Digital audio formats are of two types: lossey and lossless . Lossey means that some of the original data is lost during compression. Resulting files are small, but some sound quality is sacrificed. MP3 is a lossey format. Lossless algorithms, on the other hand, do not lose any data during compression. FLAC is a lossless audio format that is gaining popularity.
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Feldman, Barbara. "Lossey and Lossless." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Jan. 2005. Web. 18 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/670/lossey-and-lossless/ >.