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Old 12-03-2003, 12:26 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
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Is WMA better than MP3

Hi, First I'd like to say that I'm not ripping off the other thread.. I was thinking of buying an MP3 CD player for a while, and my friend has a one which can also play WMA files and I wanted to get some opinions on WMA.

From what I've heard, WMA files are better quality at smaller bitrates than MP3 files. Is this true? I know it's a bit silly of me to try to get unbiased opinions on a product of the Evil MS Empire but hey, I'm not hurting anyone. What do you guys think?
Old 12-03-2003, 12:36 PM   #2
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I have no experience with WMA , but the part of "Better quality at lower bitrates" sounds (quite a tad more than) a little bogus to me.
Lower bitrate = stronger compression.
To the best of my knowledge , compression is achieved by leaving out bits , following certain algorithms.
So ; The more you compress something , the more data will be "cut out".
Unless M$ figured out how to use black magic or other occult means of compression.
Hey! Maybe they even found a complete , intact copy of the Alexandrian Library , the holy grail AND the Arc of Convenance as well.....
Old 12-03-2003, 01:06 PM   #3
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I remember when Windows first competed with the real player and they had a page of comparisons where they claimed the superiority of wma over ra.

If you actually took the time to listen to each sample they offered, you actually found ra was the clear winner.

Ignore the Windows hype and do some comparison listening. I find ogg vorbis is the best.
Old 12-03-2003, 01:19 PM   #4
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In the tour I once took, I saw no signs of the Holy Grail, however, I did see more than 1 room with the sign "Keep Out: Secret Arc Inside"

Old 12-03-2003, 08:35 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2003
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Originally posted by MasterC
In the tour I once took, I saw no signs of the Holy Grail, however, I did see more than 1 room with the sign "Keep Out: Secret Arc Inside"


Too funny. I wonder how many will get that one? Then again, I wonder if you meant it as a joke inside a joke?
Old 12-03-2003, 09:28 PM   #6
Registered: Feb 2003
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Reference, why I like ogg over all, smaller and better sound. That said,
'For low bitrates, WMA seems to be a better compression scheme than MP3. But the difference is not as huge as Microsoft would like us to believe.'
'Those parameters are selected to try maximizing quality and to reach the same filesize as the WMA samples, because the WMA samples are always bigger than the MP3 samples encoded using the same target bitrate.'

Of course, when MS does a study 'We could argue that the test samples could be carefully choosen in order to provide good quality with WMA and bad quality with MP3. But as there is no clue about this, we are ignoring this possibility, even if it is likely to be the case.'

So I would not believe what MS has to say at face value.

'It seems that at every bit rate tested the MP3 audio file comes out smaller, but only slightly.'
'It comes as no great surprise that WMA beats MP3 in terms of audio quality,'

But, that is with older MP3 encoders.

The rock solid conclusion that I can come to is try encoding both with the latest encoders, see which one sounds best to you.

Old 12-04-2003, 03:02 PM   #7
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my dad used to rip all his CDs with windoze media player (before i wiped his box with a winXP pro upgrade - M$=crap)
the default bitrate is 64kbps and it's fair to say, it sounds like crap
i raised the bitrate to 256kbps, slightly better, but the same CD ripped with Grip in 256Kbps OGG sounds way sweeter and the files are smaller.
and you have to pay M$ more if you want MP3/OGG riping in media player, what does that tell you?


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