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WMA files and FiiO X3 Questions

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I'm new to Head-Fi and would like info about files. Later this year, I'll be buying a FiiO X3 with a 64gb microSD. I'll be using it as a DAC for my laptop occasionally but mainly as a player. My first questions are about the X3. Can I simply plug it into a PC, sync with WMP and put songs on it? Also, I have heard about the X3 crashing or not being able to upload more than about 300-400 songs at a time. Has anyone else had these problems? And my last question about the X3, how does the "update library" function work?


My next questions are about WMA files. I know next to nothing about files, and would like to know some more. I don't own a PC/Windows device (bought a Chromebook before getting into depth with Head-Fi) and I get my music from my father's computer, as we share the same music taste (classic rock, some metal & rap). He rips CDs into WMP, but I don't know whether these are lossless or lossy. I'm usually not there (and wouldn't really know how to rip them as lossless) when they're ripped. He simply pops them in the computer and presses rip in WMP. My questions are: Are these lossless, or lossy? When I get my X3, I would like to get the best sound possible, so if they are lossy, can I set it to rip as lossless WMAs? Next, would lossy WMAs make much of a difference? (I own Shure SRH440s if this helps) If anyone could help me with any of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Edited by TRapz - 4/4/14 at 8:37pm
post #2 of 2

When he's ripping the CD into WMP, that's means he's ripping the CD into the library of Windows Media Player. WMP is neither a file format or codec, it's just a music player. It will however give you the option of what file format you want when ripping though.




CDs have a set standard:


44.1kHz (44,100Hz) sampling rate

16-bit bit depth

1411 kbps (kilobits-per-second) bit rate



When you rip a CD onto your computer, you can either rip it to a loss-less file format and retain "full" CD audio quality (as described above), or rip to a lower-quality (but space-saving) lossy file format


Some common file formats for loss-less are:

ALAC (.m4a) - Apple Loss-less

FLAC - Free Loss-less Audio Codec, a popular, non-proprietary standard

WAV - A common standard for Windows computer, compatible with Windows Media Player


and some common file formats for lossy are:

MP3 - the absolute most common

AAC - somewhat common

WMA - both loss-less and lossy depending on which codec you use





To obtain the highest fidelity (best playback quality) when using you're Fiio X3, you should rip all your CDs using either the WAV or ALAC (.m4a) file formats, both of which are compatible with your Fiio X3 natively. Don't rip using FLAC because it will be compatible with your Fiio X3, but will be incompatible with many music players on your computer.




As far as if there is an audible difference between "full" (44.1kHz 16-bit) CD quality and Mp3 (320kbps) quality:


-It's hotly debated

-Some people cannot detect any difference

-The difference is too small and it's not worth the larger file size associated with loss-less files.





But one thing that is a fact:


All loss-less file formats (WAV, ALAC, FLAC) will sound exactly the same as long as they're encoded at the same sampling rate (ex. 44.1kHz) and same bit depth (ex. 16-bit). They will produce the exact same sound and there will be no difference whatsoever when it comes down to what you actually hear. Loss-less = loss-less regardless of which file format is used. The only difference may be the size of the music file.




As far as how to sync music files on your Fiio X3 from your computer, refer to the manual. You can go on the manufacturer's website and download the PDF.

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