Making iTunes Sound Better with a $5 App

I have a love-hate thing with the iTunes music player.  It works well, it’s easy to use and seems to generally do what I want it to do.  On the other hand, it’s bloated with features I don’t need, does a lousy job of handling things like album artwork and, if you listen closely, doesn’t sound that good.

It’s true. If you have bat ears like I seem to possess, the iTunes players only sounds good enough.  I feel more than hear that something isn’t quite right.

If you feel the same way, there’s a plugin for Macs (no Windows yet) called BitPerfect.  Using something called “upsampling,” it somehow invisibly works within iTunes to improve the sound of whatever files you choose to play.  I don’t understand how it works, but based on this recommendation, I spent the five bucks on the app and it seems to have been worth it.

If you feel like gambling on something like this, give it a shot.  I’m interetsed in your evaluation.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

6 thoughts on “Making iTunes Sound Better with a $5 App

  • March 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm
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    It works! it really brings a warmth that MP3's lack. It's well worth the $5.00.
    You can hear the difference by comparing it on and off.

    Reply
  • March 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm
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    Damn, wish they had this for Windows. I would buy it in a second for my crappy PC that keeps freezing. Next time I need a computer I'm going to suck it up and pay the extra money for a Mac.

    Reply
  • March 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm
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    Damn, wish they had this for Windows. I would buy it in a second for my crappy PC that keeps freezing. Next time I need a computer I'm going to suck it up and pay the extra money for a Mac.

    Reply
  • March 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm
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    I would check it out but you can't upsample lossless. Which makes me wonder when people talk about iTunes sounding bad when it still the compressed part that makes it that way, not the software.

    Reply
  • March 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm
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    It's not iTunes that sounds bad, it's the crappy headphone amp in your computer. Look to upgrade your hardware first. The newer Macs (including the Macbook Pros) have a digital output from the headphone jack. Run that to a decent DAC and then through a good headphone amp with some decent cans and you'll hear a vast difference in sound quality. Also run uncompressed music (Apple Lossless anyone?) and disable any digital signal processing, like the equalizer. You'd be surprised how good your computer can sound!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2012 at 12:35 am
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    Strange. I bought it – and iTunes produces no sounds. All I can get is a skip if I adjust the volume. Seems like a bust to me unfortunately. Anyone else encounter this problem?

    Reply

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