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Old 12th November 2006, 08:26 PM   #1
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Default Reason to convert MP3s to WAV?

Given that I have a pile of MP3s, is there any TECHNICAL reason why converting them to WAV will improve the sound quality?
i.e. will such a conversion accurately restore the info lost on initial conversion to MP3?

cheers,
Pete McK
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Old 12th November 2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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No, it will not.

The only reason I can see for converting MP3 to WAV, or from converting a low quality WAV to a high quality WAV is if you are going to apply some advanced signal processing.

Back when I used to do a lot of editing, it was a rule of thumb to convert to 32 bit before performing any kind of noise reduction or anything more complicated than a level change.

It does not restore lost information, it just gives the software more to work with.
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Old 12th November 2006, 08:51 PM   #3
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Exactly. Lost info can not be retrieved.
In the same context, what about converting a 32-bit file to 16-bit and back?
Convertion from 32-bit to 16 happens with dittering as seen on the picture.
Sometimes I want to do some more editing and convert it back to 32.
What do I lose along the way?

/Hugo
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Old 12th November 2006, 09:17 PM   #4
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The 32 bit to 16 bit conversion uses dithering to minimize the effect of quantization error. Here's a wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dithering

Each conversion adds some distortion and noise, so you want to try to avoid doing it more times than you have to. In my own experience, doing it twice doesn't seem to add any problem (though my ears weren't as trained back then and my equipment wasn't as good), but multiple times starts to add up.

If it's just cropping, level adjustment, and really simple stuff like that- then it wouldn't hurt to just do the editing at 16 bit depth. I believe that the conversion from 16 bit to 32 bit is far less detrimental than the other way around.
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Old 13th November 2006, 12:09 AM   #5
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Thanks Joe,

I don't mind MP3s, just wondered if it would make any improvement.

Cheers,
Pete McK
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Old 13th November 2006, 06:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful info, Joe.

/Hugo
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