This is going to be a bit of a different topic, as we will cover audio output of the most common listening mediums today. First we have the revolutionary mp3, the grand daddy of the mp4, and lastly the primordial analog. The latter is the one you would find by using a record player and RCA preamp adapter to speakers.
First, let’s get the MP3 vs MP4 debate over with.
Differences Between Mp3 and Mp4
Mp3 came first, and it was one of the most revolution audio coding format that compresses files potently. MP4 cover multimedia so it is not limited to just audio, but also video.
Mp3 files have a generally lower file size compared to mp4, however the quality is also inferior due to this lossy compression. Mp4 is better if you depend on quality, and are not focused on space.
What About Vinyl?
When it comes to vinyl, you can not compare the quality to mp3 or mp4. Vinyl blows these modern audio formats out of the water and it’s not even close. If you setup a nice rig with one of the best record players and connect it to a solid preamp to speaker combo, you will get almost a divine sound that you have never experienced before.
Vinyl records are still in circulation today, so your favorite artists could be producing vinyl versions of their new albums. This does not limit you to just downloading an album online and having it in mp3 or mp4 formats which diminish quality, the former more than the latter.
Nothing beats true lossless compression of analog.
What About Convenience?
Obviously mp3 and mp4 files are going to me more convenient than vinyl records. Especially with mp3, you will find most, if not all music players to be compatible. Mp4 could be a bit different, but the market has pretty much caught on lately and mp4s are starting to take over.
Surprisingly enough, there are plenty of new record players being invented that have features like usb to transfer old vinyl to mp3 files. You get what you pay for here, so avoid the cheap under $300 ones and get a good one so you have a smooth transfer over.
In retrospect, the convenience factor all depends on you. Do you like to listen to music in the comfort of your own home? Or are you always on the road and get your listening done in the car or elsewhere? The answer to that question should decide which option is best for you, but if you CAN have both you won’t go wrong in having a much better audio experience at home with an analog turntable as they call them nowadays.