How to convert Joint-Stereo to Stereo in Windows MediaPlayer

Sup guys.

I know this isn’t about Audacity, so forgive me but I was wondering about good quality mp3s. Well I rip my CD’s to 320kbps with Windows Media Player and when I look at the file info in Winamp, I notice they are in “Joint-Stereo”. Is this bad?

And if it is, how do I change it with media player?

Should I just simply rip cd’s with Winamp or something?

By the way, I’m using Windows Media Player 10.

Is there a huge difference between joint and regular stereo?

“joint stereo” assumes that the show is essentially mono, then records the difference between the actual (stereo) and the assumed mono. “True” stereo records 2 indipendent channels - one for left and one for right.
In practice there is little difference, though joint stereo will sometimes give better compression and “true stereo” will sometimes give better stereo positioning. When you play the files in WMP (or any other player) you will probably not notice much difference.

The default presets in LAME are designed to produce optimum results at different compression amounts.

So should I just rip my CD’s with Audacity then?

Honestly though, what’s the best CD ripper for my case?

I want Stereo, 320 kbps, mp3’s… But I don’t wanna use Windows Media Player.

What should I use?


What about EAC, Exact Audio Copy, is that a even better quality ripper or is CDEX better?

For EAC, it asks for a mp3 codec. What’s the best freeware mp3 codec other than LAME?

I just wanna know the best freeware choice lol :smiley:.

If you want perfect copies, then EAC is the one to go for, but if you want perfect copies you would not be wanting MP3, you would use a lossless format such as WAV or FLAC.

EAC is quite a bit slower than C-Dex and on scratched CD’s it can take forever (and still fails to make perfect copies, but it tells you where the errors are).
C-Dex is quicker, and with a good (not scratched) CD the quality is still excellent (but not necessarily bit perfect, though you are unlikely to be able to hear any difference).
C-Dex is more tolerant of scratches and other physical flaws in the CD and will often produce subjectively better copies of poor disks.

If you are wanting to create MP3’s, then you immediately dismiss the one big advantage of using EAC (bit perfect copies), and with that out of the equation, C-Dex is the better option (faster, easier to set up, better fault tolerance, easier to configure the output options).

I think C-Dex does also.

There isn’t one. LAME is the best.
You may get marginally better quality using Ogg rather than MP3 (for the equivalent file size) and Ogg is an open format (no patent restrictions and legal in all countries) but support in media players is much more common for MP3 than it is for Ogg.

Should I use the Helix codec rather than LAME because in tests I’ve seen on Google, Helix has come out on top in most of them.

This site has been doing listening tests for years - before you look at the results, read the comments on how to interpret them:

How to interpret the plots: Each plot is drawn with six codecs on the X axis and the rating given (1.0 to 5.0) on the Y axis. The number of listeners used to compute the means (average ratings) and 95% confidence intervals are given on each plot. The mean rating given to each codec is indicated by the middle point of each vertical line segment and the value is printed next to it. Each vertical line segment represents the 95% confidence interval (using ANOVA analysis) for each codec.
This analysis is identical to the one used in Roberto Amorim’s listening tests.

One codec can be said to be better than another with 95% confidence if the bottom of its segment is at or above the top of the competing codec’s line segment.

Important note: These plots represent group preferences (for the particular group of people who participated in the test). Individual preferences vary somewhat. The best codec for a person is dependent on his own preferences and the type of music he prefers.

To save you some time, the quality difference between iTunes, Fraunhofer, Helix and LAME are very marginal, with some doing slightly better than others depending on the type of music. If you like synthesizers you may find Helix marginally better, if you like Rock you’re probably better with LAME.

Of course the other thing to consider - does Helix work with EAC or C-Dex?

So should I use the Helix encoder?

Gotcha. So just use C-Dex with the newest LAME encoder right?

What’s the latest LAME encoder so I get the best quality?

It might be the best encoder according to them, but they mentioned that its great for VBR.

Is it awesome for CBR?

And with C-Dex, how do I set up Stereo and not Joint Stereo with 320kbps mp3?

OH AND BY THE WAY: Last question, I’m getting a Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love 180 Gram Vinyl LP but its in MONO. I have an Ion Turntable that records in Audacity, though I wanted to know, should I record it in .FLAC, and then Mp3 so I get a copy in FLAC just in case anything happens?

And can I even record a MONO Lp into stereo?
Will it simply just record in the left or right side ear?

Yes, the stereo cartridge will pick up two signals for you effectively making it a two channel mono track. In theory both channels should be identical, but this is rarely the case in practice - there may be minor differences in qulaity or amplitude betwee the L & R signals.

Most people won’t ever notice - but you can get tricksy and split the “stereo ttrack” and the listen to the two tracks separately to decide which i s the better of the two - or mix the best bits from both tracks. And then use duplicate the mono track and merge the two identical mono tracks to make a “stereo” pair. This will of course still be a mono signal, but will be delivered down both channels of your output device.

Actually you will be recording as an Audacity Project (with all its thousands of little files). But yes, I would advise exporting as FLACs (or WAVs) and back this up to a separate disc - and then make your production MP3s. If you only make the MP3s you will only ever have the compressed (aka damaged) sound file to work with - unless you go back and record the LP and edit it all over again.


If you use the “Insane” preset then Lame will produce 320kbps CBR. This is the best possible sound quality that is supported by MP3. Most of the listening tests are done at higher compression ratios (often 128kbps or 160kbps) as these are the most commonly used and it is at the higher compression rates that you get the most differences between the different encoders. I don’t think that there is much difference between any of the top encoders when using 320kbps CBR, but if you are sufficiently bothered/interested you should conduct your own listening tests.

My own experience with 320kbps CBR using Lame is that it is very good and barely distinguishable from the original WAV.

Re. the other issues - as waxcylinder says.

Thanks so much Steve for the reply.

Ok, I’m gonna re-rip my CD’s tomorrow to 320 kbps tomorrow with CD-EX on Insane Mode.

THOUGH (lol sorry),

The Mono to stereo thing will help, though when I record it, it will automatically have 2 channels as you said.

But is there a significant sound boost to the overall quality? Will it be an amplified version since the same thing is coming out of both channels, or will it be like a delay pedal where one is going SLIGHTLY faster than another and echoing occurs.

And if its a new MONO Lp, what are the effects like? Is there even a way a phaser can act without stereo?

That’s what was blowing my mind. I’ve heard that Pink Floyd’s Pipers at the Gates of Dawn MONO version sounds more “Intense” than the mono version, but what if I wanna listen with my pc speakers or on my headset or on my Zune lol (all of which are obviously stereo)

What would I do to ensure quality of the recording?

And is there a good way to get rid of the pops and cracks? I prefered to leave them in there but I heard that’s really not being audiophile at all (most people with records hate it or something).

Sorry to ask so much, I’m just a bit curious hehe ;D.

I’ve never dealt with this kinda format before so forgive me for being so newbie about the subject. I just love the idea of collecting records (already have about 4, love it so much), and I just wasn’t really sure about the whole mono thing.

If you just rip the CD directly to MP3 (insane), then the sound quality should be excellent without doing anything else.

If you intend to do anything at all in Audacity, you should work with WAV files and not MP3 as Audacity needs uncompressed audio and will decompress MP3’s when it loads them - if you then Export back to MP3, the file will have been compressed twice, so twice as much loss in sound quality.

If you follow waxcylinder’s instructions then you will have 2 identical tracks which will be true (2 channel) mono. When you listen through headphones it will sound as if the music is playing in the middle of your head. It will not cause any delay or phasing problems. (to duplicate a selection you can use Ctrl+D).

“Phaser” effects, as with “chorus” and “reverb” effects are stereo effects - different sounds come out of each speaker. If you have a 2 channel mono recording and apply a stereo effect to it, then it will create a stereo effect and the two channels will become different from each other (stereo). If you apply a stereo effect to a single mono track, then you will usually get a mono effect that is similar to the stereo effect, but in mono - it will not sound quite the same as the stereo effect and will not have the “spacial” depth (because it is mono). You may find some stereo effects will not work on mono tracks, but most of the effects built into Audacity will work on mono or stereo.

Personally, if the pops and crackles are not too distracting, then I would leave them - I may repair any bad clicks, but will generally leave anything else. Noise removal / click repair type effects are changing the audio and will always make some degree of change (damage) to the original signal as well as the noise that you are trying to remove. If you use any of the restoration tools, then for best (most pure/authentic) sound quality, you should use them as little as possible, though this is a matter of taste.

Noise removal:
Click removal:

SO if I get this correct, when I finally get my MONO Jimi Hendrix Lp, I should just record via my ion Turntable in Audacity, and then because it has two channels recorded, simply just pick one and delete the other?

How do you destroy one “ear” of a stereo piece? And wouldn’t that leave me with just the other ear’s position and NOT in the center like you said?

I.E.: if I would get the two channels, and delete the RIGHT channel, would I simply have the LEFT channel to deal with? Should i center this “LEFT” channel so it wouldn’t be always directed toward the left ear?

I’m really confused on that one.

And by the way, am I sacrificing quality by doing this Mono to Stereo technique because the people online said that the Mono version was definitely better than any of the stereo versions.

BUT ONCE AGAIN so i get this correct, it wouldn’t really be stereo after I’m done with everything, just “Centered”, therefore I can listen to it on my Zune without distraction?

And by the way, you said that I should save anything I work on in Audacity as WAV. Ok, that’s understandable, but is FLAC any different or should I just stick with WAV? What’s the best setting for WAV? Or should I just simply save everything as the project file and come back to it later in case anything happens?

I understand what you were talking about with the mp3 double compression but after listening the song, “The Air Near My Fingers” by the White Stripes, I don’t really hear any difference in quality. I opened this song with Audacity and simply cleared a few pops and exported it as 320 kbps mp3 and it sounds good.

Is there a better way to fix my mp3s in the future or would I simply lose quality if I did anything else?