These days the abbreviation FLAC is getting more and more popular. One streaming service after another announces that they are switching to the Lossless Audio quality. Apple Inc. has followed the suit with its recent blog post where it announced that since June 2021 all its music collection is going to convert to ALAC — the Apple version of FLAC format. Read on to find out what is FLAC and why your ideas about karaoke are going to drastically change soon.
What is FLAC?
“FLAC” stands for “Free Lossless Audio Codec”. This is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio. The format development was started in 2000 by Josh Coalson, a programmer. The FLAC version 1.0 was officially released in 2001 on xiph.org. In just a few years, the format already won the huge support of music lovers all around the globe. Even musical equipment producers were sure enough to soon enlist FLAC as one of their supported audio formats.
There are some reasons behind such recognition:
– FLAC is completely free. The concept of xiph.org is such that all its projects and patents are free. Listeners, record companies, acoustic system producers — none of them pay for any use of this codec.
– FLAC supports tagging, album art cover, fast seeking and hints. Apps can record their own metadata.
– FLAC is one of the fastest and most popular codecs to compress audio losslessly.
– FLAC is stable. Thanks to audio fragmentation, FLAC limits the corrupted frames: this can result in sound disappearing for a split second whereas other audio formats in the same situation stop streaming altogether.
– FLAC supports audio streaming.
And the main reason to switch to FLAC is that the sound decoded is bit-for-bit identical to the one initially encoded. That means the listener will get the perfect studio-quality sound with all the notes, tones and half-tones that artists originally recorded.
Why FLAC is better than MP3
There are tons of digital audio formats. Something like VQF is not very widespread while, for example, MP3 must be familiar to any music lover. The MP3 format itself is not bad; it played an important part in distributing music through the Internet and in audio players evolution. It can compress audio files to the maximum, and if you listen to music in basic earphones, headphones or with usual home loudspeakers, you will undoubtedly have no problem with the sound quality whatsoever. However, you will surely feel the difference as soon as you switch to Hi-Fi audio systems — standardised equipment to play the sound close to the original.
The thing is that the MP3 format was created back at the beginning of the 90s when the main requirement for the audio file was its size, not bitrate. You’d need several hours to transfer a 30-40 Mb song through the Internet. And yet, even back then, everyone already knew that the future of the music industry lay in digital media. Nowadays, even the simplest in-ear earphones with a built-in DAC can play multichannel audio in decent quality. Moreover, your smartphone memory is now more than enough for hundreds of music albums. The further technologies evolve, the higher music quality standards we have. Against such a revolutionary backdrop of streaming services and portable acoustics, the MP3 format can’t help but feel a bit old-fashioned.
What are the MP3 downsides in comparison to FLAC:
– Significant quality losses after compression. Sounds higher than 17 kHz and lower than 40 Hz get lost when encoded.
– The quality of the file can change depending on the codec.
– Only two sound channels.
– The format is distributed with a patent whose owners sometimes either don’t renew it or essentially restrict its use.
So does it mean that soon enough karaoke will also play differently? Far sooner than you think. There is a home karaoke set EVOBOX Premium with thousands of exclusive FLAC soundtracks — coming out by the end of this summer. Backing tracks sound exactly the way they were recorded in the studio. You’ll easily hear even the slightest touch on the strings as if your own home was the concert venue.
Get ready for your new karaoke experience: you’ll be the first to appreciate the fascinating FLAC sound quality with a premium karaoke set. All the sounds, the notes, the hertz you never even knew could exist will all blend and flow as a vivid karaoke symphony, a true blast of live music. Even your favourite hits which you’ve already sung for a hundred times and learned by heart long ago will now sound differently: clearer, brighter, louder.
To keep up to date with the latest news and not to miss the EVOBOX Premium release, sign up for notifications. We’ll absolutely let you know as soon as you can try out the karaoke in FLAC-quality for yourself.