Low bit (short for low bitrate, also known as lobit) is a musical aesthetic characterized by lossy data compression artifacts caused by encoding songs at low bitrates. Artists making low-bit music believe that if a song is good, it can be appreciated at any bitrate or on any speakers.
The low-bit style emerged as an avant-garde reaction to the perceived bitrate snobbery in the organized music piracy (on peer-to-peer networks) and net label scenes. It also shares a strong do-it-yourself ethic with punk ideology.
Low-bit music is distributed primarily through net labels. Unlike most net labels, many low-bit labels do not focus on representing a single music genre. Instead, the catalog of each label reveals the personal tastes of the curator.
Because of the small file sizes of low-bitrate encodes, it is possible to download an entire EP from a low-bit label in the same time it would take to download one song from a standard net label. This makes low-bitrate releases accessible to listeners who have only a dialup modem as well as conserving space on portable music players with limited memory.