Does mastered for iTunes make a difference?
Apple recently announced their Mastered for iTunes section. It’s a selection of songs that are mastered specifically for the iTunes format, and feature what is claimed to be a higher-quality compression rate than other downloads.
Ars took an in-depth look at the difference that Mastered for iTunes makes. They take an extensive look at what Mastered for iTunes means, not only from a technical level, but in the ear of the beholder. It’s an interesting piece, and you will even learn about how the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s I’m With You became one of the first Mastered for iTunes tracks available. It seems producer Rick Ruben had enough clout to make Apple pay attention to his requests to make the AAC files sound better.
Either way, you can check out the full story here. It’s also worth checking out this video of a mastering engineer running side-by-side comparisons of various versions of a track.