Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
kaddle

Why MP3 player and not WAV player?

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

i don't know too much about this topic. recently i searched the difference between the WAV sound format and apparently the wav format is far superior. it allows for greater range of sounds and quality is never lost because it's not compressed. the only reason i can think of why we invented mp3 players instead of wav players is because back when the mp3 player was invented they only had like 12 mb of storage space or whatever, but why is mp3 still the default? i checked the android store and there are some alleged wav players. at the moment i don't feel like downloading or converting a track to wav format to try it out though.

 

what are reasons why wav sound format is not mainstream and when might this change? also if you are well versed on the topic then feel free to explain details about these formats and their differences.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, kaddle said:

but why is mp3 still the default?

It's still the same reason. MP3's take only a fraction of the space, which means they're much, MUCH faster to share with people, to move to external drives, to upload or download, you can fit more of them in a smaller amount of storage -- plenty of reasons.

2 minutes ago, kaddle said:

or converting a track to wav format

You would gain literally NOTHING from converting an MP3 or something to WAV. The audio-loss has already happened, you cannot get it back by converting.

3 minutes ago, kaddle said:

what are reasons why wav sound format is not mainstream and when might this change?

There are far better lossless audio-formats than WAV, like e.g. FLAC. FLAC is a compressed format, but it's losslessly-compressed, which means there is no loss of quality and it'll still take far less space than WAV.

 

As for why lossless audio hasn't become mainstream: most people do not care. I, for example, cannot hear any fucking difference between a reasonable-quality MP3 and a FLAC.


Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

It's still the same reason. MP3's take only a fraction of the space, which means they're much, MUCH faster to share with people, to move to external drives, to upload or download, you can fit more of them in a smaller amount of storage -- plenty of reasons.

You would gain literally NOTHING from converting an MP3 or something to WAV. The audio-loss has already happened, you cannot get it back by converting.

There are far better lossless audio-formats than WAV, like e.g. FLAC. FLAC is a compressed format, but it's losslessly-compressed, which means there is no loss of quality and it'll still take far less space than WAV.

 

As for why lossless audio hasn't become mainstream: most people do not care. I, for example, cannot hear any fucking difference between a reasonable-quality MP3 and a FLAC.

agree as much as i love quality sound sound quality lossless isn't really worth it over the pure convenience spotify has using 320 kbs mp3.s and frankly wihth most of the music I listen to I can't really tell the difference the only time I've ever heard aeven a semblance of a difference is when I was blind testing flacs vs. mp3 and going through my miyazaki film OST FLAC library and comparing it to the 320kb's versions that I use on my phone on a pair of dt 990's . I and I noticed a a little difference in the tonality of the flute in hareta hi ni. but thats because of the amount of piercing  detail the cans provide for highs and my 58x could barely expose. but if you want the best guaranteed flacs are the way to go. but with my general use case then no. 


 

Main Desktop audio Setup topping d10---> monolith Alex Cavelli Liquid Spark--->Beyerdynamic dt 990 for gaming, Sennheiser hd 58x for everything else

My portable setup one plus 6T--->fiio ubtr---> Tin hifi T3

Other audio stuff you can feel free to ask about if you see me on the audio forum are AKG k240, AKG k 52, AKG y50bt, koss ksc 75, Sennheiser HD 4.40, Fiio e10k 

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, kaddle said:

i don't know too much about this topic. recently i searched the difference between the WAV sound format and apparently the wav format is far superior. it allows for greater range of sounds and quality is never lost because it's not compressed. the only reason i can think of why we invented mp3 players instead of wav players is because back when the mp3 player was invented they only had like 12 mb of storage space or whatever, but why is mp3 still the default?

Yes that's the reason, and like anything popular, it's still the default because it's popular.  There are superior formats to mp3, jpg, etc. but those are so widely compatible that they stick around.  Also, technology has progressed since the early days.  Back then mp3 players were basically just firmware devices like a microwave, so support for specific formats hat to be explicitly coded in and supported.  Since the invention of smartphones and other full computer-like devices, format support is merely a matter of software, and any modern device will easily play a wav file, or any other number of formats, like flac which is superior for music due, for one thing, to being losslessly compressed.  It's not much, but it still helps.

57 minutes ago, kaddle said:

i checked the android store and there are some alleged wav players. at the moment i don't feel like downloading or converting a track to wav format to try it out though.

Try out what, playback?  Trust me anything will do, you don't need a special program.

57 minutes ago, kaddle said:

what are reasons why wav sound format is not mainstream and when might this change? also if you are well versed on the topic then feel free to explain details about these formats and their differences.

It's what you said - the filesize is massively larger for only a very subtle change in quality.  Definitely wasn't worth it back then and is only barely worth it now, and only for a few people.

Link to post
Share on other sites

WAV just like AVI is a file container which can contain audio encoded with various audio codecs... there's no guarantee that a WAV file will always have audio in lossless, uncompressed format.

Here's for example what Adobe Audition 3.0 (ancient) supports when choosing WAV format:

image.png.a4f1dd9d23dd7dde00736bb55ae38c09.png

 

You can see there A/mu-Law, ACM Wave, DVI/IMA , ADPCM , regular PCM WAV (which can contain compressed data - you can actually have MP3 and MP2 audio inside WAV files)

In addition to that WAV is also in two formats, the older 32 bit format (with limitations like max 2 or 4 GB per file) and a newer 64bit format, and WAV also supports big endian and little endian which means a wav created on a Unix system may not decoded by a player on Windows if the player can only do the other endian type... so it gets complicated fast.

 

MP3 is a very basic format that's super easy to parse and decode as it's being downloaded, AAC is also basic format , same for Opus/Vorbis and FLAC, compared to WAV they're much much simpler formats/containers. MP4 is more complex but as a container has to be supported by phones because it's also used by videos on internet, so it's worth using "disk space" in your operating system to support these formats.

 

As for benefits - yes, mp3 is lousy quality, nowadays aac and opus are both much better quality, but it has some advantages over wav - wav if uncompressed uses less cpu to decode and play BUT modern processors in phones have specialized/dedicated hardware that can decode mp3 and various audio and video formats with minimal power consumption - often, it's quite possible that it takes more power and time to read the audio file from your flash memory or to download it from the internet, than the amount of energy required to decode the audio and play it. For example, a phone may be able to buffer 2-3 MB worth of audio in 5 seconds and then put the wireless receiver in "low energy" / "energy saving" mode and save more power compared to downloading 30-50 MB worth of WAV file over the course of 15-30 seconds.

 

If you want quality uncompressed audio, you have FLAC which is lossless. Opus at high bitrates (like let's say 480-512 kbps for stereo audio) can be practically lossless - it would be extremely hard for you to spot any differences between such file and a FLAC audio file averaging 700-1000 kbps for stereo audio.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

WAV is from Windows and mp3 is an universal format

 

nobody would want to pay Micro$oft a pile of money to allow their format into third party devices (players)


ASUS X470-PRO • R7 1700 4GHz • Corsair H110i GT P/P • 2x MSI RX 480 8G • Corsair DP 2x8 @3466 • EVGA 750 G2 • Corsair 730T • Crucial MX500 250GB • WD 4TB

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mariushm said:

WAV just like AVI is a file container which can contain audio encoded with various audio codecs... there's no guarantee that a WAV file will always have audio in lossless, uncompressed format.

Here's for example what Adobe Audition 3.0 (ancient) supports when choosing WAV format:

image.png.a4f1dd9d23dd7dde00736bb55ae38c09.png

 

You can see there A/mu-Law, ACM Wave, DVI/IMA , ADPCM , regular PCM WAV (which can contain compressed data - you can actually have MP3 and MP2 audio inside WAV files)

In addition to that WAV is also in two formats, the older 32 bit format (with limitations like max 2 or 4 GB per file) and a newer 64bit format, and WAV also supports big endian and little endian which means a wav created on a Unix system may not decoded by a player on Windows if the player can only do the other endian type... so it gets complicated fast.

 

MP3 is a very basic format that's super easy to parse and decode as it's being downloaded, AAC is also basic format , same for Opus/Vorbis and FLAC, compared to WAV they're much much simpler formats/containers. MP4 is more complex but as a container has to be supported by phones because it's also used by videos on internet, so it's worth using "disk space" in your operating system to support these formats.

 

As for benefits - yes, mp3 is lousy quality, nowadays aac and opus are both much better quality, but it has some advantages over wav - wav if uncompressed uses less cpu to decode and play BUT modern processors in phones have specialized/dedicated hardware that can decode mp3 and various audio and video formats with minimal power consumption - often, it's quite possible that it takes more power and time to read the audio file from your flash memory or to download it from the internet, than the amount of energy required to decode the audio and play it. For example, a phone may be able to buffer 2-3 MB worth of audio in 5 seconds and then put the wireless receiver in "low energy" / "energy saving" mode and save more power compared to downloading 30-50 MB worth of WAV file over the course of 15-30 seconds.

 

If you want quality uncompressed audio, you have FLAC which is lossless. Opus at high bitrates (like let's say 480-512 kbps for stereo audio) can be practically lossless - it would be extremely hard for you to spot any differences between such file and a FLAC audio file averaging 700-1000 kbps for stereo audio.

 

 

these days though mp3 is quite good. as long as you make sure you are getting the highest quality possible. like spotify on the highest setting is pretty darn good formats. the sheer convinience an price of the whole setup though deters me from going full flac though.


 

Main Desktop audio Setup topping d10---> monolith Alex Cavelli Liquid Spark--->Beyerdynamic dt 990 for gaming, Sennheiser hd 58x for everything else

My portable setup one plus 6T--->fiio ubtr---> Tin hifi T3

Other audio stuff you can feel free to ask about if you see me on the audio forum are AKG k240, AKG k 52, AKG y50bt, koss ksc 75, Sennheiser HD 4.40, Fiio e10k 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aezakmi said:

WAV is from Windows and mp3 is an universal format

 

nobody would want to pay Micro$oft a pile of money to allow their format into third party devices (players)

The format is a subset of RIFF which was popularized by Microsoft in 1991 but first used in 1985 on Commodore Amiga with small differences). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_Interchange_File_Format

 

You wouldn't pay Microsoft anything because all patents expired a long time ago.

MP3 is much newer and all patents for it expired last year (or this year) - it's completely free now. I think also AC3 is all patent free or will be this year, most of AAC also this tyeear or next (they keep adding "modes"/extensions to it but you would be able to make plain  AAC files without patents).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×