19 January 2007

Ripping in My Mind

Today I did some more ripping.
Ripping (also referred to as digital audio extraction) is the process of copying the audio or video data from one media form, such as Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) or Compact Disc (CD), to a hard disk (definition from Wikipedia).
My objective was to understand difference between WMA Variable and MP3 320 Kbit/s encodings. They both are my vavourite because they meet hi quality listening needs and still they both are compatible with most of equipment available.

MY test album was Denon's high fidelity demo CD, containing 11 tracks from Beethoven to Bruckner. Demanding stuff! Symphony finales and Piano contserts.

My surprise was quite big, then MP3 320 gave 23% bigger file than WMA Variable. I assumed, that encoder should choose very high bitrates because of nature of music.

  • MP3 320 Kbp/s: 162 MBytes album size;
  • WMA Variable: 132 MBytes album size.
Ichecked real compression levels of WMA Variable:

  • Track 2 Ludwig van Beethoven, Egmont overture
    341 Kbit/s
  • Track 4 Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphonie nr 7, Presto
    325 Kbit/s
  • Track 10 Anton Bruckner, Symphonie Nr 6, Finale
    317 Kbit/s
So, no real differene in compression, WMA variabl is just more effective than MP3. I didn't hear any difference in sound, listening tracks after each other. I know, that A-B-X blind test is more objective, but I dont have equipment at my home for that.

I didn't make any fundamental conclusion. I keep ripping using WMA Variable, as I used to do earlier.

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