Talking about digital music and music formats, there are probably too many articles. Therefore, this article will not repeat the above issues but will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of popular file formats to decide which format to store optimally for you.
I/ Losssy: roughly speaking, compressed files do not preserve data. The popular file formats that everyone knows are Mp3, AAC, WMA, Vorbis… More than 5-10 years ago, storage devices such as hard drives and memory cards were limited and expensive. Swoon, lossy formats are always a top priority to keep. Today, capacity is probably no longer a concern for most users, especially technology lovers. However, these files are still very popular because of their compactness, ease of sharing, and quality that are still suitable for the common ground of the majority of users.
Here I will talk about the two most popular formats today, Mp3 and AAC:
MP3: Probably still the most popular format today because of the age and habits of users. MP3 is even more popular because MP3 files are easy to share on music sites without DRM (Digital rights management) issues. However, if you choose Mp3 files to store, I recommend choosing Mp3 320kbps because the actual capacity is not much higher.
- Compact capacity
- Compatible with most devices
- Messy quality
AAC: Many people often confuse AAC and M4a M4a as a child of AAC, and AAC files can be a video file while M4a is just Audio. To be born to improve sound quality compared to Mp3 at the same sample rate and to ensure digital music copyright issues, AAC has finally officially replaced the old Mp3 format.
- Better sound quality than Mp3
- Can be managed by DRM
- Supports 48 audio channels
- Not as popular as mp3
- Encrypted, so it isn’t easy to share
II/ Lossless: Talking about lossless, we have two concepts here: Compressed and Uncompressed.
Lossless Uncompressed, also known as lossless compression, includes WAV and AIFF. True to their name, these files are quite large.
WAV: is a file format developed by Microsoft, and it’s associated with windows; perhaps that’s why WAV is more popular than AIFF.
- Supported by many devices
- Can’t add tags
AIFF: the opposite is a format developed by Apple; this format is becoming more and more popular thanks to the increasing number of Apple users. In addition, adding tags to help users manage information is also an advantage to help this format become more and more popular.
- There are easy-to-manage tags
- Not as popular as WAV
Lossless Compressed includes: Flac, APE, ALAC, these lossless files are more and more popular thanks to their light size and good quality. Here I will talk about Flac and ALAC because APE is getting fewer and fewer users.
FLAC: is a very popular format for lossless music, so the amount of software and hardware that supports this format is easy to find. If you have many different devices, I think it is better to store FLAC than AIFF.
- Support for integrated error checking
- Smaller capacity than AIFF
- No DRM
ALAC: Due to Apple’s Support, it is growing more and more, some people think ALAC sounds better than FLAC, but I think it isn’t easy to distinguish. If you are a believer in the Apple family, I think using ALAC is the standard.
- With DRM
- Works well with iDevices
- Many devices do not support
- No integrated error checking
So you can see the reality depending on the needs that you choose for yourself a suitable file. Personally, with lossy files, you should choose AAC instead of Mp3. As for lossless files, if you own iDevices, you should prioritize AIFF and ALAC. According to my personal experience, you should switch back to a format to save the effort of converting back and forth; try to add as many tags as possible to manage your library easily. For those of you who listen to music with your mobile phone, I think m4a is the right choice; of course, if the sound quality is top, I will use that file whenever the best file is available.
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