Sunday, July 17, 2011

Best Format for High Quality CD Sound

There's no real consensus here, but would go with WAV if you want to preserve the original format as close as possible (but takes up lots of space). However going with mp3 will "compress audio files to about one tenth of their original size while delivering close to CD quality audio".

From iTunes support site.

"If you want to burn high-quality audio CDs with the songs you’re importing without losing quality, choose Apple Lossless or AIFF. (Keep in mind that songs imported using this format use much more disc space.)"


"WAV: Developed by IBM and Microsoft, WAV stands for ‘waveform’. This file format does not compress audio. Understandably, WAV files take up a sizeable chunk of the storage space on your disk! However, this lossless format assures you of CD quality audio that can be used for broadcasting, or distributed through DVDs and CDs. An added advantage is that the WAV format is easy to transform and compress into MP3 or other formats if the need arises. And importantly, it runs on any Windows or Mac systems as well as most web browsers. So, if space crunch is not a problem, consider the WAV format to store and distribute music. File extension .wav."

"MP3: Perhaps the most popular sound format for music recording, MP3 files are the sound part of MPEG files. They can compress audio files to about one tenth of their original size while delivering close to CD quality audio. Because of their small file size, MP3 files are quick to download. In fact, they have become the standard when people want music for their multimedia presentations, or are looking for background music in their web pages. However, a major drawback of the MP3 format is that it is not a good format to use for looping. This is because MP3 files contain an unspecified amount of silence at the start and end of the file. To avoid the burp or hiccup this causes, and achieve a usable loop, opt for WAV format. MP3 files are supported by most software systems, and come with the file extension .mp3".

And more good information here, although quite technical:

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