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Topic: Bit rates of mp3 files - which is the BEST?
Hey everyone,

This is quite an important discussion for us DJ's using Atomix MP3. I noticed that many Mp3 files are louder and softer. It seems there are two reasons for this:

#1 - Sometimes the person who encodes the mp3 file "normalizes" it, or messes with the volume levels rather then leaving it at it's pure level.

#2 - The bit rate.

My Question is about #2.

I notice that when I download a 192 or 256kbps song it's MUCH quier then a 160kbps song. It seems to me like 160kbps is the best bit rate to download they seem to have the best quality. But, I THOUGHT that the higher bit rate (up to 256) the better the quality?? So why is a higher bit rate sound softer in volume level then a lower one?

If someone could enlighten me on bit rates I'd greatfully appreciate it!

My findings:
128kbps is not good enough
160kbps sounds a lot better and seems to be a happy medium
192kbps has higher quality sound but lower volume

Please share your thoughts!


Posted Sat 27 Jan 01 @ 9:11 am
RiscHome userMember since 2003
Not actually true..
When playing to a crowd i will not use any mp3s encoded below 192 due to its poor sound quality and the only thing that affects the volume of a track is if it has been normalised when encoded or if it has been recoded to the cd with a lower volume. Also some different encoders can increase or decrease the volume, if you are encoding your own songs try and stick to the same encoder.
A question, have you tried downloading the same song @ the different bit rates then testing, because I find that the only difference is sound quality? Post back...

-= R ! S C =-
Team Atomix

Posted Sat 27 Jan 01 @ 11:25 am
GrimmPRO InfinityMember since 2003
1. I normalize all my files. Try playing back some of those "loud" mp3 files after they have been converted to wav in a good sound file editor (ie, Cool Edit) and watch how many times the audio clips. If you play your music back through a cheap pair of speakers at high volumes, it can easily cause pops and clicks. Normalizing also helps get all your files at about the same dB level, or at least within a couple of dBs (but not all the time).

2. I use at *least* 160kbps for all my mp3s, AND Simple (Normal) Stereo, NOT Joint Stereo for encoding. Joint Stereo is not needed at higher bit rates, and can sometimes destroy any "stereo imaging" in the music (ie, Dolby Pro Logic encoded music).

I haven't noticed any files sounding lower at higher bit rates. Maybe the person who encoded it normalized the file before encoding it.

Posted Sat 27 Jan 01 @ 11:52 am
What I do whenever I download a song off the net is open it up in Cool Edit 2000 remove any hiss, pops & clicks, then normalize the entire song to 80%, then finally I add a quick filter to give the song a little boost, because some songs you can hardly hear the higher end frequency's, therefore then end result is better than the one I downloaded.
I then save it using the Cool Edit MP3 Plug-in @ 128Kbps, because I don't find using the higer bit rates gives you better quality...

Anyway that's my way & I guess everyone's different ;-)

Posted Thu 01 Feb 01 @ 1:46 pm
Which version of Cool Edit are you using and which quick filter do you apply to your mp3s with Cool Edit?

Posted Thu 01 Feb 01 @ 8:13 pm
I use Cool Edit 2000 the quick filter that I use is really just an equalizer (like the one in Winamp) and all I do is enhance the frequency's that sound pretty low...

Hope you know what I mean =)

Posted Fri 02 Feb 01 @ 1:37 am
Ah gotcha, thanks :)

Posted Fri 02 Feb 01 @ 9:19 pm