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ATRAC Bit rate advice

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Hey guys, just wanted some advice on something.

I've had a NW-A1000 for about a year and a half now and the 6GB storage space isnt cutting it anymore. I plan to purchase a newer, larger player in the near future but for now am seeking help in finding a middle ground between quality and space saving with ATRAC.

Imported into Sonicstage I have well over 5000 mp3 tracks at varying bit rates between 128-320kbps. To put them onto the NW-A1000, up until now, I've been converting to ATRAC 128kbps and finding the sound quality excellent. Just wondering how much of an impact on space and quality re-converting to ATRAC 64kbps would have? just so i can squeeze more on temporarily.

Any help would be appreciated :)

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That's tough to say, because sound quality is such a subjective thing. Many people say that ATRAC 64kbs is fine, while others say that it's unlistenable. I tend to fall in the latter camp, but that doesn't really mean much. Why not just test it with a few tracks you know well and see how that goes.

One thing to keep in mind is that when converting to ATRAC, you are compressing the file twice - once to get to an MP3 (whether or not you ripped it yourself) and then once to get to ATRAC. That can often have more of an impact than the actual bitrates you choose.


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Your device supports 96kbps, so why not give that bitrate a whirl?

Considering your headphones (stock vs. decent vs. headphile grade), your listening environment, and your needs, the 64kbps may not cut it or it might be that perfect sweetspot. For the longest time, I didn't have any complaints listening to 64kbps material either.

However, if at all possible, try to rip materials from the original CD Sources before you rip into low bitrates. Transcoding your materials to lower bitrate (especially on CODEC to CODEC transcoding) will only result in tears of sadness and despair.

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However, if at all possible, try to rip materials from the original CD Sources!

Cant agree more!

One thing to keep in mind. If the source material is mediocre quality- rip at 48kbs. IE live doors.

Also if convertimg from comressed source use maximum compression. IE source mp3 128 convert to 48kbs atrac.

It's worth the slight hit in quality for the massive space saving.


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