How To Convert .wma Lossless to mp3

Many DJ's are "switching up" to computers as the new way to DJ. They provide near-instant access to large song lists and can be integrated to control video and DMX lighting.

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How To Convert .wma Lossless to mp3

Postby JR » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:20 pm

In taking my first step into the realm of the digital DJ, I started to download my library in Windows .wma lossless format to an external 250GB HD and filled the HD when I reached CD #750. I still have 350 more to download; plus future CDs. (I understand lossless is the best way to archive my library; please tell me if I'm missinformed)

The first thing I plan to do is to buy a 500GB HD and copy all from the 250GB to it. Then continue downloading the rest of my library in the same format to the 500GB HD. I also plan to delete the contents of the 250GB HD and use it to store my library in a smaller format.

Now, with that said, I'm somewhat at a loss and quite confused as to how to put the library back on the 250GB HD in that smaller format. (i.e. mp3 @ maybe 320kbps?)

I'm not even sure if 320kbps is still too big, or if mp3 is the best format as I haven't decided on which DJ software to use yet. I would like to use a format that is somewhat universal though.

So are there any digital gurus with suggestions as to how I might accomplish this conversion? I am hoping that I can do it in a batch type process where I can start it and come back to it when it's done. Or am I'm looking for something that’s too easy?
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Postby Jumpin' Jeff » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:38 am

I use 32-320 VBR settings that will shrink the size considerably while maintaining quality.

On average, my files are over 200kbps. Frames with silence will be stored as 32kbps, while complex frames are saved at 320kbps.

Not all software is capable of playing VBR files correctly however.

Really depends on what you plan to play them back with.

If you wish to stick with CBR, I think you could safely go with 192 or 256. 320 is overkill in a noisy environment, as no one will be able to hear the difference without headphones.
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Postby JR » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 am

Jumpin' Jeff wrote:If you wish to stick with CBR, I think you could safely go with 192 or 256. 320 is overkill in a noisy environment, as no one will be able to hear the difference without headphones.


Thanks for the input Jeff. In continuing my research last night I learned that I could sync my files to another device (which would be the 250GB HD), but the max quality I could achieve is 192kbps. As I have read here in previous posts, and you just confirmed, I believe that 192 should be sufficient. I sync'd one album to a thumb drive as a test and found it only took approximately 35% of what the lossless format did.

I think for the moment I will use the CBR as I'm not very familiar with what I'm doing at the moment. As I become more tech savvy and comfortable in this I'm sure I'll examine other means by which to enhance the sound.

In hind-sight, I find that ripping to lossless format allows me to have an archive from which I may be able to convert to other formats in the future.
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Postby Jumpin' Jeff » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:03 pm

JR wrote:...In continuing my research last night I learned that I could sync my files to another device (which would be the 250GB HD), but the max quality I could achieve is 192kbps.


Pardon me for asking, but what brought you to that conclusion?
All my music is on external USB2 drives, and synced with a 1T NAS drive on my home network. I have no upper limit of 192. In fact, bandwidth wise, I run on average, over 200 as stated, but also with enhanced definition (480P) video with no problems.
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Postby Jumpin' Jeff » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:07 pm

BTW, I think it very wise of you to also save your files in a lossless format for backup, but a single backup is not. You should also create an offsite backup of those files for real backup protection. If it were to be destroyed, you have nothing. If you have an alternate backup offsite, you have something to fall back on, without losing all your efforts.
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Postby Dave Miller » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:42 pm

Personally, I find it hard to hear the difference between 128 and 320 - and that's at home with no external noise. In a banquet room during a party? Fuggedaboudit!

To answer your original question, iTunes will copy it off one drive to the other and convert it in one step. You just need to set the settings right (i.e. conversion format, library location, etc.)
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Postby JR » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:35 pm

Jumpin' Jeff wrote:Pardon me for asking, but what brought you to that conclusion?
All my music is on external USB2 drives, and synced with a 1T NAS drive on my home network. I have no upper limit of 192. In fact, bandwidth wise, I run on average, over 200 as stated, but also with enhanced definition (480P) video with no problems.


I am using Windows media player to do the ripping and I used it to test the sync as well. The sync part of the program gave me an upper limit of 192.
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Postby JR » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:38 pm

DJ Teddy Bear wrote:To answer your original question, iTunes will copy it off one drive to the other and convert it in one step. You just need to set the settings right (i.e. conversion format, library location, etc.)


Thanks Teddy Bear, I'll look into the i-Tunes.
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Postby TheBartman47 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:20 am

I can barely tell the difference between 128 and 192, but it is there. Yes, in a noisy room, no one can tell, but when listening in a quiet room, I can tell. I also can't tell the difference with computer speakers, but my sound system speakers do make a difference.

Anyway, I too recommend the variable bit rate. I also recommend EAC (Exact Audio Copy) as the best program I've seen for ripping CDs. It has automatic error correction for those scratched CDs. And best of all, it's totally FREE to download.
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Postby Dave Miller » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:17 am

I'd stay away from Variable Bit Rate unless you're sure that the show software you're using is compatible. Not all are.
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Postby JR » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:16 am

Thank you gentlemen; I really appreciate the input. So far I believe I'm going to convert the .wma lossless to mp3 @ 192kbps. I’m still in the process of ripping the remainder of my library to the lossless format.
TheBartman47 wrote: I also recommend EAC (Exact Audio Copy) as the best program I've seen for ripping CDs. It has automatic error correction for those scratched CDs. And best of all, it's totally FREE to download.

Bartman, will this program work for copying from one HD to another while converting from .wma to mp3? Or is it strictly used for ripping from CDs?
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Postby TheBartman47 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:28 am

The EAC program can convert existing files into MP3 (and can convert MP3 to .wav and do some basic editing on the .wav file, the compress back to MP3.) The EAC requires you to first install the LAME MP3 encoder (separate download). It all requires a little more computer savvy than some others to get it started and set up like you want, but once set, it's very easy to operate after that.
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Postby JR » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:51 pm

OK. I've come upon another puzzler for me. When Windows ripped my music, I downloaded it to a folder titled DJ. Within this Windows created a sub-folder for the artist and then a sub-sub-folder for the album; in which the actual music files reside.

Is there a program out there that will look into the folders to find the music to convert it? Something like a bulk conversion I guess. Or is there a "file-management" means within Windows by which to separate the music files from their folder so that I may do a batch conversion. Otherwise I'm stuck with having to manually enter each sub-sub-folder to convert each album individually; which appears to be as time consuming as ripping the complete library again.

Can I even use these files in a DJ program (other them Windows Media Player) in the configuration they're currently in or do I have to break them out into individual files on the HD?

HELP PLEASE! :?
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Re: How To Convert .wma Lossless to mp3

Postby djjordank » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:07 pm

hey JR, stop what you're doing!! Windows is punishment for shoplifting in some countries... media player especially.

http://www.winamp.com/
Winamp is a great media front end that DOESN'T us the entire kernel for processes like windows media player does. It's stand alone, low budget as far as computer resources and 100x more user friendly than the automated waste of processes that is anything to do with windows.

Once you install winamp, you can put everything anything you want into the playlist, Go to your prefrences, got to CD Ripping. From there you can rip cd's and/or change the file you're 'playing' with the Encoder.

Set the preferences to output into w/e folder you want how ever you want it to.

http://www.winamp.com/
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