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Why the low popularity/usage of WMA Lossless? (according to the poll), Split from: 2012 ripping/encoding poll
HTS
post Jan 10 2012, 06:21
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What's so bad about WMAL?
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Porcus
post Jan 10 2012, 16:53
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 06:21) *
What's so bad about WMAL?


Except that hardly anybody uses it, and it is not very well supported? Even ffmpeg, which supports a codec list long as this, fails to decode it.

And it lacks features like ReplayGain support.


To counter it: Why choose WMA (lossy or lossless), except if you want to stick to Windows Media Player or really need something which Windows Explorer identifies as 'audio'?

( ... the obvious answer was «DRM» ... )


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HTS
post Jan 10 2012, 20:55
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What about reliability? Microsoft is a huge company and didn't update their thing for years, so pretty much a "tried and true" format?

Sometimes for freeware I have seen when an update goes out that has a bug, and they had to revert it but too bad for the people who already used it extensively.

This post has been edited by db1989: Jan 10 2012, 21:07
Reason for edit: removing unnecessary full quote
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greynol
post Jan 10 2012, 21:52
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That's kind of funny since for years WMP didn't extract tracks off a CD to the proper length. Has it been fixed yet?

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 10 2012, 21:53


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spoon
post Jan 10 2012, 22:23
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We have reported bugs to Microsoft (to the project manager for Windows Media Audio at the time) for WMAL, they are still outstanding 7 years later.


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kornchild2002
post Jan 11 2012, 00:09
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 12:55) *
What about reliability?


What reality? Microsoft not updating an encoder for a long period of time is not reality in any way, shape, or form. Additionally, if you examine the hardware market, both mp3 and AAC have more support. The portable player line that holds over 60% of the market is made by Apple and they don't support WMA. Even my Droid X (running Android 2.3) doesn't support WMA when it comes to making ringtones yet mp3 and AAC are fine for that. Just last year, I purchased a Blu-ray player with a front USB port. It works with mp3, mpeg-4 AAC, and PCM WAV audio files but no WMA.

So where is the reality in using an extremely outdated encoder that isn't supported by the majority of the DAP market (and has dwindling support outside of that)? People use different encoders/formats for different reasons. That's fine and people should use whatever works for them. However, that doesn't mean one can use flawed reasoning to reach their conclusion.
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greynol
post Jan 11 2012, 00:16
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Of the devices that support WMA, such as car stereos, how many of them support WMA Lossless?


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db1989
post Jan 11 2012, 00:16
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jan 10 2012, 23:09) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 12:55) *
What about reliability?
What reality? Microsoft not updating an encoder for a long period of time is not reality in any way, shape, or form. […] So where is the reality in using an extremely outdated encoder that isn't supported by the majority of the DAP market (and has dwindling support outside of that)? […]

QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 12:55) *
reliability
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HTS
post Jan 11 2012, 01:32
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2012, 15:52) *
That's kind of funny since for years WMP didn't extract tracks off a CD to the proper length. Has it been fixed yet?

No, I have to re-do about 20 CDs because of this. Not all disks are affected, I think the problem is the worst for SACDs.

QUOTE
Of the devices that support WMA, such as car stereos, how many of them support WMA Lossless?

I didn't read the entire thread, I thought the poll was just for the purposes of archiving. I don't play lossless formats on the go. My question might be irrelevant then.
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Porcus
post Jan 11 2012, 01:43
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 20:55) *
What about reliability? Microsoft is a huge company and didn't update their thing for years, so pretty much a "tried and true" format?


Science is fun. Well, sometimes depressing. http://arc.nucapt.northwestern.edu/~karnesky/sdarticle.pdf .
Not about WMA, about Excel, which is a product where they should definitely not screw up the maths this way.

This post has been edited by Porcus: Jan 11 2012, 01:44


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kornchild2002
post Jan 11 2012, 02:05
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2012, 16:16) *
Of the devices that support WMA, such as car stereos, how many of them support WMA Lossless?


I actually only know of the Zune line and Windows Phone (or Windows Mobile, or Windows Phone Mobile, whatever they are calling it). Of course, the various Android DAPs will also work with WMA Lossless through various apps (I don't think Android has native WMAL support). Having said that, the majority market devices don't even work with WMA let alone WMAL. There are also a few outdated Toshiba, Insignia, Cowon, and Sony players that support it but they represent an extremely small market and I think those DAPs have been off of the market for 2-3 years now (if not longer).

As for my other post where I misread reality with reliability... Ironically enough, my statement still holds true. Where is the reliability in using an outdated encoder that has a decreasing level of native support? Any bugs in the encoder that were present in 2007 are still going to be there now whereas other encoders (unless they are abandoned) will at least perform small updates here and there for reliability issues. When was the last update released for WMA? I also can't remember the last time Apple or the Lame developers released an update to their encoder that caused issues forcing users to revert back to the previous release. I know Nero had issue with its AAC encoder when it came to the Creative Zen, Xbox 360, and iPods but that was a while ago and I believe all problems were squashed around 2007.
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HTS
post Jan 12 2012, 03:47
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What's the easiest way to convert about 300gb of music in WMAL format into FLAC?
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Ron Jones
post Jan 12 2012, 03:51
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 10 2012, 16:16) *
Of the devices that support WMA, such as car stereos, how many of them support WMA Lossless?

The list of vehicles with WMA Lossless support is probably limited to Fords with the SYNC system (a Microsoft-Ford partnership product).
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saratoga
post Jan 12 2012, 03:55
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Jan 10 2012, 10:53) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 06:21) *
What's so bad about WMAL?


Except that hardly anybody uses it, and it is not very well supported? Even ffmpeg, which supports a codec list long as this, fails to decode it.


FWIW, theres a mostly working WMAL decoder in ffmpeg as of a couple days ago. The code is still in bad shape though, so I wouldn't depend on it just yet. But maybe someday smile.gif
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Roseval
post Jan 12 2012, 08:04
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 12 2012, 03:47) *
What's the easiest way to convert about 300gb of music in WMAL format into FLAC?


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Porcus
post Jan 12 2012, 19:34
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 12 2012, 03:55) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Jan 10 2012, 10:53) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 10 2012, 06:21) *
What's so bad about WMAL?


Except that hardly anybody uses it, and it is not very well supported? Even ffmpeg, which supports a codec list long as this, fails to decode it.


FWIW, theres a mostly working WMAL decoder in ffmpeg as of a couple days ago. The code is still in bad shape though, so I wouldn't depend on it just yet. But maybe someday smile.gif


WMA Lossless -- the latest in bleeding edge technology!


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HTS
post Jan 13 2012, 06:17
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Foobar in its latest version can decompress WMAL files without any help right? (it says WMA is supported, so that should include all variations?)
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slks
post Jan 13 2012, 06:43
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The reason nobody uses WMA Lossless is that there's little to no support on hardware or software, and there's no compelling reason to choose it over FLAC or ALAC.

FLAC's got the broadest base of support (my Rio Karma player from 8 years ago supported it!) so it's consequently the most-used lossless codec, according to the polls here. ALAC is good for people who like to stay in Apple's little "walled garden" software/hardware ecosystem, so that's why many people started using that. However, with Apple recently making ALAC an open standard, I suspect it will soon get a lot more encoding/decoding support outside of Apple products, possibly picking up more "market share".

People who want advanced features like hybrid lossy/lossless encodes, hi-res multichannel support, or wanted to squeeze the last few percents compression efficiency possible went to WavPack or TAK or something.

WMA Lossless doesn't have the broad support, and it doesn't have the best compression or most advanced features. That's why people aren't choosing it over other lossless codecs. (Similarly to why lossy WMA isn't hardly used either!)

This post has been edited by slks: Jan 13 2012, 06:44


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probedb
post Jan 13 2012, 12:15
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 05:17) *
Foobar in its latest version can decompress WMAL files without any help right? (it says WMA is supported, so that should include all variations?)


Why don't you download foobar and try it? That'll give you your answer.
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HTS
post Jan 14 2012, 00:35
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QUOTE (probedb @ Jan 13 2012, 06:15) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 05:17) *
Foobar in its latest version can decompress WMAL files without any help right? (it says WMA is supported, so that should include all variations?)


Why don't you download foobar and try it? That'll give you your answer.

The question meant is it a bit perfect conversion to wav or not.

See this thread:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....c=83925&hl=

Didn't LA also have the problem with Foobar but does not make it known to the user?

QUOTE
It's important to mention that the LA foobar plugin is buggy and doesn't produce lossless streams!
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saratoga
post Jan 14 2012, 00:47
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 18:35) *
The question meant is it a bit perfect conversion to wav or not.


Try it and see.
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HTS
post Jan 14 2012, 00:51
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 13 2012, 18:47) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 18:35) *
The question meant is it a bit perfect conversion to wav or not.


Try it and see.

How do you check the hash of the sound data only again?

This post has been edited by HTS: Jan 14 2012, 00:51
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saratoga
post Jan 14 2012, 00:59
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 18:51) *
QUOTE (saratoga @ Jan 13 2012, 18:47) *
QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 13 2012, 18:35) *
The question meant is it a bit perfect conversion to wav or not.


Try it and see.

How do you check the hash of the sound data only again?


Decode it in foobar, decode in the MS software, and then use foobar's compare PCM tool to check that they're identical.
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hellokeith
post Jan 14 2012, 10:00
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QUOTE (HTS @ Jan 9 2012, 23:21) *
What's so bad about WMAL?


There is nothing really wrong with WMAL. Keep in mind that in the grand scheme of things, lossless audio is still niche.

FLAC has better device support sure, but lossless on mobile devices is a pricy practice with debatable sonic value over lossy on mobile.

If anything, metadata/tagging/replaygain would be the best argument for FLAC and against WMAL. But if your home has many Windows PCs like mine, the out of the box support for WMAL is hard to beat.
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lvqcl
post Jan 14 2012, 11:10
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I don't know what means "without any help" but foobar2000 uses system codecs to decode WMA files - just as Winamp and many (if not all) other programs.
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