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A community member
May 14, 2018
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Not going to lie, but FLAC is really good if you plan to transfer it, as it retains quality better than an MP3.
Otherwise sound quality lies entirely on the people who made the song. I’ve heard magic MP3 320 songs as well as FLAC that sound awful.
I tend to convert my MP3s to FLAC for the sake of ensuring nothing gets lost. Otherwise 2 well recorded FLAC and MP3 should sound the same.
May 14, 2018
ElectronicVices
2805
May 14, 2018
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Thanks for contributing, I definitely agree the source recording has a tremendous amount of impact on the end sound quality. I can't say I see the benefit of converting a lossy MP3 to a lossless codec, the MP3 algorithm has already removed what it deemed "unimportant", you won't get this back when converting to FLAC. Bit rot does exist but I don't think FLAC is any less susceptible than MP3.
May 14, 2018
A community member
May 15, 2018
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Oh I do it to prevent further degradation.
For example I have a rare song in my library, it was originally an MP3 320 when someone had me hear it for a bit, but by the time it got around to me it ended up as a 120kp. The difference between the original MP3 320 I heard and that one that finally got around is real, it sounds signifcantly worse. FLAC would have prevented that from happening.
So its its more of an obsessive protective measure, to ensure no accidents can happen. And I have had FLACs come around to me, many hands over. And from my personal experience, it lasts a lot longer than the MP3 format.
May 15, 2018
nwimpney
212
May 15, 2018
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Converting to flac from any lossy format is a bad idea. If you want to make sure no accidents happen with your music you only convert to lossy formats from lossless, and only once. Flac->MP3 okay. Flac->ogg okay. mp3->mp3 Never. ogg->ogg Never. mp3->ogg Never. ogg->mp3 Never.
If you don't have a lossless source, you're getting multiple layers of encoding artifact stacked. your mp3s will not "go bad" unless you're converting them to other bitrates or formats. When you convert them to flac, the easy assumption is that it's source material and okay to encode to a lossy format. (which is adding any new losses to the ones that already occurred when it was originally lossy encoded (to 320 mp3, or whatever)
If you never modify that 320kbit file, it will not wear out or sound worse at any point in the future. It'll decode exactly the same as it does now.
May 15, 2018
A community member
May 16, 2018
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Hey I learned something new, thanks!
May 16, 2018
nwimpney
212
May 16, 2018
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Cool. The more people that understand this stuff, (especially in the music industry) the less bad sounding music we should all encounter.
It would be nice if companies like spotify would also treat things this way. only compressing from lossless sources, and treating any lossy tracks as "cooked" and always streaming them verbatim, without any re-encoding.
May 16, 2018
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