Will converting from MP3 to WMA reduce audio file quality?

Alec Ringhiser February 14, 2013
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I ripped all my music to my computer from CDs as 320kbps MP3 and / or WMAPro (vbr) files. I’m migrating to a new computer and want all these files to be the same, but do not have time or access to all of these CDs to rip them all in the same format to the new machine.

Will converting all these files into 320kbps WMA be an issue in regards to quality? I’d figure it wouldn’t make much of a difference if the original “ripped” copy is already a “high quality” file (the 320kbps MP3) and is simply transferred to a new file format?

I know little bits and pieces would be lost in the conversion, but were they really needed in the first place if they were “lost” in the original rip? You’d think there’d be no loss in quality because it would have already been done… Thoughts? (no mean ones, the damage has already been done haha)

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  1. Hannah Cooper
    March 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Indeed, it will reduce audio file quality during the conversion, but you should know that, the difference is hard to be noticed, so if you really want to convert MP3 files to WMA, just do it. Choosing a good MP3 to WMA converter, for example, Mp3 Grabber. That is a free online app, and provides detailed output audio settings, like audio format, bit rate, channels and sample rate. After conversion, you can compare MP3 to WMA, and see whether you can differentiate them.

  2. ha14
    February 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Converting your MP3 collection to WMA is not a good idea. Because you
    will be converting from one lossy format to an other lossy format and
    you will be losing quality at each step. Also keeping bitrate does not mean keeping quality.

    If you have the lossless source (CD, FLAC etc), converting to WMA
    or any other format from that source would make sense.

  3. ha14
    February 15, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Know When to Use Which File Format: PNG vs. JPG, DOC vs. PDF, MP3 vs. FLAC
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/know-when-to-use-which-file-format-png-vs-jpg-doc-vs-pdf-mp3-vs-flac/

    MP3 vs WMA Test of 24-bit HD audio to 320mp3 vs 440wma
    http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/110649-mp3-vs-wma/

    a lossless file is going to be "better" in that it will not lose any integrity of the original source. For this you need a good conversion software.

    http://techtips.salon.com/wma-vs-mp3-11980.html

    WMA supports 5.1 surround sound, which is not supported by MP3 (MP3 Surround is needed then).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3_Surround

    How to Prevent Audio Loss When Converting a WMA to an MP3
    http://www.ehow.com/how_8042431_prevent-loss-converting-wma-mp3.html

    ALL2LAME
    http://members.home.nl/w.speek/all2lame.htm

    T R A D E R ' S L I T T L E H E L P E R
    http://tlh.easytree.org/
    Verification of cfp, ffp, md5, sfv and st5 checksum files

  4. Alan Wade
    February 15, 2013 at 7:39 am

    The audio loss that you suffer when converting from one format to another is so minor, I doubt if you would notice.
    But, if you have any doubts then make a copy of the audio file and convert that. Then you will have the two formats to compare against each other.

  5. Bruce Epper
    February 15, 2013 at 1:16 am

    You are, in effect, converting from one lossy file format to another. In most cases, there will be additional loss during the conversion, but most people will not be able to discern the difference.

  6. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    February 15, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Every conversion will reduce audio quality.
    Having said that, the main factor that determines your quality is precisely kbps, and 320 kbps will give you a very high quality.
    Supposing that the conversion is performed correctly (that is, excluding buggy converters), you will not be able to notice any difference. Even with more aggressive conversions it would be difficult to notice any difference.
    My recommendation is to go ahead and convert these files.

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