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Audio Formats

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#1 SRK62


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Posted 14 January 2007 - 08:55 PM

My understanding is that wav format takes much more space than MP3-about 5 times.But my experience is the reverse.I am confused.I download lots of music from 'limewire' and they are mostly in MP3 format and roughly it is 1MB per minute.
Then I come across other sites which offer music which are in wave format.But it takes only around 500kb for 4 minutes and downloads very fast.Let me give you one example.Let me take the song by Carly Simon "all i want is you".It is in WAV format and 460kb and 3.55 minutes.
Now let me go to limewire.I downloaded the same song.It is MP3 3648 kb and about 4 minutes.
I do not understand it.Can you please enlighten me on this please?

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#2 Walkman


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Posted 14 January 2007 - 11:04 PM

If you compare both files, you'll see that they will have different bit rates.

Depending on the bit rate a file is saved at, it will determine the file size in the end. The higher the bit rate, the larger the file size.

Also, depending on the bit rate, your quality of the audio changes. There are different bit rates when saving a file in mono, stereo, 3d sound, etc.... each one of those formats will cause that same file to have different file sizes in the end.

If you take those files you have and play each of them, you should hear a sound quality difference. But in the end, the .mp3 format is the most widely used format for audio/music, and mainly because of it's resulting quality and compression vs .wav

#3 arcman


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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:00 AM

Yep, those small files will have a very low bitrate, and when you listen to them the low sound quality will be evident.

You can get WAV files that will be of better quality (higher bitrate), but they'll be large files because WAVs use what's called "lossless" compression. The files are compressed and all of the original data is preserved in the compression. I think a three minute CD quality WAV file weighs in at about 10 megs or so.

Meanwhile MP3 and AAC files can sound close to CD quality while only going a meg or two a minute because they use "lossy" compression. When these files are compressed some of the original data is discarded during the encoding process.
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