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Hey. I can almost garuntee this has been asked before but, what file format would u suggest for storing music on the computer? I do only have regular cds :eek: but im looking to get into hi-res music soon.
 
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Your best bet is to buy a large external hard drive and save the files in WAV format. Then you can convert them to any lossy compression format you choose (mp3, aac, wma, etc) and save them on a different drive. This way you can convert to a different format or use the same format with a higher bitrate, if you choose, without having to re-rip the cds.

That is what I do and I can tell you that it takes a long time to rip a substantial cd collection. I currently use mp3 at 192kbps. I wouldn't want to re-rip my collection if I decide I'd rather use mp3 at 256kbps or wma. I don't have to. I can just open the WAV and convert it to a new format.

If you don't have the disk space or feel you will be satisfied with just having the compressed formats, then spend a little time figuring out the 'best' format for you. A good compromise is mp3 at 192kbps. I've never been able to tell the diff between 192kbps and 256kbps mp3s. Mp3s are the most compatible with all playback software and portable devices, although newer formats may be slightly better.
 
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I would NOT do wav. Because wav has no standard for metadata (tagging). If I were you I would go with FLAC, gives you the same benefit as WAV in that you can transcode without adding generation loss, plus you get to save about half the disk space as wav and you get to tag your files.

FLAC will is lossless format so you output will be equal to the WAV input.
 
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A WAV file is basically PCM and will be playable by anything now and into the future as PCM is the lowest common denominator in digital audio (and a standard).

True there are lossless wav-like formats like FLAC, Monkey's Audio (APE), Shorten, etc but there is no standard for lossless compression and lossless compression schemes achieve 40% reduction in size at best. In fact they all use pretty much the same algorithm that uses Rice Coding. If development of FLAC or any other such format ceases and decoders become unavailable, you are SOL. Hard drives are cheap, save the WAVs and transcode to your compressed format of choice.

That's my opinion, but it is based on ALOT of experience both in ripping cds and editing digital audio...and there will come a time when you want to learn more about digital audiio and have the ability to edit (which requires WAV).
 

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