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
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
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
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.