Why You Should Organize Your Music Library

The world of personal music has changed a great deal. Long gone are the days of 8-track tapes, cassettes, 45s and records. In fact, many people don’t even buy cd’s anymore and instead focus on getting all of their new music in an electronic format.

organize your music
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Of course, most people today have already begun transferring their old, physical music to the digital formats, but that is only part of the story. You also need to organize your music even when it’s all digital. Here are a few reasons why.

Get to Know Your Music

If you have your digital music in different places, using different musical players or in different types of storage, chances are you have forgotten about most of the music you have. This goes along with the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. With physical albums and cds, you always know where to go look for something. But in the digital world, it isn’t that easy.

If your music isn’t all in the same place, in the same music formats, organized under the same system, it’s likely been forgotten. If you take the time to organize your music library, you are likely to discover many different treasures and old favorites that will give you the chance to remember why you loved them in the first place.

Easier to Find

Unless you’re a DJ, you probably don’t have very many “music emergencies” where you HAVE to find a specific song right away. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be times when you have to track down a certain song.

That could be because a special song is needed for an upcoming wedding, party or get together for your family and friends. You might also need to spend hours searching through all your digital music to find the perfect music for a new video you’ve just created.

Spending a few hours today organizing your music library is likely to save you much more time in the future when those events come up.

Organization Makes Us Feel Good

Admit it, although a lot of people don’t like the process of getting things organized, it feels really good when you’re done. The satisfaction of seeing all of your cds and music tracks lined up in the same place will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment. While you’re doing this, you should also take the time to make sure your music is all in the same format so you can play it on the devices you’re using today, instead of the outdated ones you were using when you originally acquired the music.

In many cases, you will have to convert your music files to a new format. However, this is very easy when you use a good online audio converter.

It’s More Important Than Ever to Organize Your Music

Some people believe that it isn’t important to organize your music these days, since everything is digital and at your finger tips. However, this actually makes it much more important to keep your music library organized and updated.

“Back in the day”, you probably had your favorite albums within arms reach of your stereo system, but the rest of them were likely packed away somewhere. Since you can now have all of your music available at any time, you have to organize your music so you can take advantage of the digital world!

Now that we’ve covered why you should organize your music, it’s time to actually set aside an afternoon to do it. Here is an easy plan for your weekend music cleanup project.

Media Files supported by Windows Software

Windows
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There are many free programs you can use to watch videos, listen to audio files, or view pictures and images with. Yet, not many people feel comfortable downloading and installing unknown software – especially since some can’t even open all formats. After having had a look at native Apple files before, we will have a look at media files that are supported by Windows native programs this time.

We will concentrate on Media files like videos, audio files, and images only this time (with the exception of some project files), since document, presentation, and spreadsheet files is a topic for another day.

If you still come across an audio or video file that isn’t supported by your Windows native programs, you can still convert them into a format that can be displayed or played by them. You don’t need any download or installation for these audio converter or video converter as well.

Windows Media Player

The most current version of the Windows Media Player, Media Player 12, got rid of quite a few restrictions the Media Player 11 version still held. It is part of the Windows 7 Starter Edition, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise.

Video:

The support of MP4 and M2TS files as well as 3G2, 3GP, and 3GPP files doesn’t come as a big surprise. Especially MP4 became a very popular format for videos and movies, thus the implementation and support by the Windows Media Player was just a matter of time.

What’s more noteworthy is that Windows Media Playe 12 also supports Apple resp. Mac formats as well now, such as MOV and M4V.

  • 3G2, 3GP, 3GPP (not available in Media Player 11)
  • AVI
  • M2TS (not available in Media Player 11)
  • M4V (not available in Media Player 11)
  • MOV (not available in Media Player 11)
  • MP2
  • MP4  (not available in Media Player 11)
  • MPG
  • WMV

Audio:

While the Apple native formats AIF and AIFF have been supported by Windows Media Player before, the Media Player 12 version added support of the M4A file format as well. Furthermore, AAC files can be listened to with the Media Player as well now.

  • AAC (not available in Media Player 11)
  • AIF, AIFF
  • M4A (not available in Media Player 11)
  • MID, MIDI
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA

 

Windows Movie Maker

For getting the most current version of the Windows Movie Maker, Windows Movie Maker 12, the Windows Essentials 2012 package is necessary.

Project:

The following project files that contain information about the video, audio, and other editing processes can be opened and further edited in Windows Movie Maker 12:

  • MSWMM
  • WLMP

Video:

  • WMV
  • M2TS, MTS
  • AVI
  • MP4, MOV, 3GP, 3G2
  • MPEG, MPG, MP2

Audio:

  • WMA
  • AIF, AIFF, WAV
  • M4A
  • MP3

Image:

  • JPG, JPEG
  • TIF, TIFF
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • ICO
  • PNG

 

Windows Media Center

The Windows Media center allows you to watch TV Series, movies, DVD content, and more on your computer. It’s available in the newest version for For Windows 8, 7, RT, and Vista.

Video:

  • WMV
  • M2TS
  • MOV
  • AVI
  • MP4, M4V
  • MPEG, MPG, MP2

Audio:

  • WMA
  • WAV
  • MP3
  • AAC

Image:

  • JPG, JPEG
  • TIF, TIFF
  • RAW
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • PNG

 

Windows Photo Viewer

The Windows Photo Viewer is the default program to view images, photos, and pictures of several formats since Windows 8, 7, and Vista.

The most popular image formats are supported by the Photo Viewer, but it unfortunately does not cover camera raw formats like ARW, CRW, or NEF.

Furthermore, animated GIFs are displayed as still images rather than animated. To display an animated gif in motion, one either needs Internet Explorer (or any other browser) or another picture viewing program that supports animated GIFs.

  • JPG, JPEG
  • TIF, TIFF
  • PNG
  • GIF (no animated GIFs)
  • BMP

How to Open Unknown Files

Unknown Files
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http://bit.ly/1xEmZTt

Did it ever happen to you that you downloaded a song or video clip, or someone sent you a file via email and once you want to open and view it, it doesn’t work? Of course you wonder why, and after checking the file you see that you may have never heard of this kind of file before. Don’t panic. The next time you encounter such an unknown file, you will be well prepared!

In this article, we will tell you how to easily handle unknown file formats, and what you can do to use them on your computer without installing any additional software.

What’s the File Extension?

The first thing to do when you find a file that you can’t open is to find out what file extension it has. Because once you have the extension’s name, you can find out what kind of file it is and how you can open it.

Find the file in question and click on it with your right mouse button. Depending on what OS you use (Windows or Apple) a list of options will pop up. One of them should be “Properties” or something similar (also depending on the language of your computer). Once you clicked on it, a pop up window will open which lists all the properties of your file. When using Windows, you will have a point that says “File Type:”. There you will find the necessary information about your file type, e.g. PDF-File (.pdf)

The file extension are the letters following the dot in the brackets. In this case, the file extension would be PDF.

What kind of File is it?

Now that you know what kind of file extension you’re dealing with, it’s time to find out what kind of file it is. A document, an image, or maybe a music file? Or something else entirely?

The easiest and most informative way to do so is by referring to a list of file formats where you can easily search for the one in question. Such lists not only give you information about the developers and all kinds of technical data about the file type, but also about the programs with which you can open them!

For example, you found an AIF file on your computer. Searching the list linked above, you find a listing under “Audio Files.” Now you know that this file was developed by Apple, contains audio data, and can be opened by the Quicktime or Windows Media Player.

How to open/view this File?

In the best case, you can now choose the program you prefer to open the file, may it be a document file or a spreadsheet. But what if you don’t have any program from the list presented installed on your computer? Instead of having to install yet another video player or Office suit program, you can easily convert your file into a format that the most popular programs can open.

Unfortunately, especially when it comes to video files, there can still be problems when you want to play a video that contains codecs that are not installed on your computer. T find more about these cases, you can read our article about video codecs and containers.

Cross-Conversion – What is possible?

The basic and general features of a file converter, whether it’s a software tool you have to install on your computer or whether it’s an online service, are mostly the same: You upload a file and convert it into another format, either because you can’t open the initial file, because you want to reduce the file size to send it over the internet, or because you want to send it to people that may not be able to open the original file format.

Image by desertdarlene http://bit.ly/1xPpEoV
Image by desertdarlene http://bit.ly/1xPpEoV

These conversions mostly happen inside a certain category or type of file formats, e.g. from one image file format to the other, or from one document to a different type of document. Yet, there is something else our online converter service can do for you, and it all falls under the term Cross-Converting.

Cross Converting entails that you can not only convert your audio file into another audio file, but that you can actually convert across file types. Converting a movie file into music, or an image into PDF are only a few possibilities. This article will show you many different options of cross converting your files, creating many new possibilities for you!

Extract audio from a video

Sometimes, it’s hard to get your hands on certain movie background music, or the tracks on the OST or Score do not really convey the feel they had when heard in the movie because certain background sounds have been missing. Or maybe there is an interesting part of a speech or monologue from a recorded lecture or speech you want to extract.

The Solution: If you are just interested in the audio data from a video, you can easily extract it by converting the movie file into MP3, WAV, or some other audio file like Apple iTune’s AAC.

Create audio from a document

There are different ways to learn, and next to reading and repeating, listening is a big part of the remembering process. Furthermore, at times it’s difficult to find the time to read your lecture notes, online articles, or even longer correspondence that include a lot of information – especially when you’re on the road a lot.

The Solution: Convert your PDF or Microsoft Word documents into an audio file format, preferably MP3 because it’s supported by most audio playing devices and mobile phones. This way, you can listen to your notes and writings, rewind, repeat, and memorize the information even better.

Extract text from a picture

Another very popular way of taking notes is taking a quick photo of blackboard notes or presentation slides. But what if you want to use the text to alter or insert somewhere? There is an easier way than copying the text from the picture by writing it down yourself.

The Solution: Depending on the quality of the photo you have taken, it can be converted into a TXT or DOC file which gives you the text of whatever has been on the picture.

The easy way to make a presentation

Holding a presentation is so much easier when you have just one file with all the information on it instead of having to switch in between pictures, texts, audio, screenshots, and video.

The Solution: If you have your notes already prepared in a text document or even saved as PDF, you are only one click away from converting your document into a PowerPoint presentation.

Also: It works the other way round as well though. By converting PPT or PPTX files into PDF, you can get not only a printer friendly version, but you can also ensure that most people are able to open and vie your presentation.

Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are one trend on the internet that will never completely die out, being revived again and again. Yet, not everybody is skilled in the art of creating such animated pictures, and not everybody has the programs necessary to make them.

The Solution: A very easy way of creating an animated GIF is to convert your MP4 or other video file. If you upload a larger movie file, only the beginning will be converted into an animated GIF, so the most convenient way is to cut the video into the portions you want to be “giffed” and upload them individually, creating an receiving the animated pictures you wanted.

From document to eBook

Another great way of memorizing your notes and rereading them is a very paper saving one as well. Most people take notes in lectures, talks, or meetings on their laptop nowadays, but it can be annoying and impractical to carry it with you whenever you want to re-read on what has been talked about. Printing all the notes isn’t a very convenient option either.

The Solution: Convert Microsoft Word or OpenOffice documents into an eBook format. The purpose of eReaders is to store books and other papers in a space and paper saving way. Furthermore, they re very light and easy to take with you, with a library option to quickly find the notes you need.

Present your Design projects

Creating a design project for your customers is linked to quite some struggles. One is faced when you want to present your progress or suggestions to your customers. It is very likely, that they can not open your vector graphic or EPS, PSD, or DWG file.

The Solution: Converting your special image files into JPG or even PDF makes it easy and convenient for your customers to look at the design you made for them. Furthermore, the conversion will leave your original file untouched!

And there’s more…

These are only the most common and most popular Cross Conversion features online conversion tools can offer. If there are any more features you would like to see implemented concerning Cross Conversion, feel free to contact our support team. We are constantly striving to better our service for you, and suggestions made are always welcome.

Cloud Music Storage – Amazon vs iTunes

Does anyone remember “back in the day” when you could only hear your favorite songs at home or from the radio if you happened to be listening when your song was played?  Those days are long gone.  In today’s online world, you can take your entire music collection with you where ever you go.  However, in order for this to be as cool as you want it to be, you have to pick the right system to keep all your music.  We’re going to compare the two most popular cloud music storage options – iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud Player to help you make the right choice for you.

cloud music storage
Image by Grace Kat http://bit.ly/1u6QLg4

Both of these cloud music storage services allow you to store and stream your music, which is the ultimate goal.  However, there are clear differences between the two that you should consider before making a decision. In some instances, when you go through the process of getting all your music on the same platform, you will have to convert some of your music to a different type of audio file format.  If you go through this process once, you definitely don’t want to have to do it again.

Audio File Formats

The type of audio files that are supported by each system are shown below:

  • iTunes Match: MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4, AAC
  • Amazon Cloud Player: MP3, AAC, WMA (Windows only), OGG, WAV, ALAC (Mac only), AIFF and FLAC.

If you plan to use music files that are FLAC, OGG or WMA, you will need to convert them to a different type of file first.  Neither iTunes or the Amazon music service have the ability to handle those files.

Differences Between Cloud Music Storage Options

The first difference between these two cloud music storage services is that iTunes only has one type of service available while Amazon has a free version of their cloud player and a paid version.

The free Amazon version allows you to add 250 songs (that you didn’t purchase from Amazon).  If your music needs are minimal and you only want a few of your favorite songs or CDs available when you’re away from home, this is a good choice. However, if this limit is too low, you will need to move to one of the paid options.

Another difference between these cloud music storage systems relates to organizing your music library.  Amazon’s cloud player doesn’t help with that.  However, if you have music on multiple devices and would like your music player to have the ability to consolidate those, remove duplicates and keep a synced version available on each device, iTunes is your best bet.

Since the Amazon cloud music storage system is web based, it means your music is available on any device that has a web browser.  It also works with both Android and iOS so if you have multiple devices, or plan to share the account with others who have different devices, this works well.

On iTunes, you can only access your music where the iTunes platform resides, or on an iOS device, but that nowhere else.

One big thing to keep in mind is that while these are two of the best options available for cloud music storage, you are basically only renting them.  If you don’t continue to pay the yearly fee (if you’re using the paid version of Amazon), you will lose access.

FAQs About Using an Audio File Converter

If you are new to the world of using an audio file converter, there is very good news for you. Unlike many of the tasks involved in dealing with technology, using an audio converter is actually very simple if you find the right one.

Here are a few of the questions people usually ask when they are getting started with converting audio files.

audio file converter
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Why do I have to convert files?

There are many reasons that would require you to find and use an audio file converter.

  • In some cases, you may find that music you purchased in the past will no longer work on the new devices you have because of the file format.
  • You might also be trying to submit an audio file to an online site that only accepts certain types of files.
  • Another scenario is that you need to convert your files to a lossy format to save space on your hard drive.

There are many other reasons that people need to use an audio file converter, but these are the most popular.

How do I convert my audio files?

This is the really good news, especially if you are not a techie! You don’t really need to have any specific skills in order to use most audio file converters. There are many tools and online programs that can easily handle this conversion, and most of them are free.

All you have to do is find a good, free audio file converter and figure out the best way to give them the file you need. This is usually done by simply browsing through your video files and selecting the one you want converted. Then you have to tell the converter what type of file you want your file converted to.

The converter will then either update the same web page you used to submit the file, or send you an email with the updated file that has been converted.

What type of converter do I choose?

There are many different types of audio file converters available and you will have to make a few decisions before you find one that suits your needs.

Online vs download

Unless you have unusual requirements, it makes the most sense to use an online audio file converter. For those, you just have to send them the file you want converted, and they will convert it and send it back.

Anytime you choose a tool that requires you to download software to your computer, you’re taking a risk. Even if there is no malicious code hidden within the tool, everything you add to your computer has a chance of causing a conflict with your existing system.

Tools you have to download also tend to me more difficult to use, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to get everything set up correctly.

File Type

As you review the different audio file converters, you should definitely make sure that it has the ability to convert the file to the specific file type you need.

Features

Before you settle on a specific online audio converter, you should look at the file you need converted, determine what your needs are and make sure the audio file converter you are considering have the ability to provide all the features you need.

How do I find a good converter?

Once you have made a list of the features you need in an audio file converter and decide what type of converter you need, you simply need to do a search to find the best one.

Native Apple (Mac) Files

Native Apple (Mac) Files
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Users of Apple devices like Mac desktop computers, MacBooks, iPhones, or iPads are already familiar with them: the native Apple Inc. file formats. Users of other platforms and operating systems like Windows and Linux however can face difficulties with those formats because they, sometimes, have never heard of them.

This could become a problem for Apple users as well when they try to send assignments, essays or other documents, videos, or audio files from their device to someone working with a Windows computer or an Android phone.

Knowing about this problem is the first step to the solution. Either users of Apple devices or the recipients of those Apple native files can convert their files into a format supported by the operating system and device in question. Yet, before you can attempt a conversion, you will have to know which file formats are exclusive or native for Apple devices.

Thus, we listed some of the most common native Apple file formats for you.

Document Files

KEY

Keynote Presentation File – Files with the KEY extension are created with Apple’s Keynote Presentation program. Keynote can create playback presentations containing images, slide animations, set time frames, videos, etc. KEY files can be compared to Microsoft’s PowerPoint presentation files.

PAGES

Pages Document File – When using Apple’s word processing program Pages, your files – including pictures, formatting, layout and the like – will be saved with a PAGES extension. They work like Microsoft Word files like DOC or OpenOffice Writer text files.

Audio Files

AIF/AIFF

Audio Interchage File Format – AIF or AIFF files are lossless and uncompressed audio files developed by Apple. These files are popular among professional musicians since they can store their music with very high quality using these file types. Converting your files to AIFF can thus be important if you wish to work with your audio files on a more professional level. The compressed versions of the AIF/AIFF files feature an AIFC extension.

CAF

Apple Core Audio Format – One advantage of CAF files is that these containers can hold several types of audio and additional metadata. With these new features, it quickly replaced the AIF format since it doesn’t have the same limitations. It can also hold audio data that exceeds the size of 4 GB.

M4A

MPEG-4 Audio File – M4A is the common file format used on Apple iTunes. In addition to audio track, M4A files also store additional data like images. What sets these files apart from other audio files is that lossless compression is available for M4A files as well. There’s also the possibility to convert your audio files to M4A.

M4P

MPEG-4 iTunes Music Store Audio File – Similar to M4A files, M4P files can be found on Apple iTunes. In addition to the features of the M4A files, M4P files are protected using Apple’s DRM copy protection.

M4R

MPEG-4 iPhone Ringtone File – M4R audio files are part of Apple iTunes as well. They are not meant to be “real” music tracks though, but serve the purpose of being ringtones for the iPhone. They have undergone lossy compression.

Video Files

M4V

MPEG-4 iTunes Video File – M4V files are very similar to the well known MP4 format. When downloading a video from iTunes, it usually comes in the M4V format and can – but doesn’t necessarily have to – be protected with Apple’s DRM copy protection.

MOV

QuickTime Movie File – Nowadays, MOV files are not exclusively usable on Apple devises anymore, but can be opened on Windows operating systems as well. It’s a video file format originally developed for the Apple QuickTime Player, and converting your videos to MOV can be a useful feature.

Other Files

DMG

MAC OS X Disk Image File – DMG files usually serve the purpose of installing programs on a Mac computer, contain encrypted and compressed data. Mac computers treat DMG files like hard copy disks.

IPA

iOS Application File – Files with an IPA extension are essential for anything downloaded from iTunes, may it be games, programs, or utilities. They contain information necessary for the iOS device to open and/or run the programs they are linked to.

PICT

Apple QuickDraw Picture File – PICT files are created when using the Apple QuickDraw program. They can contain vector graphics as well as bitmap images with a big variety of colors. Yet, PICT images are raster images, which means that they are not scalable without loss in quality.

Your Weekend Music Cleanup Project

music cleanup
Image by Jason Toney http://bit.ly/1rARPEH

The time has come, hasn’t it? You’ve been collecting music for years now and just haphazardly adding those music files to your hard drive. However, if you’re like the rest of us, at this point you probably have no idea what music you have. If there is a song or a cd you want to listen to, chances are pretty good you won’t be able to find it. It’s time for a music cleanup weekend.

Select the Player You Will Use

The first step probably wasn’t an issue when you started collecting music because the options were so limited. You likely used whatever music player was suggested when you acquired the tracks. However, there are many more music players available now, and they don’t all work well together with the devices you’re using today to listen to your music.

There are dozens of different players available now and you should take your time to select the one that will work the best for you. In some instances, you may have to convert your music to a different format so that it can be used on your chosen player. This is the part of your music cleanup project that can be the most cumbersome, but it is essential.

Here are a few of the music players you should consider as you start your project to organize music files.

  • Windows Media Player
  • iTunes
  • Sonora
  • Zune Player
  • Clementine

Clean Up Your Music Library

After you’ve selected the music player you want to use for your music cleanup project, it’s time for the fun stuff. This step includes looking at your music.

The first part of this is to track down all the places you have music stored. Then, start looking at the actual music. You are likely to find some really odd stuff that makes you wonder what you were thinking when you bought it. Delete those. Also take a look at the quality of the track. If the quality is so low that it would now be annoying to listen to it, either delete the track or download an upgraded version.

While you’re doing this review, you are also likely to find that you have some duplicates (which is a reminder of why it’s a good idea to spend time on your music cleanup project!) Decide which one to keep and delete the other.  When you’re done, make sure all your music is in the format you want.  If you need to convert your music, you can do so here.

Meta Data

The next step in your music cleanup project is to clean up the meta data. You could do this by hand, but there are many different apps out there that can do this for you, and it will save you a great deal of time and trouble. TuneUp, MusicBrainz Picard and Mp3tag are a few to consider.

Sync Your Music

Since most people want their music to be available when they’re on the go, the next step in your music cleanup project is to sync your music on your mobile devices. iTunes, Winamp, Media Monkey, Windows Media Player and Music Bee are a few to consider.

Stream Your Music Anywhere

The final step in your music cleanup project is to set up your music on a music streaming service. This will allow you to take every music track you own with you, everywhere you go. Some options to consider are Google Music, Spotify, Rdio and Amazon Cloud Player.

Popular Lossy Format Options For Audio Files

lossy format
Image by AngelaShupe.com http://bit.ly/1sgxhWO

There are so many different options available when you want to convert your audio files or download new music tracks. The problem is that unless you’ve really done your research, you probably don’t know the difference between the different audio file extensions. We previously talked about the difference between lossy and lossless formats and we also discussed lossless file extensions in closer detail. In this post, we’re going to review the most popular lossy format extensions.

Unless you’re an “expert music listener”, chances are pretty good that you will be using the lossy format for most of your music. The music files are compressed, which means you can easily manage hundreds of tracks on your hard drive. While this compression reduces the quality, you probably won’t notice it unless your needs are “professional”.

Lossy Format Options

MP3

This is the type of lossy file format that most people are familiar with. “MP3” stands for MPEG Audio Layer III. If you download music, it is most likely to default to this file type. The MP3 file isn’t the most efficient type of lossy format, however it is the most common. This means it has the most support.

AAC

An Advanced Audio Coding file is another lossy file extension. iTunes from Apple has boosted the popularity of the ACC format and it is beginning to rival the MP3 file. The AAC extension is similar to MP3 files in the quality of the sound, but it does not take up as much space. Even though this is an Apple format, because of its popularity, most types of music devices have the ability to play it.

WMA

This is a Windows Media Audio file and it comes from Microsoft. The WMA lossy format is similar to both the MP3 and AAC in quality; however it falls behind because it is not as well supported. This means you may need to convert your audio files at some point in the future depending on what devices you use for your music. Unless there is a specific need to have a WMA file, it is probably best to use AAC or MP3 if you have a choice.

Ogg Vorbis

This is an open source format that is similar to MP3 and AAC. Since it is open source, it is free and doesn’t have patent restrictions like the more popular audio file types. However, if you are just a user that probably doesn’t have as much of an impact on you. If you strongly favor open source options, Egg Vorbis is a good one. However it is important to note that since it is not as popular as the other lossy formats, you will likely be much more restricted on the types of devices you can use.

 


 

If you want to use a lossy format, the best option is likely to be either an MP3 or AAC format. They both give you high quality without using up a ton of space on your hard drive. They are also both well supported and are likely to be able to be played on most types of music devices.

Lossless Audio File Types – What Options Do You Have?

There is no question that it can get very confusing when you are looking at all the different audio file types that are out there. If you have to convert old audio files, or even when you buy new music, you frequently have to pick a specific type of audio file to use. However, if you’re like most people, you basically pick the one that looks the easiest without having much knowledge to back up your decision.

Regardless of the reason you need to convert your audio files, it’s important to know the difference between the different audio file types so you can make the best decision.

The first thing you need to know is the difference between lossless and lossy audio formats, which we covered in this post. However, that is only the first piece of information you need to know.

In this article, we’ll talk about the different audio file types that are specific to the lossless format.

WAV and AIFFaudio file types

These two formats are uncompressed. That means the quality of the music in these files is as close as possible to the original audio source. The quality of these two formats is the same, but they are quite different in the way they store the data. The WAV file is relatively universal, while the AIFF file is specific to Apple, so you may have problems if you try to store this type of file on on-Apple products.

FLAC

This type of file is the Free Lossless Audio Codec. Since this is a lossless format, the quality of the audio is very high, but unlike most other lossless formats, this one HAS been compressed. This means the files don’t take up nearly as much space as the WAV and AIFF files. This unique combination makes this the best audio file type for casual music listeners. For those who are a little more technical, this file type is also free and open source.

Apple Lossless

The ALAC format (Apple Lossless) is the best choice if you want to listen and manage your music through both iTunes and iOS, because it if fully supported by both systems. This is another lossless file that is compressed, however the compression isn’t quite as impressive as that of the FLAC file type. If you use this type of file it will take up a little more space than the FLAC files, but not nearly as much as the WAV and AIFF files.

APE

An APE file is a lossless file that has the most compression, so it takes up the least amount of space on your computer. The quality of the audio is also equivalent to ALAC, FLAC and similar lossless files. However, the problem with the APE audio file type is that it isn’t supported by very many devices. The only time you would want to choose this type of file when you are converting your files is if you specifically have devices that are compatible, and you don’t plan on changing those devices in the future.


These are the major audio file types that are lossless formats. In a future article, we will review the lossy formats to help you decide which file type is the best for you.

Once you determine the proper type of file for your needs, you need to find a good online audio converter to do the job for you.