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Bulk conversion of WMA to MP3

Discussion in 'Audio' started by peterbj7, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. peterbj7

    peterbj7 Member

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    I have over 100gb of music organised in folders, that I started building up well over a decade ago. Sadly much of it was ripped to WMA, so will not play on my iPad or many CD players.

    Is there a routine, Windows or Mac, free or pay, that will convert all WMA files in the file structure and put the MP3 conversions into the same place? With guaranteed MP3 files of at least the same quality as the original WMA?

    If there isn't, what is the converter that gives the best results and is easy to use with bulk WMA files?
     
  2. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    I would use dbPowerAmp. I think you will want to convert WMA -> Lame ABR (Average Bit Rate). That should lose the least amount of fidelity. I can guarantee some fidelity loss. When you convert you can never gain fidelity and must lose some fidelity. The trick is to lose the least and with luck you will not be able to hear the loss even with both ears opened. People think their hearing is near infallable when it is our least relyable sense.

    Although, conversions can be completed with a button push there is some serious conciderations you have to make. You are always trying to fit a square peg into a round hole or vise versa. Lame ABR is only used for conversions from AA and WMA. The other choice would be AA but I bet the ABR will do a slightly better job. Why would take too much of my time to explain.

    Try just doing a standard conversion for an album then have someone play the WMA the the mp3 back to back without you knowning which came first. Use ear buds since they are more likely to provide the best fidelity. One of the first laws of listening is if you think there is a difference you will hear a difference even if there isn't any. See the audio myths posted in the top sticky. This is why persons think they can tell the difference between HiFi lossy and lossless when there is usually no difference and when there is the difference is so small it is like looking at a nickle and being able to tell it is a micron too small. Our eyes are far more relyable than our ears.

    In the future, if you rip rip to lossless (Flac) or at least VBR (mp3) extreme. The fidelity is about the same for both but the VBR is usually fairly small. The advantages of the VBR mp3 is it is small and plays on everything.
    Once you install dbPowerAmp you will be able to see the bit rate from file explorer by hovering your mouse arrow. The BRs Bit Rates are your fidelity. The lower the original bit rate is the more apt you will lose significant fidelity.

    Too bad you picked such a loser to create your library. Recent versions are fine but they were not HiFi when you started your library. Again you might not be able
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Audio
    To put your fidelity concerns into prospective, the fidelity difference between your best and your worst will not be as dramitic Apple's standard ear buds and good ear buds which is HUGE. Many persons that claim they can hear the fidelity loss of lossles listen with low fidelity ear buds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  3. peterbj7

    peterbj7 Member

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    Thanks for that. I'll try it. I was recommended to MediaHuman Audio Converter, but even though it's free they insist on credit card details, and for some reason both my UK Visa cards were rejected. Perhaps they don't want to sell to Britain?
     
  4. peterbj7

    peterbj7 Member

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    Do you or anyone know of a good conversion program that will run on a Mac?
     
  5. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    If I were you I wouldn’t delete your originals. You may find your new files may contain artifacts. I can almost guarantee that. Many may be inaudible. Depending on your cut-off they may not even be included in your audio. I have made some that sounded like marble hitting your windshield at 50 MPH. It hurt your ears. This was converting one HiFi file to a different one. I had to convert the files to a different format before I could convert them to the desired format without artifacts. That is the danger of bulk converting audio files then deleting the originals. A few tracks will be trash. This will be far less than 1% one would hope. Too bad you do not have the original CDs. You could rip them to lossless.

    If you convert to a normal mp3 you will lose significant fidelity. WMAs are compressed differently than a normal mp3 Constant Bit Rate CBR. We are back to the square peg going into the round hole. The ABR mp3 creates a flexible round hole that you can shove the square peg in without cutting off the corners and the sides of the hole will become square to accommodate the square peg. If you have the ability to set a bit rate, set the bit rate for the new files about 20% higher. This will effectively increase the size of the round hole big enough so the square peg fits with room to spare. That and keeping the originals are the best you can do. Maybe you can get a friend with a PC to do the conversion for you.
     

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