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lossless or compressed?

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#1 Leo

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 02:10 AM

which do you prefer and why? for anyone who isn't sure of the difference lossless audio formats are like .wav, .flac, etc. and are essentially the same as just putting a cd into your sound system of choice. usually 44.1khz 16bit depth, and some other long ass number that i can't remember. compressed formats are something like .aac, .mp3, etc. and usually compromise sound quality for the sake of file size. now i know a lot of people are probably thinking at this point "well who gives a crap if it's a little bit smaller? i want my music to sound great right?" true, but mp3 files for example are significantly smaller than say a wav. like a 40 minute album in a lossless format could easily take up 500mb whereas the same album as a lossy format might only take up 90mb. that's the major reason people use a lossy format. there are ways to mitigate the loss of quality such as increasing the sample rate. anything list 320khz for the sample rate and it's pretty difficult for someone who isn't trained to hear the differences/audiophiles that take sounds seriously to notice any loss of quality when compared to lossless. but then the files naturally get bigger, though still not as big as lossless mind you.


i myself prefer lossless audio formats for two reasons. the first is that storage is incredibly cheap right now. you can get a terabyte HDD for less than $100. and the second is that i have a sound system that can really take advantage of the lossless audio. if i didn't have a solid setup i really wouldn't care. but unfortunately i got spoiled.


Edit: just as a heads up just saying that people only really know about the mp3 file format is an acceptable answer, but it's not really what i'm looking for.

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#2 Krevin

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:18 AM

If it's not analog it's still compromised. I'll take mp3s over any other digital format because you can have thousands of them on your fucking telephone. 


not to mention most of my music listening is from Spotify, which streams compressed file formats


#3 Dave

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:35 AM

I have a midrange DAC/AMP + reasonable pair of headphones which amplifies all of the flaws of lower bitrate files, so I do prefer lossless... as long as the music has been mixed and mastered properly. If the waveform looks like this, or the tracks haven't been mixed very well, it's pretty pointless.

Generally though, 320kbps is fine. I only tend to go out of my way to obtain lossless files for music I really enjoy or listen to often (Post-rock/post-metal in particular).

Also, 1TB HDD for less than $100? More like less than $50.

#4 Erif

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 03:42 PM

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#5 XX++Archangel__Darkangel//

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 01:42 PM

Hard drives are cheap but they take space in the case and if you have multiple of them you start having to keep track of which stuff is where and multiple possibilities for failure. Still I don't have very much music stored and it's more about what quality I can find at all. But I'd be happy with 320kbps mp3 for anything.

#6 The Great Red Bear

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 09:17 PM

I'll take 320kps without any complaint for compatibility, because I do very little listening on my computer. I'll take lossless whenever I can get it though. Especially because my Android supports FLAC. Unfortuantely 32Gb fills up quickly that way.





Also, like Krev, I'm a casual who listens to Spotify 99% of the time


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