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Mp3 Bitrate

What bitrate to use?
The simple fact of the matter is... the higher the bitrate the higher the playback quality and the lower the compression level... So, the higher the quality, the bigger the filesize. Bottom line is that compression algorithms like MP3 will always battle between the issues of quality vs. filesize.

Bitrates of 160/192 kbps are the minimum you should accept. Many people use 128 kbps but I personally find that 128 kbps files sound just like radio... However if radio quality is good enough for you, then by all means encore your mp3s in 128 kbps. This will save you enormous amounts of space.

Personally as a music enthusiast, I encode my mp3s as VBR (variable bitrate) and bitrates of my files range from 200 to 270 kbps. Obviously, I choose high quality over filesize.

Mp3 codecs: LAME rules
When encoding your files, do not use just *any* encoder. Not all mp3 encoders are created equal. And mp3 codecs aren't either. Many softwares such as Itunes, Audiograbber, MusicMatch Jukebox will encode mp3s for you extremely rapidly. However, quality just is just horrible. If audio quality is important to you, you should consider using the LAME mp3 codec.

The LAME codec (especially in its 3.90.3 version) coupled with a free software like Exact Audio Copy is the best bet to produce great sounding mp3 files. If you are interested in learning how to use these two, check out our cd to mp3 makers page.


other mp3 help topics:

glossary - what is mp3 - legal mp3 download - streaming radio - audio formats - listen to mp3s - connect computer to stereo - cd to mp3 makers - mp3 bitrate - cda to mp3 - wav to mp3 - mp3 to wav - mp3 to cd - id3 tag - normalize mp3 - problems

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