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Wav or MP3

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The main benifit with wav files is that in LOR, they will almost always work. With mp3s, you have to make sure the file is encoded at a constant bit rate. A VBR (variable bit rate) mp3 will cause many headaches because it makes the timeline out of sync with what's actually playing.

Wav files are CD quality if you rip them directly from the CD, but a 192 kBs (or higher) constant bit rate mp3 ripped from a CD sounds about the same but takes up much less space. Whatever advantage a wav has in sound quality is negated when you transmit the song over FM.

So, less hassle but bigger file for wav, or slightly more hassle but much smaller file for mp3. Personally, I use 256 kBs CBR mp3s ripped directly from the CD.

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This doesn't seem to effect everyone, but when I use mp3s in the sequence editor the music doesn't always stay in sync with the animation--esp when I do my editing in short sections.

The LOR website that has a detailed explaination for this, so I won't repeat it here. But wav files don't have this issue.

That's reason enough for me to use wavs.

Most of my music is already in mp3 format which I ripped in VBR (Variable Bit Rate) format which suffers the worst from getting out of sync. And now the most of the music I buy is off Yahoo Music Unlimited, so it's in WMA format.

Either way, for synching, I convert to WAVs (using Media Monkey--which has a more-than-capable free version and the best mp3 player I've seen--go to http://www.MediaMonkey.com ) then put the WAVs in their own directory just for LOR syncing.

Before converting the MP3s to WAV, I run everything through MP3Gain which normalizes the volume of all MP3s ( http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net ).

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There shouldn't be any detectable difference in sound between a MP3 and WAV.

A WAV sound file is a loss-less recording file. There is no compression, loss of data, etc. It is (more or less) pure sound (as far as a computer is concerned).

MP3s are compressed, parts of the sound are lost...although most of it undetectable to the human ear (also depends on the bit-rate that the MP3 was encoded at). That's the theory, anyways.

Obviously, converting from an MP3 back to WAV doesn't regain any of the lost information...it's just easier to work with from a LOR sequencing standpoint.

WAV's are easier for the computer to work with (dispite their larger size)...there is no "decoding" or other processor-intensive task that the computer has to do with a WAV file.

MP3s have to run through multiple de-compression and de-encoding stages which can tax a processor. Under certain conditions, when a processor is maxed out, it can't keep up with playing the music in real time and it can skip.

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i used wav files for the first songs i sequenced where i was using my own computer to run the show, but for christmas lights i'm doing for someone else's house this year i'm going to be using the MP3 director, which i'm pretty much guessing (because of the name) needs to use MP3s!


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