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Thread: Mp3 or WMA? which is better?

  1. #1
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    Mp3 or WMA? which is better?

    I just bought an MP3/CD player and it supports both mp3 and WMA and I wondered what the best format would be to use and at what quality setting. I have a big collection that needs to be converted within the next couple of days from monkeys audio format which I ripped from CDs and other sources.

    Are any of these formats gapless?

    I would appreciate any help as I want to use the best format of the 2.

  2. #2
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: Mp3 or WMA? which is better?

    Well your main considerations here are quality vs. compression.
    Traditionally users who are more concerned about compression often appear to prefer wma because it will compress to a decent (note I don't say good) quality file at lower bitrates than mp3. You will read claims that wma files at (say) 64 kbs will be equal in quality to an mp3 file at 128 kbs. May experience is that the two are more equal with wma at 96 kbs and mp3 at 128 (and for my portable and audio players I much prefer mp3 at 192 kbs (which would probably equal about 160 kbs wma). Neither my car player or my portable player support wma so I don't really have an issue.
    Traditionally the other claim has been that mp3 is a superior codec but wma has made great advances. Please read your player's specifications carefully for both codecs. My portable (and many others) do not support variable bitrates well and I am not sure that any wma players support some of the newer better wma possibilities such as wma pro and wma lossless.
    I would encourage you to do your own listening tests to decide which format you prefer and at which bitrates. Because while others can tell you what they think it really boils down to finding out what makes a difference to you and what does not.
    Sorry but I don't know about whether wma features gapless playback.
    Best wishes,
    Bill Mikkelsen

  3. #3
    dBpoweramp Enthusiast
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    Re: Mp3 or WMA? which is better?

    Thanks for your help! I think ive probably made my mind up of sticking with mp3 as the tags seem to work better and its more compatible. I tried wma 8 in the CD/mp3 player and they seem to play well but wma 9 has problems especially with vbr files however it does play them but is quite slow at skipping tracks etc it even kind of froze during playback when fast forwarding a song whereas theres no problems with mp3 at all bitrates aswell as wma 8. I tried wma 9 lossless and it jammed the player up. It did read the tags but then wouldnt let me play them or even turn the player off so I had to take the disc out.

    I like mp3 better as I'm more familiar with it and its not Windows, I kind of feel controlled with windows products even though this encoder and player is free!

    I wish the player could play ogg files, I'd be using them rather than mp3. Maybe if Dioneer (the manufacturer of my player) put their English site back up they might release a firmware that supports ogg. I doubt that would happen within the next couple of days though!

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