Why is WAV the best way to losslessly archive audio? I mean, I know it’s the best quality, but for size consideration, how is FLAC, APE or the alternatives any worse? Not as portable, but for a backup, there’s no loss of quality that I know of. Hence, “lossless” - same as WAV, and same as original CD. (Of course, it’d be lossy to go from vinyl to anything :P)
As for LAME MP3, I’m currently halfway through backing up my music collection using the standard alt-preset setting… Of course, a good portion of it is in --remix from back before the alt-preset thing was publicized so much, but the last time I archived my audio collection was 2-3 years ago using 128 & 160 kbps, and not LAME…
So while I’m doing it this time around it occurred to me that, sure, I’m using the best lossy compression at the moment, but MPC and Ogg are up-and-comers, in fact better - MPC the best. So why not switch mid-project to MPC or Ogg? Well, right now MP3 seems wisest to me for now.
But I can totally see myself doing this all over again in a couple of years with the next new, “better than ever” lossy compression, so why not get it over with once and for all by backing everything up to lossless, and not having to worry about quality?
Actually, I’ve made my decision now - I’m just going to stick with LAME alt-preset standard for now, and when it comes time to do the archival project again in 2-3 years, instead of going with Ogg or MPC or whatever lossy compression is best, DVD-R drives (or big hard drives) should be even cheaper, and it should a no-brainer to do everything losslessly next time around. I wonder if bandwidth will catch up enough in 2-3 years for people to consider trading lossless files?