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Mp3 vs. M4A files

Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,215
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4/6/2015 10:30:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
So, I know next to nothing about computers, but I found a way to convert iTunes into mp3 files, to download into Window Media Player, so I can then download that onto my smartphone. However, upon doing so, some (not all, but maybe 25%) of the mp3 files were duplicated into m4a files as well, so I have two copies.

What is the difference? It doesn't sound like there is much sound quality-wise, and a lot of my file sizes say 0 bytes for both formats. My research suggests that m4a is a smaller file and quality is better, but is less universal. But, that doesn't make sense given the 0 bytes.

What should I do to tidy up my media player?
My work here is, finally, done.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,694
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4/9/2015 11:09:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2015 10:30:54 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
So, I know next to nothing about computers, but I found a way to convert iTunes into mp3 files, to download into Window Media Player, so I can then download that onto my smartphone. However, upon doing so, some (not all, but maybe 25%) of the mp3 files were duplicated into m4a files as well, so I have two copies.

What is the difference? It doesn't sound like there is much sound quality-wise, and a lot of my file sizes say 0 bytes for both formats. My research suggests that m4a is a smaller file and quality is better, but is less universal. But, that doesn't make sense given the 0 bytes.

What should I do to tidy up my media player?

I started building my MP3 files 15 years ago or so.
I have about 150gb, all rips, no downloads. Well over 15,000 tracks.
I looked into the lossy compression systems, and made my decision to go with MP3. Sometimes I am a purest, sometimes I am not. This time, not.
Purists do not even like digital, want the vinyl.
I find the loss of information in MP3 to be inconsequential, others will disagree.

The only thing you say that does not make sense is the 0 bytes. If there is music, there are bytes, has to be. So...? No idea, may be misreading the file size.
There is always more than one way to read file size. For example, read track file size, then folder file size. Lots of other ways to check your work.
Usually it involves doing a 'properties' check - right click, drop down menu to choose 'properties'.
And, maybe windows is mislabeling - you never know with windows.

I hate windows media player (WMP).
I let it jerk me around for a month or two, then gave up. For small music libraries - less than 50 albums - I believe it would be okay,
I have never used iTunes.

The digital music stuff is just like the computer stuff. How you want to do it depends on what you want to do. What s perfect for you I may never consider for myself.
If you expect to stay with iTunes, use what they use.
MP3 has many advantages, and only a few disadvantages, but it may not be right for you.
Although some people do store music in multiple formats, I would not advise it for a novice. Too problematic.
It does sound like you would want to standardize to MP3.

In moving my MP3 files around I often end up with two sets on some tracks.
A friend was doing a similar library, but with photos, not music, and she had the same thing. It is a quark of Microsoft products. Duplicate files just pop up, when dealing with bulk transfers.
Your occurrence is not surprising.