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Thread: Best bit rate for mp3

  1. #1
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    Best bit rate for mp3

    Hey Guys. I need help with some sound related terms. I'm new at multimedia file handling and converting. I want to know what is the best bit rate for mp3 files. How is it classified and what are the common settings for the same? Please help guys!

  2. #2
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    Re: Best bit rate for mp3

    MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players. MP3 is an audio-specific format that was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. Everything in terms of sound is related to the bit rate.

  3. #3
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    Re: Best bit rate for mp3

    Bitrate, sometimes written bit rate is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time. The bit rate is quantified using the bits per second unit, often in conjunction with an SI prefix such as kilo-, mega-, giga- or tera- bit/s. 1 kbit/s has almost always meant 1,000 bit/s, not 1,024 bit/s, also before 1999 when SI prefixes were defined for units of information in an IEC standard. The formal abbreviation for bits per second is bit/s and not bits/s. In less formal contexts the abbreviations b/s or bps are often used, though this risks confusion with bytes per second which is B/s, Bps.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best bit rate for mp3

    I would like to explain everything in simple and easy to understand language. Bitrate is important while considering the quality of audio files. Common and widely used MP3 files have 128kbps bitrate. The more the bitrate, the more is the quality of sound. The more the bitrate, the larger is the file size. You can compress the audio files from higher bitrate to lower ones, which will reduce the size of the file. But if you have a low bitrate file, and you increase the bitrate with any software, only the size of the file will increase and not the quality. I hope you got what you needed. All the best!

  5. #5
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    Re: Best bit rate for mp3

    For,

    Quality : 320 kbps, VBR
    File Size : 128 kbps, CBR

  6. #6
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    idea Re: Best bit rate for mp3

    @Zayd: 'the best bit rate for mp3 files' is a pretty broad question. It depends on what you are trying to do with them. I know this is a couple years after your post, but I hope this helps somebody.

    If you are archiving them, then I would recommend against mp3 to begin with. FLAC is a great option for lossless archiving, at a much smaller file size than CD-files and crystal perfect quality.

    If you are an audiophile, and want the maximum clarity possible at expense to filesize, go with lowest compression. 320k, 256k and 192k will sound excellent, but will come with large filesize. This becomes a problem if you are listening your files on an mp3 player or flash drive. Also, note that you will not be able to distinguish the difference in quality from these bitrates with most audio setups.

    If you are mostly concerned with space, go with lofi, or higher compression rates. 128k, 96k, and 64k are supported by most mp3 players, and take up a small fraction of space compared to "hifi" compression. Unfortunately, with these bitrates you will quickly notice the poor sound quality and compression artifacts. If you are a casual listener, with a factory speaker install, then you probably won't care.

    Finally, there comes the question of compression style. CBR, Constant Bit Rate, is the quickest compression method and you can specify exactly the bitrate you want. I would suggest this for hifi compression, where you are not worried about filesize.

    VBR, Variable Bit Rate, is a method that allows the mp3 converter to choose the best bit rate for any point in the song. Different files will be more or less complex to compress without losing quality. This allows you to have high quality sound and the smallest filesize allowable. Many mp3 players support this handy option. Though compression takes a little longer, the result is worth it.

    Personally, if find that VBR with max bitrate of 160k to be optimum. Actual rates end up being between 128k and 160k. This results in acceptably small filesize and the sound quality is still very good. An excellent compromise for listening to an mp3 player with limited storage. Of course, I keep an archive on my computer of much higher quality.

    That being said, HE-AAC (AAC+, NOT DRM apple-AAC) totally rocks mp3s. Sound quality is better at half the bitrate, therefore half the file-size.

    --> references are http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitrate, a bunch of other sites, and a TON of trial and error. <--

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