Kris Wouk / How-To Geek
A lossless audio file is one that hasn’t been compressed using a method that degrades the quality. Hi-res audio means that the sample rate and bit depth are higher than CD-quality audio, and typically at least 24-bit/96kHz.
Streaming services are starting to make a big point of offering lossless audio, hi-res audio, or both, but which matters more? We’ll take a look at what both qualities mean and what the differences between them actually are.
It may seem strange, but the easiest way to explain lossless audio is to start with what lossy audio is. This dates back to the days when the best way to listen to digital music was on a CD.
At the time, computers had a fraction of the storage space they have now, and the way most people connected to the internet was via a dial-up modem. This led to the creation of the MP3 format, a file format that could shrink songs down to a small enough size to store on your computer and share over the internet.
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