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WMA vs. MP3 Which one has better SOUND QUALITY?

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by Jarrod, Oct 26, 2007.

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  1. Jarrod

    Jarrod Notebook Evangelist

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    I've always been ripping music using 192kbps WMA, but it is as good as the 320kbps MP3? I'm just curious as to which format has better sound quality, since I'm getting a new mp3 player soon. (it's 4GB and supports both)
     
  2. Raven322

    Raven322 Notebook Evangelist

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    i think wma sounds better than mp3 at the same kbps. aac sounds the best though
     
  3. Gintoki

    Gintoki Notebook Prophet

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    Yes, it makes a huge difference. You can hear things you couldn't before and most of that background noise is out of it. Now what's better is Lossless and since you have a 4gb it's perfect for you. Also remember no talk of piracy here.
     
  4. Airman

    Airman Band of Gypsys NBR Reviewer

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    Too late...:rolleyes:


    People nowadays, they hear Music and thats the first thing that comes to their minds. wow

    I guess the RIAA is doing their job right.
     
  5. Gintoki

    Gintoki Notebook Prophet

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    Well maybe he...or...hrm. =\ I guess it is to late.
     
  6. Jarrod

    Jarrod Notebook Evangelist

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    Piracy huh?
    I though mp3 players doesn't support WMA Lossless...
     
  7. David

    David NBR Random Reviewer NBR Reviewer

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    Here's cut and paste from wikipedia (note that WMA is made by microsoft):

    "Microsoft claims that audio encoded with WMA sounds better than MP3 at the same bit rate; Microsoft also claims that audio encoded with WMA at lower bit rates sound better than MP3 at higher bit rates. Double blind listening tests with other lossy audio codecs have shown varying results, from failure to support Microsoft's claims about its superior quality to supremacy over other codecs. One independent test conducted in May 2004 at 128 kbit/s showed that WMA was roughly equivalent to LAME MP3; inferior to AAC and Vorbis; and superior to ATRAC3 (software version). Another test performed by ExtremeTech showed different results, however, placing WMA at the top of the list in terms of quality."
     
  8. Jarrod

    Jarrod Notebook Evangelist

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    Wait, I just realized that I can use AAC as well. So does AAC beat both mp3 and WMA?
     
  9. sasanac

    sasanac Notebook Evangelist

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    I would go with AAC out of those options IMO. Whether or not it beats WMA or mp3 I've no idea lol, but, I think it sounds better!

    But out of any music format I would use FLAC if it were an option or Ogg tho very few music players will play those two formats.
     
  10. Fade To Black

    Fade To Black The Bad Ass

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    AAC beats MP3 and WMA. There is also OGG, but people ignore that as it is not supported by hardware players.
     
  11. -Recoil-

    -Recoil- Notebook Consultant

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    The MPEG Layer 3 (MP3) was specifically designed for a smaller file type. When it was a new file type, i remember people sayin that it got rid of the real high and low frequencies that no-one would really hear (unless they have an awsome set of headphones) to save the space.

    I would say wma.
     
  12. usapatriot

    usapatriot Recent Grad Trying to Find His Way

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    Zeromancer!!!

    I'm Yours To Lose encoded at 192kbps, damn I wish it were 320kbps!!!

    And for the record I rip my music at 256kbps CBR w/Lame MP3.
     
  13. zoidbergslo

    zoidbergslo Notebook Guru

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    only reasonable MP3 quality is V2 or V0. I don't know if WMA supports VBR.
     
  14. Pitabred

    Pitabred Linux geek con rat flail!

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    I know that my Samsung U3 (and most of the rest of their line) all play OGG. No, the iPod doesn't play it, but there are a lot of other hardware players that do support it.
     
  15. Gintoki

    Gintoki Notebook Prophet

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    Not wma lossless, flac (which is lossless).
     
  16. Gintoki

    Gintoki Notebook Prophet

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    Wikipedia says that but i don't know, i would go with 320kbps mp3 and ditch wma but it's your call.
     
  17. swarmer

    swarmer beep beep

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    A few things:

    - It's not just the format and bitrate, but the encoder used too. For mp3 the LAME encoder has a very good reputation (and it's what I use).

    - The bitrate matters a lot. Any of the major formats at 320kbps will sound better than anything at 192kbps (if you can hear the difference). The downside of a higher bitrate of course is that the files take up more space.

    - Above 192 kbps or so, it becomes difficult to tell the difference from the uncompressed source on typical listening equipment. This threshold may vary a little depending on your audio equipment and your hearing.

    - MP3 has better compatibility than AAC or WMA, meaning that more devices and software support mp3 format than anything else. And coverting from one of these formats to another will result in quality loss.

    Personally, I rip my CDs to mp3 with the LAME encoder. Yeah, I could probably get slightly better sound at the same bitrate using AAC, but the difference isn't that great, and I can always compensate by increasing the bitrate a little bit. It's worth it to me to be able to play the files back on anything without worrying if it supports some format... since pretty much everything around supports mp3. But if you want the best quality for a given file size, and aren't too worried about compatibility, then AAC is probably best.
     
  18. Glasstream15

    Glasstream15 Notebook Guru

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    I use WMP 11 to rip CDs at 320 KBPS. I also have a Creative Zen Vision:M 60 gig so I have a lot of room. And even my 65 year old ears can easily tell the difference between 192 and 320. And also between 320 and the CD. But for portable use, I definitely could not tell the difference between 320 and the CD in the noisy environments I use the mp3s in. And I use either Koss KSC35 (unfortunately discontinued) or Senn HD 535 phones. If I want to carry my Total Airhead amp I can also use the HD 600 cans. And Phillips noise cnceling for airplanes. But no portable lossy player will ever be as good as the CD, and no CD will ever match high quality vinyl on a good table.
     
  19. sasanac

    sasanac Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm not sure on that bit, it depends on the sound technicians who recorded the music. If I go though my music collection the sound quality on Pink Floyd albums (either CD or vinyl) beats any of my other albums hands down, either on vinyl or cd. I have some perfect condition vinyl which when played on my 1210s or NAD turntable still sounds rubbish... (could be a poor choice in music on my part though of course lol)

    Going back to the file format question I think the restricting factor often is the headphones. Most headphones supplied with music players aren't up to playing music recorded at a high bit rate. You just loose the detail anyway so may as well try a few rates out and see where you start to notice the difference, then go with that.

    Incidentally the Cowon iAudio 7 plays ogg and FLAC http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/iaudio/7/
     
  20. Waveblade

    Waveblade Notebook Deity

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    Yeah but 8 GB? Not much to go on with that. 16GB supposed to come out sooner or later.


    Anyways, I prefer mp3 as you can play it with ALL types of media devices. AAC, and you're stuck unless you're buying an iPod or Zune (which are the only 2 major mp3 players using AAC iirc)
     
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