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 Post subject: Question about the best quality file formats
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Hey everyone,

I'm trying to figure out what website for Bear's music has the BEST quality to the music files. Amazon (with their MP3's) or iTunes...and I have no idea what file format's iTunes uses. I did " some " research for iTunes but am still unsure.

One page on the support part of their site ( ) does talk about different versions and even an apple lossless version. But how exactly would that work ?

My understanding is that files like MP3 files are compressed files..they have a fraction of the file size vs a .WMV and possibly a .CDA file. Of course I'm inclined to think that the bigger the file, the better the quality and the better it's going to sound.

I'm very picky about my McCreary music..and who isn't ? I want it sounding the best !! until the physical CD (lets say for Da Vinci's Demons soundtrack) comes out, I'd like to definitely get something..and something that sounds awesome.

I think I brought this up before here in the forum but I couldn't find the post.

Additionally..several years ago I was told that you could take a .CDA file (lets say it's 60 MB or so in size) and compress into MP3, which would turn it into a much smaller size (lets say 6 or 7 MB) but that compression removes data. So, removing data of the digital file would remove sound, removing the sound means removing music...and why would we do that ?

And..once that is done, you can not add that data back in.

Harrison5 - York, Pennsylvania

 Post subject: Re: Question about the best quality file formats
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:01 am
Posts: 88
Location: UK
So, lossy compression algorithms (like MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis) are designed to drop information which isn't particularly noticeable to the human auditory system. The approaches and mathematics vary, as does the quality for filesize, but roughly speaking ~192kbps on most formats is hard to discern from CD-quality without high-end audio gear, and 320kbps is effectively indistinguishable. Unfortunately, Amazon mp3s come in a variety of bitrates (it depends on the uploader, I believe), and it doesn't seem to be stated on the store page what the quality is. I don't know what Apple provide.

Common lossless formats are FLAC and Apple Lossless. These compress without losing any information from the input, so can be CD quality or even higher.

 Post subject: Re: Question about the best quality file formats
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:39 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Olympia, Washington
Ah, you've found the right person here.
I use to listen to everything mp3 or via itunes, but as it turns out, some itunes files are even really low quality! AAC/M4A Lossy products for $10 when you could buy a CD and get perfect quality, which is better? Yes, it's faster and more convenient, saves some space too but in the end it just doesn't compare to lossless. I wish and hope Bear, and any other composer who release digital only products, releases lossless versions because I am quite picky on my quality, and I can't put anything less then lossless on my iPod, sadly :/ That's just how I am. Flac and Apple Lossless are by far the best formats to go with, even though you can't listen to flacs on an ipod they can be converted to wav lossless or apple lossless without any loss of quality.Adobe audition is your friend, it can tell you if your files are of quality or not. I feel itunes should start releasing everything in apple lossless because then you can still have the convenience, but you get your bang for your buck. It saddens me to see such great music reduced to mere lossy-ness, and that being the only version readily available to everyone for the time being :/


 Post subject: Re: Question about the best quality file formats
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:24 pm
Posts: 10
I worked my way over to Bear at San Diego ComicCon at the back of the "Defiance" panel and begged him to release his music in high resolution 92 kHz or 172 kHz/24 bit files. He told me this was in process, but exactly when and where they'll get released we don't know. Or what format, either AIFF, FLAC, or WAV format.

These would be way superior to CDs at 44.1 kHz/16 bit.

He did mention in another blog that the 'squeaky wheel' gets the grease, so if you guys are interested in these high resolution files then pipe up like me and ask Bear for these so we all can enjoy!

 Post subject: Re: Question about the best quality file formats
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:54 am
Posts: 351
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Keep up the enthusiasm, guys. Hi Res files are definitely something that Sparks & Shadows is considering. :) There are a few other things we have to get to first, but that's on the list.


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