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Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

I see a few people doing this lately.  I'm really surprised that MS would add it to Windows.  What I'm wondering is how good is it?  Any reason not to use it other then the usual dislike of WMA?

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #1
pretty sure I read it has decent compression, comparable to MA or flac.

I'd try it if they'd make it available in a simple download, compatible with eac, but I'm not going to bother with some huge bloatware dl when MA works just fine anyway.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #2
Replaygain will probably be the last thing supported by WMA.  But maybe you don't need that.

Any reason not to use it other then the usual dislike of WMA?

Any reason to use it?

Do you need any features?

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #3
I've seen a few people in less technical related forums using it.  Wondered how well it works compared to existing lossless.  I'm sticking with LAME anyway since I need compatability.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #4
It is 2-4 times slower at compressing than monkeys audio, but the file sizes are comparable.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #5
I actually found it to be about the same speed as monkeys audio at extra high, however the compression is around 1.5% worse (giving it about the same compression as wavpack's highest mode, however at half the speed - the same probably also applies to monkey audio's faster modes).

I think that the fact that its microsoft is a good enough reason to stay away from it, but on the other hand being microsoft means a lot of people will probably use it, and it'll probably get better hardware support than any other lossless format once microsoft finalises wma9.

I've read reports of it not giving back identical wavs - this probably means it just adds something to the header, but I've also heard that it sometimes drops frames of silence from the end of wavs!? Hopefully just something microsofts still got to iron out seeing as its still beta.

btw, for the comparison see my website (lossless-audio.com/comparison) - I don't know of any other comparisons to include wma9 yet?

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #6
When it's final, I'll give WM9 another try, though it'll be just for the comparison webpage!
A few weeks ago, beta installation failed here (the lossless mode wasn't available).

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #7
Some seem to look down on MS stuff just because its MS stuff.  Thats rather biased, though I won't be using it all the same.

The only good I see then is that pretty soon >90% of people will be able to play lossless without a patch.  Should make it a lot more common and if WMA really bothers you, it can be transcoded.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #8
Quote
Some seem to look down on MS stuff just because its MS stuff.  Thats rather biased, though I won't be using it all the same.

WMA9 is not open source or cross platform.

That is not looking down, but preference.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #9
I am quite certain that development on WMAv9 codecs has finished, it is just the player v9 that is in beta, they are waiting to officially release both together.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #10
Thanks for the thoughts.  A few more:

- A lossless codec should be very well tested before it's adopted.
- MS' history of putting non-disclosed, or non-optional features is what has gotten its deserved reputation.
- Digital Rights Management issues seem always to be a potential problem with MS
- Any concern about the ability to decode the format down the road, if you do want to transcode?

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #11
Yes but Lossless WMA will be supported in hardware in no time.

Not likely with other codecs
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you."

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #12
I've used it with EAC and it seems to be a convenient way to temporarily store WAV files before burning them with NERO. I haven't burned a CD yet, but the NERO plugin seems to handle them fine...

The EAC parameters were quite extensive but someone posted them at the EAC forum. If you can't find them, send me a PM or I can post them here.


Wanne.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #13
I'm new to lossless encoding.

I plan on getting a new computer in 6 weeks and I'm trying to decide which lossless format to use in storing music on my computer.

I was leaning towards FLAC, but I think I'll likely go WMA because hardware support is important to me and if it's Microsoft I'm sure they'll have good hardware support.

The one thing that worries me is that Microsoft is notorious for releasing early versions of software with tons of bugs.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #14
Quote
I'm new to lossless encoding.

I plan on getting a new computer in 6 weeks and I'm trying to decide which lossless format to use in storing music on my computer.

I was leaning towards FLAC, but I think I'll likely go WMA because hardware support is important to me and if it's Microsoft I'm sure they'll have good hardware support.

The one thing that worries me is that Microsoft is notorious for releasing early versions of software with tons of bugs.

If you're new to lossless encoding, you first must realize this:
Good lossy codecs, such as MPC/Mpeg Plus, will give you audio that is almost always identical to the original (to human hearing) at the proper settings.  By almost always identical, I mean 99% of music.  And lossy codecs mean much much smaller files than lossless, so much less wasted space.

Loss-LESS encoding is certainly useful too, though only for a few purposes:

- Archiving your CD collection so you can make new CDs if any get scratched or destroyed.
- If you wish to regularly transcode to a lossy codec (i.e. streaming via SHOUTcast or Icecast) and want to avoid the extra quality loss of re-encoding or transcoding across lossy formats.
- If you still are working with the audio file, but want it compressed to take up less space for now.

Heeding that, I would stick with FLAC or Monkey's Audio.

They have fine support on the computer, and for portable players you can always encode to MP3 with LAME --alt-preset standard.  (Or burn your lossless copies to archived CD-Rs, and just put high-quality MPC/MpegPlus on your computer.)

Micro$oft and bugs go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.
Not to mention WMA is a proprietary format in the hands of a copyright hungry corporation, AND Microsoft could at any date change its players & plugins so that files unverified by its "Digital Rights Management" system cannot be played.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #15
I agree with Moguta. FLAC has hardware support, but I don't think that it's really so useful. considering that lossless encoded files are 5-7 times larger in size than good quality mp3s, they are not something you'd like to use with portable player. (not to mention that portable players will hardly give you enough quality to distinguish between lossy and lossless).


Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #17
So the takeaway is ... slightly better compression than flac, but way slower than Monkey's?  Wow.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #18
Yep, that about sums it up    And of course you get high CPU usage when playing your WMA files as an extra bonus 

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #19
Given this is Microsoft's first kick at the can with lossless, it doesn't surprise me that other lossless compressors are better and more efficient.

However will that still be the case in a year or two? Microsoft may throw a significant amount of money at development and it could end up being better in the long run.

Their first version of lossy compression wasn't very good, but it's improved quite a bit now hasn't it?

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #20
I smell DRM and pallidum all over this     

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #21
And i'm sure Microsoft is asking royalties for each hardware decoder... Is Xiph doing the same with ogg vorbis? I consider open source vital for true wide hardware support. Closed, propietary, DRM friendly formats are... hmm, not good. When something is backed by the likes of Microsoft, it is time for you to start worrying...
She is waiting in the air

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #22
Quote
And i'm sure Microsoft is asking royalties for each hardware decoder... Is Xiph doing the same with ogg vorbis? I consider open source vital for true wide hardware support. Closed, propietary, DRM friendly formats are... hmm, not good. When something is backed by the likes of Microsoft, it is time for you to start worrying...

Hey, it's easy to use, and it pops up immediately when you use it, and well, they're telling you it's good, so it must be!

AOL is making millions off of other's idiocy, why not the rest of the people? And it'll guaranteed have the best hardware support, since M$ will shamelessly promote it, and give the companies a few hundred million to use it, and if we see illiterate rappers saying WMA is CD quality at 64k, it must be true!

Then, I can just see, copy protection, etc.

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #23
Quote
I consider open source vital for true wide hardware support.

It might be =important= for an end-user point of view. But it surely isn't vital. The 2nd most widely-hardware-supported audio codec is very closed.

Manufacturers don't care that much about royalties and closedness. The care about user demand and marketing (the latter is what Microsoft is best at)

Has anyone tried lossless WMA?

Reply #24
Mmm... more high quality music to download  And now, back to the original question... no. Mpc all the way. No need for lossless.

 
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