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Topic: How to make the best quality MP3 file

  1. #1

    How to make the best quality MP3 file

    For making MP3 I've got iTunes and ProTools 7.0. In iTunes the options include the bit rate, sample rate, and VBR encoding (I'm guessing that is vs CBR compression). In ProTools the MP3 file is made by bouncing to disk, which is done in real-time. It gives me the options of bit rate, sample rate and 2 types of encoding speed: "fastest" and "highest quality".

    The iTunes is much faster because it's not done in real-time, so I'd rather use it. So the question is does anyone know if there would be any difference in quality from using ProTools or iTunes to make MP3 files if I chose the exact bit rate and sample rates?

    Does everyone suggest using 44100Hz for sample rate? What would 22050Hz be appropriate for?

    As for which encoding, I don't know the difference in VBR or CBR; but am more interested in knowing the difference in quality between ProTools "fastest" and "highest quality". Can it be heard? And if so when would it make a difference to use one or the other. Thanks for your advise from those of you with experience.

  2. #2

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    Apple is not known for its high quality encoders. So I would suggest against iTunes. The freeware LAME is known to be very good. I would think Pro Tools would be pretty good, but I don't know.

    I would stick with 44100. It's the CD sample rate. The highest produceable frequency is half that number so, 22050 would limit you to about 10kHz.

    VBR can get you a smaller file. Some parts compress better than others, so it can use a lower bitrate in those sections that don't require a high bitrate.

  3. #3

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    There is also a program called Switch. I have had great luck with it!


    Rik Pfenninger

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    an other vote for Lame / Razorlame

    I've tried many and even bought a few but Lame is it for me.

    Here's a link to get both at the same place and also some install instructions.


  5. #5

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    I have to say that the best sounding MP3s I make are with Sound Forge. By a longshot. With a minimal amount of artifacts produced, it makes mp3s rendered instantly (and with batch processing) that make me not worried to share my music first by mp3.


  6. #6

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    +1 for LAME w/ VBR0 or CBR 320 kb/s

  7. #7

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    Bounce uncompressed and then make AAC:s in iTunes. Much newer and better standard. It's sold by the iTunes-store, so most devices reads it.

  8. #8

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    Encoders make a difference, but bit rate matters more.

    There seems to be a general consensus that 196Kb/s is the minimum for good sound, with 256Kb/s even better.

    The so called web standard of 128Kb/s is OK, but contains clearly audible artifacts.

    I don't know why the encoders offer ridiculously low bitrates and sample frequencies. Maybe it's for spoken material and situations with very limited memory.

  9. #9

    Re: How to make the best quality MP3 file

    lame / razor lame

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