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Topic: WMA format. Quality of sound?

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  1. #1

    WMA format. Quality of sound?

    I've been looking at some of the portable recorders that have an external mic jack, and found that many support only WMA and MP# sample formats. Anyone know a good source of information or have personal experience about the quality of the recording in WMA format?

  2. #2

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson
    I've been looking at some of the portable recorders that have an external mic jack, and found that many support only WMA and MP# sample formats. Anyone know a good source of information or have personal experience about the quality of the recording in WMA format?
    I'm no expert, but WMA is basically Microsoft's incarnation of MP3, albeit a different codec. Both WMA and MP3 formats are lossy. I think the sound quality is comparable between the two. The other major difference is that WMA was created to handle DRM.

    R.
    ==

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Unless you're just buying it to dink around, I would not buy a portable recorder which uses any kind of lossy compression.

    The problem is this: While you might get a great sounding initial recording, it's fooling you into thinking so with psychoacoustic behaviors. The data is not there, though. And when you try to subsequently process or clean a lossy compressed track, the illusion of its sound will fall apart.

    The most impressive portable rigs I've seen lately are the ones which use iPaq or similar PDAs, large Compact Flash cards, and nice little portable preamps. Someone was describing their new rig here just the other week, and I did some research on it.

    This is definitely the direction I would go if I were buying a portable rig today. As it is, I'll probably wait until my portable DAT croaks, though.

  4. #4

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Then again, if the recorder supports multiple WMA formats options, it might also support the VBR (Variable BitRate) Quality 100, which is a lossless compression. With some 24 bit recordings I made recently, this WMA encoding decreased the soundfile about 30%.

  5. #5

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Bruce,

    I think the recorder you are referring to is the PDAUDIO CF from Core Sound.

    http://www.core-sound.com/HighResRecorderNews.html

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  6. #6
    hv
    Guest

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Her's another possibility from IRiver:

    http://www.iriveramerica.com/products/hd.aspx

    Supports WAV and comes in 20 and 40 gig versions. With USB2 support it might also double as a small external audio recording drive for a pc.

    Howard

  7. #7

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Howard,

    I don't see where the Iriver audio units do anything but voice recording. They do playback wav files. Their multimedia unit records music, but it does not say at what bitrate.

    The Core-sound units record at up to 24 bits 192 Khz and are designed for recording music at high resolution.

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  8. #8
    hv
    Guest

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Martin,

    I think you're right. The IRiver seems to be a jukebox rather than a stand alone recorder. Pretty interesting one though. For recording, probably only useful as a HD for a laptop which hosts the mics and recording app.

    For stand alone location recording something like the Marantz PD670 outfitted with a CF microdrive might be better. Here's a link to a review of one of them:

    http://sldghamr.faithweb.com/PMD670.html

    I use an older Denon DN-F20R which is similar in concept but doesn't support the micro drives and is actually more expensive. It works well as an mp2 dialog recorder. But the max CF's it takes are a pair of 192 megs so recording time to stereo wav would be limited to about 35 minutes at 44.1 K. The Marantz unit seems to have obsoleted the Denon.

    Then again, double the ante and there's this:

    http://www.americanmusical.com/item-...-brand-98.html

    Howard

  9. #9

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    This guy uses an iRiver portable rig and has some examples if you want to hear the quality of sound he gets from it...

    http://www.nl3audio.com/Resources/remote/index.htm

  10. #10
    hv
    Guest

    Re: WMA format. Quality of sound?

    Sounds like the IRiver's more than just an mp3/wma player. Just downloaded the manual from the mfgs site. Pgs 32-34 document how to record 16-bit 44.1k and 48k audio to a combination of file formats including uncompressed WAV. Apparently using a combination mic/line-in/optical-in jack. The Visivox stereo, plug- (phantom?) powered mics sound interesting too.

    Howard

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