If you’re like me in the sense that you absolutely need to get the best possible quality out of your music, there are some stuff you need to be aware of.
First of all, before purchasing an album or a song online, from let’s say, beatport or what have you, DO NOT buy the high quality FLAC or WAV, for a very simple reason; most of the artists send out the MP3 tracks to these websites, and when you decide to purchase the higher quality FLAC, you get charged for the lossless encoding’s upgrade, the thing is, though, the artist never sent out a lossless version of the track… What the website will do is, they will convert the lossy .MP3 file the artist sent out to a “higher quality” .FLAC or .WAV, and while you actually CAN convert from lossy to lossless, you might end up actually degrading the quality, best case scenario, it’ll come out of the same quality.
The reason behind this is that the MP3 format is a lossy compression method, meaning you lose information to get more of a space advantage. The FLAC however is lossless, it can convert the track bit by bit and compressing the outcome, not as much as MP3 of course, so basically you can’t recreate the already lost samples from the MP3 encoding into the FLAC encoding, you’ll either have to replicate the already existing ones, put in some new ones, or some other algorithm that will be applied, and will also not recreate the original track again.
Other websites like Bandcamp though, require you upload the lossless high quality file, and when you purchase a track, you can choose what quality it is you want.
I hope this was helpful, let me know your thoughts about this, and if you know other websites that require you upload the lossless encoding, let me know.