your survival guide for today’s audio formats
This is the sound test that goes along with my article, WAV, AIFF, MP3, FLAC… WTF? The original audio file I used was is a song name “How I Learned to Love the Bomb” from one of my favorite Buffalo punk bands, To Be Announced, off of their Posthumous album.
The first thing I would like to compare is the difference between MP3 and AAC. To keep things fair I used LameXP, which has the best MP3 converter, for the MP3s and iTunes for the AACs. Both programs have the most recent updates. At the higher bit rates both programs seem to have about the same audio quality, if there is a difference it must be subtle because I don’t hear it. As you move down to the lower bit rates, the AAC files have a brighter cleaner sound and the MP3s have a dullness to them. Even though AAC files have a better quality about them, MP3s are the industry norm, so if you want your files to play on everything stick with them.
MP3 vs. ACC
For the second part of the test I wanted to show everyone exactly what is being taken away. Since, for the most part, both file types have similar qualities I went with MP3s. Basically, I took the original WAV file and put it in to my audio program, Sonar. I then inverted it’s wave form. After that , I took one of the MP3 files and put it on a different track making sure both files started at the exact same point. When I played both tracks together what is heard is what you’re losing when you compress stuff to MP3. As you go down in bit rate you can hear the original song becoming clearer and clearer. It was a lot more impressive when we did this in school as the compression programs weren’t as good as what they are today.
WHAT YOU’VE LOST
– Darren M. Orlowski