Home > Music, Technology > WMA vs WMA Lossless

WMA vs WMA Lossless

I’m doing an experiment this morning. My entire CD collection is ripped to my computer using WMA at 128Kbps. I ripped a CD with WMA Lossless which, in case you don’t know, simply compresses the audio data instead of encoding it into another format, like the lossy MP3, WMA, or AAC. The reason these are able to take a 50-60MB CD track and take it down to 5-6MB is that certain audio data is trimmed off. I don’t know the specifics of how WMA does this, but I do know that they trim off the frequencies that are out of human hearing (above 20KHz, below 20Hz). Since CDs are sampled at 44.1KHz, this chops off roughly half of the data. There’s probably more going on as well, but suffice it say that what you’re hearing from an MP3/WMA/AAC file is not even close to the original CD audio.

So I ripped Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth to WMA Lossless and set up a playlist to play first the WMA “lossy” track followed by the WMA lossless track. I’m listening through Logitech Z-2300 speakers, which aren’t the greatest for music but are great for computer games.

 

Conclusion: On these speakers at least, there isn’t a big difference between the two. The Lossless tracks sound a little more “open” and definitely have tighter bass. Is it worth files being almost 10 times as big? Probably not.

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Categories: Music, Technology
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