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Why do people use WMA? How does it compare to other codecs? etc., [split from “Windows Media Player 12 VBR Codec?”, thread 99192]
Mach-X
post Feb 2 2013, 09:05
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Again, the OP asked a simple question 'why use wma'. I present a hypothetical situation where wma pro is most beneficial. If a user uses a windows pc, a zune device, xbox or windows phone, or all of those, they can theoretically benefit from the fact that wma pro is a competitive codec. Anti microsoft sentiment doesn't belong.
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greynol
post Feb 2 2013, 09:13
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What belongs in this discussion is not for you to decide.

As far as love for Apple goes, in my residence resides two Apple laptops, three iPods, two iPhones and an Air Port Extreme. My first computer was an Apple II. iTunes is installed on just about every machine I use including those that run Windows. Still, it would be woefully incorrect to call me an Apple fanboy.

This post has been edited by greynol: Feb 2 2013, 09:43


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lvqcl
post Feb 2 2013, 09:58
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QUOTE (Banned @ Feb 2 2013, 11:27) *
FFmpeg can decode WMA.


AFAIK FFmpeg still cannot properly decode WMA 10 Pro LBR (= low bit rate)
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Mach-X
post Feb 2 2013, 10:13
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Still trying to figure out how I posted in error. I didn't accuse anyone of being an apple fanboi, somebody else did. In fact Im fairly certain I pointed out the impartiality of the mods of ha, while unbiasedly outlining the uses of wma/wmapro
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greynol
post Feb 2 2013, 10:23
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I'm just happy to be getting all this attention.


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DonP
post Feb 2 2013, 15:21
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 2 2013, 00:42) *
Ahem. While WMA Standard hasn't been updated in ages, wma pro is fully competitive with any modern codec for file size/transparency. Without providing actual results of extensive listening tests, it outperformed lame, autov vorbis and fhg aac at quality level 50. A user who tends to reside within the microsoft ecosystem would benefit greatly with wma pro as it plays on any zune device, xbox, windows phone or windows pc. It's not a horrible codec to utilize at all. It would seem as though we've exposed a chink in your bipartisan armour?


Aside from actual listening test it outperforms others? Good argument! The most recent mass test I've seen (Sebastian's 64kb/s July 2007) showed WMA-pro 10 within the uncertainty limits between Nero HE-aac and vorbis AoTuV 5. So, competitive but not outperform.

WRT compatibility in the Msoft ecosystem, they aren't great on maintaining that.

1) Msoft come up with a DRM scheme called "Playsforsure" for WMA, then dumped it when they came out with the Zune player. Best solution I saw from them to play any music you might have bought on your new Zune was to burn a CD, then rerip it to unprotected files.

2) I don't know all the details, but they updated the WMA pro encoder (from 9 to 10) in a way that older WMA pro players could only playback at half sampling rate. OK if you use WMP and just have to download an update. Not so good if you have a portable that doesn't get updates.
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DonP
post Feb 2 2013, 15:31
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QUOTE (Banned @ Feb 2 2013, 02:27) *
FFmpeg can decode WMA.
Unless you're using Debian stable, perharps.


I'm on ubuntu 12.something, so Debian based, playing on Amarok. When I tried a wma lossless file it put it on the playlist, and popped up a window indicating it was searching for a compatible plugin (which failed). Perhaps a lossy, non-pro, non-drm wma file would play.
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Porcus
post Feb 2 2013, 15:40
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 2 2013, 09:05) *
Again, the OP asked a simple question 'why use wma'. I present a hypothetical situation where wma pro is most beneficial. If a user uses a windows pc, a zune device, xbox or windows phone


The least “hypothetical” situation is, I guess “I have .wma files”. As long as you can still play them out-of-the-box, there is no reason to transcode. That even makes me a WMA user, sort of. I never encoded one, but I have the odd demo from a band who did. (I hated .ra so much that I don't even have a single file in my library though.)


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kwanbis
post Feb 2 2013, 18:01
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QUOTE (TheSeven @ Jan 31 2013, 17:56) *
Why not? It's compatibility and support is 2nd only to MP3 (really, nearly universal), it's player is embedded on every Windows based computer, and at high bitrates (200 kbps +), it's as transparent as MP3. I use all Windows software, have a Windows phone, and am thinking about a Surface. Why don't you try it and see? I think you might like it.

I think MP4/AAC is much more universal than WMA, so MP3, MP4/AAC and then WMA.


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Neuron
post Feb 2 2013, 19:28
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QUOTE (TheSeven @ Feb 1 2013, 04:22) *
QUOTE
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....c=98841&hl=

Man, WMA 9 sounds like Blade at 128 kbps. And a bad codec at medium bitrates is usually bad on higher as well. Windows Media Player has an untuned, old encoder and even Microsoft pretty much silently abandoned the format. I gave WMA a chance and my ears responded "no!".


I'm not trying to start a war here. You're entitled to your preference for a codec. But Stevie Wonder could probably ABX a 128 kbps lossy file against any lossless codec as well as you did.


If I had any attachment space left, I would upload those samples. WMA Standard at 128 kbps absolutely messes up the percussion on the songs I encoded and warbles like a faulty cassette tape. It is quite obvious, not a subtle difference. WMA Pro is quite good, but not supported by most devices supporting WMA Standard. And even WMA Pro is only comparable to Vorbis or AAC, it does not surpass them.
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IgorC
post Feb 2 2013, 19:40
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Almost nobody uses WMA here as the poll indicates it.

For a love of god, let WMA to die peacefully.
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Porcus
post Feb 3 2013, 01:00
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Not sure if hydrogenaudio users are representative.

And once a lossy format once becomes sufficiently popular, then it should be supported for the sake of the files that cannot be replaced. There's nothing like the same downside to killing a lossless format. (Yet bootleggers still trade their .shn files ...)


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mavere
post Feb 3 2013, 04:13
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WMA just got two full pages of people on HydrogenAudio bickering over it.

That's its biggest claim to relevancy in years. wink.gif

This post has been edited by mavere: Feb 3 2013, 04:13
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frozenspeed
post Feb 3 2013, 15:38
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QUOTE (mavere @ Feb 2 2013, 20:13) *
WMA just got two full pages of people on HydrogenAudio bickering over it.

That's its biggest claim to relevancy in years. wink.gif


Certainly more promotion for WMA in this thread than I've heard from MSFT in years. Are they still developing WMA?
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db1989
post Feb 3 2013, 19:10
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QUOTE (mavere @ Feb 3 2013, 03:13) *
WMA just got two full pages of people on HydrogenAudio bickering over it.

Which was never going to be particularly constructive, even if it were not the case that nobody ever even glancingly approached the OP’s actual questions.

Thankfully, it’s not all just ‘bah ms sux’ in here, and the discussion may well be useful to some, but it would be nice if someone who may have relevant knowledge could contribute some form of reply to TheSeven.
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saratoga
post Feb 3 2013, 19:51
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QUOTE (DonP @ Feb 2 2013, 09:31) *
QUOTE (Banned @ Feb 2 2013, 02:27) *
FFmpeg can decode WMA.
Unless you're using Debian stable, perharps.


I'm on ubuntu 12.something, so Debian based, playing on Amarok. When I tried a wma lossless file it put it on the playlist, and popped up a window indicating it was searching for a compatible plugin (which failed). Perhaps a lossy, non-pro, non-drm wma file would play.


You're apparently running an old ffmpeg. Update and those files will play.
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bigidiot
post Apr 24 2014, 14:18
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Related thread here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....mp;#entry863988

I should add that all my android devices have been able to play wma, no problem....

WMA is certainly not my first choice, but I have a small number of these files.
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