Reduce your upload and download times without sacrificing audio quality!
By Rob Stewart - JustMastering.com - August 5, 2012
Many people are exchanging music online these days, and most are using mP3 and other popular "lossy" formats to reduce the size of their audio files. Mp3 and similar formats are called "lossy" because portions of the music deemed unimportant are discarded during the conversion process in order to save space. In other words, you're missing part of the music, and once it's gone, it's gone for good!
Many of our clients submit their songs in mp3 format for mastering, and we always advise them to send us the original *.wav or *.aif versions instead, to ensure the very highest quality finished masters. It's always best to master from an uncompressed audio file first, and then convert to a lossy format after all post processing has been completed such as mp3.
Because of their size, sending original *.wav or *.aif files over the internet isn't an easy option. The files are very large! At 16-bit 44.1kHz stereo, it is about 10 megabytes per stereo minute, and at 24-bit you're looking at 15 megabytes per stereo minute. At sizes like that, uploading a whole album's worth of songs can take many hours.
This is where FLAC can offer a great alternative solution to mp3 and other lossy formats. FLAC stands for "Free Lossless Audio Codec". FLAC can be used to achieve a fairly reasonable amount of compression (30-50%) for your audio files without sacrificing audio quality at all!
FLAC is also becoming the format of choice for audiophiles all over the world who wish to enjoy the convenience of purchasing music online without settling for lower audio quality.
If you are considering submitting your songs for mastering and are concerned about file size, I recommend making use of FLAC to lessen the time it will take you to upload your songs without having to compromise on quality.