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Thread: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

  1. #1

    24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Greetings, Is there any way to create a 24 bit AIF file that will play in Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player is supposed to play AIFF files. Windows media player plays 24 bit WAV files.

    However:

    This AIFF file will not play and gives an error message in Windows Media Player 12

    Bit Rate 2304 kbps
    Sample Size 24 bit
    Sample Rate 48,000 kHz

    This one will play:

    Bit Rate 1536 kbps
    Sample Size 16 bit
    Sample Rate 48,000 kHz

  2. #2
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Perhaps 24 bit AIFF is not supported on WMP 12.

  3. #3
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    The 2304 bit rate is obviously not compatible. Based on your other thread (no need to start separate ones, BTW), you seem to be trying to produce "universal" lossless files for easy playback in any device/program. But there really aren't any "universal" codecs, aside from perhaps WAV, and that one's not all that user-friendly. If you're producing original content for distribution, I think you'll need to bite the bullet and offer alternate codecs. I understand the desire to make things simple for the end user, but if they're sophisticated enough to appreciate buying lossless files, they'll probably know what players they use and what format they need. Most online lossless music sellers I've seen offer a choice of at least FLAC and Apple Lossless.

    It's really not difficult or time-consuming to create alternate versions. If you were to offer a choice of WMA Lossless and Apple Lossless, virtually everybody would be covered. Those who aren't are probably savvy enough to convert to FLAC (or whatever) if that's what they want. Also, if you really want your files to be as easy-to-use and broadly-compatible as possible, avoid the 24-bit stuff. You'll only gets lots of people coming back asking "why won't these files play on my .....(fill in the blank)? (Think about it: If you can't get them to play....)

  4. #4
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrodyBoy View Post
    If you're producing original content for distribution, I think you'll need to bite the bullet and offer alternate codecs. I understand the desire to make things simple for the end user, but if they're sophisticated enough to appreciate buying lossless files, they'll probably know what players they use and what format they need. Most online lossless music sellers I've seen offer a choice of at least FLAC and Apple Lossless.
    I agree. And if you truly want general compatibility, I'd offer:

    FLAC (16/44.1)
    ALAC (16/44.1)
    Windows Lossless (16/44.1)

    If you also want to offer hi-res, I'd offer FLAC at 24/96 or 24/192. As BrodyBoy notes, anyone savy enough to download lossless files, can figure this out. And anyone seeking hi-res files can deal with converting them from FLAC to another lossless format if they really want to. By the way, the higher bit rate is useful in the mastering stage but is basically useless on the consumer end. There are many tests, but no evidence that hi-res files are distinguishable from CD Redbook (16/44.1) in double blind tests assuming that both files are from the same master.

  5. #5
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    By the way, the higher bit rate is useful in the mastering stage but is basically useless on the consumer end. There are many tests, but no evidence that hi-res files are distinguishable from CD Redbook (16/44.1) in double blind tests assuming that both files are from the same master.
    I have to agree. In my experience there are differences between the hi-res and redbook audio playback, but these extremely subtle differences are only exposed on professional hi-end audio systems, so in effect, for most consumers is of no benefit.

    I will add however, the reason I like to obtain hi-res versions is for the 5.1 mixes, which, for me, is an interesting listening experience.

  6. #6
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    I have to agree. In my experience there are differences between the hi-res and redbook audio playback, but these extremely subtle differences are only exposed on professional hi-end audio systems, so in effect, for most consumers is of no benefit.

    I will add however, the reason I like to obtain hi-res versions is for the 5.1 mixes, which, for me, is an interesting listening experience.
    Yes, the 5.1 mixes (which are not necessarily in all hi-res files, only in some, such as SACD, etc.) are a different animal entirely and can be excellent (and interesting!).

    p.s. Regarding hi-end system being necessary to detect differences, I respectfully disagree. I'm aware of double blind ABX testing being done with 16/44.1 versus 24/96 or 24/192 on systems costing more than my house with the result being the subjects are just randomly guessing and can't detect the hi-res version. (And I've done my own double blind ABX testing on some hi-res vs CD redbook when I *thought* the hi-res sounded better, but when doing the double-blind test, I couldn't reliably pick out the hi-res from the CD quality. A double-blind ABX test is very humbling!) The critical thing here is that both the 16/44.1 and the hi-res are from the identical mastering. It is very true that some hi-res files sound way better than the 16/44.1 (redbook CD) counterparts. But this is because they are from different masterings (and often suffer less from the "loudness wars" of modern music mastering. I own some of these hi-res files myself.

    p.s. Here's some interesting reading on a public test:
    http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2014/06...st-part-i.html

  7. #7

    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Thanks to everyone who posted here! This is exactly the quick education I needed to move forward. You pretty much nailed my quest for a universal file, and I've been bumping into the walls you've mentioned.

  8. #8
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Regarding hi-end system being necessary to detect differences, I respectfully disagree. I'm aware of double blind ABX testing being done with 16/44.1 versus 24/96 or 24/192 on systems costing more than my house with the result being the subjects are just randomly guessing and can't detect the hi-res version. (And I've done my own double blind ABX testing on some hi-res vs CD redbook when I *thought* the hi-res sounded better, but when doing the double-blind test, I couldn't reliably pick out the hi-res from the CD quality. A double-blind ABX test is very humbling!) The critical thing here is that both the 16/44.1 and the hi-res are from the identical mastering. It is very true that some hi-res files sound way better than the 16/44.1 (redbook CD) counterparts. But this is because they are from different masterings (and often suffer less from the "loudness wars" of modern music mastering. I own some of these hi-res files myself.
    I didn't say hi-res sounded better, just different.

    I understand (and agree with) the points you outline here and would add that there are many more variables to consider apart from mastering sources, equipment, volume changes etc. including hearing, age, brain perception, personal preferences etc. etc.

    Having said that, the professional environments I eluded to earlier include Abbey Road Studios and Air Lyndhurst Studios. The engineers there believe that the hi-res digital audio recording environment does sound better than the earlier 44.1kHz, 16-bit environments.

    I tend not to believe in all the guff spouted by so called audiophiles on the internet, but go on my own experiences. I used to own a digital audio recording studio and a record label. I mastered many recordings at Abbey Road and to the trained ear, there was an audible difference, however minor, between the final hi-res and 44.kHz, 16-bit recordings.

    However, once you put the digits onto optical disc and play them back on professional/consumer equipment, you begin to introduce many, many variables. I believe, it is here that the differences between hi-res audio and redbook audio get equalized out, and that is why, for the consumer argument, I agree with 99.9% of what you say.

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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by mville View Post
    However, once you put the digits onto optical disc and play them back on professional/consumer equipment, you begin to introduce many, many variables. I believe, it is here that the differences between hi-res audio and redbook audio get equalized out, and that is why, for the consumer argument, I agree with 99.9% of what you say.
    Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I think we're in at least 99.9% in agreement, probably 100%.

  10. #10

    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    I ripped various 24 bit aiff files and then tried to play them in Winamp. Nothing but static. Winamp wll play 24 bit wav files ripped from CD ripper. Once I reripped down to 16 bit, Winamp played the files perfectly. I wonder what if any media players will play 24 bit aiff files. Just for curiosity sakes.

  11. #11
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicRockFan View Post
    I ripped various 24 bit aiff files and then tried to play them in Winamp. Nothing but static. Winamp wll play 24 bit wav files ripped from CD ripper. Once I reripped down to 16 bit, Winamp played the files perfectly. I wonder what if any media players will play 24 bit aiff files. Just for curiosity sakes.
    Give foobar2000 a try.

  12. #12
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    Re: 24 Bit AIFF Won't Play in Windows Media Player?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicRockFan View Post
    I ripped various 24 bit aiff files and then tried to play them in Winamp. Nothing but static. Winamp wll play 24 bit wav files ripped from CD ripper. Once I reripped down to 16 bit, Winamp played the files perfectly. I wonder what if any media players will play 24 bit aiff files. Just for curiosity sakes.
    Are you ripping redbook CDs? If so, you wouldn't want to rip to anything but 16/44 anyway, as "upscaling" cannot add information that isn't there. If you purchased 24-bit HDCDs and want to rip them for optimal player compatibility, that probably still brings you back to 16/44, since many (if not most) players impose some type of limitation, whether it be sample depth, total bit rate, or whatever. And even on the ones that can play 24-bit files, you'd be hard-pressed to hear a difference.

    Bottom line is that 16/44 files are still the best way to go most of the time...they are universally compatible, and the vast majority of players/systems won't reveal audible differences between them and typical high-res versions anyway.

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