The recording hasn't improved. I hear a plural 'i' sound (long e), not an 'a' sound for bella. I don't really mind being 'misled' by the often low volume of the last word spoken in recordings because it just keeps me involved with Italian a little longer, but it is a little frustrating.
Nice has several meanings, the closest to bella is "attractive", which is not only about the looks of somebody/something but also about other desired properties like popularity, good personality and so on. So for bella it is better to use beautiful. Even pretty is a somewhat weaker word.