05/22 2019

Which Digital Format Should You Store Music On?

Since the development of digital music formats and the ever growing improvements in the technology, it is now becoming quite a bewildering question what is the best way to store your audio files?

Many music lovers went through the long experience of converting their old CD’s onto MP3 and I-Tunes files, but are these still the best way to store your audio?

Without doubt MP3 is still the most popular audio format on the market, but there are many choices that are now available, including: WMA, OGG, FLAC and AAC. Here’s a quick look at each of the formats and their differences.

The Lossless Formats

When it comes to audio files there a basically two types, lossy and lossless. Lossless retains the quality of the original source, and in most cases this is in CD quality. Lossy refers to audio files that have been compressed so as to save space.

Lossless Files

AIFF and WAV are both uncompressed files, which basically means that they are direct copies of original source. Each format are of the same high quality, but slightly technically different. Apple produces AIFF and most people refer to the files as I-Tunes. WAV is a generic file that many manufacturers share as the common way to store audio.

The downside of both formats is that they both take up a lot of unnecessary space, and many professionals advise that if you have no need to edit the tracks then there is no need to store your music tracks this way.


FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is by far the most popular lossless digital format, as the files are compressed and so they don’t take up as much room for storing your music. But the quality does not suffer from the compression, and your music will sound like the original. The best thing about this format is that it is totally free. Apple Lossless is very similar to FLAC but is not as quite as effective, also the equipment to play this format is restricted.

The Lossy Formats

The lossy formats include, OGG, AAC and of course MP3 and are all classed as lossy formats, they are the general files that most people listen to music.

The reason for this is that most portable music players and phones will use this type of file as they save heaps of space on your device. And unless you have a really expensive set of headphones then you will hardly know the difference in quality.


MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) is the most popular music file in the world, in fact most people refer to digital audio files as MP3’s as a generic term. The greatest advantage of this digital format is that it is the most supported form of storage in the world, but it is not the most efficient.

Basically, if you are looking for a digital format to store your music you should ask yourself how you are going to listen to your music? If it is at home on a really good sound system, then you should definitely go down the lossless route.If, however, you mainly are going to listen to your favorite tracks on the move, then lossy will be perfect for your listening enjoyment.

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