Wav, wma, or mp3

I wasn`t sure where to post so I chose here.

Lately when I buy a new CD at a store it seems more and more are using MP3 format. I would like to only buy WMA or WAV file CDs but Im not sure how to tell the diff between them and MP3 CDs because searching the label for the format yields no results. Im sure most people dont mind but if Im going to shell out my hard-earned money for music I would like to have the best recording available. Can anyone tell me a tip or advise me on how to find the difference between MP3 and more complete ‘lossless’ formats?
Thanks, Plain

[QUOTE=plainolguy;2500037]Lately when I buy a new CD at a store it seems more and more are using MP3 format.[/QUOTE]

What makes you think this?

When you buy a physical audio CD in a shop it is recorded in uncompressed WAV format; no other format meets the Audio CD specifications. If CDs that you have purchased contain mp3 files, then it is likely that they are pirate copies.



[QUOTE=midders;2500041]What makes you think this?[/QUOTE]

Just a guess, but I think that this is the reason :bigsmile:

All CDs based on the Audio CD standard contain audio encoded with a 44,1000Hz sample rate, 16-bit stereo and uncompressed. See this Wiki entry for the technical details.

If you want to make sure the CD you are buying has this standard, look for this Compact Disc Digital Audio logo:

If the CD containing this logo has MP3 or WMA files on it, then it is an Enhanced CD, which contains a data session with these files. For example, some CDs may have bonus or demo tracks that are only playable on a PC. These tend to be DRM-crippled, e.g. to allow several playbacks only to encourage the user to buy the album with these tracks.

If the Audio CD contains WMA tracks that appear to be the same songs on the CD, then this is most likely a copy protected CD, which has a non-standard table of contents to try to prevent CD-ROM drives from being able to access the main audio session. The WMA tracks are crippled with DRM and typically will only play on the PC the tracks were authenticated on. These type of CDs are getting quite rare now due to the negative publicity they’ve got over the DRM restrictions, however, they tend to appear now & again in shops selling 2nd hand CDs. These generally do not have the above logo due to violatating the Red Book standard.

To get access to the uncompressed audio on an Audio CD, you need a CD ripping tool, such as Exact Audio Copy.

AudioCDs contain data/music in RIFF WAVE format, intel or motorola style…
They come as stereo (2channels), 16-bit resolution and 44,100 Hz (44.1 kHz). :wink:

Yall Thanks for the replies. I read the Wikipedia explanation about loudness but some of it is over my head. (Its always good to read ‘up’ as opposed to reading ‘down’. :slight_smile: Anyway, I looked at one of my CDs I bought in a department store and XP says the file is .cda. So there is another format. Is there a page on this site that explains the various formats and the advantages and disadvantages? I would really like to know how to tell what Im getting before I purchase and if the product is as good as my money can buy. I usually use Nero 7 to convert to MP3`s for my player when not listening to the CD at home.

Again Thanks for the learning.


The file system of a CD Audio disk is different than a CDROM. CDA is just a pointer that your operating system needs to know where to find the audio. The actual audio, as chef pointed out is stereo (2channels), 16-bit resolution and 44,100 Hz (44.1 kHz).