Bitrate Quality

I am extremely confused with bitrates and their quality. From what I have read on the internet, low bitrate gives poor quality music. However, some of the music I have in my library is 32kbps, but it still sounds fine. There is no distortion or static, etc, even at high volume levels.

How does bitrate affect quality levels? Thanks

Hi [B]ebanat[/B], welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:

Compressing music is a question of trying to remove redundant information first, and then remove the information that the human ear wouldn’t normally hear. The more you compress the more likely you are to hear that something is wrong or missing.

So the lower the bitrate the higher the chance of the music sounding bad.

Different formats (e.g. MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, etc.) can also impact the perceptible sound quality at different bitrates, and it can also depend on the kind of music you compress.

If you’re listening to the compressed music through a Hi-Fi system you’re far more likely to hear the degraded sound quality at low bitrate than if you listen to the same compressed music through some lousy internal speakers in a laptop pc.

So it all depends, but higher bitrate always increases the chance of good perceptible sound quality.

32kbps is for most types of music not nearly enough for good quality over a decent Hi-Fi system. Over poor speakers in a pc it’s possible you won’t be able to hear the difference, or that you think the quality is acceptable.

I have my doubts that much of your music is 32kbps. It’s probably VBR and your player is misidentifying it as 32kbps.

That sounds likely.

There’s a utility called EncSpot which can display such information about mp3 files. There’s a free version on the download page.