Best HD File Format?

I am new to digital/streaming hifi.  I have signed up with HDTracks, administered by the Chesky Brothers.  I'd like to make some purchases there, but the site asks me to specify which file type I prefer to, giving the following choices:


Which one is best?  Which is worst?  
I will be playing music over a predominantly horn-based system and prefer the lowest noise floor and highest S/N ratio.  I have a Mytec Brooklyn Bridge DAC, but I have not purchased a storage system yet.  Does it matter what kind of hard drive these files go on, or will I just be streaming the files?

Showing 1 response by auxinput

WAV is probably the best file format because it's raw PCM.

AIFF and ALAC are Apple's codecs and contain raw PCM as well, but not all software sill support this.

FLAC is an algorithm that compresses the PCM data to reduce the file size.  However, the core PCM data is still full resolution and uncompressed.  Some software/players will not perform as well with this format because the player will have to dynamically uncompress the FLAC file on the fly before it sends it to the DAC.  Think of this as a compressed ZIP file.  All the data is there, but it needs to be uncompressed and re-arranged before you can us it.

If you use a computer and Jriver as a player for the Brooklyn DAC, you won't have any problems.  I could not comment on other solutions - they may be fine or they may have a slight performance degradation with FLAC.