Originally Posted by Crashem
Not sure what is the point of this post is. We know flac is a lossless format. MP3 is lossy, but tries to minimize the loss of "audible" information given the bits it has to work with. If you talk to mp3 developers, most would claim that 320k is a waste of space as highest quality Vbr is just as good. The existence of difference between flac and mp3 is unarguable. My point though is some people will hear a difference between flac and mp3 and some won't. If you can hear a difference, then it makes a difference and if you can't then it doesn't. More revealing equipment helps to hear difference. Type of music changes the equation. Lastly, but not the most minor, the listener's ability. In any case, use whatever format works for you. I would caution that if you are planning on improving your equipment and/or listen more critically and/or listen to more "dense" music, you might want to keep that music in flac vs.finding out you were wrong.
soo spot on ! (I feel you saved me writing the same things)
need equipment that can resolve a difference
(is most headphones, if played with enough volume and user is sensitive for what to look for...)
genre dependant. Jack Johnson song may not have enough going on to hear a difference from 320k variable, but a large scale dynamic orchestra NEEDS flac (otherwise the 'lossy' part of the non lossless formats is doing its namesake quite noticably)
For example music that is going to be streamed from my phone via Bluetooth to a radio transmitter for car audio, heck gimme any variable bitrate format, I'm not going to hear a differnce (actually I will, but here compressing the music can help the sound output sound consistently loud).
music from a good quality dap into nice headphones for critical listening should be the best bitrate space allows. I opt for lossless and carry less music, I still get piles of CDs on a small device that fits in my pocket.
for anything that is critical, and complex genres; go lossless (even if your present equipment doesn't benefit, you have 'masters' for later.)
HDCD encoded tracks should be ripped as WAV or else 20bit sound is thrown away, no chance to recreate
for the record I wanted to make my 1200+ compact disc collection easy access and small enough to carry around so I bought a large had (640gb at the time) and ripped losslessly. Filled around 300GBs of space. In a world of terabyte drives there is no reason
to keep shoddy masters. I have the benefits of making a mix CD and the recreated sound is bit perfect.
EAC (PC software) made the job easy btw.
at the end of the day, lossy is lossy, how much you are willing to lose IS personal taste. VBR files via laptops and phones with non critical listening serve the masses well.