Best audio format to convert to?

I am converting some files, which is the best?---

MP3, M4A, AC3, AAC, WMA, WAV, or APE (<I have no idea)

3 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on how critical your ear is, how much space you have to store your songs, and what kind of portable music player (if any) you plan to use.

    You've mentioned two types here - compressed (where some parts of the music are discarded to make the file smaller), and uncompressed, which is identical to the original.

    WAV files are uncompressed, but also huge in comparison.

    Of the compressed formats you mentioned, APE is the highest quality, as it uses a "lossless" technology which results in a smaller file size, but no loss in quality.

    The others are compressed and therefore the quality is "technically" reduced. However, most people cannot hear the difference between a high quality compressed track, and the original. The parts that are discarded are the really high and low frequencies.

    MP3 is by far the most common compressed format, and most software and portable players support it.

    The experts over at Hydrogen Audio and others have done extensive testing and agree that MP3 192kbs VBR is indistiguishable from the original for all but the most sensitive ears on high end audio systems. You do not need to go to 320k - that's overkill. I did my own comparison tests using Foobar blind listening tests with MP3 192k files vs WAV files, and could not consistently pick which was which.

    Again, it depends on your application, but MP3 would be your best choice in terms of compatibility with software and portable players.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hello Bionict?

    The best audio file extention is the .WAV type at 1411 Kbps.

    The .Mp3 extention is a compressed version of a .WAV.

    If You want good sound with .Mp3 it has to be at 320 Kbps.

    Take note that all music extentions are originated from .WAV type. A .Mp3 cannot be made unless there is a .wav involved in the conversion process, sometimes it is hidden.

    As an example take the .Wma extention, it contains .avi and .wav types.

    If you need more infos, post it here and send me a mail to inform me.

    I will edit my answer so the community can read about it !

    Good Luck

    Source(s): Recording studio owner
  • Paul
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    MP3

    Use 256K VBR or 192 CBR

    If you have a portable audio player, or you're getting one in the future, the only safe bets are MP3 and WAV; the others might not play on it.

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