Admin | February 07, 2015

Why MP3 store downloads are a ripoff.

These days displays are getting alot of attention, people do not settle anymore for 720p they want HD, QHD (2k) or even UHD(4k). Pixel density is more demanding the past years on tablets, phones and displays and such. 720p has become the borderline of being unacceptable quality. If that's unacceptable, why accept it in audio?
These days MP3s are very convenient and supported by many devices such as Apple devices, audio cars and so on. However no matter how high the bit rate of an MP3 file, it's still a lossy format, meaning some of the sound quality is lost during the conversion from a CD. 
Then there's FLAC (Free Loseless Audio Codec) which a lossless audio codec that doesn't lose any sound quality during its conversion, but is much bigger in size than MP3 files. FLAC files usually vary between anything from 20-40 but some can range up to 80MB per file.  It is also not as widely supported in devices as compared to MP3s, but there are many more of them than just a few years ago. If sound quality is your highest priority, then converting CDs to a lossless codec like FLAC might be worth considering.
Online stores sell "digital" albums for the same price as a CD in a physical store. Except most stores sell them as MP3 which is a lossy format as discussed above. So essentially you're buying an item that is weaker quality compared if you were buying the physical CD in a store. More online stores start to offer FLAC, but it's still quite limited. I have an high end headphone, so getting the best quality is always my priority. It is noticeable when songs are peaking at high or low frequency and it's a MP3 file. There's a slight distortion/creeking in the song which is not the case with FLAC when listening to the same song. For example one of the bigger music stores, iTunes does only offer MP3, but what's confusing is that they don't even offer AAC (Apple's Loseless Codec). iTunes doesn't support FLAC, but Apple has made their own format, but you don't see this back in their store which is confusing.
I have high end headphones and quality is definitly my prioirty, if it's possible to get a song as FLAC or MP3 I'd pick the best quality. So, I would never buy anything from an iTunes store, because I wouldn't settle for inferior audio quality.
And with that ends my rant.

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