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Wav or MP3

Guest Don Gillespie

Wav or MP3  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. which do you use a Wav file or an MP3 file for your music

    • Wav file
    • MP3 file

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I only use Wav if I absolutely have to. I've never had any issues with MP3s, and prefer the smaller file sizes. However, I always process them through Audacity.

I agree.

MP3 here. Processed through Audacity. Constant bit rate, blah, blah, blah. So far no issues.

I agree

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Ahhh, the tradeoffs... Newer computers shouldn't have a problem with either format (as long as the MP3s are formatted correctly). Older computers on the other hand you may have to experiment:

MP3s are smaller, and therefore are faster to load from disk. However, since they are compressed they require decompression before they can be sent out to the sound card. Decryption = processor load.

WAVs are bigger, so they take a little longer to load from disk. However, since they are uncompressed raw data they need no additional processing before being sent to the sound card.

So, which is your system: IO Bound, or Processor Bound? Older computers usually fared better using WAV over MP3. I remember an old machine I had that would run 50% processor just to play MP3s.

Also, since WAV is uncompressed it has better sound fidelity. Will you hear it? That's a subjective call. I personally can't hear any difference between a CBR 256Kbps MP3 and WAV, but your ear is probably better than mine. But that's only if you rip it from CD or convert from a loss-less codec (say like FLAC). Making a 30 meg WAV out of a 3 minute MP3 that is compressed at 32kbps is still going to sound like an AM radio :)

The one thing WAV will never have is the VBR problem. Bit in=Bit out. No funky compression.

On the other hand, you are talking (on average) 1 Meg/Minute for MP3 vs 10 Meg/Min for WAV. Back in the days when disk space was expensive, that may have pushed you to MP3. Today? Not so much.

The first hard drive I had for a PC was a whopping 32 meg, cost $700, and was about 1/8 of the speed. 2TB of space back then would have cost you $43,750,000. The bank I worked for at the time had the second largest disk farm in New York at just under 9 TB. It took up a couple hundred thousand square feet.

Space? or Fidelity? The choice is yours :)

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