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which music file provides the best quality?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

320kbps mp3 file or FLAC ?

post #2 of 15

Probably the FLAC file, unless it has been messed with.

 

FLAC file is lossless which means that it contains the original data (no data loss). MP3 is lossy which is why a bitrate can be set and the music will be stored similarly, but not exactly (think JPG vs BMP/PNG if you are familiar with image formats).

 

Well, many can't tell the difference between MP3 320kbps and FLAC and I think it's been debated before. No idea if there was any conclusion to that.

 

If the FLAC file has been converted from an lossy source (e.g. someone has an MP3 file and converts it into FLAC) it's still lossy and won't sound any better.


Edited by namaiki - 11/6/12 at 4:06pm
post #3 of 15

Yes, FLAC is technically lossless just like WAV files.  MP3 are "lossy" but in my experience, if I made a high bitrate (320k) MP3 copy of a lossless file I can't hear the difference.  You do save a few times the space with MP3's vs FLAC which is another thing to consider, especially if you have a large music collection.

post #4 of 15

Well wav isn't "lossless". It's just uncompressed. There's no such thing as lossless digital audio, the lossless part is referring to the compression itself.

 

And yes, most people can't tell the difference in a true ABX test between 320kbps and FLAC.

I still only rip FLAC for a couple of reasons:
1. Because I've got room.

2. If I were to burn a CD of 320kbps and say give it to a friend or move it to another computer, where it was then ripped to 320kbps, it would degrade in quality.

3. Peace of mind.

post #5 of 15
Sometimes I swear I can hear a difference between FLAC and MP3, but maybe its just my mind playing tricks on me. Like chewy4 I prefer FLAC for peace of mind and because I've got room to spare. IMO what matters more is how well the music was produced. I have 192kbps files that sound better than some FLAC files just because it was produced so much better. I think the recording has to be very good quality for there to be an audible difference between MP3 and FLAC...
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

when ripping music off CD it doesnt give you the Option of ripping it as FLAC

 

only WMA, MP3, Windows Media Audio

 

how come? 

post #7 of 15

Because you didn't buy a Mac!

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Couch Potato View Post

when ripping music off CD it doesnt give you the Option of ripping it as FLAC

 

only WMA, MP3, Windows Media Audio

 

how come? 

Sounds like you're using Windows Media Player to rip.....that's why. WMP sucks. smily_headphones1.gif

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post #9 of 15

Wow.

It never really dies down, does it? 

This is probably the n-th thread I'm seeing about the same issue.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Because you didn't buy a Mac!

Macs support FLAC files now?? I thought they only supported their own proprietary everything.

 

And TC, get EAC or dbpoweramp for ripping.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

huh? this is stupid, so i can only rip FLAC files off cd with a mac pc?

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Couch Potato View Post

huh? this is stupid, so i can only rip FLAC files off cd with a mac pc?

No, you just need a different ripping program, not WMP.

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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

Sounds like you're using Windows Media Player to rip.....that's why. WMP sucks. smily_headphones1.gif
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SOoo wha.. ?

 

does riping CD Audio using WMP creates lower quality files compare with dbPower AMP and Exact Audio Copy software given the same result MP3 320 KBPs ?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSantana View Post

SOoo wha.. ?

 

does riping CD Audio using WMP creates lower quality files compare with dbPower AMP and Exact Audio Copy software given the same result MP3 320 KBPs ?

Yes. WMP has a subpar MP3 encoder, and no error correction built in.

post #15 of 15

In theory, any lossless format should produce the same exact output.  So WAV, FLAC, or the other lossless formats should be equal in quality (file size aside).

 

MP3, being lossy, would therefore be expected to be worse, though whether or not you can hear the difference is up for debate.

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