Lossy vs. Lossless

I’m just curious, how many of you are for whichever camp? Lossy vs Lossless. MP3/AAC/OGG vs. WAV/FLAC/AIFF/ALAC?!?

Digital DJ Tips (for whom I have madd respect) posited this on their Facebook page. With more streaming services going fully Lossless, is this what the majority of DJs need? I would argue that the majority ‘don’t need’ Lossless, but speaking for myself, I am 100% on board with Lossless. I am just curious what the rest of you on here think. Given the ridiculously cheap price of solid state storage these days, is the MP3 still warranted?

Since I buy nearly ALL my tracks on either Traxsource, Beatport, Juno, or Bandcamp, AIFF, FLAC & WAV (though I prefer AIFF) are my mainstays. I have been buying Lossless exclusively for over 12 years. Even most of my earlier (pre-'07/08) library has been updated with Lossless as it becomes available.

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When I started “real” DJiing in 2007-8 playing with MP3’s was a bit of a heresy :laughing: so my collection is 99% WAV 1% AIFF. I know real 320kpbs mp3 sound “decent” but… Tag and artwork limitations on wavs don’t bother me, having full waveform, key and bpm is like being in paradise after many years playing with CDs :laughing:


It’s one of those holiday lights questions. If you’ve got a string of 1000 lights and one of the bulbs is out, the owner of the lights will notice, but only the most annoyingly pedantic anus of a neighbour is going to notice, and even then only some fraction of a fraction of those noticing l, Will actually March up to you and tell you. Even fewer, if any, will March up and actually criticise you for it.

Nothings perfect.

The term lossless is seriously misused by music supply services. Public might think that lossless means that the playing track is perfect, it’s sounding exactly as though you were two metres away from Dua Lipa, Beyoncé, whoever… when they sing their lungs into that €10000 microphone on its €4000 mic stand, it doesn’t. It just means that the file the streaming/download service has on offer is as good as the file the record company gave them, which might have already been equalised/normalised/pumped/thresholded/hard-knee’d/soft-knee’d etc to a mellow mush even before it got distributed.

That situation is getting better. Distributors are getting savvy to realising that more people have systems and listening options which can reproduce sound from files more accurately - like headphones from today might be better and at prices within consumer reach than headphones 10 years ago.

However even at the final stages, from the “play button” to the audiences ears, there’s still a load of things that can reverse (or obliterate) any benefits of lossless.

I think for what we do, MP3 is more than adequate.

We’re playing on DJ equipment through PA speakers into acoustically imperfect spaces full of noisy absorbant humans. It’s far from an ideal setup for hearing nuances in the music.

The customers/clients/punters want to hear their favourite tunes at a higher volume than when they’re at home, dance around and have fun. They’re not going to care or complain if the treble rolls off at 13k or if the files are lossless or not.

Unless you’re a young child that’s never used ear bud headphones or been exposed to loud noises, your hearing isn’t going to extend to 20k anyway.

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