Since I started using Roon about a year and a half ago I have only loaded good quality files (FLAC, ALAC) into my library, but have since my iTunes days an abundance of mp3 files as well.
How do you out there in the Roon community sue your library - do you only have lossless files and not even the craziest of mp3s even if that is the only recording you can find of an album?
I have just a handful of quality mp3 downloads that come with vinyl LPs. Nothing below 320.
I would rip everything I owned. Why not?
I have a few mp3 albums that I purchased from Amazon and Google. They sound fine. As I run across them I sometimes substitute Qobuz CD or better versions, but I don’t delete them.
As of now, FLAC for Roon – the lossy compressed (ogg) version of my rips for PLEX (non-critical listening, sync to phone).
I have added a few releases or tracks that are less than CD quality when that is the only version available. I have always felt that the performance is more important than the quality of the recording.
Sometimes I randomely encode a track in 8 bit 11 khz to remind me how the music I made on my home PC under MS DOS in the early nineties sounded like. Spoiler: not very good.
Yes I do because I have them
I’ve ripped all of my CDs, mostly to ALAC from my iTunes days. If I’m purchasing and downloading tracks, they are lossless. The only mp3 or aac files in my library are tracks or albums that I enjoy but have been unable to find in any other format.
Yes, in instances where I haven’t had the opportunity to re-rip a CD etc. Found I was a lot happier when I stopped ‘chasing numbers’
Yes, it’s nice when it sounds better technically, but that’s only one part of it. The way I look at it, having higher quality (which is not always an outcome of high res, let’s be honest) may mean I enjoy something more, but I’m not going to actively feel like I’m not enjoying something because it’s in lower res
Nope. There’s really no reason to nowadays.
I include everything in Roon. But when I upgrade I delete the lossy format (mqa, mp3).
Some of the free downloads from bands were in mp3 and since homepages have disappeared and no official releases were made I get to keep some lossy files forever I guess.
Yes, because there’s certain bootleg / non-official releases that simply aren’t available in lossless quality. I’d rather have them in a lossy format than miss out on them.
Only if I don’t have lossless available
I take a very similar approach to many others here, it seems. All my CDs were ripped as ALAC. However, I have some music which was only available on Apple Music and is AAC. Where I like it enough and play it now, I’ll buy a second-hand CD and rip it or purchase from Qobuz. But there is still some music which seems impossible to find at good quality. And there is some that I no longer like enough to bother replacing with a better quality version (but similarly wouldn’t delete just because it is a low bit-rate version).
Some obscure stuff you have no option but to accept MP3 , even MP3 off Vinyl. FLAC is often imply not available to buy . Try an find “Poco Seven” on FLAC as my latest example. My stats are 462 out of 6144 for example.
What I do is keep MP3 but then use Tidal FLAC as the Primary Version if its available. Should Tidal be down etc then I still have copy.
There is a lot of “snobbery” about MP3. A 320 MP3 can sound fine especially if the original album was ot up to the highest standards in the first place. Yes in the highest resolving systems you can tell but aren’t we in this for the MUSIC ? I would rather have the album in MP3 than not at all
I normally add the highest quality files available for the albums I add to my Roon Library. I use Tidal rather than Qobuz for my external streaming source and so my preference would normally be MQA ‘Hi-res’ if available, or standard 16 bit FLAC if not.
However, I have come across a small number of albums that are only available as AAC in Tidal, and I have no hesitation in adding these to my Library if no other option is available. To be perfectly honest, the AAC files I have in my Library sound pretty good on my systems, and pretty much nearly as good as standard 16 bit 44.1 files.
Of my almost 4TB collection, I’d say 99% are flac files or higher. However, the odd file here and there are Mp3’s @320 kbps. That’s because they are either some live/bootleg albums & only available in that format or similarly some indie type music I bought that was only available in Mp3.
It is actually an interesting question as whilst I try to maintain flac files (or higher) only & have done for years, there are still plenty of places where buying an album is an Mp3. I tend to avoid, but it was only a few weeks ago, where I sent off an email to a small independent record label wanting to purchase an album in flac/wav. I could see some artists albums were available in flac & wav, the one I wanted wasn’t. I got an automated response almost immediately, that I thought was cool as it was over the weekend, saying they’d get back to me asap. A few weeks later…nada.
I’m not going to buy the Mp3 as I just think in 2020 I should not be forced into buying an ‘inferior’ quality cd to download.