mp3 vs ogg vs wma vs lossless wma


OSNN Senior Addict
I am lookin for opinions here as far as what the best format is. I downloaded MP3 to Anything to do some comparisons. First I took a 4.89mb 192 kb/s mp3 and converted it to ogg. The result was a 2.24mb 87 kb/s file that sounded every bit as good as the mp3 file it was converted from. I then took the same 4.89mb mp3 and converted it to wma. The result was a 2.12mb 160 kb/s wma file. The resulting wma did not sound as good to me as the ogg file did though. My experiment with the lossless wma was when I put a cd in my cdrom drive and used WMP9 to copy the files to my hard drive. I chose the lossless wma format when presented with the wizard mainly because I hadn't worked with that before. The resulting wma files were huge! Ideally I would like to use my other computer as a jukebox of sorts. I have about 9 gig of mp3s at home and was wanting to convert them to a format that would reduce the size but not the quality of the music. Anyone else have any input or suggestions?

XP Abuser

well you must consider this first (not all encoders were created equal) every different codec you use takes away different parts of the information. so if you encoded from a lossy file to start with youll lose more information. resulting in crap quality. bear it in mind. everyone says ogg is the best codec but theres just not enough compatiblty with it i.e. WMP9 (cuz its a good media player) wma is supposed to be the best sounding codec -stated by microsoft- (what a coincidence) but heed my first point:blink:


Obviously Ogg is the way to go.

If you use winamp then your in luck... Ogg support native.

(i can't believe they are including video for winamp 2.9... BLOAT)

I think dbpoweramp released a ogg plugin for wmp9

u may want to look into that.

As for completely lossless recordings, don't look past Monkey Audio. They compress far better than WMA's.

I recommend you go with Ogg 128kbps or quality setting 4. (128kbps VBR)


OSNN Veteran Addict
dont forget mp3PRO, its supposed to cut the size of the mp3 file in half, at little loss of quality, the only problem is that it hasnt had much in the way of uptake by the audio community, I am not 100% sure why this is, but it hasnt.

Gus K

NTFS abuser
I think that any conversions you make with your existing mp3's will show some degradation I was in a similiar situation and found it easiest to just get another hard drive. Picked up a 40g WD at new Egg for $70, Have also recently been using Monkey's lossless compession for my new stuff, as space is no longer an issue, with very good sounding results.


OSNN Senior Addict
Another thing I have noticed is that Winamp just sounds alot better than WMP9 does. I try to set the equalizer to make it sound better but it just never does sound as good as the Full Bass and Treble EQ setting on Winamp...I wonder why that is?


OSNN Veteran Addict
Originally posted by gballard
Another thing I have noticed is that Winamp just sounds alot better than WMP9 does. I try to set the equalizer to make it sound better but it just never does sound as good as the Full Bass and Treble EQ setting on Winamp...I wonder why that is?
WMP is crap, it tries to do too much, another example is Creative PlayCentre, Winamp is nice and simple only tries to do genuine audio, with nothin else (cept v3 which does Video as well)


For all you Monkey Audio users out there, how are you getting your tags on you audio files ?

(if you use tags)

I use EAC to rip/convert, but I am unable to get it to add the tag information. It's really a pain to go and add it all by hand. Is there any easy way to do this ?


Don't forget the amount of influence the speakers will have on your overall sound quality... believe me.


OSNN Senior Addict
I don't believe there is such a thing as totally lossless compression. Ever try to zip/rar a wav file? You'd be lucky to shave 1MB off a 50MB file; there is just too much data in a wav file to be expressed in a different way without some type of losses. Encoding algorithms apply different techniques to shave filesize without too much loss in sound Q, but there are always losses.

When you took your 192kbps MP3 and converted to other formats, you are just making it sound worse. Even converting back to a WAV file won't sound the same because stuff was lost during the original compression. The waveforms even look slightly different if you could freeze them on an oscilloscope.

Although, to notice the sound Q loss in some of the better encoding schemes, you'd have to have a decent stereo. My vehicle happens to have quite a decent system in it and I (as well as other people) can actually hear differences between a pure WAV file, MP3 at 320kpbs, and MP3 at 192kbps (although it can be hard at 320kbps depending on type of music).

To test this, I ripped a high quality recording from a CD. Then, I made a 320kbps MP3 and a 192kbps MP3. I converted the MP3's back to WAV to put on a CDR to burn. So now, I have a CD that has three versions of the same song and you can tell the difference.

For normal listening at lower volumes on most (if not all) PC speakers or portables, most any decent encoding scheme will be fine. Even home systems should be OK, as long as they aren't hi-end.


Monkey Audio IS lossless.

It is merely WinZip for audio.

Except their algorithm is more focussed on wave files then on normal files.

No information is lost except for anything that is lost in the Ripping process from CD to Wave.

go have a look at their website
Hey Luna,
Is there any easy way to put tags in .ape files ?
Yes you just have to play around a bit in Monkey's tagging fields.

I use CDex to rip to wav. In Monkey's (stupid name) tagging options set %1 for Artist, and %2 for Title. Tick 'Automatically tag files on compress'. This is all the info I use. If you are doing a whole CD you can also enter the Genre. The tagging options are very complete, any naming that can be set in CDex (artist, album, track, etc.) can be duplicated in Monkey's.


I guess my system has some problems then.

I have set the tags in Monkey's Audio program, and encoded to .ape, but when I right click on the file I see nothing in the summary tab.

I am only given a General and Summary tab.

Do I need some kind of software to see the tags ?

I have the latest version of Monkey Audio installed.

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