All About Lossless Digital Audio

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If you consider yourself an audiophile, you should know a thing or two about lossless digital audio, especially if you wish to digitally store more songs using half the amount of space that you normally would.

After you’ve understood lossless digital audio, you’ll probably want to hear how great it sounds for yourself. Need something to play your music out of? Check out DME HIFI in Sydney and our selection of high quality sound products.

Definition of Lossless Audio

Lossless digital audio is a compressed audio format. It stores data in much less space without losing any information. Sounds great!

How Does It Work?

Lossless digital music files can reproduce exactly what you’ll find on a CD, and they do it with absolutely no loss in the quality of the tunes. They are bit-perfect when decompressed. In fact, they’ll take it one step further by bringing you high-resolution capabilities, with bit depths and sample rates that beat those of your CD. This is because after you rip a CD to a lossless digital format, you’ll play it back on iTunes or whatever software you’re using. This converts the file to the exact same digital stream as it was on the original CD.

One way to understand how it takes up less space is to look at silence. Normally, uncompressed audio formats encode both sound and silence with the same number of bits per unit of time. This means that a minute of silence and a minute of Bob Dylan take up the same space on the file. Compressed files allow for silence to take up nearly no space at all, and the music itself to take up a smaller file than its uncompressed counterpart.

But just how does the audio with actual sound manage to compress to nearly half its original size? What witchery is going on here? There is no magic—just some really good technology. You see, while the files are compressed to make space, when they’re being played back, they decompress on the fly so that the compressed data turns back into audio again in a bit-perfect equivalent to the original. You lose nothing, whereas MP3 files, for example, take up less space by determining what parts of the audio can be taken out without affecting the bits. Lossless! Genius.

Lossless Compression Formats

Most lossless compression formats give you a compression ratio of around 2:1, meaning their files take up half the space. The end game here is to reduce processing time without sacrificing a good compression ratio. The most common lossless compression formats include:

  • FLAC
  • WavPack
  • Monkey’s Audio
  • ALAC (Apple Lossless)

Did you know that you can convert one lossless format to another without losing any data? You can convert them back and forth a hundred times over, and your audio will still remain lossless.

Now that you’re giving this new wave of space-saving audio a try, you’ll want to test out the sound. Check out our range of high quality sound products, or visit DME HIFI in Sydney today to get expert help from one of our specialists.

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