MP3 versus WAV: Can Anyone Tell the Difference? - Trust Me Shops
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MP3 versus WAV: Can Anyone Tell the Difference?

MP3 versus WAV: Can Anyone Tell the Difference?

B&H explora - All posts
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The other day, a musician friend sent me a new version of a track we have been working on together so I could check out a new piano part that he added. I complained that it was taking several minutes to download the track to my phone, and then realized he had sent me an 80MB WAV file in lieu of the fairly customary, high-quality MP3 file that is normally sent between the producers and musicians I work with for simple reference purposes. I wasn’t connected to Wi-Fi, and it was taking forever to download a file that size.

When I asked him why he didn’t send the usual 320 kbps MP3 file, he told me that he felt the upper mid- and high-frequency ranges in his new piano part seemed to lose some clarity when he rendered it as an MP3, versus how the WAV sounded. He wanted me to hear the part as he intended. Fair enough, I thought.

Weeks before, another musician and audiophile friend was telling me about how he’d recently switched from Spotify to TIDAL because it offers a high-end plan that streams both losslessly compressed audio, as well as full-quality, uncompressed audio for certain albums. The trade-offs, as he explained them, were much longer load times, and a lot more data usage, neither of which he minded, because he usually listens to music when he has Wi-Fi access.

These two events got me thinking: can any of us actually tell the difference between an MP3 and a WAV?

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