Getting the best out of my iTunes

This post is merely a reminder to myself of all my iTunes postings. It provides a practical example of how ‘old’ equipment can become useful for audio applications.

The ‘core’ system is an Acer Laptop which was downgraded from Vista to Windows XP for performance reasons (see also my posts on “XP optimization” and “XP Housekeeping“).

The system runs with iTunes version 11.0.x, however, previous version will run fine as well. Related articles on iTunes can be found under the iTunes tag (see also my posts on ´my Audio tools´):

The key to the good quality output is the USB audio interface. The Numark DJ|iO provides Studio-grade, 24–bit, 44.1 kHz and 88.2 kHz audio quality.

For many years now, I stay loyal to my good old Adcom GTP-400 pre-amplifier and GFA-535 II power amplifier that nicely drive two Monitor Audio Radius 90HD speakers with the R360HD active subwoofer.

To generate the best quality from iTunes the playback settings are aligned to the sound card capabilities:


When it comes to choose between MPEG or AAC, I let my ears decide, rather than my eyes. To compare the playback quality in iTunes, make sure you have ruled out any ‘correction’, such as the equaliser, the sound enhancer and the sound check:

iTunes sound check

Most of my portable music players are iPods, so I can safely stick with AAC for importing or buying new music:

iTunes import settings

In summary, these are my software preferences:

Enjoy the sound.

Getting the best out of my iTunes
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