When is music good enough quality?

Music quality makes a difference, but sometimes you have to make due with what quality you have. When is that quality just good enough to listen to?

The quality is good enough when you can hear the words, appreciate the instruments, and be the right file size for you.

You don’t need to worry about file size if you are a streaming music service (and some people use both a streaming service and local music files). If you do have music local to your computer and you don’t have money to be able to get new hard drives (prices on hard drives continue to drop) then consider what music you actually want to have locally and consider how much space you can put towards the music.

The instruments are what can get drowned down when listening to lower quality, sometimes one instrument may sound like a different instrument, sometimes in lower quality the instruments overpower the lyrics, and if higher quality you tend to be able to hear the right balance of instruments and lyrics.

Usually you can hear the lyrics on the lowest quality of music since that is part of what listeners what to hear. Usually when you go to higher quality the lyrics sound crisper, easier to hear (you don’t have to fight to try and hear the lyrics) and you can sometimes hear the emotion in the singers voice.

Some may say that you need better equipment to hear the difference on higher quality music (like better / more expensive headphones, or better speakers), it does help you get the most out of those high quality songs. Even with the cheapest equipment (like the headphones that your phone came with) you can hear the difference between the lowest music quality, and the highest.

If you want higher quality music streaming, Tidal is one of the more popular ones (it does have a 30-day free trial) but you have to pay more if you want their “HiFi” quality. Amazon music HD also has high quality streaming which is similar in price to Tidal.

Higher quality music downloads do exist, some of site that offer them include HDTracks, 7digital, Bandcamp, and some record labels have their own online store to buy the higher quality. The prices on these vary, they can start anywhere from $2 per track to $30 per album or more. The reasons behind the price increase compared to not getting high quality is believed to be since it is a niche market the companies can charge more, and it could also be because it costs more for the company to store the music.

Ultimately, the music quality is good enough when you can balance between the music being good enough to hear, and the price (whatever you use music streaming, or downloads).

I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 21).


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