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Everything you need to know about digital audio files

Kirk McElhearn | Jan. 13, 2016
Don’t know the difference between lossy and lossless? What’s the deal with bit rates? Let us explain.

Better numbers don’t mean that the music necessarily sounds better. To many people, high-resolution audio is simply a marketing ploy, a way of getting listeners to buy their favorite music in yet another format. It is conceivable that people with very expensive stereos in rooms treated to provide excellent sound may hear the difference, but those one percent of music listeners shouldn’t sway others into buying music that doesn’t sound any different. And when you’re listening on a portable device, the quality of your headphones, and the ambient noise, ensure that you certainly won’t hear anything different.

Listening to music

All this makes it seem like listening to music should depend on numbers. But it shouldn’t. Listen to the music you like, in the format that’s most convenient, on the device you want to play it. It’s great to have better headphones and speakers, but great music can cut through all the fancy hardware and move you no matter how you listen to it.


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