AfterDawn: Tech news

Why not to use WMA/mp3pro

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 22 May 2002 1:36 User comments (10)

Peter, one of WinAmp developers, gives you a very good list why not to use mp3pro or WMA. Read and learn the man knows what he is writing about. This is a short summary of his pointers. Read the complete article here
1.Patents / licenses.
-mp3pro support will be probably never bundled with winamp.

2. Closed source, no publicly available libraries.
-Still, there are NO available mp3pro decoders for OS's different than Windows.

3. DRM encryption in WMA.
-You can't give them to your friends; you might be unable to play them after reinstalling Windows on the same computer.

4. Converting to other formats.
-Someday, you might want to convert your music files to WAV format for burning on CD. WMA format doesn't allow that.

5. Quality.
-Currently, Ogg Vorbis outperforms both WMA and mp3pro at any bitrate. Modern MP3 encoders (LAME) totally outperform WMA at 128kbps and above.

6. Alternatives.
- OGG Vorbis
- LAME MP3 Encoder
- MusePack

Addeneum: Why Converting Between Lossy Formats Sucks.
By encoding a track into some lossy format, you *always* lose quality. Therefore, if you convert from one lossy format to another (eg. from WMA to OGG), the destination file will always sound worse than source one, no matter what settings you use. If you want to get rid of your WMAs/mp3pros, re-rip source CDs into another format if you can; if the sources aren't available, it's better to keep them in existing format rather than convert to another one.

Previous Next  

10 user comments

122.5.2002 6:43

Hello. Just for the helluvit, I catch the odd, freely-available .wma file and I hang on to it for future reference. They all expire, of course, usually after thirty days, so I'm hoping to find a future utility that will allow me to convert it (the .wma) into some other less-restrictive format (preferably, standard .wav). There is a program that converts audio file formats one of which I tried. I forget it's name, and it promised a lot, but didn't work on copyrights'-managed .wma files, even after I installed the necessary .wma plugin. And so, poor ol' Paul McCartney's expired "Vanilla Sky" and I patiently await some innovative soul to come up with a means to liberate Paul from his storage folder on my hard disk. Some people like to collect string. Maybe I should take up fishing? (Nah, this stuff is more fun). :) -- KlingonAgent --

223.5.2002 0:56

Grab GLO-Search and DC++ from the software sections. I am pretty sure that you find your Paul wandering freely.


The old school is back. All hail the new http://BitBurners.com !

323.5.2002 8:29
impure
Inactive

you guys are really stupid little mingas aren't ya? i is so annoyed and so shocked that you mingas would print something like this i rip my music into wmas and they don't expire at all, and when i want to burn em into wav, i can do it anytime i want to you mingas are really really idiotic, and wma outplays both vorbis, vqf, mp3pro, mp+ or the normal lame ass mp3 you get me, do you research first before crapping on a site aight? respect.

424.5.2002 10:41

impure: 1) What's the fascination with the word "mingas"? If you are going to flame. try a few variations, I got bored after the second time. 2) You are so wrong. I don't mean just a bit wrong, but way, way wrong. You couldn't be more wrong if you were Mr. Haventgotaclue from the planet Incorrect residing in the galaxy of Completetosh. So, very, very wrong. WMA does have reasonable sound quality, but I would never consider it over the other options simply due to the fact that it's a closed standard. I guess you just about managed to use Media Player to rip your CD but haven't quite sussed the use of LameEnc yet and are feeling a little inadequate about your abilities? 3) Who's crapping on a site? Are you saying that people shouldn't be able to express their opinions on something? You certainly made your opinions clear, and if there's any crap on this site, it comes from your very impure mouth.

524.5.2002 11:15

Hi Irfan. You won't believe this, but my ISP just sort-of hung up on me while I was composing a message to "Impure" above. In the space of time it took me to log back on, *your* post appeared! (What a strange world!) :) I'll try again now..... Dear Impure: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Where did you get yours? At a garage sale? I don't usually respond to newbies who sniff glue, but your post is so full of errors & misconceptions, and you seem to be so uninformed in general, that I simply *have* to respond! I do wish, though, that you glue-sniffers would spend, perhaps, 5-minutes of research before spewing out such "Impure" trash. It would save me a lot of time explaining things you really ought to know anyway. Cozy up to your monitor, and let the "stupid little minga" here try to set you on the road to recovery. Any toadstool can use Windows Media Player 7 to create non-expiring .wma files. I ripped a couple of music cds myself that way. I just don't like the .wma format on principle. The .wma file I was referring to above (the kind of self-expiring .wma file that everyone else here except YOU knows about), was a *downloaded* file - Paul McCartney's "Vanilla Sky", the title track from his new album. Most authorized .wma files expire, usually after 30 days. After that, you must log on to the site where you originaly got the file to request a new "license" to play the file for another 30 days. In a lot of cases, the new "license" will not be granted. Such was the case with "Vanilla Sky". Here's something for you to do, when you can tear yourself away from that tube of airplane cement for a bit..... Go find a site that allows you to download a .wma file. Download it. Listen to it. Enjoy it. Wait for 30 days (stay away from the glue, now), then try to play the song again. You will get an error message that your song has "expired". Try to remember where you originally got the song. Go back there. See if you can get another "license" to play the song again. You will often NOT get it. After you've done *all* of that, then you can come back here and converse with at least 10c-worth of intelligence. (God, you boneheads can be such a *waste* of value time). [My apologies for the mild flame; sometimes I just can't help it, I'm sorry]. Did you know, Mr. Impure, in the time it has taken me to type this, I could have consumed at *least* 3 cold beers? Impure> ... you get me? No I don't. Impure> ... do your research first before crapping on a site, right? Wrong. WHO is crapping on the site? Look over the posts, and try to determine who 'crapped' on who. No one is crapping on anything or anyone, (except here), because now I am crapping on YOU. (At least, try to find a less-toxic brand of glue). -- The Stupid Little Minga --

624.5.2002 13:03

Impure is a nice example of M$ propaganda being effective.


The old school is back. All hail the new http://BitBurners.com !

725.5.2002 1:40

Hi cd-rw.org. Much obliged for the tip - (GLO-Search & DC++). I hadn't a clue what these terms meant, so I did a 'DogPile' web search for them, and guess what? The search results led me *right back here*! (Kool!) :) But no, actually, I wasn't trying to find Paul M., wherever out in internet-land he may be; I was just mentioning that I hang on to outdated .wma files in the hope that some (marvelouslly unscrupulous) chap will one day create some 'workaround' to allow me to convert the original, now 'dead' .wma file directly into something else. (A 'hack', if you will). And of course, if I want to try out the 'hack' myself, I'll need some hack-able stuff to work with. :) (Oh, as soon as I downloaded 'Vanilla Sky', I ran a cable to the (analog) tape deck & made a listenable copy), so I won't need to chase down Paul wandering around on the weeb. (Thanks for the tip though). P.S. Do you think you may one day soon have to alter your name to cd/dvd-rw.org? (Or maybe blue-laser-rw.org? <gg> Mike, (- KlingonAgent -)

86.6.2002 21:27
DBrown
Inactive

Just to let everyone know Sound&Vision just did an article (June 2002 pgs 98-100) on WMA, MP3, and Real Audio compairing the three and found that wma128 and real/132 were preferred in "scientifically controlled" test. I my self prefer MP3 no less than 192.

92.7.2002 4:28

i know 1 prog you maybe could use: unfuck.exe it cracks the license of the song, so after the unfucking, you can listen 2 the song unlimited. There are a few things with this prog. 1. it converts all your wma's to a max bitrate of i believe 80 (well, the version i have) 2. some people said the unfuck prog is a virus, i have used it for a year now and i still don't have a virus on my comp, so......

102.7.2002 20:59

essie: See the threads we have posted in the 'audio-compression' section of the forum, regarding unfuck.exe. Kool stuff! -- K.A. --

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive