difference in quality between ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus

sk79

Standard Member
I've always converted and transferred my mp3 collection as 132kbps ATRAC3 files, but a friend said that I should use ATRAC3plus at 128kbps as the sound quality is better despite the higher file compression.

Is this true? I thought that the only difference between ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus was the different bitrates?
 
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Castar

Guest
Atrac3+ is better. But you must check with the bitrates that your device supports because 128kbps Atrac3+ is very new. For example the PSP supports it while the NW-HD5 does not (hopefuly, not yet).
 

drmoze

Standard Member
sk79 said:
I've always converted and transferred my mp3 collection as 132kbps ATRAC3 files, but a friend said that I should use ATRAC3plus at 128kbps as the sound quality is better despite the higher file compression.

Is this true? I thought that the only difference between ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus was the different bitrates?
No, not at all. Atrac3plus uses a different encoding algorithm (OK, a modified one) than Atrac 3, which is improved. It's not jsut a different biitrate, as either format can be used at several bitrates.

In fact, Atrac3+ at 64 kbps is probably moe comparable to Atrac3 at 132. (Both of these work onan HD5.) Atrac3+ at 128 should sound a lot better.

I wouldn't even say that Atrac3+ at 128 is "more compressed" than Atrac3 at 132, although technically it is true by a slight amount. For all intents and purposes, they are pretty much the same level of cmpression.
 
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ChunkyMunkyLuva

Guest
so if i was to convert all of my music from mp3.. which one is better for sound quality and size and works on my HD5?
 

drmoze

Standard Member
Well, any Atrac may sound a bit worse when transcoding. Your (smaller filesize) HD5 options are Atrac3+ at 64 or Atrac3 at 132. (No Atrac3+ at 128 on the HD5, next one up is at 192).

I would try converting to Atrac3+ at 64. Then transfer BOTH the original mp3 and the Atrac 64 version (labeled separately). Listen to both. If the Atrac sound sjust as good to you, then I would convert. If it sounds worse, I would just keep files in mp3 format.
 

drmoze

Standard Member
I don't have all the technical details, but Atrac3+ is an improved (newer) version of Atrac3, which ws made to sound "better" at lower bitrates. The general consensus is that Atrac3+ at 64 kbps sounds roughly as good as mp3's at 128 kbps. Exact comparisons will depend on your player, headphones, if you play back thru a stereo, etc.

(For me, I couldn't discern much difference on my HD5 between Atrac3+ at 64 kbps, 192 kbps, and mp3's at 128 kbps, so I went with Atrac3+ at 64. I listened using 3 different headphones, including my full cans, and so maybe it's my hearing that's shot but the 64 rate sounds fine to me still!)

Atrac encoding has been around for a while and is prevalent on SOny minidisc systems. I think if Sony made Atrac3+ an open format it could have taken over mp3 as a preferred format for low bitrate digital music. But they are keeping it proprietary.
 

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