Everyone’s jumping on the “on demand” live CD, so it seems – and for once, bandwagon jumping is a great thing. Primus, who has just released the EP/DVD combo Animals Should Not Try To Act Like People (read my review,) will, as of Nov. 7, begin offering each show in its short tour for download from PrimusLive (for a fee yet to be revealed.) But get this: not only are they offering the expected compressed and lossy mp3-files, they’re also offering compressed, lossless songs in the form of FLAC-files.
For those not in the know, FLAC is a “Free Lossless Audio Codec” that allows audio files compressed by it to be decompressed back into exactly the same wav file it started out as (More info.) MP3 is a lossy compression scheme – meaning that the mp3-encoder removes some of the audio in order to make a smaller file. What’s been removed can not be retrieved. Like JPEG and GIF compression for image files, what’s been removed is lost forever, and quality suffers because of it. FLAC (and other lossless compression schemes such as Shorten (SHN) and Monkey’s Audio (APE)) preserve every bit of the original file, only removing information that can be restored later (header info, I assume.)
Now that is pretty cool, isn’t it?
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