Have we already seen the death of high quality music?
- A CD holds 640MB – 700MB (or there abouts) and each audio 2min:30s track is about 40MB. That’s a lot of audio data
- An MP3 is compressed and uses algorithms to make the file much smaller (Lossy compression). However this codec tries to keep the quality of original and balance off with sound. Approx 1/11th of original file size so a lot of data is lost. But can we tell the difference? So an MP3 file can be 3MB or so for the same 40MB CD track.
- Streaming audio limited by bandwidth and set on best for your connection so mobile will obtain less quality output. You can ramp this up for example – http://www.everythingabouttablets.net/google-play-music-get-improved-streaming-audio-quality/
We are being forced by when downloading to get the AAC/MP3 formats or similar. So what can we do? We need to be aware that there are options but there is a trade off between size and quality of the sound. Do we want more tracks at less quality?
The choices of format:
- AAC – Lossy compression, higher quality of mp3
- MP3 – Lossy compression
- Apple Lossless – Higher file size but original size (ALAC)
Bluetooth now uses the A2DP profile which has been created to compliment it by providing the bandwidth to send high quality audio. Again depending on the quality of the original file.
So where does this leave us? We do need to ensure we put pressure on providers to keep high quality music streaming…but there again maybe we don’t? Are we happy with MP3 is the death of high quality audio just the same as the record? Do we even care anymore..? Are we happier about quantity over quality? My feeling is probably but the Defacto standard set by industry will be driven by consumers so its up to you!
- MP3 Lossy compression – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3
- CD audio – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD-quality#Audio_format
- ALAC – Apple lossless compression
- Listening Test – http://ipod.about.com/od/introductiontoitunes/a/sound_qual_test.htm
- Bluetooth transmission