Originally Posted by nkweisberg
For my ear music encoded in Apple lossless played via an iPOD gave better quality sound than AAC at 256k via a USB flash drive. I realize that using an ipod adds in a D to A and then A to D conversion but the lossless file has much more info. In general the larger the file size the better the sound quality you can expect. The AAC file is 7.3 MB while the Apple lossless file is 27.9 MB. Likely the AAC file would sound better on the flash drive over an iPOD but that seems a moot point when a iPOD can play lossless files.
If I'm missing something PLEASE let me know. I want the best sound quality out of my "Enhanced Premium Sound" package, which to my ear sounds pretty good. I appreciate well recorded music and enjoy it even more when it is played on a quality system. (I just ordered the Akrapovic evolution exhaust so I might not be able to hear the sound system anyway
If anybody knows a way to play AIFF (39.2 MB for the track referenced above) or any lossless file on a USB flash drive I'm all ears. Lets put all of our minds together and figure out the best possible sound quality we can input through that USB port in the center console.
Sound quality is all dependent on the format and not the medium. Whether you doing it through an iPod or a flash drive should make very little difference. Some people will say the D/A conversion on the ipod is a weakness but we're talking about hearing this in a car (relatively high noise floor) with the OEM sound system so I doubt that is a major factor. The benefit for using a flash drive is not having to deal with iTunes, much smaller physical size than an iPod, and you can play pretty much any format you want. I've never tried apple lossless off my flash drive so I can't comment on that. I've been happy using EAC + Lame for audio encoding for a long time now and its more than adequate. In the end, I use CDs for all critical listening anyway.