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Can Changing Settings on Windows 10 Alter My Music File's Sound Quality or Audio Properties?


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I have a gaming PC that I built last year.  I built it for both gaming and as my stereo for listening to music in a lossless audio format.  I have just wiped my computer clean for a fresh start after encountering some issues with Windows 10.  I am in the process of transitioning from Google's Android service to Apple.  I will be ripping my audio CD collection to Apple Lossless Audio Compression (ALAC) for listening to the music on the computer at home and to iTunes Plus format for iPhone and iPad while traveling.  I am aware that audio converter software can alter audio file properties in both sound quality and data structure such as bit-rates and sample-rates and Equalizers can affect sound quality during audio playback.  I am also aware that audio files could be lost or destroyed due to factors such as viruses, bad hard drives, and reformatting the computer.  However, when I was reinstalling Windows 10, these questions came to mind and I hope someone can answer them. 

 

1.  Can applying custom operational or functional settings to Windows 10 (maintenance, security, hibernation, etc.) permanently alter the audio properties (bit-rate, hertz, etc.) or sound quality of my music files?

2.  After reinstalling the operating system, can Windows 10 permanently alter the audio properties or sound quality of my music files stored on either the internal hard drive or the external backup hard drive during the copy process to or from the PC?

 

I know these may sound like ridiculous questions, but I intend to put my audio CDs into storage at my local storage unit (which is climate controlled) after I have ripped them to ALAC.  I want to retain and protect the original sound quality from the CDs both so I can create lossy copies from the original source and so I do not have to dig out the CDs again to regain the original sound quality. 

 

Also, I use an audio analyzer called Fakin' The Funk to both verify that my music files match their stated audio properties and to locate possible corrupted music files.  It seems reliable, but does anyone know of an alternative program which may be more reliable for analyzing and inspecting my music files?

 

Thanks.   

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Windows will not alter user files, such as audio, unless you explicitly tell it to. For music playback, you should pick a player that uses ASIO or WASAPI exclusive mode. Otherwise Windows might resample or otherwise mangle the audio being played. It will not alter the stored files, however.

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Windows is a compilation of easter eggs and software coding bloat  over at least 20 years. Consumer audio is not its priority, supporting paying businesses and commercial applications are. If you choose to use Windows you will need  to use software optimizers that combat audio degradation.

Applications like Fidelizer and Audiophile Optimizer can help you reduce the degradation from built in Windows OS software.

Player applications like Foobar2000 and HQPlayer which strive to be more "DOS" like can reduce the OS overhead impact on application latency

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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7 minutes ago, Lord_Elrond said:

My intention is to find out if making any changes to the operational and functional settings of Windows 10 itself  will permanently alter the audio sound quality or audio file structure properties such as bit-rate and sample rate.

No, modifying settings will not make permanent changes to any files. While some settings can affect the sound on playback, the stored files are never altered.

 

14 minutes ago, davide256 said:

 Read the thread title "Can Changing Settings on Windows 10 Alter My Music File's Sound Quality..."

Settings can affect playback quality, not the quality stored in the file.

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25 minutes ago, mansr said:

No, modifying settings will not make permanent changes to any files. While some settings can affect the sound on playback, the stored files are never altered.

 

Settings can affect playback quality, not the quality stored in the file.

If I understand you correctly,  making changes to the operational settings of Windows 10 will not affect my audio files either in sound quality or structure. In terms of settings affecting playback quality, are you referring to settings like volume control and the equalizer which only affect sound only when the audio track is playing?  If yes, am I correct to understand that these settings which affect playback quality only while the audio track is playing, such as volume and EQ, do not alter the source audio file structure in anyway before, during, and after playback, and therefore the audio file will be the original structure and sound quality when I either play it again on my computer or transfer it to a new computer using default audio settings on the audio player?

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1 hour ago, Lord_Elrond said:

If I understand you correctly,  making changes to the operational settings of Windows 10 will not affect my audio files either in sound quality or structure. In terms of settings affecting playback quality, are you referring to settings like volume control and the equalizer which only affect sound only when the audio track is playing?

Exactly.

 

1 hour ago, Lord_Elrond said:

If yes, am I correct to understand that these settings which affect playback quality only while the audio track is playing, such as volume and EQ, do not alter the source audio file structure in anyway before, during, and after playback, and therefore the audio file will be the original structure and sound quality when I either play it again on my computer or transfer it to a new computer using default audio settings on the audio player?

That is correct.

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34 minutes ago, mansr said:

Exactly.

 

That is correct.

Thanks for the info about Windows 10.  This should be my last question.  Just in case I misworded the end of my last question on my previous post, what I meant was would my audio file's structure and sound quality be the same using an audio player's default settings either on the original computer or different computer, despite using playback settings such as volume and EQ during previous playback events?  Would the answer that you provided before still be "Correct" mansr?

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7 minutes ago, Lord_Elrond said:

Just in case I misworded the end of my last question on my previous post, what I meant was would my audio file's structure and sound quality be the same using an audio player's default settings either on the original computer or different computer, despite using playback settings such as volume and EQ during previous playback events?

Volume and EQ settings will obviously affect playback, but there is nothing permanently recorded in the files on disk. Fiddle with the settings all you want, if you go back to defaults nothing will have changed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The software you utilize to rip CD to a drive will affect sound quality. Or so I am told.  I use DB Poweramp. I am told it is one of the best.  I have no understanding why, but I am told other software can result in playback files that sound thin.  For $50 or so, it works great, as in easy to use.

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1 minute ago, KingRex said:

The software you utilize to rip CD to a drive will affect sound quality.

Only if they fail to produce an accurate rip. With a damaged disc, some rippers fare better then others. It's a good idea to use something with AccurateRip support. Then you'll get confirmation that your rip is correct.

 

7 minutes ago, KingRex said:

Or so I am told.

Don't believe everything you're told. Especially if it makes no sense.

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I could respond don't jump to conclusions.  I have heard more than one person tell me this.  I use DB Poweramp so I don't worry about it.  But. I do sometimes wonder if my rips might improve more if I used my music server to operate the software.  Unfortunately DB will not work with Server 2016.

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