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Old 07-12-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
une
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.wma versus .wav sound files


I am about to buy a digital voice recorder.
I primarily use Linux, but have a dual boot machine with Windows XP for compatibility emergencies.
My first option (Olympus VN-960PC) records in .wav format and requires the included software to upload files to a PC (I am almost certain I would have to do this via my Windows OS, as I am guessing the included software is Windows only compatible).
My second option (Olympus WS200S) records in .wma format, but is directly USB compatible (no software required to upload files to a Windows system).
I don't think Olympus have heard of Linux.

Question 1) Do .wav files have significant advantages over .wma files for a Linux user in terms of editability, convertability and quality retention?

Question 2) Do you think the directly USB compatible Olympus WS200S would upload the .wma files to my Linux system? (I have done this with digital cameras under Linux and it worked fine)

Question 3) I am thinking my best option would be to get the Olympus VN960PC, upload the .wav files to my Windows system, burn the .wav files to CD, then transfer them to my Linux system. I guess I could then edit and convert them (perhaps to OGG Vorbis or MP3) with maximum flexibility using freely available open source software. Do you agree with my conclusion, or perhaps .wma files create no barriers for a Linux user?
 
Old 07-13-2006, 12:46 AM   #2
raskin
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1) Wav is (most likely) raw uncompressed unspoiled data. WMA is compressed, and not even lossless, proprietary codec.
2) Direct USB compatible means it looks like a disk for Windows? Yes, I guess it is using usb-storage interface, which is used for flash drives also - so it should work with Linux.
3) Maybe. But I don't understand why do you need CD.

Yesm an search the net, maybe some software can read Olympus under Linux, like it is with some photo cameras - no native software to do it, but gtkam succeeds sometimes.
 
Old 07-13-2006, 12:53 AM   #3
Bruce Hill
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3 - As raskin said, .wma is Windows Media Audio - a proprietary Windoze format; and not near the quality of .wav files.

In Linux you can play .wav files in XMMS, Xine, MPlayer, etc. though I've never compiled MPlayer so can't tell you further.

USB is the way to go. No need to burn them to a CD, just copy from the USB connected camera to your drive. If you have a FAT32 filesystem, you can share them between Linux and Windoze. Or you can use Samba, etc.

Last edited by Bruce Hill; 07-13-2006 at 12:54 AM.
 
Old 07-13-2006, 01:20 AM   #4
raskin
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You can play wma by taking windows dll, but since wma is lossy it is not for editing.
 
Old 07-13-2006, 07:41 AM   #5
petespin27
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if this
is your player, it looks like it uses a usb connection also, and would therefore be treated as a mass storage device and would be linux comapatible.

If you use the second option player, you can use mplayer to convert the wma files to wav and then you can edit them using audacity or any other sound editing program.
 
Old 07-13-2006, 07:45 AM   #6
Bruce Hill
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Converting .wma to .wav would give you much less quality than original .wav files.
 
Old 07-13-2006, 08:02 AM   #7
TuxSurfer
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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by raskin
You can play wma by taking windows dll, but since wma is lossy it is not for editing.
I agree here, wav would be better if you have to edit. Audacity will edit and save as wav, mp3 or ogg and if the device is connected through USB you may still be able to use it as petespin27 mentioned.
Let us all know how it turns out.
 
Old 08-28-2006, 05:26 AM   #8
une
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I ended up getting an Olympus WS310 and had it 20 minutes before sending it back. The background hiss in recordings was HORRENDOUS!
I am going back to tape and will convert to .wav somehow in the future.
Very dissapointed in Olympus.
 
Old 08-28-2006, 03:25 PM   #9
TuxSurfer
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did linux recognize the olympus-were you able to download the recordings?
 
Old 08-29-2006, 07:46 AM   #10
une
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The recorder used .wma and I don't know how Linux handled the recorder as I never got that far.
I made a few recordings, downloaded them to my WinXP system, listened to them, packed the thing up and promptly sent it back for a refund (luckily I could get one).
This was a woeful piece of kit, especially considering the price in Australia (around $400).
I am no sound techno perfectionist, but recordings sounded like a steam train dumping excess pressure was in the room with the people talking, OK I'm exagerating. More like a white noise generator.
 
  


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