Close up of a keyboard.

How Good is MP3 Quality?

A picture of a computer folder icon connected to some headphones.One of the primary goals of MP3 was to reduce the file size of audio tracks to enable more music to be stored in a given amount of memory. To achieve this the audio data was compressed using a form of compression known as ‘lossy’ in which data is discarded, or ‘lost’, forever. In fact a 128 kbps MP3 file contains less than one tenth of the original data a CD version of the same track would contain. Consequently, with over 90% of the original data missing, it’s surprising how good 128 kbps MP3s sound.

I remember being surprised when I first met someone who had no records, only CDs. Now I know people who have no CDs, only MP3s. The debate still rages over whether CD audio is better than vinyl, but MP3 is certainly inferior to them both. Consequently there must be a large number of young people who have never heard high-quality audio.

Maybe future generations will rediscover how good music can really sound when it is played from an uncompressed source into a decent stereo system.

If you want music on the move there is nothing wrong with MP3s, but if you want to listen at home and really enjoy every last nuance that has gone into the performance and recording, then it has to be CD.

For more information on this topic see the related articles:

CD vs MP3 Sound Quality and CD kbps



Just arrived on this site:

Jan. 30, 2018. Turntables are making a comeback, with many on the market to choose from. This month's article, Choosing a Turntable, can helps you make the right choice.

Dec. 30, 2017. This month I've updated the article Harry Beckett in Concert.

Nov. 27, 2017. After evaluating the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd Generation USB Interface for several months, I can now post this in-depth review.

Oct. 30, 2017. The KORG SV-1 Keyboard Image Gallery has been updated this month with a brief description added to each photograph.

Sept. 25, 2017. This month sees the addition of a new piece of music - Heaven's Door.

Aug. 29, 2017. This month I've added a small selection of old photographs to a new page entitled Gallery - Archive.

July 26, 2017. The question I attempt to answer this month is Why Pay For Music? Leaving aside the legal argument there is much more to consider. Read the article to find out more.

June 28, 2017. This month features an article on how to make DIY Acoustic Panels that don't need attaching to a wall with screws or glue.

May 29, 2017. New this month is a selection of six Royalty Free Radio Jingles.

April 30, 2017. After a half-year break from adding new material to this site, I've added an article / review on Headphone Holders.

Jan. ~ Mar. 2017. New posts coming soon.


Sometime Somewhere...


A relaxing Smooth Jazz CD. Listen to extracts of all 12 tracks now.


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