Explanation of file types used by Delusional Mind
Delusional Mind is unable to sell our music in mp3 format due to patent license costs involved. Please see the bottom of this page for a link to a wikipedia page describing software which can be used to transcode FLAC and OGG Vorbis files to mp3 format, and the patent issues which surround it. This is provided for educational purposes only and Delusional Mind in no way suggests that you use the described software to circumvent patent laws.
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. FLAC files are quite large since they're lossless. If you want a perfect copy for your library or are going to burn it to cd and want a cd quality source then FLAC is what you're after. If you just want something to listen to that is good, but not cd quality, then the OGG and MP3 files are what you want (and are MUCH smaller). FLAC has gained in popularity and now enjoys the status of being the de facto standard lossless audio compression codec in use. FLAC is an open standard and is not covered by any patents. FLAC files available for purchase from Delusional Mind have 16 bit resolution and a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. They are roughly 50-60% of the size of the uncompressed PCM audio and will produce a perfect copy. There is no better version of the music in existance. Our CD's are created from these files.
OGG is a media container format and can contain virtually any kind of media including both audio and video. The most common type of payload when you see this extension is going to be audio encoded using the Vorbis audio codec. This combination is typically called "OGG Vorbis". Vorbis is a modern lossy audio compression codec that performs roughly equal to most other modern lossy audio codecs and dramatically outperforms obsolete codecs like mp3. It also is freely available, documented, and patent and royalty free, which sets it in a class by itself as all other comparable codecs are closed and require payment of excessive royalties to legally use. OGG Vorbis files released for free by Delusional Mind are encoded at quality levels ranging from 3 to 8 (nominal bit rate 112kbps to 256kbps).
MP3 is the extension used for audio encoded using the MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 lossy audio compression codec. This is by far the most commonly found format on the internet for lossy audio. Developed in the early 1990's it was a ground breaking and high quality codec for it's time. In the decades since, it has been largely superceded by newer, more modern codecs such as Vorbis, AAC, and Opus. In general, it requires a substantially higher bitrate for mp3 to match the quality of a lower bitrate modern lossy codec. It is a closed format and requires the payment of very high royalties to encode files due to patents on the algorithms. Because of the legal and financial issues surrounding the MP3 codec, Delusional Mind will only release free files using it. Any tracks purchased from Delusional Mind will be provided in your choice of OGG Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, or, providing a full album is purchased, a physical CD. MP3 files released by Delusional Mind are encoded at a variable bit-rate averaging around 224kbps.
OPUS is an open source, royalty free audio codec developed by xiph.org, Mozilla, and Skype. It has received support from major industry companies including Microsoft. It is the one and only open source, freely licensed and royalty free lossy audio codec to be standardized by a major standards organization. The IETF has ratified Opus as RFC 6716, paving the way for it's establishment as the predominant lossy audio codec used on the internet for every application from low bitrate, low latency, real-time narrowband communications to full band multichannel audio storage and reproduction. In multiple independant listening tests Opus has been found to match or exceed the quality of virtually every other codec on the market including the patent encumbered AAC format. Because it's a free format Delusional Mind makes it's music available in Opus format in addition to the above referenced codecs.
Please see this wikipedia article which describes the LAME mp3 encoder and which also links to various software which uses it.
If you want to just listen to our OGG Vorbis, Opus, and FLAC files on corporate controlled operating systems (Windows, Mac, iOS, etc) without having to transcode to proprietary formats you can install the free codecs from the Vorbis site. Freedom loving operating systems like FreeBSD and Linux tend to support these formats out of the box. Systems which are a bit more murky (Android) are hit and miss but Android 4 and higher support FLAC and OGG Vorbis natively. Android 5+ supports Opus natively as well. You can find hardware music players that support these formats by checking this Hardware support list.