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RE: digital newbie question: youtube music download vs. FLAC and AIFF

Having looked in your profile and your system and musical interests I am sure that a move away from MP3 will be a pretty obvious improvement. However trying to achieve a decent classical music collection by relying upon hi-rez downloads will be of limited success due to the comparative paucity of titles on offer. There is good stuff out there but restricting yourself to them would be like building a collection based only on 200g, 45 rpm vinyl. Most downloads of classical music on offer are redbook not hi-rez.

Please do not overlook basic 16/44.1 files as they too will outshine MP3s even if ripped from your own CDs. The quality of your DAC is of primary importance here. In fact IMO the better DACs offer a result for 16/44.1 replay reasonably comparable to, if not quite as good as, hi-rez which despite its merits is in general currently overpriced IMO ( yes, I do buy the odd one).


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