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action9000

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« on: September 07, 2007, 10:42:19 PM »
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MIDIs have the majority and MP3 the minority
This isn't something I see/hear very often anymore. ;)  :wow
You've sparked my curiousity: Why is your MIDI collection so much larger than your pre-rendered audio collection?
What are the purpose of .mid files in digital world as we know it now, in your own words?  I stopped using them because I generally consider them obsolete.  While MIDI technology is Certainly not obsolete by any means, .mid files seem to be getting further and further removed from the mainstream world and are seen mainly on the production side of music.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 10:52:58 PM »
Because a lot of what I have in my archive is a collection of all the music I have encountered in my computer travels. Back in the day, lots of games and programs were made that used MIDIs. Some of the programs had a ridiculous number of MIDIs, like, by the dozens. Do you know what would happen to the size of my archive if every MIDI were to be converted to MP3? Given that I have hundereds (that use just over 10 MB of file space), it wouldn't be pretty. In fact, the reason that I have as many MP3s as I do is that I've sort of been on a "holy crusade" to eliminate all MIDI files from video games in favor of authentic MP3s as the music was on the original games (for example, I replace a truck-load full of MIDIs from various Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Genesis era with MP3s that sound like the real music). And, besides, using MP3s for Doom WADs (I'm an active meber of the Chex Quest fan community, which is a popular Doom total conversion) is generally considered bad business. B)

EDIT: Oh, yeah, lots of programs I used still accept MIDI files as an audio source, so I see no reason to convert them.

action9000

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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 11:38:08 PM »
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Do you know what would happen to the size of my archive if every MIDI were to be converted to MP3? Given that I have hundereds (that use just over 10 MB of file space), it wouldn't be pretty.
Plus the process of converting is generally unncessary and very time-consuming.  The results won't sound any different either unless you have a software or hardware synthesizer or virtual instrument to run the MIDI through.  Completely makes sense.

Petrie.

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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 07:38:13 AM »
Midis...that's peculiar.  Last I knew WMP could play them, without any real trouble and I wouldn't spend time trying to find conversion tools either.  Only as Tim said, as audio players continue being developed for new operating systems, midi might be left in the dust, so one day it might be necessary to convert, but not now.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2007, 10:21:41 AM »
I just checked. MIDIs compromise 599 files at 10.3 MB, *MP3s 327 files at 1.02 GB, and WAVs 333 at 584 MB. And, yes, WMP plays the MIDIs just fine.

*327 files does not count album art, so the file size figure is a little off. The total files with album art is 371.

Petrie.

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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2007, 02:56:45 PM »
I know this goes way off topic, but why keep WAV files?  They're huge and not taggable.  You should go lossless and save about 50% of space.

action9000

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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 04:16:12 PM »
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but why keep WAV files? They're huge and not taggable.
I second this Unless you need to be able to load the waveform into an editor and manipulate it.  I have trouble getting lossless files (FLAC, WMA Lossless) to load in Goldwave (my personal favorite waveform-level editor).  Perhaps there is better software for manipulating lossless files; I just don't know of it.  The only lossless compressed files on my computer are CD rips which I have never needed to manipulate so the issue of manipulating these files has never come up for me.

I do agree for the most part; Lossless compression is your friend if you have any concerns about hard drive space or tagging.

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midi might be left in the dust
midi files have been semi-in-the-dust (My old sound card handles old-school soundfonts better than my new soundcard for MIDI playback; Windows hasn't updated the MIDI synth in ages) for a number of years but I don't think we'll see it come close to disappearing for a long, long time.  There are many people who consider MIDIs very useful (myself included).

I do have to wonder though: Who is the main consumer audience for MIDI files these days?  The default Windows GM synth is abysmal (at least I find it quite abysmal :p) and most people don't have an upgraded sound card to support soundfonts (I have a 56MB soundfont loaded into RAM just for playing MIDI files; it's a free download).  Soundfonts are among the easiest and cheapest ways to improve MIDI audio quality.

As for myself, I tend to use MIDIs for the data within them as opposed to listening to.  I use them as "musical source code".

Petrie.

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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2007, 04:47:00 PM »
midi sure isn't used by the video game industry when they can make high quality cd tracks....and if the move is to high def, they certainly will look into that more.

action9000

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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2007, 04:47:37 PM »
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midi sure isn't used by the video game industry
Not anymore it isn't.  Back in the Doom days (early-mid 1990s), MIDI was the way to go. B)

Manny Cav

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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2007, 08:38:20 PM »
Quote from: Petrie,Sep 8 2007 on  01:56 PM
I know this goes way off topic, but why keep WAV files?  They're huge and not taggable.  You should go lossless and save about 50% of space.
The reason for this is because some of the WAVs, were ripped from video games. In particular, I have a WAV file (the Streets of SimCity theme) that is 5:35 minutes in length and takes up 14.1 MB (and this is considering that I did not alter the file at all, i.e., file compression). That's pretty good for WAV standards, where a normal file could easily reach and exceed 50 MB. Another reason is that a lot of them have pretty short lengths and file sizes (again, for WAV standards). And, to put the icing on the cake, I ran a test with a WAV file extracted from a YouTube video. The WAV file in it's unlatered state was around 10 MB. Converted to MP3, the file size was 2 to 3 MB (depending on the bit rate chosen). That same MP3 file converted to WAV bloated itself to around 40 MB when it was originally a 10 MB WAV! This is important to me because I use programs that either behave awkwardly with anything that isn't WAV or MIDI (i.e., MP3), or they simply won't accept MP3s (or WMA or any other "alternative" audio format, for that matter) as an audio source.

MIDIs are also important to me because, as I said, I play and edit Chex Quest maps, which is essentially Doom modding.

EDIT: And what do you mean by "lossless"? I've got WMP set to rip audio CDs at 320 Kbps, which is "Best Quality". It's as good as I can go with MP3s.

Petrie.

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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2007, 11:39:11 PM »
You have a very funky WAV file if its only taking 15 meg and is five minutes.  Sorry to say that's not cd quality, so somebody did something to it down the line.  If you're making WAV's from youtube videos, the highest you can get is 4-bit, monophonic audio and maybe a 16khz lowpass if you're lucky.  In that case, yes, a 16-bit mp3 would be larger than the WAV and sound no better.

Lossless means a format that loses no quality...all the 0's and 1's will be exactly the same and will sound exactly like the cd they were taken from.  If you're using WMP, you should be able to rip into WMA Lossless.  Instead of 1411kbps WAV files, most lossless tracks average out around 500-700kbps and lose no audio quality...you can see the space savings already. ;)  MP3 is a "lossy" format, so you do lose audio quality; whether you actually notice or not is a different story altogether.  320kbps is overkill for the most part.  If you're going to use MP3 as a file solution, consider going lower (192kbps with WMP is perfectly fine and you'd still have a hell of a time picking that out from the original WAV file).

Manny Cav

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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2007, 12:24:29 AM »
The WAV file in question was a direct rip off of the Streets of SimCity game CD. It was not an actual audio track, but rather, a WAV file on the CD itself. And, no, the MP3 was not larger than the original WAV, but the new WAV converted from the MP3 made from the original WAV.

Will the 600 Kbps WMA file be larger than the 320 Kbps MP3, and will it sound better? Also, will 320 Kbps MP3 sound better than 192 (or whatever) Kbps MP3? I'm weighing all of my options here.

EDIT:♫Now for ten years weÅfve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollinÅf stone,
But thatÅfs not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkinÅf whiskey and rye
And singinÅf, "thisÅfll be the day that I die.
"thisÅfll be the day that I die."♫

Sorry, I just had to do that, seeing as it was my 1,000th post. It seemed vaguely appropiate, and I happen to like old songs like that, as well. :lol

Petrie.

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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 05:44:33 PM »
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The WAV file in question was a direct rip off of the Streets of SimCity game CD. It was not an actual audio track, but rather, a WAV file on the CD itself. And, no, the MP3 was not larger than the original WAV, but the new WAV converted from the MP3 made from the original WAV.

Is Streets of SimCity a new game, or have high-def quality audio?  If its older, then that could explain the oddness of the WAV file.  You don't want to make new WAV files from mp3s...get the original file for absolute best quality.

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Will the 600 Kbps WMA file be larger than the 320 Kbps MP3, and will it sound better? Also, will 320 Kbps MP3 sound better than 192 (or whatever) Kbps MP3? I'm weighing all of my options here.

Do the math...a bit is a bit no matter which audio file format you're using, so yes, 600 will take up more space than 320.  You must understand there are multiple versions of the WMA format....the one I keep talking about is WMA Lossless, NOT WMA Standard.  WMA lossless means it is exactly identical to cd audio, bit for bit perfect digitally and audibly.  WMA standard is lossy meaning it discards information that you probably cannot hear, and it not identical to cd audio.  Digitally it looks different (as in on a spectrogram) but audibly you may not notice.  That's why you have lossy file formats to save space...they can throw out things you wont necessarily hear.  MP3 is lossy.  A 320kbps mp3 in theory should sound better than 192kbps, but your chances of actually hearing that difference is terribly miniscule as most all modern mp3 encoders can reach transparency (or where you can't tell the difference between the mp3 file and original cd audio) around 160kbps using variable-bit rates.

Its a very hard process to explain.  As I said earlier, its plenty ok to use WMP if that's what you're comfortable with.  I'm not out to convert you to my system of encoding audio which is dreadfully complicated for new users.  If you want to use WMP and have a lot of available disk space, you should encode to WMA lossless and have a direct duplicate of the cd audio at your fingertips (you paid for full quality, right? ;) ).  If you're short on space, you can use the mp3 encoder built in and set it to 192kbps.  If you'd rather me try to explain what I do, I can do that, but its complicated.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 06:00:42 PM »
Streets of SimCity was first released in 1998 or '99, so yes, it's an older game. Like I said, the WAV file came straight off of the CD (NOT an audio track, but an actual file in an actual folder). I've never tried to mess with it or convert it to MP3, but I'm sure I would get similar results like the audio rips from the YouTube videos. And speaking of that, what I did to get audio from the YouTube videos is that I first used an online downloader to download the .flv file. Then, I used video converter software to physically convert the video file to a .wav audio file.

And, with the way I use the MP3 files, I don't think anyone's going to give me any beef over the fact that I use mildly lossy 320 Kbps MP3 encoding over lossless WMA. In fact, 3D Movie Maker, which is the chief application that I would use these files with (besides WMP to listen to them with) , only accepts MIDI and WAV audio, and unless a special program is used to by-pass this encoding feature, it automatically compresses the WAV files to a ridiculously low file size so the file size of the movie file is not too big. It makes the audio files sound a bit scratchy, but it's better than distributing a movie file harboring 10 or more WAV music files that take up several (up to and beyond 50 for larger tracks) MBs each.

And, is there a particular reason I shouldn't use WMP with files other than WMA?

Also, a lot of my MP3s aren't even CD rips (several are, though), but files taken from video games like SimCity 4, or downloaded off of websites like Galbadia Hotel or simcity.com.

Petrie.

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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 08:39:18 PM »
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And speaking of that, what I did to get audio from the YouTube videos is that I first used an online downloader to download the .flv file. Then, I used video converter software to physically convert the video file to a .wav audio file.

That's about what I would do.

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And, is there a particular reason I shouldn't use WMP with files other than WMA?

Considering the player and the audio format are made by the same company, they're practically made for each other (tagging, properties-wise).  They can play mp3 and wav files of course.  I just know when I used wmp to play mp3 files, the program absolutely destroyed some of my files' headers so it wouldn't display the correct time anymore.  It only happened to files that I played very often.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2007, 08:57:58 PM »
Huh. Well, I'm not going to re-do my entire MP3 collection just for that reason alone, because if I decided to go completely WMA solely for the reason of WMP use, there's a chance I'll get messed up somewhere down the road. If WMP goes "bad" or I decide another player is better for me, I'll have to re-re-do my WMA collection back to MP3. Besides, MP3 is a versitle format, unlike WMA. Lots of things support MP3, where WMA's support is, as far as I know, fairly limited to WMP (besides all of the bazillion programs to convert them to other formats and do other edits, of course) and some other external media player like an iPod or something that plays WMA files. So, for now, I'm stickin' to me guns.

Petrie.

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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2007, 10:25:44 PM »
Not a problem.  Tim will confirm I'm not a big fan of WMA either.  ;)  Lossless is lossless no matter which audio program you're using, so that's why I mentioned it.

Manny Cav

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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2007, 10:28:09 PM »
I'm starting to scare myself. I didn't know that I knew that much about audio codecs and things. :P:

action9000

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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2007, 03:16:33 AM »
Well, looks like I missed some fun here! :P:

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have a WAV file (the Streets of SimCity theme) that is 5:35 minutes in length and takes up 14.1 MB (and this is considering that I did not alter the file at all, i.e., file compression). That's pretty good for WAV standards, where a normal file could easily reach and exceed 50 MB. Another reason is that a lot of them have pretty short lengths and file sizes (again, for WAV standards). And, to put the icing on the cake, I ran a test with a WAV file extracted from a YouTube video. The WAV file in it's unlatered state was around 10 MB. Converted to MP3, the file size was 2 to 3 MB (depending on the bit rate chosen). That same MP3 file converted to WAV bloated itself to around 40 MB when it was originally a 10 MB WAV!
Why? Sampling rates. B)

Chances are for a game that old, the audio was still in 22kHz sampling rate (or maybe even 11 kHz).  This is half of the 44.1 kHz sampling rate used in modern audio (Many games, CDs use 44.1 kHz).  The numbers don't lie though: More samples (instantaneous recordings of the source material) means more data.  Also, are your .wavs in mono or stereo?  Stereo .wav files are literally twice the size of mono .wavs (twice as many samples: one set for left, one set for right).  Let's do some quick math.

Assuming 16-bit audio (8 bit hasn't been used in ages)
16 bit per sample
22 kHz (22,000 samples per second)
=352,000 bits per second = 352 kbps....for MONO
x 2 for stereo =
704 kbps for stereo 22kHz audio.

22kHz sucks :p

for 44.1 Khz audio, we're looking at even bigger numbers!
16-bit audio
x 44,100 Hz (samples per second)
= 705600 bits per second (705.6 kbps) MONO
x2 for stereo
= 1411 kbps

Many .wav recorders nowadays will default to 16-bit 44.1khz stereo (CD quality).  Could this maybe explain the odd differences in filesize?

Compare 1411 kbps for raw .WAV to 192 kbps MP3.  Difference in sound quality?  Probably negligible.  DIfference in file size?  7.34:1 ratio. B)

Petrie.

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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2007, 09:18:01 PM »
And to think people think we need 96khz sampling rates.  :rolleyes:  They must play all that Beethoven to their pet bats.  :lol:  :lol: