The Format Wars: MP3 Vs. FLAC
As any true blue audiophile will tell you, the sheer beauty of listening to music lies in its captivating rhythm. How the beat of the track transitions from the device to your ear or from one tune to another, will determine the overall quality of the listening experience.
While noise-canceling headphones and the very latest and most sophisticated audio devices can improve quality, there is another much simpler way of achieving the same purpose: choosing the right format!
In fact, choosing the right format is one of the easiest means of enjoying high-quality audio. In most cases, this is a simple matter of going for either MP3 or FLAC formats. The question is, which one should you choose, and what is the major difference between them?
Lossy and Lossless File Compression
In order to properly understand the major differences between FLAC and MP3, you will need to figure out the core difference between lossy and lossless compression.
Let us take the example of the internet. When you see an image on your smartphone screen, it is not raw. That is, it has been compressed and at least some parts removed to ensure smaller size and compression. Unfortunately, the parts that have been removed are permanently lost and they cannot be recovered.
Much the same case applies to the lossy nature of MP3 files. They are heavily compressed and many of the parts are shaved off. You won’t be able to get the shaved parts back regardless of how hard you try. Even if you try converting MP3 to WAV, you still won’t be able to recover the lost data.
A lossless file, on the other hand, comes in its original and uncompressed format. Think of it along the lines of a zip file, that can be very small, but once unpacked, releases all the data inside. Lossless files are much the same, except they work on the audio plane.
In fact, lossless compressions usually shrink the size of the audio package but not at the cost of the output quality. This is completely different from MP3 file compression when quality is sacrificed for quantity. The FLAC file format is a lossless form of compression and FLAC files can be converted to WAV format as well.
MP3 files require significantly smaller storage capacities when compared to FLAC files. On the other hand, FLAC audio files barely lose their original content. This makes them considerably bulkier than their MP3 counterparts.
MP3 files are definitely going to lose their sound quality to ensure greater compression. In many cases, guitars, cymbals, and reverb are the most affected parts of a track subjected to MP3 compression.
FLAC files retain their original sound quality while ensuring compression. A FLAC file may be compressed to half its original size to ensure that it would be portable enough for a memory stick, while retaining the purity of the sounds present in the file.
If you want maximum compression and portability without sacrificing the quality of your original CD collection, you should get in touch with Progressive Labs. We will ensure that your CD collection is converted to top-quality FLAC music files that are small enough to be played on the go.