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A few encoding related questions

by kjonson / February 9, 2005 3:00 AM PST

I just bought a Zen Touch (and will receive it shortly). I have about 35gb of music, but the hard drive is only 20gb. It would be nice to be able to fit my whole collection on the player.

I would convert my collection to Ogg, but the player doesn't support it. What I'm wondering is, were I to transfer it as WMA, what would the consequences be?

I know that WMA requires more processing, so I assume I would get less battery life out of the player. I'm wondering at what bitrate of WMA will there be no loss after converting from 160kbps mp3's? 128kbps? 192?
I'm also wondering exactly HOW MUCH less battery life I'll get if I use WMA.

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Codec efficiency
by LifezFun / February 9, 2005 9:39 AM PST

Huh,,, difficult question.
I do not think there's whole lotta difference of power consumption between MP3 and WMA. Maybe few percent at most.

Assuming that all your 35gb songs are 160kbps, you need to compress it down more in order to fit them in there.
160x20/35=91kbps. So, if you re-encode them into 96kbps WMA, you will have most of them in there, but not all.
If you want all of them in there, you have to encode them with 64kbps, and this will give you extra space for more music. (64/160x35=14gb, 6gb left)

But remember, the re-encoding will take some time.
(Might as well encode them into better codec...)

(Since I'm a Sony NW-HD3 user, I'm inclided to tell you that Sony's codec sound much better then WMA at 64kbps.
http://forums.minidisc.org/lofiversion/index.php/t4637.html)

Have fun!

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WMA is fine
by squeaky / February 9, 2005 9:50 AM PST
In reply to: Codec efficiency

I re-encoded all my music into 64kbt WMA, and it sounds just as good as 128kbt MP3.
I used a tool called dvPowerAMP which can encode at 18-40x speeds. It really won't draw that much extra power, but it does save a lot of space. Assuming you're at 160kbts or even 128kbts right now, lowering it all to 64kbts would allow you to fit all your music onto your touch.

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okay but.....
by kjonson / February 9, 2005 10:06 AM PST
In reply to: WMA is fine

how easy is it to convert? is it as simple as queueing a folder full of files to convert (this folder has sub folders, and those have sub folders)?

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battery and codec
by kjonson / February 9, 2005 9:56 AM PST
In reply to: Codec efficiency

Maybe I'm wrong in thinking there's a difference in battery life when using one or the other. However, if you look through some of the mp3 player reviews, in the specs area, it will say for example 15hours mp3, 11 hours WMA....

As for ATRAC3....yes it is a very good codec. Considering that you can compress 650mb down to 140mb with no audible loss.... My other player is a sony minidisc player....

I can definitely appreciate how good the codec is when you can fit 7 cd's on one minidisc on highest compression. There's a noticeable quality degredation, but simply getting that much on a 140mb disk is amazing.

I probably won't bother converting my mp3's to a lower bitrate, as the Touch has such amazing sound quality, I wouldn't want to comprimise it by doing that....I can live without some of my music....I don't even like some of it...

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easy
by squeaky / February 9, 2005 10:20 AM PST
In reply to: battery and codec

dpPowerAMP is as easy as opening up a folder, selecting a bunch of files, right clicking, and pushing "convert with"
dpPowerAMP adds an option to the right-click menu when you click media.
After that, a window opens, and you get options. What format to encode to, and the bitrate. you choose those, then you can choose to overwrite source files and all that stuff.

When it says 15hr mp3 vs 12hr WMA, you sure it's referring to battery life?

My mp3 player said 16hrs WMA vs 8hrs mp3 for storage space, since WMA can be encoded in 64kbts and be equivalent of mp3 at 128kbts. Never heard of battery life discrepencies

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