Q2: When converting from a CD to MP3 ... what is the Best Rate to maintain GOOD Quality for an AVERAGE Listener ... who is not an Audiophile? 128Kbps, or 160, or 192Kbps?
Your listening ability will improve and rather than having to make new files start at the highest bitrate that will allow you to store your complete music library.
WHEN (not if) you eventually run out of space, don't panic... buy another hard drive:)
This is under obvious debate but I believe the choice should be made based on available storage space as one of your significan't criteria. for all effects and purposes everything will sound "fine" at 192kBit/sec.
Q3: Can you really tell the difference between 128Kbps and 192Kbps? Now I don't want to split hair here ... just basically can a regular person tell the difference in QULAITY?
Most of the time yes, IF they are listening to the "right" (or wrong depending on point of view) audio track.
60's vintage recordings "Remastered" to Cd? No, 128kBit/sec makes
beatles, Led Zeppelin or Creedence Clearwater Revival sound good.
Some newer recordings, yeah you can tell.
Q4: When converting from MP3 back to CD ... what format should be converted so it can be played on my Old Car CD Player? MP3 to WAV or WMA?
Simple answer? Don't convert. Like I said in another post recently it's like tying to reassemble a cow by grabbing packages from the meat department in your supermarket
As for your old car player? Factory or aftermarket?
what is "old" to you?
Most likely it will only play CD audio, it may not even play "Burned" CD's
Even most aftermarket radios 10 years ago wouldn't play mp3's
AND car stereos that'll play WMA's have really only been around for 4-5 years.
Q5: What is the BEST Freeware for "Converting MP3 to WMA"?
why convert to wma at all? mp3 is a more flexible format.
If a portable player won't play mp3's you basically don't want it.
I use Windows Media Player for my conversions from Audio CD to MP3 and it seems to do a Great Job.
That'll change after you use something else... I personally like WMP for playback and organizing my music library FOR playback, but I don' do anything else with WMP.