Will I lose a lot of quality when converting WMA files to MP3 after ripping to WMA from CD?

Nick January 11, 2012
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I have ripped all my CDs to WMA (lossless) and realise now that this was perhaps not the best format. If I use a program to convert them to MP3, will I lose much quality? Should I start again?

  1. Nickj
    January 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Hi, Thanks for taking time to post all the really useful comments and links. The analogy of taking a photocopy of a photocopy has helped me to visualise what takes place inside the machine.    

    Having read all the answers I have decided, as the general consensus suggests, to bite the bullet and  re-rip all the CD's using Windows Media Player to MP3 at a bit-rate of 160, as I should have done in the first place! What is the point of WMA I might ask? At a rate of ten a day I should be done by March. Is Jet Audio a better tool than Windows Media Player for Ripping?

    What I would like to do however is find a way to copy the album info from the old WMA files to the new MP3 files, as some of it had to be manually input ad tedium. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Then I will be able to get rid of the CD's. Well perhaps hold onto some favourites for old times sake. 
           

    • Jay.0
      January 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      1. I can't say Jetaudio is better or not, but I have used jetaudio whenever I needed to rip a cd.
      Check the image to see the options it provides.

      2. It is possible in some cases, but I don't think conversion always lose quality, like photocopy.
      It depends on the quality of output you set.

      If you convert 256 kbps mp3 to 256 kbps wma, size will increase and quality will remain the same.
      If you convert 256 kbps wma to 256 kbps mp3, size will decrease and quality will remain the same.

  2. FIDELIS
    January 12, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Hello, if you use a lossy format, they will always be some quality reduction....most times you will not notice it too much though.  If you are really picky, you should start back again.  Rip directly to mp3. 

    Keep in mind that your best option would be to select to burn an Audio CD, it will play pretty much in any player.  It will convert any wma and mp3 to an universal audio CD.

  3. Jay.0
    January 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    ==============================
    Use jet audio to rip audio cd.

    http://download.cnet.com/JetAudio-Basic/3000-2141_4-10013740.html?part=dl-56361&subj=dl&tag=button

    It will let you rip in wav format or any other format including mp3 and wma, you will also be able to select output quality by clicking configure button.

    It will save time and quality, because you will not have to convert to mp3, you can directly get mp3 from ripping.

    (About conversion: wma to mp3, I guess all you can do is setting converter to use equal quality of wma)

  4. Anonymous
    January 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    MP3 vs. WMA
    http://ezinearticles.com/?MP3-vs.-WMA&id=36589

    When you rip your CD to WMA format, you loose some of the audio in the process. When you convert  WMA to MP3, you take a file that already has some missing information, then interpret it as a new file format so potentially lose even more information.
    http://www.jakeludington.com/ask_jake/20110914_how_to_convert_wma_to_mp3_audio_files.html

  5. Chris Hoffman
    January 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    It'll depend on the bitrates you're using. If you ripped the WMA to maximum bitrate and then you converted it to a 128 bitrate MP3, I doubt you'd be able to notice much of a difference.

    You'd be performing a lossy to lossy conversion. The WMA rip results in a lot of data thrown out, and then the conversion to MP3 results in more data thrown out. It's like taking a photocopy of a photocopy; you're better off photocopying the original.

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