WMA and MP3 Formats

  SURVEY 11:24 07 Dec 2005

As I accidentally confused WAV with WMA foramts I am starting a new subject with a correct posting!

I have succesfully moved a large part of my CD collection on to WMA format on my hard disc (and also on an MP3 Player in WMA format). I am now about to buy a Hard Drive DVD Recorder and am finding that of the two that I am looking at (Panasonic and Sony) they will only play MP3 files.

My WMA files are at 128Kbs and sound fine. It looks as if I am going to have to recode the WMA files to MP3 does it not? Should I obtain a plug-in to directly recode my WMA files to MP3 and if so at what compression to avoid any degradation of quality from my 128kbs WMA files? Alternatively would I be better off starting from scratch (!!) by coding to MP3 direct from the original audio CD's? If the latter at what compression should this be to at least compare in quality with the 128kbs WMA format

  interzone55 11:43 07 Dec 2005

Firstly, as was pointed out in your previous thread, multiple conversions will degrade the quality.

Having said that, Jet Audio (click here) makes a good stab at converting between many formats, but it isn't free. Then again, due to the encoding license imposed by Thompson on MP3 encoders, most convertion programs will cost money.

My advice though would be to start from scratch and encode your CDs at 192Khz, which isn't CD quality, but it's close. You will definately notice the difference if you encode at a lower bit rate, especially if you are playing the files through decent speakers. If file size isn't a priority I would go for 256Khz.

  SURVEY 11:51 07 Dec 2005

alan14. Thanks for your response. I think that you may be correct and that it would be best to go back to the source CDs and then compress to MP3. 192kbs seems a fair compromise to retain quality.

Would I definitely lose quality by encoding the WMA files to top quality MP3?

  interzone55 14:42 07 Dec 2005

You will not be able to improve the WMA files by converting to high quality MP3s.

In fact you may even make the files sound worse, in the same way as copying from a crap quality tape to high quality "metal" tape just made any hissing louder.

  pj123 14:49 07 Dec 2005

alan14, "Having said that, Jet Audio (click here) makes a good stab at converting between many formats, but it isn't free"

I have been using JetAudio for a very long time now, it does everything I want and it is free.

click here and scroll down to the bottom and select Basic Download.

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