My Life Scoop: Why MP3s Aren't Good Enough To Replace CDs
  • THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012

  • Posted by: Joe Puglisi

Pictured above: a visual example of the difference between sampling at a high rate and a low rate forcing your brain to fill in the blanks. Photo of Radiohead at Coachella by Joe Puglisi.

MP3 formatting has changed the way we listen to music, allowing for consumers to hold massive libraries of content without the hassle of a physical collection, or excessive digital storage. Compact Disc audio and MP3s are both digital audio-- instead of creating sound waves with physical technology-- like the grooves of a vinyl record-- digital audio recreates sound waves with samples, a numerical value assigned to each frequency in the spectrum of what you're hearing. Many people realize that there is a difference in quality, but don't necessarily know why. The MP3 isn't a replacement for CD quality, and here's why:

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