Beyond MP3: lossless audio, HD audio

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CNET Editor

Seamus Byrne is the Editor of CNET Australia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Usually at the same time.

The digital music revolution began with a great crash, as music was crunched down into tiny MP3 files that made it easy to share, but reduced the depth and quality of recordings.

At first, it just didn't matter to most people. More songs per gigabyte was the focus. But now that we have bigger hard drives, we don't have to make such a harsh trade off when we want to stick with CD quality or better.

If you're an iTunes user, you can choose to import your CDs in Apple's lossless format, which maintains perfect CD quality while reducing the file size just a little from the original source. Other software commonly uses the more open FLAC format, which does the same thing.

If you want to go above and beyond CD quality, there are now high-resolution or HD music options available. These are delivered at a higher bit rate and higher sample rate, which basically means that these recordings capture much more detail and depth. If you have great speakers or great headphones, and you really care about perfect music reproduction, then check out and to start exploring the latest in high-fidelity audio.

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gregory.opera posted a comment   

Sony Creative Software's "Media Go" natively supports the "ripping" of CDs in FLAC (lossless) format, and already Media Go has earned itself a reputation as being probably the best competitor to Apple's iTunes software...

Check it out:

Unlike iTunes - which is only compatible with Apple's devices - Media Go works with most MP3, WMA and FLAC-compatible devices...

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