Data is lost during transmission in lossy audio formats. They do not decompress back to their original file size, resulting in a lower file size and the loss of certain sound waves. Artists and engineers that exchange audio files prefer not to utilize lossy formats since the data deteriorate with each export.
The most prevalent lossy format is MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III). MP3 files are compatible with most devices and can be as tiny like one the size of lossless files. MP3 is good for consumers because a lot of the sound it loses is inaudible, however when it comes to bit depth.
“Mp3 format can only go up to 16-bit, which is not what you want to work with,” explains Gus Berry, a producer, mixer, and engineer. “When recording and mixing, you should be working in at least 24-bit or greater.”
AAC recordings (also known as MPEG-4 AAC) take up extremely little capacity and are ideal for streaming, particularly through mobile devices. The AAC codec is utilized by YouTube, iTunes/Apple Music, and Android and requires just under 1 MB per minute of music while sounding superior than MP3 with the same bitrate.
Spotify employs the free and open-source audio codec Ogg Vorbis. It’s excellent for streaming, however the compression causes considerable data loss. It is considered by experts to be a more efficient format than MP3, with better sound at the same bitrate.