It is true! MP3 format is the most common format we normally use in our everyday applications but MP3 is a lossy compression algorithm and it is not comparable with the quality of uncompressed audio formats as Monkey’s Audio, ALAC, WMA. This week, in our Freeware page, we posted a brief review about some particular features of FLAC: a multiplatform (Linux, Windows, MAC OS X) Free Lossless Audio Codec. Nowadays, FLAC is well and constantly supported by many music player producer. We compared FLAC and MP3 formats using the “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major – Allegro” by Bach and the results were very interesting. For common listeners (as us) the audio quality was, more or less, the same but when we asked to a couple of friends (authentic music “hooligans”) to describe the difference between the two music files (FLAC and MP3) they spent more than 15 minutes of their (and our) time talking about “tones”, “pizzicato” and something else that I really do not remember at the moment! After the listening, when we compared the file extensions, we discovered that the FLAC file was five times bigger than the MP3 (25.6MB vs 5.1MB)… To conclude, we really think that FLAC represents a fantastic (and the best) lossless format for home stereo systems. On the other side, if you are not a music purist, MP3 could be the best choice for listening music on portable audio devices.
In our Freeware Page we have posted a review about MusikCube, the most powerful competitor to iTunes. It is superfluous to remind that this opensource software has exactly the same features than iTunes (e.g. tags and dynamic playlist), personally I prefer to underline that MusikCube is extremely lightweight (12,792K on my XP), fast (due to the sqlite database engine), compact and easy to use (it has also a good integrated CD ripper) . Unfortunately it is not possible to personalize (or create) the skin but there are more than 20 plugins you can choose between. Moreover I tried to connect my IPod but I did not succeed; with Zen and Rio I had not any problem. To conclude, I suggest MusikCube to all people who are loking for a modern mp3player with a terrific integrated library manager!