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I have a WMA audio recording that I want to process in Audacity in order to remove noise etc but Audacity would not open it. Converting it to mp3 gives the warning that it will lose quality even farther. And indeed the mp3 version sounds even worse.

I usually use Foobar2000 and various codecs to convert. What format would be preferable for the given purpose?

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I would convert it to WAV so Audacity can process it.

An article on audio files - here.

It says:

There is one major uncompressed audio format, PCM, which is usually stored in a .wav file on Windows or in a .aiff file on Mac OS

(So, a WMA/Windows Media Audio file is a lossy compressed wav.)

  • is wav the uncompressed sound within the wma? – user162573 May 23 '14 at 14:43
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    Yes WAV should be the exact, uncompressed, representation of the WMA. – heavyd May 23 '14 at 14:52
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    Yes and if you're confused, take a minute to read this link – Chris May 23 '14 at 15:07
  • @heavyd - a more to the point little question here – user162573 May 23 '14 at 15:25
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I would convert it to FLAC. It is lossless and audacity can process it

  • flac is loseless but still its a compressed format: and compressing from a lossy format sounds odd. what about wave? would flac keep the file closer to the original? – user162573 May 23 '14 at 14:25
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    @ciprius FLAC does not introduce loss. The file will be exactly the same, content-wise – slhck May 23 '14 at 14:33
  • While FLAC is lossless, being compressed will likely incur processing overhead in the software. – Daze May 23 '14 at 16:01
  • FLAC is better than WAV if you're going to store the full-quality data for a while. If you're just going to process it, convert it to MP3, and then delete the intermediate file, I'd go with WAV to reduce compressing overhead. – Tim S. May 23 '14 at 19:11

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