See also: Compression | Lossless | Best Compressed Audio Format

“Lossy” compression occurs in media compression by removing all sounds or colors outside of our audio-visual range. Sometimes, these formats take out even more so that the compression becomes quite noticable but even high-quality lossy compression can still affect overall experience. High-quality speakers and video can often easily give away lossy compression.

Some examples of Lossy compression include MP3, Ogg Vorbis, RealAudio, and WMA files. To chose the best of these systems, look at Best Compressed Audio Format


Careful listeners may notice that lossy-format music

  • Sounds “flatter” and/or “metallic”
  • General ambience and subtlety is removed
  • Hits are less distinct
  • Low bass that can often be felt but not heard

The MP3 format is most known for this but other compression systems often harm overall sound quality.

With the advent of digital systems, it was thought that quality diminishing after one audio or video tape was copied to another would disappear, also known as “generations.” Instead, many CDs are burned using MP3s and then re-ripped and burned again. This can severely impact audio quality and has given rise to lossless audio compression.

Lossy algorithms should be taken from the original file.

TakeDown.NET -> “Lossy