Ogg Vorbis: The Best Lossy Audio Format
posted by Dan Mundy ∞
Back around 2003 when I was making my awkward way into adolescence, I picked up an obsession with audio formats. For years, I searched for the best way to store and listen to music. Before I bought my first iPod, I went through a few crappy MP3 players, eventually settling on the Cowon iAUDIO X5, which was pretty awesome, thinking back to it. Like the nerd I am, I flashed the Rockbox firmware. This gave me some groundbreaking features like gapless playback, ReplayGain, and support for a bunch of formats like Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and even WavPack, which was set to revolutionize the way music was stored. WavPack could create a lossy file that was roughly the size of an MP3, along with a difference file that contained all the data that would have been thrown away during the encoding. Together, the two files could construct a mathematically perfect copy of the original WAV. But nobody was likely to support that, and it was kind of cumbersome.
While my music library was still small enough, I started filling up my iAUDIO X5 with FLAC files. The machine would get overloaded and heat up a bit, meaning I couldn’t play games at full speed. The battery life was shortened. But dammit, I had some crispy clean sounds. I got some Sennheiser HD457 headphones, and I was in sonic heaven.