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What Are MP3 and WAV and How to Convert- Bigasoft will show you

March 5th 2015 by

Tags: MP3 and WAV Converter


Both MP3 and WAV are popular audio formats, but MP3 and WAV are quite different from each other, they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. In case that you have to decide which one to choose, now let's learn something about MP3 and WAV.


When talking about MP3, it can be digital player or audio format, and here we are definitely talking about the format. MP3, full name MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, is an audio coding format designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group( MPEG) for digital audio that use lossy data compression.

One interesting story: The song "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega was the first song used to develop the MP3. Why this one? Because this song has nearly monophonic nature and wide spectral content and all these make it easier to hear imperfections in the compression format during playbacks.

As we've mentioned before that MP3 uses lossy data compression, some of you might have already concluded that we have to do trade-off between the amount of space used and the sound quality of the result. Well, you are right.

The quality and size of audio is determined by this way: the higher the bit rate, the larger the compressed file will be, and, generally, the closer it will sound to the original file. With too low a bit rate, compression artifacts may be audible in the reproduction. Some audio is hard to compress because of its randomness and sharp attacks.

Besides the bit rate of an encoded piece of audio, the quality of MP3 files also depends on the quality of the encoder itself, and the difficulty of the signal being encoded. Different encoders may result quite different quality, even with identical bit rates. For example, in a public listening test featuring two different MP3 encoders at about 128 kbit/s, one scored 3.66 on a 1 - 5 scale, while the other scored only 2.22.

Three ways to encoding for MP3:

Constant Bit Rate (CBR), used by early MPEG Layer III encoders, which allow the software only able to use a uniform bitrate on all frames in an MP3 file.

Variable Bit Rate (VBR), a more sophisticated MP3 encoder can produce variable bitrate audio.VBR is used when the goal is to achieve a fixed level of quality. In any piece of audio, some parts will be much easier to compress, such as silence or music containing only a few instruments, while others will be more difficult to compress. So, the overall quality of the file may be increased by using a lower bit rate for the less complex passages and a higher one for the more complex parts. The final file size of a VBR encoding is less predictable than with constant bitrate.

Average bitrate(ABR) is VBR implemented as a compromise between CBR and VBR - the bitrate is allowed to vary for more consistent quality, but is controlled to remain near an average value chosen by the user, for predictable file sizes.


Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE, or more commonly known as WAV) is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing an audio bitstream on PCs. It is an application of the Resource Interchange File Format(RIFF) bit-stream format method for storing data in "chunks". A RIFF file is a tagged file format. It has a specific container format (a chunk) that includes a four character tag (FOURCC) and the size (number of bytes) of the chunk. The tag specifies how the data within the chunk should be interpreted, and there are several standard FOURCC tags.

It is the main format used on Windows systems, suitable for retaining first generation archived files of high quality. Though a WAV file can contain compressed audio, the most common WAV audio format is uncompressed audio in the linear pulse code modulation (LPCM) format. LPCM is also the standard audio coding format for audio CDs. LPCM is uncompressed and retains all of the samples of an audio track, professional users or audio experts may use the WAV format with LPCM audio for maximum audio quality.

WAV files are usually large, so file sharing of WAV over the Internet is uncommon. More frequently, the smaller file sizes of compressed but lossy formats such as MP3 are used to store and transfer audio. In spite of their large size, uncompressed WAV files are sometimes used by some radio broadcasters, especially those that have adopted a tapeless system.

The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 4 GB, because of its use of a 32-bit unsigned integer to record the file size header (some programs limit the file size to 2 GB). This equivalent to about 6.8 hours of CD-quality audio (44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo WAV is a file format for a computer to use that cannot be understood by most CD players directly.

To record WAV files to an Audio CD the file headers must be stripped and the remaining PCM data written directly to the disc as individual tracks with zero-padding added to match the CD's sector size. In order for a WAV file to be able to be burned to a CD, it should be in the 44100 Hz, 16-bit stereo format. Audio in WAV files can be encoded in a variety of audio coding formats, such as GSM or MP3, to reduce the file size.

For people who are interested and intended to see the difference between MP3 and WAV by yourself can try to convert WAV to MP3 or vice versa, Bigasoft Audio Converter will show you the best way to do it.

First, download and launch the Bigasoft Audio Converter to make preparation.

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Second, three steps to convert WAV to MP3.

Step 1 Drag the audio you want to convert.

Step 2 Choose the output format MP3

Step 3 Convert

Well, this applies to conversion between any audio formats actually.

mp3 and wav converter


Bigasoft Audio Converter is the best way to convert MP3 and WAV files. It is also the best converter for M4A, WMA, APE, WAV, FLAC, OGG, APE, MP2, VQF, AAC, AUD, AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format), CAF (Core Audio Format), and more. What's more, it is also a powerful video to audio decoder helps easily extract audio from video files like MP4, MOV, AVI, MPEG, MPG, 3GP, DivX, Xvid, ASF, VOB, MKV, WMV, H.264, 3G2, FLV, MOD, TOD, MTS, WTV, WebM, etc. and then convert to any audio format as you wish, such as convert YouTube to MP3, convert MOV to MP3, and more.

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