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What's the best Digital Music Format(for a home library)?

by Stylishboy1975 / November 27, 2010 9:06 PM PST

Hi There,
Hope some of you experts/ more experienced music lovers can help. Have searched a number of different forums but did not find what I was looking for.

Am new to digital music and want to know the best format(s) to save my music in (intend to play it on a Logitech Squeezebox Duet - not really high end gear. Plays MP3, AAC, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, and WAV music files).

At this stage I think it comes down to FLAC or WAV, but do not know.

I have RealPlayer Plus and my music is in the following formats:
MP3 (128kbs - 320kbps & some VBR kbps)
RealAudio (converted to FLAC on network drive)
RealAudio 8 with ATRAC3 (converted to FLAC on network drive)
RealAudio Lossless (have to convert to WAV to convert to FLAC)

Since making initial enquiries about the Logitech system I have learned that lossless is the best format for sound quality. I then downloaded a utility to convert my music to FLAC (RM MP3 Converter

Having saved a few albums in RealAudio Lossless I found the utility does not like RealAudio Lossless (is fine with the other RealAudio formats).

This caused me to save the albums in WAV (as I see the kbps is 1411 for wav files) so I can then convert to FLAC using the MP3 converter.

I now have four specific questions:
1. As the logitec system plays both WAV & FLAC is there any benefit converting the WAV files to FLAC?

2. Is there much of a differenc between these formats?

3. As my system(yet to be bought) is not that high end are the MP3's likely to sound OK?

4. Should I convert the AAC files fo FLAC?

Other info:
1. I have most of the CD's but a lot of my MP3 music I downloaded from the web ( &

2. I presume there is nothing to be gained by converting the MP3's to FLAC. Am I rignt?

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.


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Partial answers.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 27, 2010 9:22 PM PST

Converting is always bad. The original as you buy it is always best if you can play it.


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Partial Answers - Response
by Stylishboy1975 / November 29, 2010 8:15 PM PST
In reply to: Partial answers.

OK Kees, thanks for that, appreciate it

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This one is easy.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 28, 2010 3:27 AM PST

It's the one you choose. There are some thousand discussions about this but if I were to sum it up to 2 points it would be these:

1. Conversion is bad. Don't convert unless there is a good reason.
2. You make the final call.


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This one is easy - Response
by Stylishboy1975 / November 29, 2010 8:17 PM PST
In reply to: This one is easy.

OK Bob, thanks for that, appreciate it. One further question though. If I had the option to rip in WAV or FLAC, which would be best?

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You're going to be mad at me.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 30, 2010 3:08 AM PST

I'd have to find what you think makes one over the other best. For me, best is MP3 since that's what plays on everything I own. I dismiss WAV because it's so large and featureless. I dismiss FLAC because it's rarely usable in what I own.

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WAV - Featureless ??
by Stylishboy1975 / November 30, 2010 9:27 PM PST

Space is not an issue for me thankfully - esp. as I never use portable music units - don't like earplugs or headphones or anything around my ears.

What do you mean when you say WAV is featureless?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 1, 2010 4:06 AM PST
In reply to: WAV - Featureless ??

But if I duplicate easy to find web content (such as wikipedia) then I'm working far too hard as a volunteer.

I'll repeat my thoughts here that I'm stuck to MP3 since it works across all the things I own and has enough features.

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Thank you
by Stylishboy1975 / December 1, 2010 7:13 PM PST
In reply to: Sorry.

OK Bob, that's fair enough - I'll check Wikipedia. I did say I was a beginner though & Wikipedia never occurred to me. Thanks again for your help.

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.wav is just sound
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 1, 2010 7:18 PM PST
In reply to: WAV - Featureless ??

mp3 has the option to include data like name of song, name of artist, name of album, the socalled mp3-tags. You can see or edit them with a tag-editor, and quite a lot of mp3-players recognize and show and use that content.


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by Stylishboy1975 / December 2, 2010 2:37 AM PST
In reply to: .wav is just sound

OK, thanks Kees. Have come across a tag utility for MP3's but did not know that WAV does not cater for such info./ data

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I would rip to Flac level 4
by Ed Mead Forum moderator / November 28, 2010 6:40 AM PST

if your looking to save a little space. It is lossless, so if you want to go back to wave, nothing is lost. Mp3 at a high bitrate on a low quality system will sound fine at low to mid volume. AAC to flac, I, myself wouldn't. Nothing gained from mp3 to flac, correct.

I convert to lossless using EAC to wav, then use Flac frontend for conversion to flac. You can use EAC for both though.

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Flac level 4 - Response
by Stylishboy1975 / November 29, 2010 8:26 PM PST

Ed, appreciate the advice so thank you for that. I can't rip to FLAC with what I have - can you advise as to what you use/ is best for this?

All else being equal, would you choose WAV or FLAC (or some other format)?

EAC ??? - never heard of it - mind you there is probably plenty of this stuff I haven't heard of !!

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If room is not a factor, then wave.
by Ed Mead Forum moderator / December 1, 2010 10:42 AM PST
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EAC & FLAC Info.
by Stylishboy1975 / December 1, 2010 7:17 PM PST

That's great thank you very much. This is very helpful/ useful info. Am also delighted you'd go for WAV as most of my music is in this format(now) as RealPlayer Plus rips to WAV

thanks again

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The most popular music formats
by cindy-orange / January 9, 2011 4:23 PM PST

Hi, I suppose there is something or tool that can help you transfer music from one format to another format without quality loss. But I can't find a good answer to you. Sorry.

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Thank you
by Stylishboy1975 / January 9, 2011 10:31 PM PST

OK, thanks anyway

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