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What's a WAV?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by kokoshka, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. kokoshka

    kokoshka
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    In the world of MP3, I'm very much on the nursery slopes. Trying to choose a player on the basis of which formats are supported is a complete non-starter for me. Would someone kindly put me in the picture? I mean, people mention Ogg Vorbis with great awe, they say that you can't mix iPod with WMA. I assume some are better than others, but havn't a clue which, what or why.
     
  2. shadowritten

    shadowritten
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    WAV = Waveform - the raw, uncompressed sound you get from your CD (sometimes CDA = CD Audio).

    Being over-simplistic here ... someone else will give it to you more technically, I'm sure!
     
  3. DantheMan

    DantheMan
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    lol no problem mate :) Give you a basic speel...

    MP3 is the standard format that everyone now supports, it is a lossy format which means that it removes certains parts supposedly unhearable by the human ear to allow the filesize to be significantly smaller. Bit rates higher than 128 (cd quality) are recommended by me because 128 is rubbish to my ears. 192kb is fine though but....

    WMA is similar to mp3 and is also lossy. I think an 128k WMA sounds better than the equivalent 128k mp3 and also is smaller. Sometimes it requires more processing and uses more battery life however but this is negligible. iPod does not support this and neither does the Sony HD5 but it has been around for ages.

    ATRAC is sonys own format and only useable by sony stuff. It is basically a very good sounding format that is very small in filesize, thats all you need to know.

    Ogg (Vorbis) is an open source format and free. Vorbis is the the audio compression. Flac can be embedded in Ogg...

    FLAC is a (free) lossless (audio) compression format = very good quality but massive filesize. Lossless basically means it retains the original data from the CD but reduces the filesize.

    AAC is a format used mainly by apple (iPod) and is similar to WMA in that it sounds better than equivalent bit rate mp3's.

    I use ATRAC or mp3 192k for my HD5 player but previously I used 160k WMA files as I thought these sounded better. Try some and see what you prefer. iTunes uses AAC files supposedly if you go the iPod route.

    People will argue that some formats are better than others but it is purely subjective. Lossless files are very very large in size, so unless you're a purist then don't bother with that type.
     
  4. kokoshka

    kokoshka
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    Brilliant! Thankyou! Of course I knew all that, I was just testing...
     
  5. shadowritten

    shadowritten
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    Two things:

    1) In my experience, WMA files tend to be just fractionally LARGER in size than equivalent bitrate MP3s;

    2) Using 160kbps WMA in my Creative Zen Touch seemed to use up significantly more juice during playback - no idea why, though :confused:
     
  6. DantheMan

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    Must be dependant on the files in question because I encoded wma's at 160kbps because they were similar to the 128kbps mp3s in size, but I could be vegging out because that was a while ago.
     

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