What’s the difference between the audio formats?

Lossy Compression:


MP3 (MPEG-1 Layer 3)

Filename extension is .mp3

This is the format that started the digital audio revolution that continues today. It is widely supported on many devices. We generate MP3 files using a variable rate encoding process targeting a 320 kbps average bit rate. We use the highly regarded LAME encoding engine.


AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)

Filename extension is .m4a, .aac

Designed as the successor to MP3, AAC generally achieves superior audio quality at a given bit rate. This format sees great support on Apple devices (e.g. iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.), but it's not as widely supported on Windows computers. We generate AAC files using a variable rate encoding process targeting a 320 kbps average bit rate. This is the same format used for music purchased on the iTunes Store.


Lossless Compression:


FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)

Filename extension is .flac

FLAC is an open and royalty free lossless format. As with all lossless formats, FLAC files compress audio data in a manner that does not discard any data; original information from the CD or vinyl record is perfectly preserved.The FLAC format is not natively supported on most Apple or Microsoft products, so it’s intended for users with strong digital audio knowledge.


ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec)

Filename extension is .m4a

ALAC is Apple’s implementation of a lossless audio file format. While the format is proprietary, it sees great support across Apple’s range of devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc.), so it's a great choice for Apple users wishing to experience the benefits of lossless audio. As with all lossless formats, ALAC files compress audio data in a manner that does not discard any data; original information from the CD or vinyl record is perfectly preserved.

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