For a musician, it is very important to find a good file format for their music records. With the current variety of formats, choosing the best for you is not very easy – each one has its own downsides and benefits. Today we will talk about such formats as AIFF and MP3.
What’s an AIFF?
For most people, AIFF is a questionable, or even a useless file format. They know that AIFFs have a higher quality sound, but at the same time these files are heavier. It makes downloading and storing AIFFs a bit problematic. Then, such files cost more. To choose the best format, we will have to look into AIFF’s characteristics deeply.
What are the advantages?
Just like MP3, AIFF files can store ID3 metadata. It means they can hold information about the track, such as the cover image, artist and remixer’s names. People who are familiar with the DJ software know just how important this information can be. This is an obvious benefit, because WAV files cannot hold such data inside.
higher quality sound
Without a doubt, MP3 doesn’t sound half as good as AIFF does on a bigger sound system. Though, if you’re using a small amateur system, you might not even notice the difference.
When you’re using a professional studio setup, in most cases, you can pick up which tracks are MP3 and which are AIFF. Especially if you are familiar with the tracks you’re comparing. But sometimes you just have to guess, since all recordings have different levels of distortion and overall quality.
Where you play your music should definitely affect your decision. Every DJ will tell you that when you’re performing in front of a large crowd, people will be able to tell apart an MP3 from an AIFF. An MP3 wouldn’t hurt in a small bar or club, but if you’re going to play in a large club or at a music festival, you might consider choosing AIFF over MP3.
And what about the disadvantages?
size, time & final price
AIFF files, just like WAV, take up very, very much space. They are nearly 4 times heavier than MP3 and much more expensive. It means that you might need a hard drive with much more memory. As well as that, you will spend more time on downloading your files.
MP3s generally weigh about 20 MB, while for AIFFs the number is almost 80 MB. However, there is a solution for this problem. Just buy an MP3 first, if you’re unsure about whether you’ll play the track on a big system or not. When you finally understand which tracks you’re going to use with a big, professional sound system, you can upgrade your files to AIFF. This feature is very useful, since it saves you time, money and hard drive space, so many music shops are now allowing to upgrade a file after its initial purchase.
So which is really the best?
Deciding which file format is really the best is impossible. The choice is different for everyone, and there are many factors affecting it. When you choose what’s best for you, make sure you keep in mind every single factor important for you.