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Windows 7: Whats really the best sound. file format?

28 Dec 2011   #1
Sporus

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 
Whats really the best sound. file format?

I know whenever people ask this they get :"it depends what youre doing or what you need it for.


i'm asking whats the best all around, what do the professionals use? Whats the cutting edge one.

I just found some holophonic sound samples in.wav

BTW if you dont know already check this site out... put on some big/good/expensive headphones and listen to the quicktime thing in the middle!!!

Welcome to The World of Holophonics?

its rreally awesome. , but besides that whats the best all around file formate???


compression rate and all that... whats the best sample rate? is the highest the best?

Also me personally for my uses i just need a file format for the best personal audio 5.1 personal room speaker set up...

also one i know the file format will converting it into that format using format factory or something really be genuine or does its source have to be in that file format???


like would converting something you GOT in.mp3 to FLAC really be genuine FLAC or na?


thank you guys if anyone responds!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
28 Dec 2011   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You say "best".

I don't know what you mean by "best", but I will guess that you mean "best sound quality".

With that assumption, use a "lossless" format, such as WAV or FLAC.

An mp3 file converted to FLAC will sound no better than the mp3 version. Once you go to a "lossy" format such as mp3, you can never regain what you have previously given up.

Use a lossless format if you have no hard drive space issues.

Use a lossy format if you do have hard drive space issues or if your playback devices cannot properly play lossless files.

WAV files take up about 10 times as much space as a high quality mp3. FLAC take up 2 or 3 times more space than high quality mp3s.

Do some testing on your own equipment--make a series of WAVs, some FLACs, and some mp3s with a bit rate of at least 192. Put on a blindfold and play them back---see if you can tell which is which CONSISTENTLY. Most people cannot.

But you may have a golden ear. In which case, use lossless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #3
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The .wav format is what is used for CD's. I have a home recording studio and when I mix down and export songs, it's in the 44.1 Khz/16 bit wav format ("CD Quality").
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Dec 2011   #4
Sporus

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I see... so yes .wav and FLAC is the answer, thank you!

So if I have an mp3 theres no way to make it genuine .wav right? is there?
so something is only FLAC or .wav if recorded in that or made in that format???

hard drive space is no issue, thank you.

and thanks fireberd... didnt know .wav was studio CD quality!!! thats definitely the answer then... thank you both so much for helping

WAIT!!! ignatzatsonic you said "make a series of WAVs, some FLACs, and some mp3s with a bit rate of at least 192"


what is bit rate?!?!?! i always see mp3 at 320kbps??? what is that?
what role does it play in sound quality...

i mean im not dull i know it means killabits per second and that has to do with how much output? per second???

lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2011   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sporus View Post

So if I have an mp3 theres no way to make it genuine .wav right? is there?
so something is only FLAC or .wav if recorded in that or made in that format???

WAIT!!! ignatzatsonic you said "make a series of WAVs, some FLACs, and some mp3s with a bit rate of at least 192"

what is bit rate?!?!?! i always see mp3 at 320kbps??? what is that?
what role does it play in sound quality...
You can make a genuine WAV from an mp3. The point is that it won't sound better than the original source--the mp3. But it's a genuine WAV.

Bit rate:

Bit rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The higher the bit rate, the higher the sound quality---but the question is how high is high enough? Some people can't tell the difference between 128 and 320. Very few can reliably tell the difference between 192 and 320 or WAV.

Most people would be able to tell the difference between 32 and 320.

You also have to take stereo into account. A monaural recording at 96 bit rate has as much info as a stereo recording at twice that (192).

MP3 has been around quite a while. Millions of people have evaluated its sound quality. Very few people can tell the difference between 192 and 320. Many say they can, but they fail when you put a blindfold on them so that they must rely on their ears only. It's not enough to guess right 60% of the time. That means nothing.

Do your own tests.

Variable bit rate is a good choice--it enables you to get the same sound quality with a lower file size. A random song might be 3 MB rather than 4 MB. That saves a lot of space when you have thousands of files.

Obviously, if you intend to put the songs on a portable device such as an iPod, file size might become important. What good is an iPod if you can only put 50 or 100 songs on it?

An average 3 minute stereo pop song at 192 bit rate takes up around 4 MB---figure maybe 250 songs per GB of storage space. WAV would be somewhere around 25 songs per GB. Your player may not be able to play WAV--I don't know.

If you intend to edit the files--removing endings, boosting the treble, whatever--do the editing while the file is still in WAV format. If you want to convert to mp3, do the conversion AS THE LAST STEP AFTER EDITING. Why? Because each time you modify and re-save an mp3 as another mp3, you lose a little bit of sound quality. You might not notice it if you only did that once, but if you do it several times, it will show up. WAVs on the other hand are "lossless"--a modification and resave does not lose any sound quality.

If your sound files are already mp3 when you first get them, there isn't much point in converting them to WAV. If you are making your own sound files from your CDs, you probably would start with WAVs, and then maybe later convert them to mp3--particularly if you were going to edit them. Or you could just rip them to mp3 directly, bypassing WAV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #6
Sporus

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sporus View Post

So if I have an mp3 theres no way to make it genuine .wav right? is there?
so something is only FLAC or .wav if recorded in that or made in that format???

WAIT!!! ignatzatsonic you said "make a series of WAVs, some FLACs, and some mp3s with a bit rate of at least 192"

what is bit rate?!?!?! i always see mp3 at 320kbps??? what is that?
what role does it play in sound quality...
You can make a genuine WAV from an mp3. The point is that it won't sound better than the original source--the mp3. But it's a genuine WAV.

Bit rate:

Bit rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The higher the bit rate, the higher the sound quality---but the question is how high is high enough? Some people can't tell the difference between 128 and 320. Very few can reliably tell the difference between 192 and 320 or WAV.

Most people would be able to tell the difference between 32 and 320.

You also have to take stereo into account. A monaural recording at 96 bit rate has as much info as a stereo recording at twice that (192).

MP3 has been around quite a while. Millions of people have evaluated its sound quality. Very few people can tell the difference between 192 and 320. Many say they can, but they fail when you put a blindfold on them so that they must rely on their ears only. It's not enough to guess right 60% of the time. That means nothing.

Do your own tests.

Variable bit rate is a good choice--it enables you to get the same sound quality with a lower file size. A random song might be 3 MB rather than 4 MB. That saves a lot of space when you have thousands of files.

Obviously, if you intend to put the songs on a portable device such as an iPod, file size might become important. What good is an iPod if you can only put 50 or 100 songs on it?

An average 3 minute stereo pop song at 192 bit rate takes up around 4 MB---figure maybe 250 songs per GB of storage space. WAV would be somewhere around 25 songs per GB. Your player may not be able to play WAV--I don't know.

If you intend to edit the files--removing endings, boosting the treble, whatever--do the editing while the file is still in WAV format. If you want to convert to mp3, do the conversion AS THE LAST STEP AFTER EDITING. Why? Because each time you modify and re-save an mp3 as another mp3, you lose a little bit of sound quality. You might not notice it if you only did that once, but if you do it several times, it will show up. WAVs on the other hand are "lossless"--a modification and resave does not lose any sound quality.

If your sound files are already mp3 when you first get them, there isn't much point in converting them to WAV. If you are making your own sound files from your CDs, you probably would start with WAVs, and then maybe later convert them to mp3--particularly if you were going to edit them. Or you could just rip them to mp3 directly, bypassing WAV.
ohhh i can feel myself becoming an "audiophile" lol

I see... this really explains a lot thank you!!! I totally realise that the sound quality cant be perceived after certain qualities, as in like the threshold of the human ear right? I mean yeah theres always going to be jackasses who can say they can hear the difference...

I just got a mp3 source audio file and FLAC source of the same audio file. and the FLAC sounds microscopically better.

I don't claim to have golden ears infact i have horrendous earwax... BUT
what i'm saying is... in this day and age where having the higher quality/higher bitrate item which YOU KNOW is better quality whether or not you can hear it is still something.

y'know? Like if i couldn't tell the difference between 320 mp3 and a buhjillion kbps FLAC idc.

my main statement is, IF IF IF I can easily obtain the higher quality product or at the cost of what?... two seconds of computer time?? or something i will take it!!!
Its so easy to get hgiher bit rate or FLAC why not have it if you(me) (I) went through the trouble of having a 5.1 stereo system hooked up to my laptop then just get the high quality audio file.

So thats all... and i mean i understand. I am really really lazy so if getting the flac is easy to me then its really easy lol.

I enjoy music a LOT, I've got a 5.1 thing hooked up to the laptop and ive majiggered it to be surround with some splitters and XMplay WASAPI HD output plugin.
And I have an iPod which (no it does not play .wav) with nice earbuds.


So yeah, my last question is: if drive space and mediaplayer space is NOT an issue you could have ALL your stuff in FLAC and get FLAC plugins or WAV plugins for your media player and play all that good sound from your computer and if you had a decent sound file converter make em all mp3's whenever you wanted right?

yeah so why not y'know i'll probably only try to find albums i really really like in FLAC like the Wall and some other stuff but thats it.

Its a first world problem lol if i feel like when im at home and have the time to listen to something while i draw id rather listen to FLAC or .wav but if its in mp3 its really not an issue at all either.


Like with this thing with camera megapixels apparently now human eyes cant tell the difference... but yknow once the tech becomes cheap why not? lol
some may see it as just STUPID and i totally understand.

i completely understand this a is a decadent problem and w/e but i had time to inquire about this and learn about it so i did, so thanks again.


THANK YOU ignatzatsonic!!!!!

i think im good now lol. any final input i'd love to hear it!



and ill rephrase that first question... can a .wav be converted to mp3 and retain .wav quality?
can a FLAC be converted to mp3 and retain FLAc quality?

NO ... right?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2011   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sporus View Post
So yeah, my last question is: if drive space and mediaplayer space is NOT an issue you could have ALL your stuff in FLAC and get FLAC plugins or WAV plugins for your media player and play all that good sound from your computer and if you had a decent sound file converter make em all mp3's whenever you wanted right?
If drive space is no issue and your playback equipment will play FLAC and your file editing application will edit FLAC (assuming you edit files), you may as well use FLAC from start to finish.

You could later convert the FLACs to mp3 if needed in order to save space like on an iPod if necessary. If you stay with 192 bit rate mp3, you probably won't be able to tell the difference from FLAC.

Normally, if you had an iPod, you would convert the FLACs to mp3 and put the mp3s on the iPod, but still keep the original FLACs on your PC hard drive for playback at home. It's generally a good idea to keep your highest quality files (FLACs) because if you recreate the FLACs from mp3, the FLACs will sound just like the mp3s.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sporus View Post
and ill rephrase that first question... can a .wav be converted to mp3 and retain .wav quality? can a FLAC be converted to mp3 and retain FLAc quality?

NO ... right?
You are correct. If you move away from lossless to lossy (WAV or FLAC to mp3), you CAN convert back to WAV or FLAC----BUT, the resulting WAV or FLAC file will sound no better than the mp3. When you make an mp3, you are discarding certain sound information and you cannot later get it back, even if you reconvert back to WAV or FLAC. That information is gone forever. But you might not miss it.

So--if someone sends you a WAV, for all you know it may have been converted from a low bitrate mp3 and won't sound too good.

Likewise--a low bitrate mp3 created from a mint condition vinyl LP will probably sound better than a WAV file made from a used copy of the same LP.
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 Whats really the best sound. file format?




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