Originally Posted by Elemental1
MP3 and WMA are both well supported so maybe he just wants somebody to pick the best format for him.
I'd say MP3....it's the most open standard.
But MP3 isn't lossless, and that's a big deal IMO (read my next response for why), and as for which lossless codec, there is no best, there's only "best supported" and the one(s) that work with your player(s).
As far as lossy codecs go, WMA and AAC are more advanced than MP3 and probably better sounding at similar bitrates. I'm sure hydrogenaudio or somebody has listenning tests which compare codecs, eg here:http://www.rjamorim.com/test/index.html
What I am doing is riping all my CDs to my hard drive, well most are already ripped but I am thinking of new CDs I buy. I own the CDs so if I want to go back and re-do it again at a better settings I can, but I hope to never HAVE to do this (lotta work).
This right here is necessary and sufficient reason to rip to a lossless codec IMO. Once you rip to a lossless codec you can easily convert to any other codec at any time. You can convert between lossless codecs without loss. Some programs will batch convert your whole library. And for portables, many programs will transcode to a "portable friendly size/format" on the fly. Lossless codecs are simply the most logical choice for a music library period. IMO
What brought this up is now that I have better speakers at home (B&W FMP5) I am convinced I can hear the difference between a MP3 and it's original and want to get the best out of both my car speakers and my home speakers. I have never considered WMA before (I mistrust any MS related media format-since the advent of DRM).
WMA Lossless, while it does support
DRM, does not require
it. It's a perfectly valid format. Like I said above, lossless is definitely the way to go, but which format is best is determined solely by which format your players support.
As far as Car goes, I most definately CAN tell the difference between a MP3 and an original. Now, granted, at 85mph that difference is lost in "road noise" but at red lights I am happy.
Unfortunately I've found a pathetic lack of real good audio solutions for the car. What I want is something like a squeezebox, but everything seems to be iPod based.
If I accept that, currently I'm leaning toward a 160GB iPod Classic and highly integrated iPod compatible deck for my car, and just "install" the iPod permanently. I'll just convert my library to Apple Lossless and have my whole library with me in the car.