by Peter Daley
With the advent of fast Internet connections and large hard drives, there is no reason for people in their right minds to be purchasing or using lossy audio files, that have mediocre sound when played on a half descent stereo system! There are lots of audio file formats that can be used to copy your music CDs onto your computer or music portable. WMA, Flac, Ogg, Mp3, WAV, or AAC, etc. are a few. Some of these files are lossless, (WAV & Flac). That means they do not degrade the sound file quality from the original, and some are lossy, (MP3, Ogg, WMA, AAC). They do degrade the sound quality.
The lossy types process the sound file and compress it leaving large parts of the original sound out of the file. This makes the file size much smaller but at the expense of sound quality. The main reason for the extensive use of lossy audio file types over the Internet, is that it is easier and quicker to transfer and store a small audio file than a large file. A compressed MP3 audio file downloads much faster, and will take up much less storage room, than a WAV file. Most people accepted this because they had slow Internet connections and limited space on their hard drives.
The dynamics have now changed, with large numbers of people now having high speed Internet connections, and oodles of room on their enormous
hard drives. There is really no reason to keep using, or purchasing lossy audio files (MP3, Ogg, WMA, AAC) to store and play your music, anymore.
(Tip: Flac is a free compressed file type that processes the audio file without loss in sound quality. So for those who still wish to save some room, but don't want to loose sound quality, FLAC is the way to go.)
Using lossy audio file formats is like convincing people to use watered down petrol in their cars, to save on transport and storage costs. The car won't
run too well, nor will the sound coming out of your music portable or stereo, with a watered down audio file.
I am totally amazed at how the public have been so totally convinced to use or purchase such poor quality music files! Make a smart change, and insist
that you get the best quality for your money. Isn't that what you insist on when you purchase anything else? If you're smart you will rip your CD collection in WAV or FLAC format using EAC (Exact Audio Copy http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/) or only purchase lossless version audio files from music sites.
OK, downloading may be quick but sometimes it is better to purchase the CD or SACD (Super Audio CD) version. The CD then becomes a great backup if you need to get the music onto your computer, or portable in the future.
I generally order ten SACD/CDs at a time, so I cut down on postage costs. Here are some web sites most people may not know about, where you can purchase lossless high quality music files, CDs, SACDs or LPS. I am willing to pay for good sound quality and good music. I realize I need to support talented artists financially somehow, or my source of good sounding music will disappear. This very much applies to classical music, because this type of music is not supported as much as popular music.
Arkiv Music http://www.arkivmusic.com
This site is great for classical music buffs because Music Arkiv has access to large amounts of the out of print LPS and CD music. With the extinction of the local record shops, this site provides a great source of classical music, in lots of different formats.
D Universe http://www.cduniverse.com
Lots of popular music as well as classical and jazz, plus samples provided for playback.
Linn Records http://www.linnrecords.com
Again a great source of classical and jazz, plus you can also still purchase high quality vinyl LP records. (The ultimate lossless format)
Independent classical recording company: also crossover and jazz. This company also places a lot of emphasis on performance and recorded sound
Chesky Records http://www.chesky.com/
Web Site Extract: Philosophy, to create the illusion of live musicians in a real three-dimensional space. Chesky Records tries to achieve the impression of reality with the most advanced technology available, careful microphone placement, and, most of all, a recording team which pays attention to every
minute detail, making your listening experience tangible, pleasurable, exciting, and realistic.
Super Audio CD http://www.sa-cd.net/reviews/all
This is a terrific site for getting reviews from purchases on the latest Super Audio CDs which have been released.
© Peter Daley 2010
Disclaimer: This is an amateur volunteer run service. Human error can provide incorrect information, and equipment malfunction can produce false readings. Do not rely on, or take action upon information presented on this web site or at SCCC activities, without further research. Views expressed in the pages, images, or tutorials on the SCCC Inc., web site or presented at venues, maybe the personal opinions of the relevant writers or presenters, and are not necessarily representative of those of SCCC Inc.