WMA to mp3

I just got a Rio volt (sp90). It says that it can play up to 20 hours of music. Poking around their Website it says that the songs have to be in WMA format to play the 20 hours. I’m pretty sure that the songs I have on my computer are all mp3. I have a dell dimension with MusicMatch jukebox 6.00. How do I convert my mp3 to WMA and should I?

Windows Media Player 7.1 will allow the creation of WMA files from CDs. I don’t know if it will convert mp3’s to wma. I’m not sure if you have to install the WMP adaptec CD burning module (free download) to have this feature enabled.

dBpowerAMP Music Converter will convert MP3 to WMA.


Microsoft also has a free audio converter as part of their WM Bonus pack.


Actually, the file format has nothing to do with the length of playing time but rather the file size. The smaller the audio file, the more files you can fit on a blank CD, the longer the playing time. The bitrate of the file determines its size, i.e., the larger the bitrate, the larger the file, the higher the quality (usually).

The most common bitrate for MP3s found on the net are 128 kilobits per second. I usually find these to be of adequate quality, especially if I’m listening through my computer speakers. The advantage of WMA format is that it offers higher quality at lower bitrates (people have claimed that a 96kps WMA is of comparable quality to a 128kps MP3). If you encode a WMA at 128kps it will be the same size as an 128kps MP3.

There are some issues regarding converting between the formats. If you were to convert a 128kps MP3 file to a 96kps WMA, the sound quality will be worse than if you were to encode a 96kps WMA file directly from CD. This is because you are compressing from an already compressed source. There would be no point in converting from 128k MP3 to 128k WMA as they would remain the same size.

As a result, I would compress WMA directly from CD, but I wouldn’t bother doing any file conversions on already existing MP3 files (at least if sound quality is an important consideration).


if this is true, then what would be the bitrate to fit 20 HOURS of music on one cd like rio clamed? i find now that i can fit about 70 to 75 minutes on one cd. this whole thing sounds fishy to me. one of the reasons i bought the thing is becouse is said in big bold print “can play up to 20 hours of music”.

The WMA encoder in dbPowerAmp defaults to 64kbps, and I think the resulting files sound just as good as MP3s at 128kbps. Since the bitrate is half that of MP3s, the resulting encoded file is only half the size.

doing some rough math in head, i figure i need a bitrate of 5 or 6 to get the 20 hours of music on one cd. is this right? at a bitrate of 5 what would the sound coming out of my speakers sound like?

I don’t think your math is correct in that MP3 files with a 128 kbs bit rate are around a meg of file size for a minute of play time and a CD can hold approximately 640 minutes or over 10 hours of mp3 sound files at a 128 kbs bit rate. A sound file recorded at 5kbs would be around the fidelity range of a telephone call or just below.

OK, some quick math.

80 minute CDs hold 700MB. This is 5600Megabits. Since 128kbps is 1/8 of a megabit per second, multiply by 8. This gives us 44,800 seconds of audio. This is 746 and 2/3 minutes, or roughly 12 and a half hours.

I suppose you could cram a full 22 hours of audio on, but it would sound like CRAP. Technically accurate advertising, but not really true to life. A 128kbps MP3 made using LAME (The highest quality MP3 encoder available, the only one worth using) will sound pretty much CD-quality when played through the relatively low quality medium of headphones, and have quite listenable sound when played through high quality speakers. A 256kbps LAME MP3 IS truly CD quality. Played through my Equalizer settings in WinAMP, it sounds BETTER than straight CD Audio.

The reason you can only get 70 minutes on a CD is that your burner is converting the audio tracks into uncompressed CD-Audio.

http://www.r3mix.net has quality comparisons and links to various MP3 encoders. Your best bet would be to use LAME to reencode (using the --mp3input option) all your MP3s to 128kbps, and just burn them to a CD. Naturally you will lose quality in this conversion, even more than if you had just encoded them at 128kbps right off, but its about the only way.

You can try converting to WMA, you can probably get usable output down to 64kbps when encoding from CD, but I don’t even want to THINK what an MP3 made into a WMA would sound like. Don’t expect it to sound good either, just expect it to sound like music. Thats more than MP3 can do at 64kbps.

Hope this helps,

i can live with 12 and a half hours on one cd.


is this a hardware problem or a software problem?


i can’t click on the link because i’m at work right now (damn firewall). i use MusicMatch jukebox 6.00. are these comparison and encoders programs that are simular to musicmatch or are they programs that work with musicmatch?

This site re the technical specifics of how mp3’s are encoded and how the various compression techniques used are designed to “fool” the ear is an excellent overview of the technology.


"Overview of the MP3 techniques

To get a such reduction of the amount of data, the MP3 format uses a few techniques and tricks. I am going to attempt giving you some explanations on most of them. Among these techniques, those commonly designated under the name of perceptual coding will be mentioned by , others by .

The minimal audition threshold
The masking effect
The reservoir of bytes
The Joint Stereo
The Huffman coding"

etc etc etc

It’s not really a problem, it’s just that your software is set to make an audio CD. You want to change your settings to make a data CD. I don’t use MusicMatch so I can’t give the specifics. Check your Rio manual to find out what sort of directory structure, playlist files you can use.

I believe MusicMatch uses the Fraunhoffer codec. They’re the German company that holds the copyright to the MP3 format. Fraun is decent but LAME, which is an open-source version that has undergone heavy tweaking by hackers, definitely surpasses it in quality.


I have the same Rio Volt, and I just noticed that it says “plays over 20 hours of digital audio” on the box. You’d need to go down to 64 kbps to get that much on one disc, and even WMA isn’t going to sound very good at 64 kbps. But you can have 11.5 hours at 128 kbps, or 9.2 hours at 160 kbps.

You might want to try different software, like Nero or Adaptec Easy CD Creator. Remember, you need to make a data CD with MP3 files on it, not an audio CD with one song per track. You should see a window where you can edit the directory structure of the CD, change the filenames, etc.

If you’re putting entire albums on the CD, it’s useful to put them each in their own directory, so you can use the Navi button to choose an album.

Actually, there’s a new technology called mp3PRO that claims to fit the quality of 128 kbps MP3s in only 64 kbps. But this won’t really help you… a future Rio Volt firmware might add support for it, but the SP90’s firmware can’t be updated.

I have a Rio Volt, and I find that I’m able to get 20 hours on one CD. As Mr2001 said, the bit rat must be at 64kbps to get the 20 hours. Remember that 64kbps in WMA is approximately equal to 128kbps in MP3.

Microsoft calls 64kbps “CD Quality”, so I did a side by side comparison to see for myself. I listened to my store bought CD and the same CD converted to 64kbps WMA files, and I couldn’t tell much of a difference, but I don’t have an extremely sophisticated ear. If you’re a music connoisseur, using $200 headphones, no doubt you’d insist on MP3s at 192kbps or better.

MusicMatch Jukebox, I believe, uses a cut down version of the fraunhaufer encoder. Musicmatch is known for producing some of the lowest quality MP3s imaginable. Personally, I use Exact Audio Copy ( http://www.exactaudiocopy.de ) and LAME 3.90 ( http://www.hot.ee/smpman/mp3/alpha.html ). The difference is night and day compared to a low end encoder like Xing or Musicmatch. If you configure Exact Audio Copy correctly in its compression options, you can set it up to rip an entire CD into LAME 128kbps MP3, preserving artist and track names, and without any user intervention. I archive my CDs into 256kbps MP3s just so I don’t have to dig for the CDs whenever I want to listen to them. By the way, in the compression options it has a place for command line options, use " -q 0 -d " (no quotes) for the best audio quality.

As for burning as CD Audio, thats your burning software’s fault. Use Nero ( http://www.ahead.de ) and tell it you want to burn a regular Data CD, NOT an audio CD.

As for MP3 vs WMA, WMA is tuned for low bitrates. While WMA will actually sound like music below 128kbps (MP3 just starts sounding REALLY swishy and noisy), even at 192kbps it sounds muddy and otherwise low quality. Then again, this may not be noticable over cheap headphones. I’d still go with 128kbps MP3, just because I know I can transfer them back to my computer and still be able to listen to them without puking:)



OK, a cite for this is at the site I linked to above: www.r3mix.net, in the analysis section (cannot link to the site due to its design)

There you go:) More info at http://www.r3mix.net

thanks everyone. i’ve got adaptect on my computer and by using it i got 165 songs to fit onto one cd. how cool is that. it doesn’t sound bad, but then again i’m no expert. thank you once again for everyones help