WMA @128

I have ripped about 40 or so cd’s at 128 using WMP10. Sound seems to be ok for me but having reading this board for a while seems as though I should convert to MP3 rips at a higher bit rate. I have no intentions to re-rip my stuff. Question is will ripping to MP3’s at a higher bit rate cause me any difficulties?

I use MSC and WMP10 and have no issues what so ever, don’t want to create any either.

Ripping at a higher bitrate certainly won’t cause any difficulties; it’ll just take more space. 192kbps is a pretty common bitrate to use.

Using MP3 over some less-supported codec (like WMA) will keep you from having to rip your music again. I ripped a bunch of music in WMA years ago, and had to re-rip it all because too few things played it. MP3 works on anything. If its quality you’re worried about, consider ripping with a program that supports the LAME encoder (contrary to the name, its the best MP3 encoder).

@whopper wrote:

I have ripped about 40 or so cd’s at 128 using WMP10. Sound seems to be ok for me but having reading this board for a while seems as though I should convert to MP3 rips at a higher bit rate. I have no intentions to re-rip my stuff. Question is will ripping to MP3’s at a higher bit rate cause me any difficulties?

 

I use MSC and WMP10 and have no issues what so ever, don’t want to create any either.

 

 

The only issue with the higher bitrate will be bigger file size. MP3 uses a little less battery power than WMA, but I think that would mostly cancel out if you were ripping at really high bitrates, plus you’d only have half the songs on your player. I use WMP 11, and for the ease of use I use WMA, but the Variable Bit Rate(VBR) option. WMP will let you rip to MP3,but only at continual bit rate(CBR) and I suspect it’s the traditional Fronhaufer codec as opposed to the newer and superior LAME codec(which has VBR). So in this case, I believe Microsoft had a case of “apple-itis”…their VBR WMA is better than the traditional CBR MP3, because they want you to use it. WMA VBR,target range(85-145) made my same CD’s sound equal or better than the 192 CBR MP3’s also done with WMP…and the files were 40% smaller on average…so you can fit a lot more on your player or hard drive. So think about it, if you want to stay with WMP, maybe you should upgrade to version 11(it was painless for me to do) and with WMP, what I described here is probably your best option.(there will of course be those who disagree) 

I started with .wma format and WMP, based on the infomational link WMP has in it to ‘compare’ formats. Of course the information is skewed to show that .wma is supeior to .mp3 because it’s a MicroSoft program, codec & site. I didn’t realize this or all the pros & cons when I started.

Later I switched to .mp3 format & 256 kbps bit-rate. Now I had an issue where some songs were .mp3 and some were .wma. No biggy, right? The Sansa players will handle both equally. Well, I found myself constantly having to adjust the volume between tracks. Some would be so quiet, I’d have to turn it up. Others were so loud and had so much distortion, I’d have to turn it down.

I then found MP3Gain. With this free program, you can set the db level to the same range, eliminating the need to ‘crank it up & down’ all the time. I found out 3 important things:

  1. Most CD’s are recorded at too high a level, introducing ‘clipping’ & distortion.
  2. WMA’s rip from CD’s at a higher db level than MP3’s.
  3. MP3Gain does not work on WMA’s.

At least with .mp3 files you can adjust this. The program inserts an APEv2 tag onto the ID3 tag that is already present in the file itself containing the settings you’ve adjusted, so all treated files are very close to the same volume during playback.

With .wma files, not only does the format increase and therefore ampify the existing clipping and distortion problem, you cannot correct or adjust for it, resulting in an even larger difference between the 2 codecs.

I have since undertaken the task of re-ripping all my .wma’s in favor of .mp3’s. I’m about 95% complete now. Some the the .wma files were ones that I had downloaded in that format, so I didn’t have the CD’s to re-rip. I have found most of them through my local library system. I’ve still got a few more to go. As a bonus though, in my quest to find CD’s containing the tracks I was looking for to re-rip, I discovered many other CD’s to rip and add to my collection.

So I would encourage .mp3 over .wma format. And it’s a whole lot simpler to start out that way, or convert before you get too involved.

Oh yeah . . . one more downside I’ve noticed with .wma files is that they don’t always incorporate properly into a playlist.

Everyone wants something different when it comes to thier music.  For some, it is more important for compatibility or storage capacity…and others, like myself, are more concerned with faithful reproduction of the music.

10 years ago MP3 was OK because there wasn’t too many alternatives other than the large .wav format.  To me, Mp3 is the absolute worst codec available today.  About the only reason there is any compelling reason to use that format is it’s widespread compatibility with other devices.  Sonically, it’s the bottom feeder of all codecs.

If you want the best you can possibly get out of your music, with no file size considerations, FLAC or Wav would be the way to go.  While I need and crave great and faithful music reproduction, I like to store more than a handful of albums on my player at any one given time.  So, the majority of my music on my fuzes are in the ogg vorbis format.  Version 2 of the original codec is simply awesome and it’s hard to distinguish the original from a high bitrate ogg file (300-500kbps).  This way, I can strike a happy balance between high fidelity and storage capacity.

I know I am in the minority, as with most users, mp3 is “good enough”.  Unfortunately, I was gifted with a great ear and use it daily in my professional life, so I may have a bit more critical approach than many.  So be it.  For a lossy format, ogg vorbis right now is about the best there is and I am thankful that the fuze supports it.

Does WMP-11 allow ripping in ogg or vorbis formats? I also have Nero 7 if that will do it or not I’m not sure, anyone know? I may like to try the formats out to see for myself if it’s worth the difference to me…  Thanks! George

@george_w wrote:
Does WMP-11 allow ripping in ogg or vorbis formats? I also have Nero 7 if that will do it or not I’m not sure, anyone know? I may like to try the formats out to see for myself if it’s worth the difference to me…  Thanks! George

I’ve seen playback plugins for ogg vorbis (vorbis is the codec and ogg is the container)with use with WMP; but never a ripping plugin.  I’m not a fan of WMP so I don’t use it for any of my audio needs.  I use a little (but powerful) drag and drop ripper that is available on the vorbis website (www.vorbis.com) called “oggdropXPd.exe”.  I use that program vs. some of the other rippers out there as this program supports the V2 of the ogg vorbis codec which supports sampling rates up to 500kbps.

@fuze_owner_gb wrote:

So, the majority of my music on my fuzes are in the ogg vorbis format.  Version 2 of the original codec is simply awesome and it’s hard to distinguish the original from a high bitrate ogg file (300-500kbps).  This way, I can strike a happy balance between high fidelity and storage capacity.

 

I know I am in the minority, as with most users, mp3 is “good enough”.  Unfortunately, I was gifted with a great ear and use it daily in my professional life, so I may have a bit more critical approach than many.  So be it.  For a lossy format, ogg vorbis right now is about the best there is and I am thankful that the fuze supports it.

I also rip and store all of my audio in OGG format, for a different reason but it is good to know that it was the right choice. I even have a script that will convert any MP3’s I get into OGG.

I know that it won’t increase the audio quailty but I like to have everything in the same format. I would not have got the Fuze if it did not support the OGG format, same with any future player too, no OGG support then no purchase.

@fuze_owner_gb wrote:


@george_w wrote:
Does WMP-11 allow ripping in ogg or vorbis formats? I also have Nero 7 if that will do it or not I’m not sure, anyone know? I may like to try the formats out to see for myself if it’s worth the difference to me…  Thanks! George


I’ve seen playback plugins for ogg vorbis (vorbis is the codec and ogg is the container)with use with WMP; but never a ripping plugin.  I’m not a fan of WMP so I don’t use it for any of my audio needs.  I use a little (but powerful) drag and drop ripper that is available on the vorbis website (www.vorbis.com) called “oggdropXPd.exe”.  I use that program vs. some of the other rippers out there as this program supports the V2 of the ogg vorbis codec which supports sampling rates up to 500kbps.

Thanks for the URL to the vorbis site!  I see the link that said it will allow you to play vorbis file in windows Medea player but can’t seem to find the plug in that allows me to rip in that format could you point me to it please? 

Thanks again!   George

I believe you mis-read it George:


@fuze_owner_gb wrote:

I’ve seen playback plugins for ogg vorbis (vorbis is the codec and ogg is the container)with use with WMP; but never a ripping plugin


Thanks Tapeworm, Your right!   George

@george_w wrote:

 

Thanks for the URL to the vorbis site!  I see the link that said it will allow you to play vorbis file in windows Medea player but can’t seem to find the plug in that allows me to rip in that format could you point me to it please? 

Thanks again!   George

When I ran Windows I used Quintessential Player to rip all my CD’s to Ogg Vorbis. I just did a search and foudn that their web server is down.

I still have the player and the OGG ripping plug-ins that I could upload for you if you wanted to try it.

@george_w wrote:
Does WMP-11 allow ripping in ogg or vorbis formats? I also have Nero 7 if that will do it or not I’m not sure, anyone know? I may like to try the formats out to see for myself if it’s worth the difference to me…  Thanks! George

George, I’m not sure about Nero 7, I only have Nero 6, but MediaMonkey, even the free version, will let you rip to Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. Unfortunately the free version only lets you rip or transcode into the preferred LAME MP3 for the first 30 days…or else I would have been using it right along. My only issue with the MP3 ripper in WMP is that there’s no VBR. I’m actually re-ripping John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra “Music From the Star Wars Saga” in Vorbis form right now, out of curiosity.It’s on my Fuze right now in WMA VBR form…I may put the Vorbis version on the Clip so I can try a back-to-back comparison with the same earphones.

@marvin_martian wrote:

. I’m actually re-ripping John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra “Music From the Star Wars Saga” in Vorbis form right now, out of curiosity.It’s on my Fuze right now in WMA VBR form…I may put the Vorbis version on the Clip so I can try a back-to-back comparison with the same earphones.

Lemme know how that works out. I have been reading up on Vorbis and comparing and am not convinced to switch for new stuff, I like the smallness of mp3. I have the same album so I know the sound. Just interested in hearing what others might think

@conversionbox wrote:


@marvin_martian wrote:

. I’m actually re-ripping John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra “Music From the Star Wars Saga” in Vorbis form right now, out of curiosity.It’s on my Fuze right now in WMA VBR form…I may put the Vorbis version on the Clip so I can try a back-to-back comparison with the same earphones.


Lemme know how that works out. I have been reading up on Vorbis and comparing and am not convinced to switch for new stuff, I like the smallness of mp3. I have the same album so I know the sound. Just interested in hearing what others might think

From what I’ve read so far, one of the bonuses of Vorbis is that supposedly using the same bitrate as MP3 will be better quality sound…but I’ll find out as best I can.

Please note that if a high fidelity audio file is your goal, I would highly recommmend using version 2 of the ogg vorbis codec.  While version 1 is good, version 2 is even better.  Most of the third party player/ripping programs (e.g. freerip, etc.) are still using version 1.  Since my ultimate goal is fidelity, most of my music is ripped at 350-500Kbps, using the v2 codec.

If listening tests alone aren’t enough to convince a person that ogg vorbis is vastly superior to mp3, you should take a visual waveform display comparison between the two formats sometime.  The results are quite eye-opening…:wink:

Message Edited by fuze_owner-GB on 01-03-2009 01:46 AM

@marvin_martian wrote:


@george_w wrote:
Does WMP-11 allow ripping in ogg or vorbis formats? I also have Nero 7 if that will do it or not I’m not sure, anyone know? I may like to try the formats out to see for myself if it’s worth the difference to me…  Thanks! George


George, I’m not sure about Nero 7, I only have Nero 6, but MediaMonkey, even the free version, will let you rip to Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. Unfortunately the free version only lets you rip or transcode into the preferred LAME MP3 for the first 30 days…or else I would have been using it right along. My only issue with the MP3 ripper in WMP is that there’s no VBR. I’m actually re-ripping John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra “Music From the Star Wars Saga” in Vorbis form right now, out of curiosity.It’s on my Fuze right now in WMA VBR form…I may put the Vorbis version on the Clip so I can try a back-to-back comparison with the same earphones.

You may not hear a difference between ogg vorbis and other music formats…But…scientifically and clinically it is the superior lossy format right now.

@hazza wrote:

When I ran Windows I used Quintessential Player to rip all my CD’s to Ogg Vorbis. I just did a search and foudn that their web server is down.

 

I still have the player and the OGG ripping plug-ins that I could upload for you if you wanted to try it.

The player is downloadable from several sources - just Google for it. Probably 4.51 is what you’re using. I have a number of programs for ripping, and this is the one I find myself using. I’m not sure what plug-ins are needed, though…probably Ogg is a plug-in.

Message Edited by bdb on 01-03-2009 08:00 AM

Well I have been ripping in WMP-11 and in MP3 format at a bitrate of 192… I never tried any other file formats… If i go into WMP-11 under options and change my MP3 format to say Windows Media Audio “variable Bit Rate” and moved the quality slide to say half way 37 to 63 MP per CD would this be a good place to start? Is this the format that suppose to sound so good on the Fuze? George

Windows Media Audio is the proprietary format we’ve been saying you should avoid. Its not MP3.