Melba Recordings

"... a label of fragrant distinction"

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A Choice of Formats | Which Format is best for me? | Audio File Sizes and Prices

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Our commitment to fine music ensures we supply you with the best choice of audio file formats for download.

All Melba Recordings are available in CD quality formats as well as high quality MP3s and many recordings are available in Studio Master quality downloads.

The three lossless formats we use for high definition downloads are WMA, FLAC and Apple Lossless (ALE) files. Melba Recordings is one of the first music labels to offer Apple Lossless files for download. All three formats are industry standard audio codecs that generate audio files with the best dynamic range in digital music.

All Melba Recordings formats may be copied for use on other audio devices. If you lose a file, or it becomes corrupted, you can download it again at no extra charge using your Melba Recordings user ID.



Melba Recordings MP3s are encoded at 320 kb/s and are higher quality than standard MP3s available at many online music stores. Melba Recordings MP3 files are unlocked and suitable for most audio devices and software. They also carry detailed track information and album artwork.

CD quality WMA, FLAC or Apple Lossless files (44kHz-16bit)

44kHz-16-bit recordings are accepted throughout the music industry as equivalent or better quality than audio CDs. WMA, FLAC and Apple Lossless Encodings (ALE) are lossless audio formats that produce CD quality sounds but take up around half the disk space.

Studio Master WMA, Apple Lossless or FLAC files (96kHz - 24bit)

Studio Master files produce the finest possible sound quality. Studio Master files have much greater sound quality than CDs because they sample music at 96kHz - 24 bits per second. Studio Master files are higher definition larger files and take slightly longer to download. (See table below)

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MP3s are the best choice for those who either have slow internet or want an easy interface with standard equipment, including portable devices like iPhones. They are also a good choice for those who may only have a standard RCA cable connection between their computer and stereo.

CD quality files are the best choice for people with fast broadband for downloads and a standard digital cable or wi-fi connection to good stereo equipment or a digital media receiver.

Studio Master downloads are the preferred choice for people with an especially high quality digital connection between their computer and high quality stereo equipment.

WMA, FLAC or Apple Lossless?

These are “lossless” audio formats that compress music files to about half their normal size without losing any music data. With good stereo equipment they produce a richer sound but also produce larger files than MP3s.

In general, WMA files are provided for customers who prefer Windows Media Player and Apple Lossless files are better for iTunes users. FLAC files require some expertise in installing a third party media player.

You must select one of these formats for each purchase unless you are choosing MP3s.

WMA and PC users

Most versions of Windows Media Player will play lossless WMA (Windows Media Audio) files. iTunes on Windows will play WMA files directly but by default converts and compresses them to AAC files. You simply change import preferences to ensure they are added to your library in Apple's lossless format.

Apple Lossless for Mac users 

Apple Lossless Audio Codec, or ALE (Apple Lossless Encoder), is an audio codec developed by Apple Inc. for the lossless compression of digital music.

Apple Lossless data is stored with the filename extension ".m4a". Just to confuse things, this extension is also currently used by Apple for AAC audio data which is a 'lossy' format. The format we use, Apple Lossless Encoder, is similar to other lossless codecs such as FLAC in size and richness.

All current iPods and iPhones can play MP3s. CD quality (16-bit, 44.1Khz) Apple Lossless files will also play on iPhones and all iPods except Ipod Shuffle.

Apple Lossless files play natively on Apple computers and devices through both iTunes and QuickTime software. The don't play automatically on Windows but PC users can use media player software like VLC media player to translate and play Apple Lossless files. VLC will not play Studio Master quality files however (96kHZ/24bit).

FLAC for audiophiles

Melba Recordings uses FLAC because it is an efficient and lossless, open source music format that will never be restricted. It is also been adpoted as a standard by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union).

Mac users wanting to use iTunes need to convert FLAC files using free convertor software, or else use alternative media player software like Songbird for Mac .

Free conversion software like Switch  or XLD  or Max  are easy to use and convert FLAC files to just about any other format including MP3s and the lossless formats preferred by iTunes on Mac - AIFF, Apple Lossless or WAV. Note that WAV files will not hold metadata, including artwork.

Good stand alone digital media receivers can play both FLAC and WMA files without conversion. Consult a trusted stereo equipment retailer.

More about FLAC files at

Please feel free to contact us with any questions on

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The table below is a guide to prices for downloads :






MP3 High Quality [320kb/s]


WMA | FLAC | ALE - CD Quality [44kHz 16bit]


WMA | FLAC | ALE - Studio Master [96kHz 24bit]


1-2 min

2-5 min

5-10 min



30 Min

MP3 High Quality [320kb/s]







WMA | FLAC | ALE - CD Quality [44kHz 16bit]







WMA | FLAC | ALE - Studio Master [96kHz 24bit]