Digital Audio Formats Guide
Digital audio is a very popular way to listen to your music today. Now that we have MP3‘s, AAC‘s, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, and a number of other types of encoders there is a whole market of players, rippers, and portable players. But which format is best for you and once you choose the format what bitrate should you use? Those are all very good questions.
I usually rip my MP3’s in Variable Bitrate (VBR), however, there is also Constant Bitrate (CBR), so which should you pick? Well, it depends, VBR will provide smaller file sizes for the most part with good quality (so long as you choose “best” or “extreme” in the quality settings), whereas CBR will provide larger file sizes with equivalent quality depending on which bitrate you select. In terms of actual Bitrate such as, 128kbps, 192kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps – those are the 4 most commonly used bitrates. I personally would never rip anything below 320kbps Constant Bitrate or if I was using Variable Bitrate nothing less than “extreme quality”.
Flac is what we call a lossless encoder meaning it takes an exact copy of the song and doesn’t remove any bits unlike MP3 for example, which is a lossy encoder which means it removes bits from the song that the human ear usually doesn’t hear, however may be noticeable with high end audio equipment.
Here are the links to my favorite audio player (foobar2000) and audio ripper (dBpowerAMP Music Converter) that I discussed in the video:
dBpowerAMP Music Converter: http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm
So what audio formats, bitrates, players, and rippers do you use? Leave a comment!