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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
But which sound file sounds better...MP3 or WAV? I've heard a lot of people say they sound the same, but I figured I'd ask you guys because you're the experts. If this is the wrong place, feel free to move it.
post #2 of 11
there's also another post on this topic literally one post away.
post #3 of 11
if you're not sure, it usually is not the right place.
post #4 of 11
WAV of course since it is an uncompressed file. But that's assuming of course that you ripped the WAV directly from the CD. If you convert the MP3 to a WAV, you're just wasting hard drive space since the MP3 compression damage has already been done and it can't be restored.
post #5 of 11
Oh no, not another one of these threads.
Anyway, they can not be compared. MP3 is a lossy audio codec, while WAV is a container format. WAV can contain both lossless (PCM) and lossy (MP3) audio data.

Most refer to PCM audio data when talking about WAV though, and in that case it is higher quality than MP3.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Oh no, not another one of these threads.
Anyway, they can not be compared. MP3 is a lossy audio codec, while WAV is a container format. WAV can contain both lossless (PCM) and lossy (MP3) audio data.

Most refer to PCM audio data when talking about WAV though, and in that case it is higher quality than MP3.
When you say WAV can "contain" lossy data, I think that's a little misleading.

WAV is like a high-resolution picture (containing full 16/44.1 or 24/96 etc.) and MP3 is like a picture that's fuzzed out a bit.

Converting an MP3 into a WAV is like taking a high-resolution photograph of a fuzzy picture. The fuzz doesn't go away.

Does WAV contain any record of what it was converted from? If the WAV contains a header indicating "where it came from" it might make a little more sense to say it "contains" an MP3.

Note I'm using the phrase "an MP3" loosely to mean "a file containing MP3 -encoded data."
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post
When you say WAV can "contain" lossy data, I think that's a little misleading.
Should not be misleading, but just you who do not understand.
As said, WAV is a container format (like Ogg, AVI, MKV, ...). Which can contain both lossy and lossless audio data, in its original form (not decoded). MP3 being one of them. It is not common, but it certainly happen.

Just check out: WAV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, if I'm ripping a CD to my computer for use on a PMP, then I should use WAV?

EDIT: Never mind, I just looked it up and found out that the Zune 120 can't play WAV files.

So here's another question-What type of file would sound better on a Zune, MP3 or WMA?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan215 View Post
So here's another question-What type of file would sound better on a Zune, MP3 or WMA?
That again depends on at least two factors.
* Which encoder used. Especially for MP3, where there are multiple ones ranging from very good to horrible.
* The bitrate of the files.

I would go for MP3 files encoded with LAME, but certainly not sure if they "sound better" than WMA on the same bitrate. But they are certainly more flexible and universal.

Edit:
Comparing lossy codecs are quite subjective. As some people are more sensitive to artifacts created by a specific codec/encoder than others, while others may be sensible to artifacts created by the other codec/encoder. Hence I recommend you encode some test samples on your own and perform a listening test. Then make up your own mind.
post #10 of 11
Just take one of your favorite cd's and rip it with your zune software starting with wma lossless and then working your way down the mp3 bitrates. Personally if I'm only using my zune to play in my bigrig for work, I'll only go as low as 256k VBR. I'd recommend using variable bit rate encoding whenever possible as it allows more dynamic headroom than constant bit rate encoding.

Unless you're trying to cram as much music as possible on your zune, go with wma lossless compression. You should have no problems fitting over 300 albums on your 120 and get the best sound quality possible out of it. Like was said previously, don't convert an mp3 source file to another format or pretty soon it'll sound like satellite radio.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan215 View Post
So, if I'm ripping a CD to my computer for use on a PMP, then I should use WAV?

EDIT: Never mind, I just looked it up and found out that the Zune 120 can't play WAV files.

So here's another question-What type of file would sound better on a Zune, MP3 or WMA?
The best would be WMA lossless, which I think your player supports. Using WAV, even if it were supported would be a waste of space because lossless is 100% of uncompressed. Odds are that MP3 V0 using the newest version of LAME, 3.98 is transparent to your ears. I use V0 for my ipod and flac for home listening/burning copies.
You should also make sure to use EAC secure mode to rip.

Also, if you're using MP3, in addition to using LAME, ALWAYS USE VBR, SQ goes VBR > ABR > CBR
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