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What is a compressed "Wave file"?

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What is a compressed "Wave file"?

Old 09-09-03, 12:51 AM
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What is a compressed "Wave file"?

I heard somebody mention that they would rather listen to compressed waves files rather than mp3s. He basically said compressed waves are the same size as mp3s but without ANY loss of quality whatsoever. Can anyone tell me if this is true? And what are the benefits of listening to compressed waves? Are they as clear as the original full size wave file? How many compressed wave files can I fit on a 60gig HD? And do iPods and Nomad Jukebox players support them?
Old 09-09-03, 02:12 AM
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I've never heard of that before. You can compress wavs to Lossless formats, but they are still bigger than MP3s. About the most compression you can get in terms of lossless is about 60% the original size of the Wav. So you are still looking at large files. I don't know if any of the portable mp3 players support them, I know that my Zen doesn't.
Old 09-09-03, 07:36 AM
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SHN, FLAC, and APE are all examples of lossless compression, but they're much bigger than mp3's...
Old 09-09-03, 07:43 AM
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I don't know about any of those other formats mentioned, but a straight out .wav file is usually at least 10 times as big as the same file encoded into MP3. Yes, it's a 'direct' conversion and lossless, whereas mp3 is definitely lossy, but that's the tradeoff. In every player I have, if I convert an audiotrack or .wav into MP3, using at least 192kb/s, I can't really tell a difference, and if I can, it's very minor. Bump it up to 256 or even higher, and the resulting Mp3 file could be as large as 2x the original mp3 file, which is still much smaller than a wav, but the quality is usually much higher.
I think that's the problem with some of the e-music retailers. I haven't researched in a while, but the last time I checked, one company was only selling mp3s in 128 kb/s. That's not good enough for me to pay for, I'll continue ripping my own cd's.
Also mp3 is more widely compatible, currently.
Old 09-09-03, 08:29 PM
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thank you very much for the response. I do not consider myself anal about sound quality, as I practically grew up on 8 tracks and cassettes. But I can tell you in all frankness, that I can hear the differences between mp3s and CDs, even mp3s I've decoded using Lame/Alt Preset Extreme and VBR at the highest setting! I've encoded over 2500 mp3s using EAC and play them usually through my Nomad Jukebox. The songs sound acceptable, but upon switching to the same song directly off my CD player, I can instantly tell the difference! Now, it *MAY* be that the sound quality from my Nomad Jukebox is crappy, but I doubt that's the issue.

I don't underastand how so people came to the agreement that mp3s, even encoded at 256k or at a high VBR sounds as good or clear as the original CD. WAKE UP peoople!!! You've been duped! There is, and will always be a noticeable difference!

That is the reason I'm so interested in using compressed waves! It's not overkill to me. If I can compress a wave at even half the size of the original and keep it "lossless" that would be fine. A 200gig HD could hold thousands of waves at that compression.

Bottomline...quality>>>space!
Old 09-09-03, 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by isamu
I don't underastand how so people came to the agreement that mp3s, even encoded at 256k or at a high VBR sounds as good or clear as the original CD. WAKE UP peoople!!! You've been duped! There is, and will always be a noticeable difference!
You and me both. I can easily tell the difference, but there are people here who refuse to believe that.
Old 09-09-03, 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
You and me both. I can easily tell the difference, but there are people here who refuse to believe that.
+1 MJKTool
Old 09-09-03, 10:06 PM
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As can I. Even 320kbps files. I used to use .APE lossless compression until I got a portable, then I started encoding to 320 again.
Old 09-09-03, 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
You and me both. I can easily tell the difference, but there are people here who refuse to believe that.

I agree.

That's why I never got on the "download for free" band wagon.
Old 09-10-03, 12:04 PM
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This is more about software and so should be more at home in the Computer Forum where they discuss PC hardware, software, and I.T.



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Old 09-10-03, 01:58 PM
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I've seen winzip compress a wav file to the size of an mp3, but it couldn't be played until it was unzipped

as for telling the difference, I don't doubt that some people can, but for what I use mp3's for (mix cds for the car since local radio sucks) it doesn't matter
Old 09-11-03, 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by isamu
Now, it *MAY* be that the sound quality from my Nomad Jukebox is crappy, but I doubt that's the issue.
That's the source of your quality problems. Try finding a player with digital I/O and play it on your home theater instead of using the headphone/lineout of the Nomad.
Old 09-11-03, 09:04 PM
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I wanted to respond to many questions people had but I can't remember all of them so I'll make some points...


First of all I must clarify...the majority of my CDs were encoded using Lame @ aps, while some using ape. I'd say about 75% aps/30% ape. I do kinda notice that ape sounds better than aps.

I would describe the difference as this: mp3s coming out of my Nomad sound good but the sound doesn't quite burst out at you the way the music from my CDs do. I listen mainly to 80's British alternative rock...Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, U2, theThe, etc. Let's take How Soon is Now by The Smiths for example. The opening, coming off my nomad sounds kinda flat, kinda muffled. The same opening off my 15yr old Sony D-555 discman comes off as clear and punchy! It appears to have more depth. It's not as hollow sounding. Not a HUUUGE difference but a noticeable one.

My equipment...I am running both players through my Yamaha RV-X77 receiver using a pair of professional grade Sony CD-555 headphones. I wouldn't say I can hear artifacs, but there just seems to be a kinda muffley, not as punchy aspect when listening from my Nomad.

However, I am starting to suspect you guys are right...I am starting to think it's the quality of the Nomad instead of the mp3. I used to somtimes listen to my music off my PC via Winamp, running from my soundblaster soundcard to and through the exact same receiver and wasn't too bothered by the quality. So you may have a point.

The thing is, I have already encoded 95% of my 400 disc collection thinking I would be satisfied with the sound. I would hate to have to re-encode them all over again since, from my experience, the process of encoding mp3s isn't as fast as I'd like it to be(what's your average?). Ripping just to waves would be a whole lot faster, since it only takes a few seconds per song, as opposed to an average of 5-15 minutes to encode to mp3.

I have NEVER of abx testing before. And I'm a little hesitant to try it at this point, since I've read some encouraging replies in this thread that is making me think twice about giving up on mp3s.

You know what's strange though? I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that the few mp3s I encoded at full 320k(non vbr) bitrate sound better than the ones I encoded using VBR. Is it possible that a constant, non VBR mp3 encoded at a steady 320k sounds clearer than one that *was* encoded using VBR? I mean, now that I thinka about it, I remember encoded my first CD last year, my best of Oingo Boingo CD at 320 constant bitrate using CDEX and being very pleased with the sound quality.

I also noticed that for some reason, the songs I encoded using CDEX(I *think* that's what it's called) appear to sound slightly clearer than ones I encoded using EAC. Could it be possible that out of these three variables, one of them is causing me to notice the difference between CD and mp3? Could a constant 320K encoded song actually sound better than a VBR encoded one? Could VBR be overrated? Could CDEX be better than EAC? Or could my nomad simply be shit and I'd be better off getting an iPod?

Hmm...feel free to cast your opinions/flames/advice/ whatever
Old 09-12-03, 03:59 PM
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VBR is simply to save space by not using as many bits for easy to encode passages. Straight 320kbps is the best theoretical quality you can get from MP3.

It truly is amazing what the brain can do to alter your perception.

I only use MPC(http://www.saunalahti.fi/~cse/mpc/) using --quality 7 and --xlevel as encoder switches. To me, it sounds better than an MP3 encoded using Lame APE. I did an ABX test, and couldn't tell any difference. Yet, when I listened to them regularly, I still thought the MPC sounded better.

If it sounds better to you, then go for it, because that's really all that matters in the end. No use in using something that is proven to sound better for many people, but sounds worse to you. I have a pair of Grado headphones, as well as AKG monitor headphones. The AKGs are far more accurate, but the Grados just sound so much more musical and lively. They color the sound, but in a way that I really enjoy. Audio codecs aren't unlike this. Find the one that you dig the best, and get encoding!

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