Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › What's the best quality audio file?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What's the best quality audio file?

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 

^Title.^

post #2 of 87

Um.  Pretty hard to answer that.  As far as audio quality goes, pretty much anything that's lossless is equal.  Some, like ALAC, don't support higher frequencies or bit-depth (as far as I know), but others, like FLAC, do.  If it's lossless it will sound the same as any other lossless file.  

 

As far as lossy formats go, AAC apparently has better transparency than MP3 at lower bitrates, but at higher bitrates they're nearly indistinguishable - though only if you use a good encoder for the MP3 (like LAME).

post #3 of 87

96kBps FLV rips from Youtube are the real standouts for me. The lossy compression just brings out a harmony and tone in the music that you don't get with these fancy-schamncy 'lossless' formats. Of course, I always upscale the MP3s to AIFF, because bigger filesize is better and who needs tags anyway?

post #4 of 87
Thread Starter 

Sorry, what's lossless?

post #5 of 87
Thread Starter 

bump

post #6 of 87

Loseless is basically music tracks that did not lose any data during compression; FLAC and ALAC formatted music files are the most common loseless format.

 

In case there is any misunderstandings, formatting your low bitrate mp3 files into higher bitrates or into loseless format does not increase the quality of a music track -- in fact it might do the opposite. wink.gif

post #7 of 87

What you need my friend, is a good dose of wikipedia. Read these two articles together and you should get a pretty good idea.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_recording_vs._digital_recording

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_compression_(data)

 

Cheers!

post #8 of 87
Thread Starter 

So can I play lossless formats on iTunes/mp3 player/iPod?

Where do I get lossless files from, if I can't convert them?

post #9 of 87

^Buy something called a CD.  

 

 

But seriously, whether or not if you have golden ears is subjective, we can do studies on how much detail our ears can pick up, but we cannot be totally sure.  So, try out different bit rates on a respectable setup, preferably a monitor(analytical) setup, and you decide if you hear a difference.

post #10 of 87

The music files on CD disks that you buy from the store are usually all extremely high quality or uncompressed.  When you rip the music yourself you can choose the format and quality.  That's where most people buy their high quality/lossless music.  The itunes store unfortunately only sells low bitrate stuff even though it's very convenient.  If you download your music or do shady stuff to get it, you just have to look extra hard or look for specific formats.  Just be aware, a lot of downloads are bad quality even though they're in a "good" format.  I've heard a lot of 320kbps mp3 files that sounded horrible, they must have been radio rips or something, I don't even know.

 

You can't convert low quality audio files to a higher quality format.  That would be like having a video that plays at 10 frames per second and you increase it to 20 frames per second but also double the frames so that there are two of each frames.  It will just make the file size larger and there won't be any difference in quality.

 

Generally, for the majority of people, 320kbps mp3 files are more than good enough.  If you want that extra quality with lossless, FLAC is probably one of the most common formats.  If you use Apple products, you probably need to use AAC and ALAC files though.  Lossless doesn't necessarily benefit all music, in fact in my opinion it's a bit overkill for some that may be poorly recorded.  Lossless files also take up a lot of space, it's like half a GB per album which sucks for some of the lower capacity flash memory players.


Edited by sari0n - 4/27/11 at 9:04pm
post #11 of 87

FLAC APE are the two best as i know

post #12 of 87
WAV is the best. It has to be... the files are the biggest wink.gif

But I prefer FLAC. ALAC is Apple proprietary so I am against it and WAV is huge.

There is also AAL... which I can apparently play, but didn't know about it until now so I can't say anything about other than it's Sony proprietary.
post #13 of 87
Files?

Everyone knows the best music is found on big black discs that spin at 33.3RPM.

biggrin.gif
post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Files?

Everyone knows the best music is found on big black discs that spin at 33.3RPM.

biggrin.gif


The bigger the better, right? tongue.gif

post #15 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxwellDemon View Post





The bigger the better, right? tongue.gif


So by that logic, is a Laserdisc better than a BluRay? Wouldn't that have sucked if that format took off? LP sized digital discs everywhere.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › What's the best quality audio file?