7 Best Alternatives to MP3 File Format with Better Sound Quality

Mp3 is dead, Yes its everywhere that developer of MP3 has officially terminated the license of favorite audio format, and there will be no further update. So now what audio format one will use now, which format will replace MP3 and What are the alternatives of MP3 file format that will take its place in future. Yes, I know you have all these questions in your mind. Well, you don’t have to worry, it will not discontinue immediately, you can continue using MP3 or switch to better MP3 alternatives.

If you have a vast collection of Mp3s, and you enjoy listening to the songs in your collection without experiencing any problem with them, then this article isn’t for you. We put this disclaimer before the main content to avoid hurting you and telling you that you have wasted your valuable time building your collection and you have been keeping yourself deprived of quality musing listening experience for your entire life. And now it is officially dead, What will happen to your collection, don’t take the stress, simply use some audio converter software and convert your all MP3 files to the better alternative.

Limitation of Mp3 File Format

Let us make this clear here that we don’t have any personal issues with lossy audio compression. Well, in fact, we too use some of the similar formats, but in reality, you will never get the same quality with the MP3 format as you will get with a CD. Just admit it Mp3 has some fundamental limitations.

We don’t deny the fact that Mp3 format is one of the most popular and widely used options, but one cannot look on the other side just to ignore the fact that this very format also holds great disadvantages.These cons have been causing a lot of problems for the music industry as well as the music lovers. Some of the disadvantages of this very format are enlisted below:

  • First of all, developers of MP3 has ended its license, so there will not be any further update and also there will be no development in this section, this is one of the major issue.
  • One of the biggest disadvantages of the Mp3 file format is the low audio quality. To compress the audio file and to decrease its size, this very format uses a lossy algorithm which deletes lesser audible music content for achieving the decreased size of the audio file. This very process ultimately results in decreases music quality.
  • Well because of the easy file conversion to Mp3 music piracy has increased a lot. Free or cheaper versions of original music can easily be found on the internet for download.
  • Data on your computer are susceptible to unwanted losses because of virus or malware attack if you download Mp3 file from untrustworthy sites.

If you are a music lover and want to gain immersive and great experience while listening to music, then the best thing that you can do is downloading or purchasing the audio in right file format. Well, there are a number of features that an audio file format should have to deliver the best experience to the user. Some of the features that audio file format should have in order to enjoy in-depth music includes size, supported devices or operating system, open sources, and audio players.

Lossy vs. Lossless

Lossy and lossless are simply characterization which creates a distinction between two different file compression format. In the case of lossless compression, the user gets the benefit of recovering all the data compressed in that format after uncompressing the file. The other option or Lossy compression works opt for entirely different way as in this unnecessary bits, and pieces of the available information in the file that has to be compressed are eliminated in order to reduce its size.

The most common question in the mind of people all around the globe is similar, and that is which one they should choose and which option they should avoid using? Well, the answer to this question will depend on a number of factors.

The first one will be the size of the final compressed file that you need and the available space on your hard drive. If you have a desire to protect the integrity of quality of the file that you need to compress, then you should consider opting lossless compression option.

Most of the experts have recommended going with the lossless option if space isn’t an issue, but if space is a matter, then, lossy compression can do wonders for you. The reason because of which experts prefer and promote the use of lossless compression option is that after decompressing the compressed file you will have the exact copy of the original file in front of you which will be indifferent to the source and there won’t be any losses.

Most of the people still prefer using lossy compression to save their space as the amount of data and files that a person accumulates with time tends to fill out the hard-drive of that person’s computer or smartphone. However, you too would agree that this entire problem was used to be a major problem in earlier days, but now the size of the file isn’t an issue, so switching to better option can be good for you in the long run.

Better Alternatives to MP3 Format for Your Audio Files

MP3 uses lossy file compression option for reducing the size of the audio file and in process jeopardizes the quality of the audio file. We have covered the disadvantages of MP3s and have cleared the concept of Lossy and lossless compression. Don’t worry we won’t leave you high and dry and will provide you with a list of best alternatives to MP3 format. Some of the best alternatives to MP3 format are enlisted below:

AAC

We won’t lie to you and will mention it in the starting that both AAC and MP3 use lossy compression. AAC was launched three years after MP3, and on the comparison, AAC performs way better than MP3 at the similar or same bit rates. However, one can differentiate between the qualities of both formats better at lower bitrates. However, one cannot deny the fact that MP3 is more compatible and more popular than AAC. Currently, no format can beat MP3, music files are known by its name only.

But many streaming and broadcasting services have already started using the AAC format, as it a more efficient audio codec if we compare it with the MP3. Even most of the APPLE services use the AAC and it’s the future of audio files.

AAC Vs MP3 or Features of AAC

  • File Size: AAC size is comparatively smaller than MP3. Though there is not much difference, but if you have large collections of song, then this really helps you save lots of space.
  • Sound Quality: AAC has better sound quality than MP3 with the same bit rate and less size than MP3. It can handle sample frequency from 8 to KHz, and upto 48 channels which is far more than MP3.
  • Others: There are some other factors like compatibility, no doubt MP3 is more compatible than any other audio format, but many high ended tech companies like APPLE, Sony, Youtube, and others use AAC as a standard audio format and it is supported my many devices including all APPLE devices, Play Stations, WII, Android, Blackberry and many car audio systems.

Overall I will say AAC will take over the MP3 in some years as it is widely supported by most of the manufacturing companies and it is better in terms of sound quality and size.

FLAC

In order to make MP3 format widely popular decided to eliminate bits and pieces of files from the audio file that was to be compressed in order to generate an audio file of smaller size. The limitation of available memory at that time made MP3 popular at that time, but with the technological advancement nowadays people prefer better quality audio files over smaller MP3 files. If you too are one of them and you have been in search of an ideal format that reduces the size of the audio file but maintains the integrity of quality, then you should consider selecting FLAC. It is true that FLAC format also compresses the original file but then also no information is lost.

After reading the previous paragraph, you must have understood by now that FLAC format has better quality as compared to the quality of the same file in MP3 format. If you use good headphones and have a desire to gain and immersive listening experience then switching to FLAC will be a great option for you.

When you compare the playability of the two formats, then you will find that MP3 is more compatible than FLAC. However, MP3 now is considered to be a dead format because of the recent news from its developers and the increasing popularity if FLAC will surely make it one of the widely used audio file formats in the near future.

MPEG-H 3D Audio

Talking in general terms MP3 is dead, and formats like AAC and MPEG-H has started enjoying the perks of a field with less competition. The desire of delivering personalized, immersive and compelling listening experience to people lead to the development of MPEG-H Audio format. You can easily know which one is better MP3 or MPEG-H simply by carrying out an easy and simple research over the two options. You will find that digital TV market has opted for MPEG-H format to respond to the consumers’ demand for immersive and compelling audio experience.

It is of no use to discuss the quality of audio as MPEG-H beats MP3 by a huge margin. The file size of MPEG-H is bigger as compared to MP3, but for sure you wouldn’t mind this issue as you will be getting a better and immersive listening experience with MPEG-H.

OGG

Putting it simply, OGGs sounds better and more pleasing to the ear as compared to MP3s of similar file size. In case, if you keep the quality of MP3 and OGG then you will find that OGG files are significantly smaller than MP3 files. The best thing about OGG file format is that most of the modern player supports this player. Therefore, if you have been forced to stick to MP3 format because of its compatibility, then you need not worry as OGG is a file format that has come to solve your this problem.

The best thing that we can say is a clear advantage over MP3 that OGG offers is that it is completely open which means it is a non-patented format. So, if you choose to move to OGG in the future, then you won’t have to worry about paying royalty charges for some outmoded and outdated intellectual property.

WMA

The main reason behind including WMA in this list was the quality that this very format offers even at a lower bitrate as compared to MP3 audio files. If you would search on the internet which one is a better option between WMA and MP3, then you will find few people complaining about the cracking in the bass and low audio quality with WMA format audio files. In reality, those are the people who are defending MP3 format just for consoling themselves that their music collection is superior which surely will be in MP3 format. WMA is an ideal audio file format, especially for Window users.

AIFF

AIFF stands for Audio Interchange File Format, was developed by Apple in order to store audio information. There is no doubt in the fact that it is an old format that has been around for a long time and this very format resembles the WAV format which was developed by Microsoft. The major difference between AIFF and very popular MP3 format is that the latter one takes the help of compression and reduces the file size to a great extent however the former one doesn’t use any compression which in turn keeps the integrity of quality of the audio file intact. In summation, it can be said that AIFF is not lossy while MP3s popularity grew over the period of time because of its feature to reduce the size of audio files to a great extent.

Although AIFF offers better audio quality as compared to MP3 still this very format is supported by only a handful of hardware players.

APE

Well if you love making a huge collection of music files in a limited space and you have been looking for a better and more convenient way to achieve the required goal then you should consider using APE file format instead of using MP3 format. Well, both of these options uses the same lossy compression for reducing the size of the file, but with the APE format, you will get to save your space to a greater extent as compared to MP3 files.

We tried both files formats that too of the same bitrate and weren’t able to find any difference between the quality of the audio files. So, APE surely helps in saving space, however in the compression process to achieve the substantially decreased size bits and pieces are deleted or removed which can affect the quality of the audio file.

WAV 

AIFF, as well as WAV both, are uncompressed formats. This means that these are copies of the original file but merely in a different format. There is no doubt in the fact that these files have great audio quality, but they take a lot of space as compared to other alternatives of MP3 format. They just store data differently, and there isn’t much difference between the two.

The only benefit of using WAV format as compared to AIFF format is that the former option is a lot more compatible than the latter one. Unless you are a true music lover and you hold the desire to have an extensive and immersive listening experience storing your audio files in this format will not be ideal for you.

At the end of this article we would only like to suggest you go for the audio format that pleases your ears, and if your ears don’t find any major difference between MP3 audio files and audio files in MP3’s alternative formats, then you should stick to the one that pleases your ears.

Leave a Reply