WAV file: Uncompressed CD quality audio. The industry standard for uncompressed lossless audio. Resolution of 16-bit 44,100HZ, 1,411kbps.
FLAC file: Lossless CD quality audio, approximately 60% the size of a .wav file, with the ability to save meta information as you do MP3. FLAC files are a compressed file, without removing quality from the audio data. FLAC files are NOT compatible with ITunes.
MP3: Developed by The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) a file compression technology used to compress audio and video. MPEG uses a subsystem to compress sound, called MPEG Audio Layer-3. We know it by its abbreviation, MP3. MP3s can be compressed to 1/12th the size of the original file (ie WAV), however there is also a reduction in the audio quality of the data. The compression resamples the audio data, usually sacrificing the high and low freqencies of the recorded audio. Removing this data removes file size.
A visual bitrate comparison of all 3 file types. The numbers represent the audio quality. For MP3, 320kbps is considered high-quality. Usually when you purchase music online the quality is around 256kpbs. You're getting 25% of the audio file!!
WAV (top), MP3 (bottom) -- Notice how the bottom image is a smoother line vs the top? That's less audio data, that's less audio quality.
But not with CTKME.com We do not sell our digital albums as MP3s, we feel that we do not want to participate in the degregation of the music, and prefer to deliver the music to you as the artist intended.
Years ago, it made sense to distribute MP3 files vs WAV or FLAC, considering high-speed internet was not as popular, and portable music players had low capacity hard drives.
Today, things have changed. High speed internet is the norm, storage for portable devices has greatly increased as did storage costs for websites. With the advent of software like Subsonic (that we sell on the site), you can store all your high-resolution files on a hard drive at home, which removes the need to even have a portable device -- you can stream right to your mobile device or from any computer. The sky is the limit.
If you bought a car, would you first want the dealer to scratch it up for you? That's how we see MP3s -- we prefer the new, shiny car, not a scratched up version.
FLAC files are NOT compatible with ITunes, so we suggest you purchase the WAV file if you use the ITunes software. If you then feel the need to compress the audio to MP3 files for your own use, that's totally fine. But we can rest that we provided what the artist intended you to hear. If you're using something like Subsonic, you wont even have to make that conversion to mp3.
For those of us that do NOT use ITunes -- there is BETTER software out there that can BETTER manage your files and the metadata (Media Monkey for PCs is great!). Without all the restrictions that ITunes imposes on it's users.
We hope that you can see the delivery of our artist's works the same way we do. If you have any questions, please contact us.