FLAC vs. MP3 from a same download location

Hi, a free online converter gives me the choice between converting the sound from an external source (a well-known video sharing website) to a FLAC or MP3 320 file. I am guessing that the quality will be the same even though the FLAC file will be bigger.

Should I still convert to FLAC or get MP3 instead and save some memory space? I will then want to import the file converted into Audacity and work on it. By default, in Audacity, the file imported should be at the highest quality even if it’s a MP3, am I right?

When I’m done I will of course export the file as FLAC or WAV.


Never do production in MP3.

Even it seems to work OK right now, it’s a time bomb and could seriously bite you later.

Every time you subject MP3 to production and export, compression distortion gets worse and the only way you can stop it is export in WAV or other uncompressed format. And even if you do that, the next time you need an MP3, the old MP3 compression distortion will make the export far worse than you think it should be (having forgotten about the original MP3 when you made the WAV).


The down side to FLAC is support. I bet you can’t send a FLAC to someone at random and have them open it.

That brings us back to doing everything in WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. It’s one of the “perfect” uncompressed formats and everybody on earth supports it, either 44100 or 48000.

There is one odd exception to this little dance. There are simple MP3 editors that don’t recompress and increase distortion, but they’re really simple. No special effects.


a well-known video sharing website

The original is likely a lossy compression format, and probably not MP3 so if you download as MP3 you are going through another generation of lossy compression before you ever “see” the file. If you wanted MP3 and you weren’t going to do any editing, that would be OK. In any case, try to minimize the number of times it’s lossy-compressed.

Alright FLAC it is. Thank you both.