Mp3 vs Wav - a comparison!!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio & Recording' started by nixta, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. nixta

    nixta New Member

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    The main difference is that .Mp3 is compressed file so the file size size is reduced (around 4Mb for 4 minutes of 16bit 44KHz stereo audio). While .WAV is uncompressed and the file size is larger in size (around 40Mb for 4 minutes of 16 bit 44 KHz stereo audio).

    The disadvantage of .MP3 format is that because the audio is compressed the quality is slightly reduced to the trained ear (high frequencies 3Khz and up). Also, your CD player will not recognise this format and you will need to convert it to .wav format.

    The main advantage is that new technology has allowed us to play this format on either DVD players and there are also MP3 players for your car or even carry a portable mp3 player. Now get this, and the storage capabilities of such devices can allow you to store up to 1000s of songs, and you can erase and download more songs if you get bored of them, cool huh!

    I am fortunate enough to have an iPod (Apple Macintosh product) that allows me to store 2000 MP3 format songs, the cool part is that once I have downloaded a song (usually around 1-2 minutes with Cable) it takes around 2 minutes for 1000 mp3 songs to travel to my iPod portable player from my laptop, using FIREWIRE, but thats a different topic all together.

    The power of Technology, its wonderful dont you think!
  2. jo blo

    jo blo New Member

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    mp3 quality depends on how far it gets compressed , if only slightly the balance between size & quality is very acceptable.
  3. nixta

    nixta New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, I understand that there are different compression bit rates (96, 112, 128, 160,192, 256 Kbps) and that the most ppl use 128Kbps as it provides the optimal compression rate whereby the file is compressed the greatest amount without losing much quality.

    I don't know if you've ever mixed (engineered) a song in a professional studio, but the difference is enormous even when you use a really good limiter.
  4. dkaarma

    dkaarma New Member

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    Allow me to have a quick rant...
    I can hear the difference between an mp3 encoded at 256kb/s and a .wav a mile away... I hate it when people say theres no difference between it... There is....
  5. draccon

    draccon New Member

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    I love mp3`s eventhough alot of the one `s i get are crappy, most i get most from ripping my own cds, it use to take me ages to make up tapes for the band with their homework on it now i can burn mp3`s or convert them to wave if need be , I love living in the 2000`s.
  6. jon-paul

    jon-paul New Member

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    Your right anything from 3khz is muted and non descript but mp3 has allowed us to store more in a little space cant fault that can you?
  7. Wav Rules

    Wav Rules New Member

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    MP3 VS. WAV PROOF

    Have you ever wondered why some MP3 music even though sampled at a high bitrate sounds lack of fidelity and distorted.
    There are 3 main reasons but one of the main reasons for this is the fact that in many file sharing programs such as Kazza, the songs are running from server to server and everytime it runs through the internet, the sound is degraded by at least 1%. And MP3 also generates distortion everytime you save a file. Try it. Take a song directly from your cd and store it on your computer as a wave file.
    Use any sound editing program to save the song. Now, save the song as MP3 and re-open it, Save it as MP3 and re-open it again. Do this procedure various times. You will notice that the song will start to loose a bit of fidelity and the high frequency range is very distorted. Now, do the same saving procedure in WAV format. You will notice that the song in WAV format sounds exactly the same as the first time saved but MP3 tends to mess up the song everytime you save it. It generates unwanted artifacts everytime you save.
    Lot's of people say that MP3 is the best sounding format there is. That's bullsh_t. The makers of MP3 want to make the consumer think that this is a great sounding format, but it's not. It's a great sounding compressed format but not as perfect as WAV which is as close to CD quality as possible. MP3 is fantastic for saving space but it's not a as perfect sounding as WAV and never will be. Even at 320Kbps the distortion is there. It's that at this higher bitrate, the distortion is much less noticable but it's there. WAV is amoung the most pure sounding formats there is. The Downside to WAV is that it takes alot of space but that's what you get for having a perfect sound format.

    I am sad to say that some radio stations are using MP3 format to save space also but they are degrading the sound quality of the music. Music on the radio is sounding worse than ever because of MP3. Not all stations are doing this but some are. When I listen to the radio, I usually can tell the diffrence from MP3 and WAV. Unless they use 320 Kbps, it's hard to tell. MP3 sounds degrated at the high frequency range. It causes this range to sound "bubbly" rather than flat. Anyway, the bottom line is this, if you are a music producer use, record and save in WAV or any other format like it. Do not save as MP3 or any other compressed formats because you are going to regret it. That's all for now. Thanks for supporting WAV. NOTE: I have an MP3 player. Why, because it records on a chip and is skip free. If I can find a WAV recorder that can do the same, I will buy it. But as you know, WAV takes alot of space so it would probably be expensive but it's worth every dollar!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2004
  8. Zandro

    Zandro New Member

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    At least use the Microsoft ADPCM compression algorithm for WAV, but what the heck do you mean by this:

    I'm sorry, but that goes against much of what I have studied through the years.
  9. Wav Rules

    Wav Rules New Member

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    Sorry but...that text I posted was found at a website along time ago so I can't give detail of from which site is it nor the explanation...

    What do you think about that comment? :cool:
  10. Zandro

    Zandro New Member

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    Most of it was correct, if not common sense for the more advanced user. It was a good post, but I recommend a proper comparison of others' notes before trying to make it sound as if you are the writer. It could have been a lot more incorrect, if you know what I mean.
  11. Wav Rules

    Wav Rules New Member

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    Well, since I am new here, I might as well learn from you and some people here. Oh and one more thing....Wav Rules!
  12. DRLL5T2

    DRLL5T2 New Member

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    Wave Is A beta Quality thats the main difference, & most cd players play Wav & Not M3
  13. EdSpess

    EdSpess New Member

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    Strictly speaking, CD players do not play WAVs. When you burn a red book CD, any .WAV files are converted into the CDDA format. I'm no expert on this but essentially WAV files have some additional header information and are a Microsoft file format. CDDA files are, I believe, raw 16-bit linear 44.1kHz stereo audio files.

    Repeatedly converting audio from and to MP3 will indeed degrade the quality but, in theory, the quality of the WAV file will also degrade each time too. Look at it this way:

    1) Original WAV file is converted to MP3. MP3 is an approximation of the original file based on a tried and tested algorithm.
    2) The new MP3 is converted back into a WAV file. This (new) WAV file will be pretty close to the original but not identical.
    3) The new WAV file is converted to MP3. This MP3 is now an aproximation of an approximation!
    4) Repeat from 2 :) Until you get sick of it!

    [There are similar effects when you repeatedly convert image files, most notably BMP to JPG, try it out.]

    Simply copying MP3 files from one computer to another will have NO EFFECT on the quality of the audio.
  14. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Actually, it will be a perfect repesentation of the quality of the MP3 file from which it was made. Once you have lost quality (by converting from .wav to .mp3) there is no way you are going to get back any more than is contained in the latter.
  15. EdSpess

    EdSpess New Member

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    Isn't that what I said?
  16. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    :) Not quite. What you said was "This (new) WAV file will be pretty close to the original but not identical", which might be read by some people as meaning there was a further degradation of the sound quality when converting the .mp3 to .wav.

    I just wanted to make it absolutely clear this was not the problem. Re-converting the file is where the problems lie.
  17. EdSpess

    EdSpess New Member

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    Oh the beautiful vagueness of the English language:cool:
  18. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Oh, I don't know. I've always thought that it was a very precise language :).
  19. jrod5000

    jrod5000 New Member

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