which mp3 bit rate setting and VBR setting to use?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jetlagged, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. jetlagged macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2012
    I'm going to be re-ripping all my cd collections to mp3 using itunes. i googled information as far as what mp3 bit rate to use. but there are a lot of differing answers.

    All i know is that I will definitely want VBR enabled with the highest setting. i plan to go with 192 kbps or 256 kbps. I plan to upload my music to my iPhone and listen to it using the earbud headphones. I am not an audiophile by any means. But all I know is 128 kbps listening to my car via bluetooth didn't sound too good at all.
  2. sarcosis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2006
    These United States
    I ripped everything that I have at 320 Kbps at 44 Htz. You can always convert down later, but you can never convert up. I can still tell the difference between 256 Kbps and 320 Kbps and there is a noticeable difference between 192 Kbps and 256 Kbps. After 256, it all depends on the kit that you have. If you have a $5 pair from Walmart, you aren't going to hear much. If you have a pair of Good headphones, then it will make a world of difference.
  3. jetlagged thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2012
    thanks for the reply. I'll go with 256 kbps then.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    WHY in the world would you use MP3? Use AAC and it will sound much better even at the same 128K bit rate.

    What I would do is rip the CD at the highest bit rate you can (lossless or at least 320K AAC) then you can tell iTunes to REDUCE the bit rate when it loads music to the phone. This way the hard drive on the computer has very high quality music but the bit rate gets reduced to save space when it is moved to the phone. iTunes will do the reduction automatically after you set it up.

    Someday you might buy a good home stereo system and need the high quality files and you'd hate to have to re-rip all those CDs. Now that hard drives cost less than $100 per TB you may as well use lossless rips. It costs just a few cents per CD.

    You can always convert a higher quality rip to a lower bit rate file but never the other way around. So rip to lossless (or 320K AAC) then later reduce the files as required. Never use MP3 unless you are forced to. MP3 is pretty much obsolete, being replaced by AAC (also called MP4)
  5. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    The best way is to rip to lossless (ALAC). Storage is dirt cheep so why go through the work ripping to make an inferior copy to the original that you may be unhappy with later and end up redoing? Just rip to lossless and then you can make ANY lossy format you need at any time you want from now own. You will then be 100% future proof.
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I also recommend Apple Lossless Codec (ALAC). In iTunes there is a setting to automatically downsample the bit rate to your iPhone so you don't have huge files taking up space. Also, if you're at home and you have a wifi network and the Plex App for your iPhone, you can stream to your iPhone from your main library on your computer's hard drive. That is very cool.

    I recently did this with my "good to great" CDs. Most of them originally had been ripped as 128 kb/s AAC files and I was very pleased to notice the difference with my Onkyo/Polk Audio 5.1 system as well as with my Klipsch over the ear headphones on my iPod. However, with my Marley earbuds (which are pretty good) I really couldn't tell much difference between ALAC and AAC 128 kb/s.
  7. cycledance Suspended

    Oct 15, 2010
    mp3 format is ancient and bad.

    rip as apple lossless or 256 aac.

    bluetooth audio is bad so go with wires.

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