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Harsh Sound from SD Card

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by driver_tim, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Active Member

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    I have an SD card in the car with a selection of music on it. All the files are WAV in 44.1kHZ 16 bit stereo. They were converted to this from Apple ALAC lossless using iTunes. Before that they were ripped from CD (by me) or downloaded from Qobuz (a lossless audio download site). The SD card is a good quality class 10 example.

    When listening to the radio I have adjusted the treble setting down a few notches from the default; this is just my personal taste and I think the music sounds fine. However, when listening to the WAVs from the SD card a lot of them sound unpleasantly harsh, even with the treble setting as low as it will go. The problem gets worse at higher volumes.

    I did wonder if iTunes had somehow distorted the sound during the conversion process, however put the SD card into my PC (which has a decent soundcard and set of speakers hooked up to it) and listened to the same tracks back to back from the SD card and the original CD, they both sound fine on there.

    I have the B&O speakers (otherwise fantastic) but not sure if this is something to do with that or just what the car does when playing music from an SD card. I find it doubtful the system is faulty because the radio sound does not have this issue. However, the car seems to be applying some strange EQ settings to the SD card which is spoiling my enjoyment of the otherwise superb B&O system.

    Has anyone else had similar issues?
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  2. lotus
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    lotus Member

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    That doesn't seem good, do you have the internal flash memory for music (10 GB), if so try coping the music from the SD into the internal flash and see if you have the same problem.
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  3. Leeber
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    Leeber Member

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    Perhaps it's just that the system just doesn't do WAV files very well. I appreciate that you probably chose that format in order to preserve the quality of the lossless file. I would recommend just taking one song that you know well and converting it to different formats ( high bitrate mp3, 48khz WAV etc whatever else the system can play) and placing them all on the card with slightly different names so that you can distinguish one file/format from another. See which one sounds best and stick with that format.

    I think that unlike other formats the WAV format is just a wrapper for the sound file, they can contain different codecs within that wrapper, it may be that the car is decoding it incorrectly. I must qualify this by saying that my understanding of this stuff is very very limited. There may well be someone on here who knows more but that's what I would try if I was in your position. Also it might be worth trying a different program to do the conversion, maybe mediamonkey?
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  4. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    yeh WAV isn't necessarily lossless, it's a wrapper for other codecs. Just like .avi is for video files.

    I don't know what the issue is here but I can say that my car doesn't exhibit this with mp3 files on my card.
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  5. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Active Member

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    Leeber and cemerson, thank you very much for your posts. There are indeed many ways to encode a WAV file, however that was not something I'd considered in this context and I suspect it may well be the issue. Much appreciated.
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  6. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    Why didn't you just use the iTunes format?
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  7. driver_tim
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    driver_tim Active Member

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    Because the MMI system only supports these with a bitrate of 320 kb/sec. Mine are around the 900 mark, and hence won't play.
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  8. yetirider
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    yetirider Active Member

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    Ah OK, Is it an option for you to use iTunes Match?
    create a new empty library then download the albums you want in the car from the cloud?
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  9. Leeber
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    Leeber Member

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    As I said before, perhaps it's to do with the way iTunes encodes the WAV. We store all our music in FLAC format. However I generally convert to 320 kb/s mp3 for the car purely so that I can make the most of the storage capacity available, these days I find it very difficult to hear the difference between high bitrate mp3 and FLAC. I reckon you may have more luck using different software to encode the WAV. I use media monkey but I'm sure that there are others available.
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  10. PjDali
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    PjDali Member

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    I've been using an SD card with all music on WAV format and they sound better than any other formats tested and I tried various. Wanted a lossless format and WAV is my preferred format so was chuffed to find Audi Sound System recognised it.

    Ripped lots of cd's using windows media player straight to WAV not came across any harshness and I am fairly picky about music as have spent a fair wedge over the tears on HiFi seperates.

    Maybe conversion from other lossless format to WAV is the problem (if I've read your post right)?
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  11. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    WAV is not a 'format', it's a container - it can contain uncompressed audio, compressed lossless or compressed lossy as far as I can see. That's the issue - everything assuming every wav file is the same.
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  12. Leeber
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    Leeber Member

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    Agreed, but surely if the playback device didn't contain the correct codec, the file just wouldn't play would it? That's what leads me to suspect that it's more to do with how iTunes has converted the file from ALAC to whatever format is contained within the WAV wrapper, which is why I suggested trying diff software for the conversion.
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  13. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    No, but there's the chance that the car did have the right codec, but it just wasn't that high quality.
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