MP3 vs Redbook?

This question may be best posted to another forum, but this is the only audio forum I frequent. Plus, I consider myself an "audiofool" of sorts.

My question - How do MP3s (recorded at 320kbps or VBR) compare to Redbook? How lossy are they?

Also, how do files encoded and decoded thru FLAC compare to Redook?


MP3 and other lossy formats (e.g. AAC, M4A, Ogg, WMA, etc) will certainly sound different from the Redbook source even at high bitrates (320 kbps). While the MP3 encoding won't necessarily sound bad, it isn't the same as source and you should be able to hear the difference. The benefit of these types of encoding is a significant savings in file size (3-4x) while still retaining a reasonable image of the music. You'll need to decide for yourself whether or not the fidelity provided is acceptable.

FLAC and other lossless formats (e.g. ALAC, WMA Lossless, APE, etc) will encode/decode the material from/to the original WAV source precisely. No change in the sound should be heard using these formats. These formats will typically provide between 1.5x and 2x savings in file size, and as such are less space efficient than MP3, but will provide perfect fidelity.
My question is along the same line. Im looking to transfer analog tapes to Digital media. I've encountered a number of problems along the way. (1) I recorded these tapes to CD-R using the popular MP-3 Format. I then tried to play them back on an old JVC one-piece home stereo. Of course I encountered problems. From there I went to the Roxio Media Center that came with my Gateway CPU. It mentioned that Red Book could be played back on all or most CD players, be it car or home. This lead me to contact NERO, and Im waiting to hear back from them to see if their program supports Red Book. Fortunately Im in the market for new home and car stereo equipment as well. Ive looked on many web sites to check many brands of CD players and Recorders. To my suprise most do not support the MP-3 or WAV formats. Should I be looking for a media program that supports the Red Book format? Also, if I was to tape to a DVD that holds 120 minutes of music, can I replay this recording on other CD players, or will I encounter the same problem? (Do CD-R's and DVD-R's support the same formats, and can they both be played on a cd player that supports these formats?