Audio CD rip to WMA, is variable bit rate better than constant bit rate?

I made some rips using original audio CD’s and had a few choices: Wav/Wma lossless/Wma. (I am using the ripping software of my sound card. I have WMP, and I think it rips to mp3. I don’t know if VLC media player can rip.)

I chose to go with WMA, one reason being, because of size comparison to WAV and because WMA gave the option for variable bit rate, and I have read in a few places that variable bit rate is preferred by some because it provides a richer sound.

This is what I ripped to: WMA VBR quality 98/44.100/16 bit

There was also an option to select from WMA CBR 192-320 kbps. I have heard that anywhere from 192-256 will produce good quality, and 320 will be on par with the original audio source file.

What I would like to know is between cbr and vbr, is one better than the other?

Thanks

What is your goal?Archiving?..Audio CD backup?..Portable playback?..I normally don’t rip to WMA lossless, I rip to flac(lossless) for archiving…While 320kbps CBR is the highest lossy setting, that may just be overkill…Might as well rip to lossless(IMO)…From the lossless file(s) you can convert to whatever other lossless or lossy format of your choice…Using VBR, supplies more bits to complex music passages and save bits on simpler ones, CBR encodes every frame at the same bitrate.
If you would like to know “Which one is better”, run some listening tests, and decide which one sounds better to your ears…
For most listeners tests (ABX) have shown, that with most samples, using lame mp3 V2 ~192kbps is transparent from the original…

If you plan on listening, and keeping the CDs as backup, (as I do) I use CDEx and rip to MP3 VBR at a 96 to 256 Kbps rate. Most songs ripped to those parameters end up being about 200 Kbps average.

[QUOTE=t0nee1;2471104]What is your goal?Archiving?..Audio CD backup?..Portable playback?..I normally don’t rip to WMA lossless, I rip to flac(lossless) for archiving…While 320kbps CBR is the highest lossy setting, that may just be overkill…Might as well rip to lossless(IMO)…From the lossless file(s) you can convert to whatever other lossless or lossy format of your choice…Using VBR, supplies more bits to complex music passages and save bits on simpler ones, CBR encodes every frame at the same bitrate.
If you would like to know “Which one is better”, run some listening tests, and decide which one sounds better to your ears…
For most listeners tests (ABX) have shown, that with most samples, using lame mp3 V2 ~192kbps is transparent from the original…[/QUOTE]

I am doing it for archiving purposes.

I did a few tests and it sounded like the vbr came across with a richer sound. Files are still pretty large though (about 270-340kbps) but very small compared to if I would have gone with lossless. Lossless can eat up space on a hd real quick, and I am still looking for a lossless codec that will produce a much smaller file size. Are there lossless codecs out there that are able to retain quality, and produce a smaller file size, can Flac do this?

Hi,[QUOTE=RustedNailz;2472481]I am doing it for archiving purposes. [/quote]then go for lossless if the source material is uncompressed. For compressed source material (WMA, MP3 etc), archive the files “as is”.

Are there lossless codecs out there that are able to retain quality, and produce a smaller file size, can Flac do this?
On average (this depends on the music to be archived) FLAC is half the size on uncompressed WAV file (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flac). A full audio CD will use 400 MBytes then. A 1TB HDD can store roughly 2500 audio CDs in FLAC format.

Michael