Are MP3 files worse than CDs?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

I have an ex­ten­sive mu­sic col­lec­tion – mostly clas­si­cal and jazz – on CD. Re­cently, I be­gan im­port­ing them to iTunes, so that I can stream the mu­sic round the house, rather than sim­ply lis­ten­ing to it in my liv­ing room. Is there any com­pro­mise on qual­ity in just buy­ing the mu­sic from iTunes, rather than CDs? I have heard that MP3 mu­sic is ‘lossy’ and some qual­ity in­for­ma­tion is dis­carded dur­ing con­ver­sion. An­drew Heaton

There are still rea­sons to buy CDs (as a backup, or for the in­lay), but bet­ter sound qual­ity is not one of them. The AAC for­mat used by the iTunes Store only dis­cards the in­for­ma­tion your ears are least sen­si­tive to. If you can’t tell apart a JPEG photo and an un­com­pressed im­age, it’s un­likely you’ll no­tice the dif­fer­ence be­tween iTunes Store and au­dio CDs ei­ther.

Most peo­ple find it hard to tell apart CD and iTunes Store mu­sic.

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