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FLAC vs MP3 vs AAC

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of getting into the whole audiophile thing, and start off building a new digital music collection. Which of these is best?

I know flac is the best quality but you sacrifice alot of space...
post #2 of 20
I'm not an audiophile, and I don't have an audiophile grade audio rig either, but I think that for the vast majority of people, 320 kbps 44 khz MP3 is sufficient, most importantly light enough for huge collections and easily encodable/available.

But don't take my word for it, wait till a pro shows up.
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post #3 of 20
If space and compatibility is a concern (with a digital music player e.g. ipod, zune, etc) use mp3 format. You can crank up the quality all the way to high and use the highest bitrate possible. If you want pure quality, FLAC is what you will need.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Would a PC with a good soundcard/speaker setup be sufficient to distinguish between MP3 and flac?
post #5 of 20
Most of my music is in 320kbps MP3 and some of it 128kbps because thats what i ripped it as ages ago...

I can't tell the difference.
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post #6 of 20
If you have the space, definatly go for FLAC (or any other lossless format).

Here is what your missing with MP3:

FLAC (Lossless):


MP3 320kbps:
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post #7 of 20
I have a few questions...

1. What about MP3 LAME, what is that?

2. I have a very small iPod (1GB), would it be worth it to put high quality music on it, what quality would work on the player? I use Yuin PK2s for headphones when listening to my iPod.

3. Would I be better off using (slightly) lower quality music to copy onto my iPod, or store my music at high quality then convert it down for the iPod (what formats would I need for that?)?

Sorry for kind of hijacking..

EDIT: To the post above me: Am I blind? I don't see much difference..
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate911 View Post
I have a few questions...

1. What about MP3 LAME, what is that?

2. I have a very small iPod (1GB), would it be worth it to put high quality music on it, what quality would work on the player? I use Yuin PK2s for headphones when listening to my iPod.

3. Would I be better off using (slightly) lower quality music to copy onto my iPod, or store my music at high quality then convert it down for the iPod (what formats would I need for that?)?

Sorry for kind of hijacking..
As for as I know iPods cannot handle FLAC or lossless audio.. I might be wrong..


IMHO, get FLAC or any other lossless format for your computer, you can convert lossless to lossless (AKA FLAC to WMA lossless) and back and forth a million times without any loss of quality, however if you convert to a lossy format (AKA MP3) you will lose quality and never be able to get it back.

I would keep your lossless files on your computer and maybe rip 320kbps MP3s for your ipod (from your lossless files) which is the exact same as ripping them from the CD. Just keep your lossless files intact and you can rip anything from them as many times as you want.

A single song in lossless is around 20-35MB, thats going to fill up a gig fast even if your ipod supports the formats. 320KBPS MP3s are about 5-9MB a piece.

You cannot however convert a MP3 to lossless, thats why you must keep your lossless files even after ripping MP3s from them.

---

To answer the question though, It depends on what your using, and your ears. If your using 3 grand speakers and $400 head phones the different between a 320kbps and lossless will be very noticable. If your using dell speakers, or crap headphones.. 192KBPS and 320KBPS probably won't even be noticable, let alone lossless.

Some people cannot ear the difference between 320KBPS and lossless, others can. Set up like 10 songs in 320kbps, and the same 10 songs in FLAC and see if you can ear the difference. I recommend different genres and styles of music for each song though.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckydude View Post
If you have the space, definatly go for FLAC (or any other lossless format).

Here is what your missing with MP3:

FLAC (Lossless):
IMG

MP3 320kbps:
IMG
i knew mp3 compressed but i didn't think that much ...

mp3 320kbps is plenty for most i would have though ... like on ipod i find it enough if maybe a little overkill cause 192kbps mp3 sounds the same ... but on a decent speaker set flac must sound awesome
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post #10 of 20
With small MP3 players, probably going for an MP3 format above 192KB would be a good balance of space and sound quality. If you can, 320KB would be great.

LAME is just a lossless encoder to play high quality music files on your PC, I believe.

I use FLAC, as it is easy to tag, and works perfectly in Foobar.
    
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