The MP3 Is Dead, Say Its Creators: What DJs Need To Know

Extinction

The creators of the MP3 have predicted its demise. Will the popular file format go the way of the dinosaur?

The death of the MP3 file format was "announced" last week by none other than its creators. They said that MP3 has been surpassed by better, more efficient formats, such as Apple's AAC format, which is jockeying to become the de facto format for compressed music files (AAC is the default format whenever you rip a CD into iTunes, for example).

But if the MP3 is indeed on the way out, what does that mean for DJs? Should DJs change all their music into another format, like AAC? Are such users suddenly going to be left with a pile of unplayable files? What exactly do DJs with MP3 music need to do? That's what we're going to answer today.

Why were MP3s invented anyway?

Music files can be "lossy" like MP3s or AACs, or "lossless" like WAVs and FLACs. MP3 is a "compressed" file format for music.

But why compress music at all? Well, in the old days before high-speed broadband, folk connected to the internet using telephone lines - this was called "dial-up", and the fastest connection speed available was at 56kbps (today's standard broadband speed is 4mbps: that's more than 70 times as fast!).

People wanted to transfer music files, but the file size needed to be much smaller than formats like WAV. After all, who wants to spend an entire afternoon downloading a single song? Compression was needed - thus, the MP3 was invented. It was wisely used and quickly became popular. So popular, in fact, that it turned the music industry on its head.

Goodbye MP3, hello AAC...

So... it's now being predicted that AACs will replace MP3s. Both MP3 and AAC basically do the same job: they compress (or shrink) music into a much smaller file size compared to the original at the expense of some musical information. This information tends to be frequencies that you can't really hear as readily, but their absence is what leads to a slight loss in sound quality.

While MP3 is still the most popular of the two, the AAC format is superior, so much so that a smaller 256kbps AAC file sounds just as good as a 320kbps MP3 file, which is the highest resolution possible in an MP3.

But as long as your music management software, DJ app, and DJ gear can handle both MP3 and AAC (and not only is that almost certainly the case now, but will be for the foreseeable future), it really doesn't matter which one you use. It is certainly not worth converting from one format to the other (eg converting your MP3 collection into AAC) as this will simply result in slightly worse sounding files, for no gain.

What you may want to consider is to purchase your music on the AAC format from now on - this maximises hard drive space vis-a-vis sound quality. You can also start ripping your CDs into the AAC format instead of MP3, and if you really want the best sound possible on AAC, choose to rip them into 320kbps, which is the highest AAC resolution possible.

The bottom line is that it's not the end of the world, and having a mixture of both in your music collection is fine. Just make sure that the MP3s you have are genuinely 320kbps, that AACs are at least 256kbps.

Even more important than that, always trust your ears: If tracks sound bad, they probably are bad, despite what the format might suggest. The flipside of that, though, is if they sound fine to you, and your gear can technically handle 'em, then go ahead and play 'em - whatever the format.

What are your thoughts on the "death" of the MP3 file? Will you start using AAC from now on? Or do you think lossless compression is the way to go? Share your comments below.

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Comments

  1. Juli Jane says:

    Maybe its time to go lossless and choose FLAC. I still believe that MP3 320kBit is totally adequate and only a very select few can hear a difference. But if considering switching, why go to another lossy codec when disc space has become so cheap that one could as well go lossless and never need to worry again about codecs? I would consider FLAC at least for ripping CDs one owns. By the way, it does not follow that you have to use FLAC for actual playing than, but from a lossless storage format you can easily create all other formats in the best quality possible.

    • Dennis Parrott says:

      the problem with FLAC is that if you are using software that has gone down the "interfaces with iTunes" road (cough, Traktor, cough, Serato ...et. al.) you cannot manage, tag or play the FLAC files in the iTunes app.

      maybe it is time for a different solution for the DJing community that would cut iTunes out of the loop. Apple has pretty much ignored problems with it ever since the dawn of the iOS universe (go to kirkville.com and read the article from way back about iOS music sync issues -- that article still gets comments today!!)

      my thought would be to write a new music app ground-up that is DJ -focused, doesn't bog down with big collections (my iTunes is all of my music plus DJing stuff and it is S--L---O----W to do anything) and will allow the user to connect up to apps that "interface with iTunes"... if you made it such that it could work with WAV and FLAC and whatever else __AND__ pull in your iTunes library to start... hmmm.

        • Dennis Parrott says:

          @DJ Cushman --
          I remember looking at Beatport desktop when it came out. Don't remember why I ruled it out at the time though....
          Perhaps another look is warranted...

        • Dennis Parrott says:

          @DJ Cushman --

          Beatport Pro will solve at least one problem for me (I think)...

          My iTunes library is MASSIVE. I've been collecting stuff since the days of the 30gb iPod... iTunes is now STUFFED with edits, mixes, samples, and dog knows what else. Every time I go to fire up Traktor I am sad because of the time it takes for Traktor to read the massive XML file iTunes creates of all 100,000+ entries in my iTunes library.

          If I were to cull through the iTunes playlists and pare things down to just the stuff I would play out I could use Beatport Pro's export iTunes XML feature to make Traktor quicker to launch.

          @DJ Cushman -- thank you for the suggestion man! You might have given me a way to streamline at least one part of the operation. Thanks!

      • What you want already exists, try media monkey hands down best library management I've ever used.

        • Dennis Parrott says:

          @JoeDAB --
          I looked into MediaMonkey based on a recommendation of a non-DJing friend. He is running it on a PC. I wanted to run it on my Macbook Pro. At that time, the Mac version of MM was way behind the PC version.
          I tried running MediaMonkey (the paid version!) under Parallels on a Windows 7 Pro instance but could not get it to work through iTunes to sync to my iOS devices (I like using them to review songs).
          MediaMonkey might become a possibility though. My library is a mess and needs to be rebuilt. If the Mac version has caught up a bit it might take over the job...

        • On PC MediaMonkey is the single most complete solution. I never use iTunes because its complete rubbish and basically useless. MM handles my 250G portable dj music library no hassles (600G on my desktop) - I use gold version, was totally worth it.
          For mass tag editing before import you cant beat Tag&Rename - if you do a lot of bulk tag edits (including flac).
          My entire library has every file labeled and tagged correctly.... yes i have OCD!
          Add to that MM is simply a really good player too.

        • Bart's Place says:

          I agree, MediaMonkey for ever!!! I am using it since 15 years...it has heaps of plug-ins you can download...

      • I switched my DJ rig to mac a few years ago and had already been struggling with compatibility with iOS devices so my solution was to convert all my lossless FLAC to apple lossless. It solved my problems instantly and has become part of my workflow for all newly ripped or downloaded lossless tracks. I always strive to have the best sounding lossy tracks and have noticed that files purchased over iTunes often sound really good in spite of their lower bitrate compared mp3s ripped at the same bitrate.

    • David Cervera says:

      I agree.

      My software (Virtual DJ) works with flac, wav, aac, mp3, and who knows what else. And I rarely use itunes so I don't care about itunes compatibility.

      Unfortunately, when I buy music online, it comes as mp3. I wish music stores online also have the option to choose higher quality formats (like Juno does).

      • iTunes has become so bloated as of late - I find using Rekordbox to manage my DJ library a smoother experience, though I do miss the old iTunes interface that was just plain simple. The current incarnation of Rekordbox isn't as buggy as when it first came out, and it does have potential to become a DJ's music management app if you're a CDJ / Rekordbox DJ user :) At the moment, it's capable of playing ALAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, and AAC files

        • I think the real question is what will happen when Apple stops selling music files (which it will)? What need for iTunes then? Interesting times...

          • Dennis Parrott says:

            Apple does have a record of abandoning their legacy products. This is a legit fear.

            Maybe that would not be so bad though. If Apple quits selling music as files rather than renting them as streams Apple might leave iTunes out there as a legacy software app and migrate to something new. Someone with a music organization/playing tool that was capable of interfacing with the iTunes library could step in and let you "pick up the pieces" and move forward.

            The bigger question, for me and other iOS users, is what happens to the sync capability. Will Apple then let people sideload music files and operate outside of their music playing app on your device? Right now, that is sort of frowned upon.

            One wonders if they would ever do this though. Selling music files still makes them a fair amount of cash and that iTunes ecosphere is now linked to movies and TV shows and podcasts and who knows what tomorrow. Apple is tipping their hand a bit showing that they are going to move deeper into TV which leads me to believe this will all stick around (...and probably accumulate even more buggy, cantankerous behavior...).

      • Dennis Parrott says:

        If I had not gone down the iOS (iPhone, iPad) road a long time ago I might not care so much about iTunes. Unfortunately (??) I did and iTunes is part of the DJing system; gotta have iTunes to manage those devices.

        To be honest, I like my iOS devices. I did a cocktail set for a party last year using only my iPad and a small studio mixer. It worked out great. I really have to keep iTunes as part of the mix.

        • What app do you use for mixing Dennis? :) I kinda liked Pioneer DJ's WeDJ - simple and got the job done, but I do miss Spotify streaming...

          • Dennis Parrott says:

            On my MacBook Pro I have Traktor Pro 2. There is a license for djay in the family as well but I see no real advantage to it on the Mac.

            On iOS I have Traktor DJ, djay 2, and Cross. I have sort of settled on Traktor DJ.

            I picked up an S2 floor model since I can plug the iOS devices into it. It was as cheap as buying a Z1.

            I also have an S4 Mk1. Wish it was a Mk2.

            And there is the old Hercules RMX I started with...that required more power than a USB port can deliver and would cause the USB port to shut down... had a special hub that would deliver more power to use that one.

          • Dennis Parrott says:

            ...and I sort of wish Traktor had Serato's elastic beatgrids... I play largely "old" music that won't beat grid properly in Traktor.

            Warping tracks in Ableton looks tedious.

    • DJ Vintage says:

      Yep, no iTunes support, not all DJ software supports FLAC and not all stand-alone media players support FLAC. Imho those are the main reasons FLAC never made it fully into the booth.

      • Dennis Parrott says:

        That is a great point Vintage.

        There are a bunch of other great formats out there that _never_ came close to being acceptable in any of the mainstream products (not just DJ software). The common factor in all of them is that you had NO WAY to play them in iTunes and you had NO WAY to play them on an iPod/iPhone/iPad.

        Even if some product would play a format such as FLAC since it was forced out of the iTunes ecosphere and had to be cataloged/searched/synced through other means it meant extra steps/work to keep things organized.

        The thought of the alternate DJ-only iTunes replacement is one that I am thinking is the way to go.

    • MrIddz68 says:

      I only have around ten gigs of music on a 240gb add so I would not care going lossless even if it doubled in size. It does make more sense but then it may just boil down to internal economics.

  2. Dennis Parrott says:

    I object to calling WAV files "lossless". They are not lossless. Information in the input signal is lost in the process of creating a WAV file. We call them lossless because _most_ people can't tell the difference between an analog sound and a WAV file played back on the same system. There are some people who have (so called) "golden ears" who can detect the difference.

    WAV files are created through sampling an input signal at a 44.1kHz frequency at a resolution of 16 bits. Analog sounds are "continuous" in a mathematical sense and playback of an analog signal has no losses. The digital form (the WAV file) only has 44,100 data points to represent one second of signal. The analog source has an infinite number of data points representing one second of signal. Clearly, signal is "hitting the floor".

    The lossy nature of digital music representations is why you see much higher sampling frequencies and higher resolution in terms of bits being used in recording applications (192kHz, 24 bit is sort of standard these days). During the production process it is all too easy to lose more of the input signal information and starting out with high frequency sampling with high resolution files helps the final product.

    On our end, it would be interesting to do some A-B testing on typical to high-end club systems to see how much music files at say 96kHz/24 bit (the frequency and resolution of an NI Audio 2 card) or 192kHz/24 bit would affect the sound on the dance floor.

    Good sounding a WAV file may be but it isn't lossless nor is it the "pinnacle" of sound representation.

    • I can agree (ok as a non-user of it) that a "cut iTunes out of the loop" solution might be beneficial- indeed this site no longer recommends it as a library app for DJs. FLAC probably has a brighter future than mp3 though, and anyhow compatibility issues are rendered moot by Juli Jane's point about using it as an archive format from which to make lossy copies from if you so wish.
      Have to disagree with your 2nd post though- I highly recommend reading xiph.org's take

      https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html#toc_wd2bm

      on sample rates, compression, bit depth, etc. An education. Of course you may just disagree but enough forum arguments and flamewars have been waged on this subject to fill libraries.

    • Juli Jane says:

      Sorry but you are factually incorrect. WAV files are not fixed to 44.1 kHz, 16 Bit. Actually WAV supports any sample rate from 1 to about 4.3 GHz (the samplerate is stored as a 32 bit integer) and any sample size from 1 to 65535 bits per sample. WAV files with 32 bit floating point representations have become more used lately and they are as lossless as you could wish for. The remaining quantization noise is lower than everything you can do with analog audio.

      Also you are misunderstanding how sampling works. The "missing" values are not missing at all because they are sort of implied by the samples present. This is the reason why a sample rate of 44100 Hz can clearly represent signals up to a little less than 22050 Hz even though at that high frequency only a little over two samples per second are taken. But if you convert these two samples back into electrical signals, a clean sine wave will reappear "magically". This is because audio signals are always combinations of sine waves which are recreated by just forcing some points in time.

      • Juli Jane says:

        Ah, "only a little over two samples per second are taken" needs to be "only a little over two samples per full sine wave cycle are taken".

        By the way, we were talking about FLAC, not WAV. FLAC is a little less "capable", it supports 4 to 32 bit per Sample and a sample rate between 1 and about 655 kHz. Use something like 32 bit and 48 kHz and you should really be fine, even for "golden ears".

  3. Aaron Higgins says:

    This article has it all wrong. MP3 is not dead. Quite the opposite: it is now public domain.

    Hardware and software companies can now build MP3 encoders and decoders into their products without having to pay a royalty. I believe it will become more popular—not less.

    Sure, AAC does offer some advantages in terms of quality at the same bitrate. That doesn’t mean you should go replace your MP3s.

    Fraunhofer has a vested interest in sending everyone to AAC, because they still get paid for that format. Don't let their news release give you the wrong impression.

    • Thansks Aaron - yeah MP3 won't just "die out". The format is still very popular, as we've mentioned in the article, even though more efficient compression exists :)

    • Tribal Pilot says:

      Geek note: There have been alternative lossy formats that beat MP3 on filesize, sound quality, or both, for as long as MP3 has been around, e.g. MPC, Wavepack, and Ogg Vorbis. MPC was especially superior to my ears, but appparently it illegally used some of the source code from MP3. Apple and Nero picked up on AAC so it became more popular than the others.

  4. No Qualms says:

    What was actually stated was "Technicolor’s mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated."

    Not sure if that means the death of MP3s or you don't need a licence to have a product which uses/makes MP3s. If it is the latter then it would have the opposite effect and it would be an MP3 boom for smaller companies.

  5. Ian Bang says:

    Why is no one talking about Aiff files when talking of so called Lossless files? Same compression as Wav, but with the ability to carry ID3 tags. Flac may be great, but seeing as their size is smaller than wav and Aiff, I'm assuming they can't be as good?

    • Christian Yates (DDJT Team) says:

      Hi Ian, good question. Had to look that up out of curiosity and here is what I found:

      Since FLAC is all about mathematically lossless compression, FLAC files will be smaller than corresponding PCM-encoded WAV files, since PCM doesn't allow for lossless compression and just represents the data as-is.

      So, simply put: Take a WAV file with PCM-encoded audio, and the corresponding (mathematically equal) FLAC file will be a tad smaller. The downside is that FLAC is not as widely supported as WAV. For example, most (all?) operating systems won't play or convert FLAC files without extra software.

      Bottom line, I'd say their practice is redundant but a nice gesture for folks who don't want to download massive amounts of data and prefer the compressed version.

      Good to know! :-)

    • Juli Jane says:

      Smaller does not mean inferior, thats why these are called lossless codecs. It is like a PNG Image, which is also compressed but still a complete genuine representation of the picture. Or a ZIP file, which can also reduce the size of data which can still be restored totally fine. FLAC and ALAC use something like ZIP but a algorithm specialized for audio data so they manage to reduce the data size without loosing any data. A convertion from WAV to FLAC to WAV will have no loss at all.

      Also: Actually WAV can also carry metadata like ID3 tags. WAV (RIFF WAV for correctness) is a container format which allows storing metadata. There is no real standardization but a defacto standard and lots of software supports it. So there is actually no reason that for example Beatport sells WAV files without metadata.

      • Juli Jane says:

        Added: Traktor actually supports Metadata in WAV and will also write its own Traktor-related data block into a WAV file. So AIFF has no real benefit. It is like ALAC, the alternative to FLAC. Both AIFF and ALAC are made by Apple and it is a typical case of Apple creating their own formats just because they can and for market separation.

      • Thanks for pointing that out Juli.

    • Colin Brown says:

      While WAV can in theory carry meta data as Juli says, support for it in software and hardware players is patchy.

      I've standardised on AIFF because the meta data you can add is in standard ID3 tags and it is supported by all the major DJ'ing software and most hardware players.

  6. DJ Vintage says:

    I think the best advice is to always buy your music in the highest possible common quality (i.e. lossless WAV, AIFF, FLAC). You'll need the quality to do your prep work (even it it's only Platinum Notes, but certainly true if you plan on doing remix/mashup stuff) BEFORE saving the final tracks to a high quality lossless format (for maximum gear/software support), like 320MP3 or 256AAC.

    With the discussion about sound quality for clubs having come and gone as far as I am concerned there is no reason not to compress your collection to something that will fit on any SSD, USB-stick, iPod, mobile phone or tablet. If you want, using a lossless format with proper tagging options (exit WAV) is perfectly ok too of course.

    I keep original copies of my collection in untouched high quality, normally FLAC as it can fully (lossless) reproduce the original quality, while still supporting full tagging. Little less space and ready to go through PN and into whatever output format I would choose.

    • Dennis Parrott says:

      @DJ Vinatge --

      You said:
      "I think the best advice is to always buy your music in the highest possible common quality"

      AMEN BROTHER!! PREACH THIS EVERYDAY AND EVERYWAY!

      This is the reason that studios moved to higher frequency, higher resolution encoding methods in the first place. Every step that would transform a source file (a recording) had the possibility of subtracting a bit of the quality because of the nature of the files.

      Think of how many muddy sounding mashups and edits you hear on the web. Those guys may have brilliant ideas but you might never know it because you have to hear it through a layer of audio mud. Had they been able to use higher quality source materials their brilliant ideas might have shown through...

      Your practice of keeping the highest quality file available in an archive and going back to the original when you need another format or an edit or ... is one we should all emulate. (...and now I feel sad because I tossed all the WAV files I made ripping vinyl in the past...)

    • Tribal Pilot says:

      Yes, absolutely this. For tracks I know I'll keep in my permanent collection, I always prefer FLAC. MP3 and AAC don't sound bad to just listen to, but once you compress, you're stuck with that lossy version forever, and transcoding or recoding will make it even worse. Even things like Keylock, pitch bend, FX and other DJ software tweaks sound better with lossless audio.

  7. DJ Elevate says:

    I researched and standardized on AIFF a long time ago and love it.

  8. Indominex says:

    So, tell me anyone...

    Why does 'the scene' put so much pressure on iTunes and Apple hardware ?
    I mean, I myself háte iTunes. I can't think of ány reason why I should switch from, lets say, Winamp to iTunes. Worst comparison, I understand that, but iTunes is such an utter shit program, that I can't bare the fact I will ever use it (again).

    I have used it, a lot, back in the days when I still had Apple hardware.
    But for most DJ's, which are the ones visiting DDJTIPS the most, Apple hardware is out of reach. A 'simple proper' Macbook costs more than a monthly salary and the system is less good than Apple wants us all to believe.

    I sold my Macbook in 2011 due to severe issues with Traktor. A Traktor technician who happened to live down the block told me that it was due to Apple's OS, Traktor simply didn't work properly and there were over 20K complaints regarding this issue (latency issue after which Traktor crashed while broadcasting live). Apple however claimed that this was an issue due to faulty music files loaded into iTunes and after that into Traktors database and 'figured' all those users would accept that. An iTunes developer, who happened to be in the Netherlands when I was attending a tech-party, stated that this was the 'usual crap Apple always tells when they don't know what causes an issue but when they're sure it's on their end'.

    Since 2012 I'm using a Windows laptop / PC for DJ'ing and it has never failed on me.

    Now, back to the mp3/aac thing.

    I use a Serato DJ certified controller and everytime when I record both my (small) gig and audio in AAC and want to edit it in Vegas Pro 14, the file will end up being corrupt, because AAC is not fully supported by the most comprehensive software packs out there (Ableton also has some issues with AAC).

    MP3 is not dead. By far...

  9. Kenny Schachat says:

    I think we shouldn't over react to an article. Just because Frauhoffer can't make any more licensing money hardly means that MP3s are going to go away. MP3s will be around for many, many years. Yes, something new will come along and eventually replace the MP3 format. When it does, we'll adjust.

    I use a slightly older version of iTunes for Windows as my main library. I'm happy with it and have no plans to upgrade it and f Apple bins iTunes tomorrow, they can't force me to stop using it. I'll move on to something else when it benefits me, rather than some arbitrary fad or company schedule.

  10. John Carter says:

    I would use Flac if they started having it on Traxsource etc providing it's the same price as mp3 as at the moment if I want Aiff or Wav it cost more and I can not notice any difference in quality to mp3 320kbps and is cheaper.

    itunes I dont use so I not really bothered about if it works with it.

    • DJ Vintage says:

      the problem buying mp3 rather than wav/aiff originals is that when you do ANY kind of audio manipulation (be it mashups, Platinum Notes or just simply adjusting intro/outros for example), your mp3 will be converted to wav for manipulation. Then it gets manipulated and converted back to MP3. You will lose quality there.

      When buying wav originals, you can do all manipulation without any quality loss and only convert the "finished" product to mp3 which will then sound great.

      • Kenny Schachat says:

        Yes, if you transcode (i.e. re-encode an MP3 again to the MP3 format, then the quality will suffer, sometimes quite a bit. But when I do re-edits, remixes, mashups, etc. of a an MP3 files (I use Live for that), I first convert it to a way and I NEVER re-encode it. It stays as a wav. I would never use any software that automatically re-encodes to MP3.

      • John Carter says:

        okay good point you have

  11. Jason Hendry says:

    I've seen this subject in several different places, touting the same AAC line. What I find interesting is that AAC (and most other formats) offer little in terms of functional capability other than a single stream of audio, compressed (or not as in the case with lossless) and in AAC's case, inclusive of DRM. This is, in effect, an announcement to start ditching your CDs because the next wave is over the horizon.

    So what's the alternative? Yes, best archive quality is admirable. Tying yourself to a proprietary platform is a dead end (thanks again iTunes) and to be avoided. That alone would suggest AAC is a bad choice. Flexibility in format shifting is a great advantage, but many have not the time, skill or resources to do so.

    Back to my original point about 'functional' capability, I find the nascent STEMS format intriguing, but limited. I find myself wishing that it could do so much more. I think the time is right for a format that includes:

    bit level reproduction,
    extensible meta data,
    multiple audio stream,
    chapters and segments,
    loop points and controls

    that last one is possibly a step too far, but it's conceivable someone (ahem Pioneer) will develop such a (format) ring to rule them all....

    • DJ Vintage says:

      How would something "proprietary" to iTunes be bad and the same thing proprietary to Pioneer be good?

      Just wondering ...

      • Jason Hendry says:

        I agree it wouldn't.

        But no-one else has the chops to develop a format and make it stick. MP3 might never have been as popular as it is today, had the encoder not been stolen and released to the growing p2p file sharing networks. The storage and transmission benefits were immediately realised, the standard set and the foundation built for audio delivery over the next 30 or more years.

        Pioneer's DJ equipment, to these layman's eyes, is a defacto standard at the bleeding edge of digital music management and manipulation. While they provide the tools to deliver media, they aren't invested in the sale of media, which makes them ideally suited to develop a format free of commercial constraints. Witness their recent introduction of Rekordbox as a means of extending their reach into DJ workflow.

        Imagine if it were Sony or another technology company with commercial media interests (again Apple, although I correct my earlier statement about AAC - DRM was removed in 2004). It would be so hampered in rights management landmines that it would limp along trying to achieve critical mass in a technology arms race (thanks, DVD/BluRay) which is now being played out in courtrooms and jails thanks to torrents and rabid publishing industry bodies. Nobody gets sued for having an MP3 collection and that's largely because CDs never included DRM. Proving ownership and circumvention of copy enforcing technologies is impossible. But I digress...

        Occasionally, there's a trickle-down effect from commercial producers to consumers. However, the needs of consumers are not necessarily those of commercial producers, the broadcasters, radio stations (such as they are) and scale audio system developers. Today, the burgeoning commercial media interests are the streaming audio and video producers and the systems they employ to produce. Does Pioneer factor into their thinking? Probably not. A quick look at Pioneer's product lineup does not include commercial broadcast or production equipment (Mind you, they could. Easily. A discussion for another time). Interestingly, DRM also hampers content production because of the difficulty in transferring rights to a fluid body of developers. Without digressing too far, suffice to say it's easier to secure boundaries than content which is why hacked networks are a goldmine. Watermarking is rife, but not for working copies.

        With today's seemingly limitless storage and transmission capabilities, only limited by commercial considerations, what necessity will drive the innovation to deliver a new format unto us?

  12. Rob Freeman says:

    Just gone deeper into the matte, AAC vs. MP3 vs Lossless.
    Here is an example of a song (6:24 min) with the most important basic's.

    MP3 - Standard Bitrate 320 kbps - File size 16 MB - Quality good to very good
    AAC - Standard Bitrate 256 kbps - File size 12.9 MB - Quality Very good
    WAV / FLAC - Standard Bitrate 16 Bit - File size ~ 70 MB - Quality Best

    It will take a couple of years, but if no new format released, MP3 will be replaced by AAC, because of better audio quality, lower file size and largely compatibility.

    PS .: Another example, at 92 kbps is the quality with MP3 poorly whereby ACC still provides a good audio quality.

    Greats
    Rob Freeman

    soundcloud.com/freeman-liveset
    facebook.com/freeman.liveset

    • Jason Hendry says:

      I fear your right as the move from MP3 to AAC represents the least cost path for many people. Unfortunately, it means some rarities will suffer in the conversion from one lossy format to another.

  13. I made a .wav/mp3 -320kbps / mp3 -192 kbps comparison test you can download and use .
    Answer included.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hbyv9a9v05ulj74/AADvdbL-j_jpQRRd4bltScnqa?dl=0

  14. Hi,
    is anybody out there who can give some pros and cons regarding FLAC files vs. APPLE lossless MP4 files?
    Thanks!

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