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Format & bitrate question

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Pecker, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Prolonged listening has pursuaded me that WMA sounds better than mp3.

    However, in my Creative software I can only record in WMA at a maximum of 160 kbps, whilst in mp3 I can go up to 320 kbps.

    So, to save me from wading through hours of comparitive listening, can I ask for comments from anyone who's compared these (WMA 160 vs mp3 320).

    Cheers.

    Steve W
     
  2. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    It also depends on how you're ripping MP3. Tried LAME?
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Blast, you've just made it even more complicated!

    Steve W
     
  4. Darthvador

    Darthvador
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    just type in google

    rare wares

    and you will be enlightened
     
  5. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Unfortunately yeah. Some ripping software use old or not well performing codecs so you might notice a difference. LAME (as long as you keep up to date) is consistently ranked as being among the best rippers. Most bundled programs use mediocre to inferior codecs, while WMP ripping is of course more consistent. Management programs like Media Center use LAME as the encoding engine, and there are plenty of other easy to use frontends available for the LAME engine.
     
  6. BROUGHCUT

    BROUGHCUT
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    also encode using one of the LAME presets rather than using your own settings.

    You want either alt.preset.standard or alt.preset.extreme -- both variable bit rate, the latter will give the best quality and take the bitrate as high as needed (highest average bitrate I've got on a track using this setting was 270kpbs, but it can be as low as 160, just depends on the music). If you are only listening with headphones standard is probably the most efficient.

    don't use alt.preset.insane -- it is just 320 kbps constant bitrate.

    DBPowerAMP makes is easy and comes bundled with the latest stable/tested version of LAME. (If you download the codec yourself to use with other software be carefull not to get one of the betas).
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker
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    Okay, here's another question which should be easy for some of you mathematical & knowledgable types.

    How much smaller (approximately) is an mp3 file, compared to a WAV file? Is it 25% of the original? 5%? 50%? I know it will depend on the bitrate, but I'm looking for a rough figure.

    Put another way, a 60gb Toshiba Gigabeat will hold 15,000 songs (based on 4 minutes of track at 128 kbps in the MP3 or WMA format).

    How many songs would it hold if they were recorded in WAV?

    5,000?
    3,500?
    1,000?

    Approximately, that is.

    Steve W
     
  8. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    It doesn't require huge maths. 74 minutes of audio in WAV is 650MB... look on any CD-R.


    Plus, bear in mind that WAV is not taggable so unless you give tracks very explicit filenames, if they get orphaned from your folder structure, it's toast.
     
  9. Pecker

    Pecker
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    I've figured out that 74 minutes of music recorded at mp3 168kbps uses up around 67mb.

    So CD uses up about 10 times as much room.

    So your 15,000 songs becomes 1,500 songs.

    Steve W
     
  10. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Question:
    on Limewire
    the higher the bitrate the better the sound quality??
    there's 320, 256, 192, 128 etc

    is there much difference between them?
    any i should avoid??

    I've also got a Cowan iAudio U2 1gb.
     
  11. BenW

    BenW
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    Its really what sounds best to you.

    Get a CD, rip it at 128 then 192 then 256 then 320 and see if you can hear any difference.

    Personally i always rip/download the higheste bitrate available
     
  12. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    yeah. i would've thought highest bitrate should sound the best...
    too much hassle downloading them all.
     

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