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Too many different formats? MP3 vs WMA vs ATRAC vs etc

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by figoagogo, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. figoagogo

    figoagogo
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    Hi

    Any one else starting to get confused by all these formats and annoyed by the lack of compatibility between them and hardware?

    I now have a Sony PSP and will use it for music (previously Sony NETMD) - it will take MP3, but not WMA, and it will only use ATRAC on a non-Pro memory stick.

    I have also just ordered a cheapo small MP3 player for the missus that will take WMA and MP3 but not ATRAC. I like the look of the IPOD SHUFFLE but didn't want another music format on my PC!

    For some reason I have ripped all my CD in the WMA format on to my PC in the last couple of months, and any music I have downloaded via the WWW is in MP3 format.

    So now I am not sure what to do - I needs to take some tunes on holiday. I will fill up a 256MB memory stick (PSP) and a 256MB MP3 player. But I am stumped as to which route to take - MP3, ATRAC or WMA or a mixutre of all of these with the risk of duplicating tunes on my PC.

    I guess MP3 is the "most comptable format" but from what I have read is not as efficient as WMA and ATRAC in compression, sound quality and it seems also battery life :eek:

    Hmmmm - would you prefer a standard format (monopoly) or do you like the choice thats out there? IMO its getting to much and I fear video will be next :suicide:
     
  2. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    I agree, it's a bit of a farce. If only Apple & Sony allowed the use of WMA it'd make things a lot easier. I think it's stupid that Sony and Apple are intent on pushing formats that can only be used on their machines. Apple have AAC; Sony have ATRAC.

    I download using MP3 not because I think it is the best format but it has compatability across all players. I don't want to rip my entire collection to one format and then have to do it again if I decide to buy a new player. :suicide:
     
  3. figoagogo

    figoagogo
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    Well WMA is Microsofts format, and I doubt Apple or Sony would use their competitors format?

    I would go all MP3, but from what I read and understand, ATRAC, WMA, AAC etc are more efficient - afterall MP3 is quite an old format. I am also confused when music capcity is quoted by websites etc - it seems you can get twice as much WMA tunes than MP3 tunes on a player :confused: Any ideas what is the best size/quality ratio I can go with on WMA on a portable device? All my ripped CDs are at 160kbs (WMA), some of my MP3s go as low as 112kbs, mostly 128kbs and 192kbs - I regret my lack of consistency :suicide:
     
  4. wizdom75

    wizdom75
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    Personally I would recommend OGG Vorbis, it is free, morden and as efficient as WMA which is the most efficient format at the moment. I am sure in a few months time this will replace the accomplished but now outdated MP3 - it was written in 1989 - as the de facto standard.
     
  5. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    But isn’t there still the problem that many players don’t support OGG?
     
  6. wizdom75

    wizdom75
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    In the mean time use MP3 and WMA
     
  7. jimmy_b

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    FWIW I don't see the point in using any lossy codec as standards are still evolving and with the price of hard disks coming down rapidly, storing all your songs in a lossless format is now possible.

    I would hate to record all my CDs as MP3 only to discover another format wins over at some time in the future and I would have to recopy all my CDs. I use lossless WMA format because that way I can always get back to the original WAV file if I need to at any time in the future.

    You can now get a terabyte of storage for ~£500. That's enough storage for about 3000 cds in lossless wma.
     

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