FLAC

What format should I rip my CDs to?

Episode 1237

Charlie from Whitman, MA

Charlie wants to rip his CDs to a memory stick. Should he partition it since it's 128GB? Leo says why not just get a smaller one? Or, better yet, rip the CDs into higher quality. If he's going to do it, do it once. Charlie should rip the CDs into FLAC, which is a lossless format, and preserves 100% of the CD quality. MP3 doesn't do that, neither does AAC. FLAC is identical to CD quality. Use that for archival storage and then he can convert down from there to a USB drive.

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1175

This week's question comes from Phil, who is an audiophile. He bought a Pono Player and he's not impressed by the high resolution tracks, which are more expensive at $8-18 a CD. He only found them marginally better than ripped CDs saved at FLAC. Leo says that's interesting. It's only slightly more expensive in his opinion and Phil can tell the difference.

How can I listen to my uncompressed audio files?

Onkyo TX-NR636

Episode 1154

Ted from Columbus, OH

Ted wants to listen to his music via Airplay, but he doesn't like that it's compressed. Leo says yes, music streamed over Wi-Fi will be compressed. So it's best to keep it all wired as a result. Since Ted has such great speakers, he'll want to get a digital to analog converter to play the music through his computer. He should rip his CDs using Apple lossless or FLAC. FIIO is a good company for DACs.

Should I invest in high resolution lossless music?

Episode 1115

Pete from Brooklyn, NY

Pete is interested in hi-res music. He wants to download FLAC music and convert it to Apple lossless. Leo says you can do that, but remember that the MAC tops out at 96 Khz, but the iPod can't play it because it's not that high, nor does it have the CPU power to process and playback hi-resolution audio. You need special hardware to play back high resolution audio. Leo says that iPods were designed for mp3s, but they can play back Apple's lossless compression at 48K x 24 bit.