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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

Haha, this reminds of supposedly lossless, hi-def files from qobuz. One evening sitting by the computer, I found that they have Mozart C-minor Mass directed by Herreweghe, exactly same record I enjoyed earlier the same day from my CD (it was not ripped then). Being lazy (or experimental) sort of person, I decided to stream the music rather than put my CD in. It played nicely, up to solo soprano when it started clipping quite horribly. Compare same part with my CD - no clipping and my poor underpowered mini system played this part rather quietly, but cleanly. Turn down volume on my computer speakers (active Samson studio monitors attached to Epiphany Acoustic DAC) streaming from qobuz, and I hear clipping again. So, I ripped my record to FLAC just to play it on the same equipment and there you go, lovely and clean sound. It turns out that "lossless, hi-def" qobuz files are totally messed up, they probably never checked the final result of whatever conversions they were doing.

I cancelled my qobuz subscription the same day, and from then on I only use FLAC files I ripped from my own CDs, using equipment and processing I trust and know. Or, when I do not care about quality and just want to listen to something different, it's from lossy source such as Spotify. And my "poor underpowered" mini system got an upgrade in the form of better speakers :)

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