. If you don’t, just ignore that headline and move to the next.

  5. MDN has written before that they keep their enemies close and try to expose inaccuracies when they occur. It’s one of the reasons why I like this site. Keep the Thurrott stuff coming, MDN – even when it’s shockingly complimentary of Apple. Perhaps Thurrrott is turning to the light? Too bad about the Dell DJ, Paul.

  6. Just had a duck after reading his “Good stuff”
    quote. He just took his first step off and away from the throne of fools, but I’m still skeptical that he may be building us up for something. Yeah right!!!…I’m sure we
    all should switch from our iPod to a brick DJ, just because of
    time spent transcoding. Being an anyawnist, he probably had to turn his iPod back in after his testing time was up.

  7. Thurott needs to go back to school

    700 songs @ 3.5 megabytes a piece(that’s my average)
    = 2.5 gigs of files
    2.5 gigs / 300 minutes = 8 megs/per minute

    8/megs /perminute = 2 1/3 songs per minute

    that doesn’t seem so bad now does it, considering he is using a single thought at a time pentium.

  8. Of course the idiot chastises users for giving him grief about his “sounds like crap” comment, but none of them having converted anything either. What a dunce! He’s more guilty than the those that griefed him in the first place for writing such a stupid comment before actually trying it out. Journalism? Goof – definitely!

    As for the Dell DJ, let him rock on all he wants and demonstrate to the world, “it’s hip to be different” attitude with that clunky device. Nerd! Moo!

  9. So, I’m confused. Did he do this transcription BEFORE he made the sounds like crap comment? Or after?

    And if it was after, why is he belittling the people complaining and pinning those complaints on THEIR lack of transcription, when he hadn’t done any himself? What an asshole.

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