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Questions On Mp3s And Wavs

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Troisnyx
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Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 08:14 AM Reply

I've always held to the standard that WAV is higher quality than MP3, but what exactly are we missing in an MP3?

Also, I've just discovered that right-clicking on the NG audio player allows you the option of downloading a song in WAV format. I take it they'd only be able to get what was saved in the MP3 in the first place (and not any higher quality than that)...... right?


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 08:19 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 08:14 AM, TroisNyxEtienne wrote: I've always held to the standard that WAV is higher quality than MP3, but what exactly are we missing in an MP3?

The good thing about MP3's is that they're easy to transport because of their low file size, but at the cost of the quality, which can't be more than 350 kbps if I'm right.
WAV files are good because they can be converted to any format while keeping the quality top-notch.

Also, I've just discovered that right-clicking on the NG audio player allows you the option of downloading a song in WAV format. I take it they'd only be able to get what was saved in the MP3 in the first place (and not any higher quality than that)...... right?

I never knew about this, but since a lot of the music on Newgrounds is uploaded in MP3 format, I guess that when you download a song in a WAV file you get a very shitty WAV...


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:15 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 08:14 AM, TroisNyxEtienne wrote: Also, I've just discovered that right-clicking on the NG audio player allows you the option of downloading a song in WAV format. I take it they'd only be able to get what was saved in the MP3 in the first place (and not any higher quality than that)...... right?

I'm new so I don't really know the inner workings of Newgrounds, but since you can only upload in MP3 format, downloading the file as a .WAV would probably be a conversion from the already compressed MP3 file, which explains the low quality download.

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:18 AM Reply

it's for movie/flash purposes. I suppose it hacks away the little bit of silence introduced by the mp3 conversion and saves that for a properly looping file. Same quality.

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:26 AM Reply

Right. Thanks, guys ^_^
I'll admit, I was pretty surprised to see the WAV download option. When I had to do music for the Game Jam I was told that MP3s could be used, but they had to be at a certain sampling rate, I don't remember what it was anymore.

I suppose the WAV option is there because it's easier for everyone?


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:33 AM Reply

A WAV is an UNCOMPRESSED file, which means you get what you make. It is also knows as "loseless". There are other similiar file types as well, such as a FLAC for uncompressed listening pleasure. Now then, uncompressed listening pleasure makes no damn sense because our ears can only hear a certain range if frequencies. In fact, as you get older you hear even fewer frequencies. The purpose of a WAV is for mass production and editing, allowing the manipulation of the file for unlimited possabillities.

A MP3 is a COMPRESSED file, which means you take out a lot of those freqencies for a much, much smaller file that can be loaded on any music player (or MP3 player) for your listening pleasure. The highest you can go with a MP3 is 320KBps. (320 Kilobytes every second). This is preffered by most artists. 240KBps is also preffered. You can easily tell the difference as you get lower in KBps with a MP3, much more noticable than a WAV.

In Flash, most artists choose above 80 KBps for music and sound, since adding high quality sound can result in a massive 10MB+ file. Since there are many, many types of media in the industry, there areany, many types of compression methods. MP3, WAV, and FLAC are the common ones. I have come across m3u, for online radio stations, and used the file to connect a flash game to an online station. I have also come across WMA, windows media player, AIFF and AIF, Apple uncompressed formatting, and .ogg, a strange compression method developed by Vorbis.

Hope this helps!

I have a question, however. Do i LOSE quality if I change an MP3 to a WAV?

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:34 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 09:26 AM, TroisNyxEtienne wrote: Right. Thanks, guys ^_^
I'll admit, I was pretty surprised to see the WAV download option. When I had to do music for the Game Jam I was told that MP3s could be used, but they had to be at a certain sampling rate, I don't remember what it was anymore.

I suppose the WAV option is there because it's easier for everyone?

I honestly have no idea why there would be a WAV download option other than if lossless upload was intended at some point

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:39 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 09:33 AM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: I have a question, however. Do i LOSE quality if I change an MP3 to a WAV?

Unlikely, unless you mess with the sampling rate/bit depth.

Flash can't import anything higher than 160kbps and like Buoy said, all mp3s begin with a fraction of a second of silence where all the meta-data is kept and this is annoying for flash devs. Flash has very basic, per-instance sound editing capabilities but it's relatively cpu-unfriendly afaik, which SUCKS for games and stuff.


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:44 AM Reply

hmm, actually i don't know if converting an mp3 to wav will even remove the silence at the start... honestly i dunno, maybe NG trims the silence off? would be easy enough to do because it's pretty much always 2ms long.


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:51 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 09:34 AM, qbitdubs wrote: I honestly have no idea why there would be a WAV download option other than if lossless upload was intended at some point

Thing is though, as far as the audio player is concerned, lossless upload was NEVER intended for the last 12 years.


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 09:59 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 09:34 AM, qbitdubs wrote: I honestly have no idea why there would be a WAV download option other than if lossless upload was intended at some point

Buoy explained the probably reason why earlier. MP3s store small bits of data usually in the beginning of the track. It's not very noticeable unless you are trying to loop your song. So it's obviously a feature for flash artists who want seamless looping music in there projects.

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 10:37 AM Reply

This is what that looks like in a waveform editor-

(I took this screenshot to show a flash dev why .mp3 aren't great for looping unless you script in something to start a little later).

However, note that in my experience, I have not had issues with flash and .mp3s in my experience... they loop okay when I have used them.

the sound quality with a .mp3 between 192kbps and 320 kbps is perfectly fine to anyone on consumer-grade equipment, but under 128kbps, highs and lows start to get worn away. If you're under 48kbps, it sounds bad. If you're at 16, it sounds like it got played in an aquarium tank. Some people tell me that with pro equipment, they can easily tell the difference between a 320kbps .mp3 and a 1411kbps .wav, but on most setups it's very hard to tell.

One common mistake devs do is leave the audio at mono. Mono DRASTICALLY reduces the quality of the sound and kills any mixing/spreading/mastering work you did. Stereo at 64 is better than mono at 192.

Note that some games (non-flash) use the .ogg Vorbis filetype. It compresses better than .mp3 and has MUCH higher fidelity. However, .ogg files are not common and not much used even though they kick .mp3's butt any day.

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 11:19 AM Reply

At 8/29/12 10:37 AM, samulis wrote: Stereo at 64 is better than mono at 192.

This is ridiculous and demonstrably false.

64 kbps stereo
128 kbps stereo (64kbps per channel)
192 kbps mono

A mono mixdown can either merge the two channels or discard one of them - in any case, the only thing that happens is that you lose the stereo image. How much a song relies on its stereo image varies - stereo wasn't the standard before the late sixties, and since clubs often play in mono, most dance music has to sound good in that format.

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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 29th, 2012 @ 12:21 PM Reply

At 8/29/12 11:19 AM, Buoy wrote:
At 8/29/12 10:37 AM, samulis wrote: Stereo at 64 is better than mono at 192.
This is ridiculous and demonstrably false.

64 kbps stereo
128 kbps stereo (64kbps per channel)
192 kbps mono

A mono mixdown can either merge the two channels or discard one of them - in any case, the only thing that happens is that you lose the stereo image. How much a song relies on its stereo image varies - stereo wasn't the standard before the late sixties, and since clubs often play in mono, most dance music has to sound good in that format.

Maybe it works for dance music, but not for orchestral...

Mono192 battle loop
stereo64 battle loop

Notice how the first one sounds weak and too centered... the second has much more presence and power even though it's a 3rd of the size... at least on a normal PC speaker system. This isn't the late 60s, games should use music that has a presence. :P


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Response to Questions On Mp3s And Wavs Aug. 30th, 2012 @ 01:45 AM Reply

having done some foley work for college in the past i'd much rather use music that was too narrow than too wide - it interferes like you wouldn't believe. it's easy enough to merge stereo in logic or protools, flash not so much :P


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