I knew as soon as I hit the “Post as Mark Settle” button in Disqus comments that I’d possibly derailed the XDJ-XZ story into decidedly off-topic territory, a place I despise with a passion. So I nipped that in the bud and decided to give the subject of audio formats its own article. 

Essentially the issue of the new Pioneer XDJ-XZ not being FLAC compatible has arisen, much to the annoyance of some. And by the extension of principle, me too. But the issue of FLAC use has come up repeatedly over the years. So it’s time to find out what our lovely community thinks as far as file formats go.


This is not an educational piece as such — it’s easy enough to find out all about the plethora of lossy and lossless formats without me walking in front of a virtual blackboard like a professor. Instead, I want to know what you use and why you use them. I’m especially interested in the reasoning for lossless formats (FLAC brought us here), especially when the accepted truth is that a room full of wasted clubbers cannot tell the difference between a decent MP3 and a lossless format. It’s only we DJs that care about these things, I guess so the crowd doesn’t have to.

I’m also interested in the process you employ to get your files. Where do you buy them? Can you get everything you need in lossless? Or do you sometimes slum it with MP3? Do you do anything else to them? Extra tagging?

Or do you simply not buy into that audiophile piffle and knock out 128K YouTube rips to a full bar? Has any DJ been audited by punters for file formats because they can only dance to lossless? Has any punter ever complained about the clearly inferior sound quality of your 320K files? 

Consider the can of worms open. Remember that it’s much better to positively express the reasons for your choices than attack those who do something different. Let’s learn from each other. Off you go.