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.Wma to .Mp3 Conversion
PhillyPhan
post Dec 12 2013, 01:16
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Hello All
First time posting here. Love the knowledge of the people on this site, so I figured I ask some basic questions about converting my wma's to mp3's. I understand from reading here that lossy to lossy conversions are not recomended, but since I dont have the CD's anymore (sold or traded in-w/o backing them up in loseless format) I want to convert my wma to mp3. My Player (Creative Zen X-Fi I) is capable of wma playback, but the wma's drain the battery almost half of what my MP3 VBR/CBR did.
I did research this site on conversions, but couldnt seem to find any information on converting wma to mp3, nor what the setting would be for lame to do these conversions. Most of my wma's are 256 to 320CBR. My goal is to convert with the least amount of artifact. I know that abx foobar is a good tool for this, but I simply dont have the time, so I want to see what the best route is for this considering this isnt really a good idea in the first place. (But once again no choice, the wma simply have to go becaue the four hour battery life isnt cutting it). I doubled or even some cases tripled my battery life without using any wma's in my playlist mixes, and using almost all Mp3 vbr 0,1,2,3 and some 224 to 320 CBR/ABR's. This is a statement for my mp3 player only. I am not trying to say that this going to happen on all mp3 players.These conversion aren't neccessary for all those that use wma, just me and me alone. Trust me, I read the rules of the forum before I posted cool.gif
1.Option One- Convert my 320-256K CBR wma to 320-256 CBR Mp3. Stereo (only because wma is stereo not joint stereo, and I'm not sure that lame will be able to convert the wma to a joint stereo mode, since wma isnt a loseless file or CD that that is being converted) Bit reservoir on.
2.Option Two- Convert my 320-256 CBR Wma to 320-256 ABR or VBR (V1 or V2) Mp3.
Same option with stereo and bit reservoir on.
I know that everyone has opinions about what the best settings are. Everyone has different ears. Let me state that I am fine with VBR 0,1,2,3 & ABR MP3. Sounds fine and Mp3 player has great battery life. My biggest concern and reason for posting is that I dont want to do something that will confuse Lame with converting lossy to lossy and really screw up the file. I also understand that I am in a safe zone with higher bitrate, sometimes overkill (which I will post in another topic about cutting down some 320CBR files) Any feedback would be great. I will not post in this forum again, as I am going to read everyone's advice and hopefully some of you can point me in the right direction. Thank YOu!
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includemeout
post Dec 12 2013, 01:50
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QUOTE (PhillyPhan @ Dec 12 2013, 02:16) *
(...) since I dont have the CD's anymore (sold or traded in-w/o backing them up in loseless format)


I see... dry.gif

QUOTE
I want to convert my wma to mp3. My Player (Creative Zen X-Fi I) is capable of wma playback, but the wma's drain the battery almost half of what my MP3 VBR/CBR did.


I take you've performed a few conclusive tests then?

QUOTE
I did research this site on conversions, but couldnt seem to find any information on converting wma to mp3, nor what the setting would be for lame to do these conversions.

QUOTE
Everyone has different ears.


And no one has obviously got yours.

Guess whose ears would be the best judge about which quality settings are best suited for you!? As you mentioned ABX tests, make no mistake: they would certainly serve as a good guiding light as to which settings work best for you.

If they show you cannot detect anything wrong with most of your collection, then you're in for a happy ending after all. An idea: if you end up with only a small amount of problematic files, you could still leave them as wma-originated wav files (a format which your player takes in gladly) just to be on the safe side.


Edit: for clarity's sake.

This post has been edited by includemeout: Dec 12 2013, 01:56


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LedHed8
post Dec 12 2013, 03:30
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QUOTE (PhillyPhan @ Dec 11 2013, 18:16) *
1.Option One- Convert my 320-256K CBR wma to 320-256 CBR Mp3. Stereo (only because wma is stereo not joint stereo, and I'm not sure that lame will be able to convert the wma to a joint stereo mode, since wma isnt a loseless file or CD that that is being converted) Bit reservoir on.
2.Option Two- Convert my 320-256 CBR Wma to 320-256 ABR or VBR (V1 or V2) Mp3.
Same option with stereo and bit reservoir on.


Hello PhillyPhan. Is Rockboxing your Creative Zen an option? If so, I think you will get much better battery life out of your Creative Zen, and not have to further degrade the quality of your audio files through the transcoding process.

If Rockbox isn't an option, and the Creative Zen only plays WMA or MP3, go ahead and transcode the wma's with Lame using one of Lame's presets: V2, V1, V0 or [gulp] 320cbr. Please don't mess with switches and additional commands. Leave the presets and joint stereo alone. Lame will do just fine.

Alternatively, transcode using iTunes mp3 @ 320 and let iTunes do it's thing. Hope this helps, use your ears, and good luck. Best regards. LedHed8.
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saratoga
post Dec 12 2013, 04:20
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I'd be surprised if the battery drain is so large. WMA is a very efficient format, and AFAIK the MS decoders are generally pretty good.
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LedHed8
post Dec 12 2013, 04:35
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Dec 11 2013, 21:20) *
I'd be surprised if the battery drain is so large. WMA is a very efficient format, and AFAIK the MS decoders are generally pretty good.


Saratoga, if I recall correctly from my pre-Rockbox days, my Sansa E280R sucked more battery on WMA copy protected files than it did on non-DRM files. Is it possible that this is what is going on with PhillyPhan's Creative Zen?

@PhillyPhan- Are your WMA's copy-protected? If so, you must be using Windows Media Player to sync the files to the player. If this is the case, use WMP to uncheck copy protection on your files, add the unprotected files back to the player, and check the battery life again. I'm assuming that most of these files are fairly old. If that is the case, they were most likely created using WMP back in the days when it defaulted to copy-protected WMA's. PS- You won't be able to uncheck the copy-protection if you/your computer is not recognized as the administrator/owner of those files. In such case, Rockbox won't do you any good either, and you won't be able to convert them using iTunes AFAIK. I think there might be other work-arounds for transcoding though... Search the web.

This post has been edited by LedHed8: Dec 12 2013, 04:57
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saratoga
post Dec 12 2013, 04:48
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Possibly the DRM is computationally expensive, I have no idea about that. It would be surprising to me if regular WMA was that bad though.
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PhillyPhan
post Dec 12 2013, 05:43
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Thanks to all for your help. Before I respond to some of the questions, let me be crystal clear about the ways the way that I came to the conclusion about my battery life. This will almost be a disclaimer, as I understand the rules on this site, and most "claims" have to be done with testing evidence. I understand this isnt a forum to create arguements. If someone refuse to listen to "lossy" because they can hear loss or artifacts or whatever without bothering to ABX test the Lossy vs Lossless, then they cant support the statement they made. Anyway, Here is how I came to the conclusion that the wma's were robbing battery life. (Please be patient as I am going to include a long story, but it might help you all as why I had made the original post) I make playlist or mixes when my friends and I get together. We are all music lovers so the MP3 usually goes for hours. When I first got the thing, I only had MP3 VBR and CBR playing. Battery life was good. Eight to Ten Hours. Well this was years ago, when I knew nothing about mp3 or any format. I ripped my CD's on WMP with the setting on 320Kbps (Best Quality). The only reason I had some VBR's is that I downloaded mp3 off if Legal Sounds or Amazon. VBR was the format these sites were using. I had stumbled upon Wma's by accident by using a program called Goldwave. I knew my player was compatable with this format, so I ripped a few CD's in wma format. I noticed that the 320 Wma's were larger in file size then the 320 MP3's. Here is an example: Tina Turner -"Nutbush City Limits"- File size @320wma is 6,986kb. File size @320mp3 is 6,960kb. WELL, Goofy me thought that since the file size of the wma was larger, then there must be less compression, which must mean a better quality file. I know you are all laughing your asses off now, but hey, I didnt know my ass from my elbow when it came to these things. SO i went and re-ripped most of my collection in wma format. Since I made playlist daily, I was now using wma files, and wouldnt you know that my player was crapping out in like 4hrs. I thought the battery was going, as I always had a full charge, so I was ready to part with my Creative X-Fi (which I love, this player goes everywhere I go) By accident, I stumbled upon this site. I started to read and research, and found some great tips and hints about MP3 VBR files. There were claims and test that they were more efficent and space friendly. Some even claimed they thought Sound Quality was better then CBR MP3. SO tried them, and starting re-ripping my collection. As most of my wma's starting disappearing, I made new playlist. Go figure, my MP3 player started to play longer. When I finally dumped all my wma's off the player, I was getting back into the Eight hour range. I know this doesnt count as a "scientific" test, but it sure seemed logical that the wma's were the culprit. Once again, I am not saying anything bad about wma's. I just know that they didnt agree with my player. And thanks for the reading the ramble, but I thought some of you might find it interesting. And know here are some the answers to your questions:
1. None of my wma's are protected.
2. Rockbox-Heard of it, never used it, so not sure if Creative accepts it. Its a pretty old Creative, the first generation X-Fi. Not sure if Rockbox software would work.
@Ledhead. Thanks for the info. Thats exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't sure if Lame would get confused trying to take the wma and turn it into the mp3. I was worried that I might blow the file up or something. Seriously, I just wanted to make sure that Lame was able to take a wma CBR and turn it into a Mp3 VBR without creating a hot mess. Is there anywhere I can read how the Lame encodes a lossy file? And something in dummy mode please!
Thanks to all again. STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS
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LedHed8
post Dec 12 2013, 06:09
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QUOTE (PhillyPhan @ Dec 11 2013, 22:43) *
2. Rockbox-Heard of it, never used it, so not sure if Creative accepts it. Its a pretty old Creative, the first generation X-Fi. Not sure if Rockbox software would work.
@Ledhead. Thanks for the info. Thats exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't sure if Lame would get confused trying to take the wma and turn it into the mp3. I was worried that I might blow the file up or something. Seriously, I just wanted to make sure that Lame was able to take a wma CBR and turn it into a Mp3 VBR without creating a hot mess. Is there anywhere I can read how the Lame encodes a lossy file? And something in dummy mode please!
Thanks to all again. STAY THIRSTY MY FRIENDS


Just checked the Rockbox site. The port for your old Creative Zen is not usable, so you will have to transcode if you are sure that the WMA's are "sucking" the battery. I would test first. Rip a cd to both formats. Fully charge your player. Put the WMA album on repeat, and manually track the run time of the player. Repeat with the MP3 album. In your case, I would use 256 or 320 for both formats for a fair comparison. Higher bitrates generally have a negative impact on battery life [there are exceptions].

As far as using Lame, I would recommend Foobar2000. See the Wiki in this forum for information and links to Foobar2000 and Lame. I'd recommend RareWares for obtaining a dependable and easy-to-use Lame binary. Use the latest stable Lame release package 3.99.5.
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Porcus
post Dec 12 2013, 11:25
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(1) Keep your WMAs on a hard drive. Pick a setting - say, v4 or whatever - and transcode every
file.wma
into
file.v4.mp3

If satisfactory, then OK. If not, then do it over again from WMA to file.v0.mp3 or whatever suits you.


(2) If your collection is available through iTunes Match, you might consider getting 256 AACs that way - iTunes Match is a subscription cost, not a per-track cost.
(Geeh I am recommending that fruit company for the second time this week ... get me a doctor.)


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