Which Is the Best Audio File Format

AIFF (high resolution): Apple`s alternative to WAV, with better metadata support. It is lossless and uncompressed (such large file sizes), but not very popular. That being said, the lack of quality of an MP3 can easily be noticed compared to a higher quality file. If you are willing to sacrifice quality for small file size, ease of use and rationality, then MP3 is a great file format for you. Staying with lossy should remember: although more “bits” usually mean better sound, it depends on how efficient the codec in your file is. While you may notice that much of the music in your collection is encoded at 128 kbps and should therefore be a lot, an MP3 will probably sound a good bit (see what we did there?) worse than an AAC or Ogg Vorbis file, due to the inefficiency of the codec in an MP3. Learn more about audio formats with maximum audio quality. WAV is a lossless format and retains all Auidio information. It therefore causes less distortion than lossy mp3. However, the high MP3 bit rates (256 kbps and above) are very close to the lossless source file (low distortion) and contain space, which is important for mobile apps. There are other audio file formats that do not use data compression.

These are called uncompressed audio formats. iTunes Audio Player software allows you to play audiophile and lossy formats. However, there is one limitation: iTunes does not play FLAC and DSD files. Also, iTunes cannot read WAV metadata. Windows Media Audio (WMA) format is one of the most popular lossy codecs, which also has lossless features in version 9. If your audio files are not compressed, they are 100% bit by bit identical to how the producer created them in digital copies. This means that if you intend to send music to clients or perhaps send your files for mastering, sending a DSD file would be a confusing and complex struggle for everyone involved. Some data compression methods make the file smaller while retaining 100% of the information in the raw audio stream. These are called lossless compressed formats.

A lossless audio file format is the best format for sound quality. These include FLAC, WAV or AIFF. These file types are considered “high resolution” because they are better or equal to CD quality. The disadvantage is that these files will be very large. WAV and AIFF are arguably the most popular uncompressed audio file formats, both based on PCM (Pulse Code Modulation), which is widely recognized as the simplest audio storage mechanism in the digital realm. WAV and AIFF files use similar technology, but store data in slightly different ways. You can record audio files in CD quality or in high resolution. Compared to FLAC and ALAC, WMA Lossless is the worst in terms of compression efficiency – but not much. It`s a proprietary format, so it`s not good for fans of open source software, but it`s natively supported on both Windows and Mac systems.

The downside is that lossless compressed audio files are larger than lossy compressed audio files – up to 2x to 5x larger for the same source file. Initially touted as the superior lossy file format, lossy WMA has since lost some of the initial excitement around it. Objectively, it offers better audio quality than some of the other lossy file formats, such as MP3, but not enough to be noticed by most listeners. AIFF stands for Audio Interchange File Format. Similar to how Microsoft and IBM developed WAV for Windows, AIFF is an audio file format developed by Apple in 1988 for Mac systems. WAV stands for Waveform Audio. Files in this format are also known as wave files, their extension is “.wav”. Developed by IBM and Microsoft, it was one of the first types of audio files developed for the PC. The compression algorithm used by AAC is much more advanced and technical than MP3, so if you compare the same recording to MP3 and AAC formats at the same bit rates, AAC recording usually has better sound quality. AAC is a lossy compressed format developed by a group of digital technology companies such as Dolby, Microsoft and Bell. It was designed as a more effective successor to MP3. AAC is known to be the default format for Apple devices like the iPod.

The quality of this file format is determined by the bit rate or amount of data encoded per second. PCM pulse code modulation, used for CDs and DVDs, captures analog waveforms and converts them into digital bits. Until DSD, it was considered the next thing you could do to capture full analog audio quality. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each audio file format. The lower the bit rate, the more data is discarded, the crazier the audio quality. Lossy compressed formats such as mp3, aac, ogg and others are intended to store the maximum number of songs on limited hard drives of a music device (especially a mobile phone or portable digital audio player) or computer. DSD files are separate branches that may have less distortion than PCM files (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, etc.) in some hardware implementations. In other cases, PCM files may look better than DSD files. Learn more. Lossless FLAC file offers the best value for quality/file size of all the file formats in this list. It can recreate files with a size of up to 32 bits and a sampling rate of 192 kHz, while in some cases it is able to reduce its size by up to 70%. To convert files manually, use a program like VLC Media Player to convert between popular audio file formats.

The compact disc (CD) contains data in formats such as 16-bit WAV / 44.1 kHz. Cd audio data can be stored in WAV and other audio files via CD ripping software. In addition to being used to listen to music, lossless formats are useful for archiving audio files. No data is lost during compression. While you don`t get as much size reduction as lossy compression, lossless compression can still achieve an impressive reduction in file size of up to 60%. To store more songs on the hard drive, it is recommended to use mp3, aac, ogg. AAC is promised as the best sound mp3 (see above). With so many audio formats available, which one is the one you should use? The answer is not so simple. This is a somewhat misleading question. All formats have their place in your music library.

OGG means nothing. In fact, it`s not even a compression format. Instead, OGG is a multimedia container that can hold all kinds of compression formats, but is most commonly used for Vorbis files – hence these audio files are called Ogg Vorbis files. In fact, you can compress the original lossless file to mp3 and AAC at different bit rates (256 kbps and above). Compare these files with the original according to your ears. Compared to ALAC, FLAC files can be streamed and decoded faster. This isn`t always a consideration, except when you`re playing games or watching a dubbing of movies/dialogues. DSD Direct Stream Digital is an uncompressed high-resolution audio format. These files encode sound using pulse density modulation. They are very large, with a sampling rate up to 64 times higher than that of a regular audio CD, so they need top-notch audio systems.

However, if you`re not too critical of your listening experience and storage space is limited, lossy compressed audio files are the way to go. You will take up less space on your computer`s hard drive and portable music player. They use less bandwidth, so they transfer faster over the Internet and when using wireless technology. If you are archiving your audio files, a FLAC FILE or other lossless file could be a good cry to extract your music. Lossless files offer a good balance between compression and sound quality, so you can listen to digital music in the best quality without taking up all your storage space. Just make sure that your devices are all compatible with the file format of your choice. There are many different file formats, but not all of them are widely used. Although the Ogg Vorbis is capable of providing good audio quality to a fraction of the storage space of other lossy files, it has not yet been widely accepted. While the open source platform leads to a large community, it can be worrisome for some engineers to rely on this community for the gameplay of your files. If you are not interested in downloading files and limiting your computer`s resources, you may want to consider streaming HD audio. Unlike high-definition video, there is no single universal standard for high-resolution audio.

Read this F.A.Q. on audio file formats (codecs) and read the details below. AAC Advanced Audio Coding or AAC files (also known as MPEG-4 AAC) take up very little space and are well suited for streaming, especially on mobile devices. The AAC format, which requires less than 1MB of music per minute and sounds better than MP3 at the same bit rate, is used by iTunes/Apple Music, YouTube and Android. PCM stands for Pulse-Code Modulation, a digital representation of analog audio signals. Analog sounds exist as waveforms. To convert a waveform into digital bits, the sound must be sampled and recorded at certain intervals (or pulses). AIFF was developed by Apple as an alternative to WAV, and while AIFF files aren`t as popular, they have better metadata support, which means you can insert album art, song titles, and more. All MP3s originally started in an uncompressed format like WAV or AIFF.