CD-rip: MP3 or FLAC?

As a matter of fact, when you wanted to copy (or rip) a CD-A disc, you reflexively went for recording in MP3 format. Everybody (or, more precisely, all the programs, all the audio players — pocket-sized or home-cinema-based — can read it. It’s compact an duniversal.

But when I wanted to transfer ma CD library to a more user-friendly form (did you notice that the CD player has disappeared from the new cars, like the dinosaur audio tape player?), I came to consider that the MP3 recording format has a slight issue for the audiophile (even the amateur): It is a compressed data format, that is reducing audio quality (supposedly an inaudible reduction though). Oh! You can choose the compression ratio (or rather the more imprecise data flow rate in kbps). But I’m still convinced that this a way to inelegantly balance between an unsavory compression and the space used on the storage media.

While it is a pity admitting that after the near-Earth-shaking launch of a CD-A able to faithfully record (within limits sets by 16 bits and 44kHz), here we are back to state where we are stuck with a technical solution invented to solve the problem of many years ago when thumb drives were so small… Today, any recording storage you will find (USB thumb drives, MP3 players, partable discs, smartphnones, etc.) contains so many gigabytes of space that you can store as many albums you’d like to.

So, why not come back to the original quality? This is exactly the proposition from the FLAC recording format. It reduces the original size by 50% (sometimes a little more), via a lossless compression algorithme wich is faithful to the original. Moreover, except some prehistoric MP3 players of dubious origin, no reasonable MP3 players will rejct FLAC files (some other lossless recording formats exist but they less well globally accepted; And we still want the ease of use when got used to wiht MP3).

FLAC: Try it once, keep for life!



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