OK, I admit, the title is probably one of the dullest I’ve ever written. Nevertheless it’s also precise and to the point (is that the same thing ?). Let me explain.
One of the stupidities of the internet age is the fact that with all our progress on making music better to listen we’ve actually taken a step back in the quality of music. CDs came out in 1982 and changed the way we store music, from analog to digital. Admittedly there was still some debate as to which sounded “better”. Irrespective of this, the point was that CDs didn’t scratch so easy. Once CDs were established it became obvious that the next thing people would do was to stick them in thier PCs and make copies (but that’s another story). Fast forward a bit and you come to the point where Apple introduced the iPod. It wasn’t the first or best mp3 player (and didn’t like mp3 files either), but it showed the way forward. Now we consume music digitally via smartphones, streaming services, youtube videos etc. etc.
The problem is we use mp3 files. The files use “Lossy Compression” to make the files smaller so therefore throw away some of the detail of the original recording. This was fine in 2004, it enabled people to store lots of music on mobile devices with limited storage. But it’s now 2014 and most people have enough storage to store higher quality files. At the moment the best option is to store these files in flac format. This format compresses the original music (from your CD) without losing any of the detail. The one problem for PC dwellers is that the world’s most common media player Windows Media Player doesn’t support it. The good news (especially for those of you fed up about such a long article) is that there are free “codecs” for FLAC that you can install on a windows PC. Enough rabbiting on I’ll leave you with the link you want.
FLAC decoder – just download and run the Windows 32/64 bit installer.
PS. At some point you’ll want to know how to create FLAC files. I’ll add that later.