Sound quality of 1100 kbps WMA lossless vs. 24/192 PCM ?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by GAxiom, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. GAxiom

    GAxiom Guest

    Hi to everyone,

    I would appreciate your opinions in the issue of that high rate lossless wma sound. Is that comparable to a normal 24/192 pcm Wav?

    Asking this only for curiosity. I am not familiar with that wma, but I am a little bit suspicios against the claims I happened to hear that they should be comparable.

    And thanks to everyone for the opinion! and I am asking this here only because I would greatly appreciate opinions from more professional people in this issue.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    not familiar with that format. maybe someone that is will jump in.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    As with any true lossless format, the compression in the WMA lossless encoder does not change the sound quality. The playback will be the same as the original .wav file that was encoded by the WMA encoder. So if you encode a 24/192 .wav file to a lossless WMA file and then play it on a WMA player, it will be identical to playing the original .wav. This assumes that the player can deal with WMA lossless formats, which precious few can.

    The 1100Kbps relates to original CD-quality material. A 24/192 .wav file of typical material would encode to somewhere around 3500Kbps. Lossless WMA looks clumsy and compute-hungry compared with some other lossless formats such as APE.
  4. GAxiom

    GAxiom Guest

    Thank you for the information.
    My maths also told me that 1100kbps compares to 16bit/44,1khz.

    So, any claims associated to the mentioned bitrate WMA, stating that "this is true superhyperduper-HD source" are, politely said, a little exaggerated?

    And, associated problems with WMA-supporting hardware...

    Again, thank you.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    With some material, you could compress 16/44.1 losslessly to less than 1100 Kpbs. Conversely, something like 20-bit/48KHz (ADAT 2 standard) would compress to around 1100 Kbps. However, your original question was about 24-bit/192KHz, which is several notches up from this.

    The amount of compression achieveable with any lossless algorithm is very dependent on the material being compressed. You might find that some modern popular music would compress to almost nothing because of lack of information content.

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