10-30-13 07:25 AM
89 ... 234
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  1. FF22's Avatar
    Ok, this can get very complicated, and I don't pretend to understand it in any great detail, but:
    There are two main types of (digital) audio files. Compressed and Uncompressed.
    Uncompressed is a direct digital impression of the original music, and should be a 'perfect' copy. There are several formats, of which the most popular in general use is probably a WAV file. These files are quite big

    Compressed files can be further split into 2 types Lossy and Lossless.
    Lossless files contain all of the information from the original recording, so you could still get back to the original and they are still a 'perfect' copy. However, the price you pay for that is that you can't compress very much, and so the files are still quite big.
    Lossy compression can make the files much smaller, but they do this by removing some of the information (frequencies) from the recording. Depending on the amount of 'loss' you can vary from no noticable change from the original to very poor quality. It becomes a balance between quality and file-size to some extent. Once you have compressed a file in a lossy way, you can never get back to the original quality (some information is lost). MP3 files are an example of a lossy compressed format, but there are many more (eg WMA, AAC)

    Almost all devices and players will play WAV and MP3 files.

    IMO, for normal listening while on a bus or train etc, you can get away with an MP3 with a fair bit of compression. If you are listening at home, or somewhere quiet (especially over speakers rather than headphone) MP3 with less compression may be an option, though it depends on how 'fussy' a listener you are.
    If you are planning on replacing the CD with the recording (ie you are not going to keep the CD), then you may want to consider a lossless format or very low compression MP3, but again, it depends on how 'fussy' a listener you are, and how much you can 'hear' the compression.
    You could try recording the same track a few times at different qualities (bit-rates) and see what differences you can hear.

    Finally, I ought to say for completeness, that a lot of people will argue that MP3 is not the best choice as far as quality vs size goes. This is probably true, but MP3 remains the most widely supported format (I think).

    If you Google for something like 'Music Compression' you will find far more information that you could ever need on the subject...!!
    So why use EAC? If stuff canNOT be reduced in size much from the original WAV files, why all of these other methods? What about flac?
    10-29-13 01:11 PM
  2. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Ok, this is beginning to make sense. Using all of these terms (WMA, AAC,WAV and MP3) is very confusing for those of us who have not had to delve into this topic.
    To clarify, I use my MP3 to record music sessions so that I can review them for practice later at home. I also plan to copy these onto my playbooks & iPod so I can listen to them whenever and where ever I want.
    Ditto for CDs and other music formats.
    I think what I want to do is fairly basic, copy audio stuff to my playbook &/or iPod.
    Sounds like you've pretty much got what you need. I'd stick with MP3s as you can't really go wrong, or run into any incompatibilities that way.
    Not sure quite what you mean by recording music sessions (gigs?, lessons?, practice sessions?, studio sessions?) but if it is something you'd ever want to distribute to anyone else or play on decent playback equipment then use the best quality you can to record the originals. You can always compress the files down to make them smaller in the future, but you can never retrieve the lost quality if you record at a lower bitrate (quality).

    All of those terms are just different formats of music file really. I'd recomend you do a little bit of research, and read a couple of articles on music files as it will all make a lot more sense if you do, and the basics are not really complicated.
    FF22 likes this.
    10-29-13 01:59 PM
  3. castoridae's Avatar
    Sounds like you've pretty much got what you need. I'd stick with MP3s as you can't really go wrong, or run into any incompatibilities that way.
    Not sure quite what you mean by recording music sessions (gigs?, lessons?, practice sessions?, studio sessions?) but if it is something you'd ever want to distribute to anyone else or play on decent playback equipment then use the best quality you can to record the originals. You can always compress the files down to make them smaller in the future, but you can never retrieve the lost quality if you record at a lower bitrate (quality).

    All of those terms are just different formats of music file really. I'd recomend you do a little bit of research, and read a couple of articles on music files as it will all make a lot more sense if you do, and the basics are not really complicated.
    They are just for me, but do need a certain half decent quality - just how much more space does a higher quality setting require?
    From what you've said above, It sounds like I could just use MP3 - that also means I can use the MP3 format to copy the CDs to the playbook as well, right?
    10-29-13 02:23 PM
  4. jpash549's Avatar
    They are just for me, but do need a certain half decent quality - just how much more space does a higher quality setting require?
    From what you've said above, It sounds like I could just use MP3 - that also means I can use the MP3 format to copy the CDs to the playbook as well, right?
    Most people would use MP3 but there are different settings even with MP3. So be sure before you do a lot of copying that you have settings you will be happy to live with. As said in previous posts MP3 is a lossy format. This means that some of the sound information which is considered less important is discarded. Once discarded you can't get it back without starting over.

    Key things which affect the quality of the data are sampling rate and bit rate. Sampling rate as I recall is usually 44.1 per sec while bit rate is either 128, 256 or 320 kbits per sec. The 128 rate was used in the past but many people think that the higher rates are necessary. There are also variable bit rates in some settings. You may also be able to select a sound frequency range. Most of us are lucky to hear over 6000 while a dog whistle may be 20000. Inclusion of higher frequences is thought to improve quality.

    Apple used to use 128 kbs in downloads but went to a higher rate and vbr in their format known as AAC adopted in 2003.

    Perhaps the experts will help you with getting the proper settings. As far as file size is concerned, if you are doubling the bit rate you will basically double the file size. You can experiment with the effect of different settings yourself.
    Last edited by jpash549; 10-29-13 at 03:15 PM.
    castoridae likes this.
    10-29-13 02:55 PM
  5. SEAWARRIOR's Avatar
    Yeah....., like I said, 'Record now' was so easy. How do you know what format you want/need?
    For example, I have an iPod classic and a touch, 2 playbooks, and an MP player (-ok, so the MP player is obvious).
    What is WAV - is that the ipod/tablet format? Are these the only 2 options? - I hope so
    .mp3's are generally universally read by all/most media players/devices,,, there is some frequency loss, but it's only noticable on very good equipment to a good ear...
    castoridae likes this.
    10-29-13 06:39 PM
  6. jpash549's Avatar
    If you want a good free program to use for recording try Audacity.

    http://forums.crackberry.com/showthread.php?p=9137420

    This fairly long thread has several posts which may be useful to you along with a good deal of joshing.

    If you think that you might want to at some later time use your music on a true hi-fi system you better save it in a lossless format. You can make a mp3 copy to send to the cloud or use on your PB.
    castoridae likes this.
    10-29-13 07:40 PM
  7. castoridae's Avatar
    If you want a good free program to use for recording try Audacity.

    What Music Format is Best For The PB? - Page 3 - BlackBerry Forums at CrackBerry.com

    This fairly long thread has several posts which may be useful to you along with a good deal of joshing.

    If you think that you might want to at some later time use your music on a true hi-fi system you better save it in a lossless format. You can make a mp3 copy to send to the cloud or use on your PB.
    I currently plug the MP3 player directly into my stereo for playback, but I don't like the quality of the recordings. Using this device is new to me and I believe I have to adjust the settings I'm using to do the original recording. Also, I'm guessing the copy I make won't be any better than the original.
    10-29-13 08:49 PM
  8. jpash549's Avatar
    When you say MP3 player are you talking about the iPod? And you are right that if you have poor input info you are not going to easily improve it. It is possible to make a recording sound better with some programs but this may be by introducing stuff that really wasn't there in the first place. With Audacity, which I should note has something of a learning curve, you can edit out clicks and bad spots and change volume and do other things which are helpful particularly with old vinyl.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using CB Forums mobile app
    10-30-13 02:29 AM
  9. ChrisMay's Avatar
    I currently plug the MP3 player directly into my stereo for playback, but I don't like the quality of the recordings. Using this device is new to me and I believe I have to adjust the settings I'm using to do the original recording. Also, I'm guessing the copy I make won't be any better than the original.
    What are you actually using to make the recordings at the moment? If it is some software, could you let us know the settings you are using, then maybe someone could advise how to improve the quality.
    I am assuming that you get better quality using the same connections when playing material other than your recordings, otherwise it could be the equipment that is giving poor quality...(??). Also, are you using a device with a built in mic. (like a mobile phone) to make the recordings? Maybe you need to try an external microphone(if one is supported)? Sometimes the built in ones are not too good unless they are close to the sound source (like a phone when you are talking into it)
    10-30-13 05:23 AM
  10. ChrisMay's Avatar
    They are just for me, but do need a certain half decent quality - just how much more space does a higher quality setting require?
    From what you've said above, It sounds like I could just use MP3 - that also means I can use the MP3 format to copy the CDs to the playbook as well, right?
    Yes. Just bear in mind what I said about lossy recodings, and not being able to get back to the original quality without reverting to the original source.
    For what it's worth, nearly all the music on my PC/iPod/Playbook (95% of which are copies of my CDs) are only medium quality MP3 files, and I don't have all of the originals any more, but it doesn't really bother me, they sound good enough as far as I'm concerned.
    10-30-13 05:26 AM
  11. Angus_CB's Avatar
    So why use EAC? If stuff canNOT be reduced in size much from the original WAV files, why all of these other methods? What about flac?
    EAC is just a piece of software used to rip CDs.
    It does a good job because you have almost unlimited control over the format and quality and it retrieves the CD info, then correctly names the tracks, artist and album.
    MP3 files can be as small as 10% of the original CD audio (cda) music file.
    .flac is probably the best lossless compression format but the files are much larger than .mp3.
    FF22 likes this.
    10-30-13 05:30 AM
  12. ChrisMay's Avatar
    So why use EAC? If stuff canNOT be reduced in size much from the original WAV files, why all of these other methods? What about flac?
    Not sure I understand the question, but stuff cannot be compressed all that much from original WAV files without losing some of the sound information. If you are prepared to accept that the copy will not contain ALL of the original sound data (and hence may not sound as good) then you can pretty much compress as much as you like, bearing in mind that more compression = less quality (roughly speaking).
    I don't know much about .FLAC files, other than they are a form of lossless compression, so will be smaller than a corresponding WAV file, but larger than a corresponding MP3 (they should however sound as good as the WAV, wheras the MP3 may not - all subject to the techniques used to convert the files of course).

    EDIT - Angus beat me to the answer...
    FF22 likes this.
    10-30-13 05:35 AM
  13. Angus_CB's Avatar
    I currently plug the MP3 player directly into my stereo for playback, but I don't like the quality of the recordings. Using this device is new to me and I believe I have to adjust the settings I'm using to do the original recording. Also, I'm guessing the copy I make won't be any better than the original.
    You are dealing with two things that lower audio quality.
    1. The mp3 format which may be using too much compression.
    2. If you are using the headphone output of the MP3 player to connect to your stereo the output volume of the MP3 player will effect the sound quality. Too much volume will overdrive the stereo input causing distortion. Not enough volume also causes problems.

    Choose the highest mp3 quality setting your recorder will allow. You can get away will lower quality with voice recordings because the dynamic range for voice is much smaller than the range for music.
    10-30-13 05:36 AM
  14. ChrisMay's Avatar
    You are dealing with two things that lower audio quality.
    1. The mp3 format which may be using too much compression.
    2. If you are using the headphone output of the MP3 player to connect to your stereo the output volume of the MP3 player will effect the sound quality. Too much volume will overdrive the stereo input causing distortion. Not enough volume also causes problems.

    Choose the highest mp3 quality setting your recorder will allow. You can get away will lower quality with voice recordings because the dynamic range for voice is much smaller than the range for music.
    +1 to that.
    Set the volume on the MP3 player to somewhere in the middle (fine tune to get the best results) and leave it alone. Control the playback volume using the controls on your stereo.
    10-30-13 07:25 AM
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