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Subject: Re: Wma to Mp3 conversion results?
From: LoveLearn (LoveLearn_at_iw.net)
Date: 2003-10-24


"mrlipring" said, "i think he's looking to get it sounding as near to
the original wma as possible." (just very close will be good enough)

"obviously converting a 128kbps wma to 64kbps mp3 would make the
resulting file sound far worse than the original. he wants to know what
would be the best bitrate to convert it to, having it sound as good as
possible, without introducing too much in the way of reencode artifacts,
while not wasting too much space."

That pretty closely reflects my goal. I'll try to address some issues
others raised. One respondent seemed to indicate that he wouldn't bother
trying to make sound files for his Archos if he couldn't find original
source CDs. Fine for him, but not for me. Let's say I find some songs by
South African tenor Manuel Escorcio. According to what I've read, a
bunch of CDs have been released featuring Escorcio's singing, yet I've
never seen any offered in the US. Similarly, I've found no CDs of
Russian Super Star singer Muslim Magomaev. Yet his amazing recording of
'O Surdato Nnamurato downloaded with KaZaa clearly shows one of the best
voices in recorded history! If you question that statement, find a copy
and listen. I will not give up on trying to capture or create Mp3s of
Muslim or other wonderful singers just because CDs of their singing
aren't available in the US. While most examples are offered in Mp3
format, some only appear in Wma format. To hear these on an Archos, Wma
files must be converted to Mp3 format.

As I see it, this format conversion decision should focus on the
trade-off between unnecessarily large file space requirements and audio
quality. I NEVER hoped to improve quality by conversion. If I start with
a 128 b/s Wma file and convert it to a 256 b/s Mp3, I still expect it
will be slightly degraded by the required double conversion processes.
But I don't want that quality loss to be inescapably obvious, which my
128 to 128 conversions to date have been. Each conversion required the
2-step process of first creating a Wav file, and then creating the Mp3
file. I'm glad to hear that some software combines these 2 steps into a
single command, even though the intermediate conversion to Wav format
still occurs. At least that software would be more convenient.

Lame was mentioned as an excellent Wav to Mp3 converter. Is it better
than others? Also, what have others decided upon as the best file size
vs. audio quality b/s conversion guideline. Unless the conversion
software I've tried so far is worse than Lame for example, converting
128 Wma to 128 Mp3 generates unacceptably-obvious quality losses. Maybe
128 to 160 or 192 or even 256 will be required before the conversion
process is not obvious.

I do have good ears and my Etymotic ER-4 earphones are quite revealing.
I'm not trying to be super critical, but the 128 to 128 has been very
disappointing.
John LoveLearn



Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew
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