How do I convert .wav format to .mp3?

Also, will there be any degradation of sound quality when moving in between formats?

Why would compressing my .wav files using .mp3 format be better than compressing it with pkzip?


Using EAC with LAME encoder (as discussed many times on this forum) will compress the file with very little loss of quality.

There will be some loss of quality, as there will always be when a conversion takes place. However, there are some formats where the loss in quality is even less than when using LAME.

Ogg Vorbis is one I think and I can remember another one discussed here a while back, but can’t remember its name.

If you have the wav file and you compress it with Winzip, there is no conversion and thus no loss in quality. But the compression is less than when converting it to MP3. Furthermore, you cannot play those zip files in your favourite player, you can only store them somewhere and save (a little) space when doing so

mp3 will cause quality loss, but when you encode a wave file to mp3 with a bitrate of 192 or higher, you will have a cd like quality

you also can use a losless compression like APE

if you want to keep music as wav files, better burn it to a disk as audio. takes less space on your hard disk…lol

Theoretically, if I am really bored, and repeat a .wav -> .mp3 -> .wav conversion multiple times, how may times would it approximately take before the loss in audio quality becomes noticeable?

It depends on what encoder you use, what settings and what music. There are a lot of sounds where MP3 has a lot of difficulties with compressing them, and most of the time it’s not the limitation of the encoder, but of the format itself. So if you have very good hearing, with some certain sounds you will never achieve CD quality using MP3. With some other, you could compress them a few times until loss of quality would be really noticable.

If you want good MP3s, rip your audio CDs with Exact Audio Copy - the best and the safest ripper. If you have Plextor drive, you can use PlexTools instead, but for every other drive EAC is the best.
Then, compress your waves using LAME. Find LAME 3.90.2 or 3.92, 3.93 is not completely safe to use yet. Use “–alt-preset standard” command to achieve really high sound quality. This is a preset and it uses A LOT of code level tweaks, not available when using normal command line switches. This preset guarantees HIGH sound quality.

You can visit Hydrogen Audio to learn a lot about psychoacoustic audio compression. You will find tons of information there, about other compression formats, too. MP3 is not the only and not the best format around, when speaking of sound quality. :slight_smile: But for most of the people it’s good enough and widespread, so if you use “–alt-preset standard”, you can be sure you’re getting almost everything possible out of MP3 format without making 320 kbps files.

If you want to convert a bunch of WAVs into varied formats (MP3 included) there are many front-ends available. Here’s one that I have developed (need to have Windows).


If you feel, you may replace the encoders with their latest versions in the ‘External’ directory.

Originally posted by Devils Advocate
Theoretically, if I am really bored, and repeat a .wav -> .mp3 -> .wav conversion multiple times, how may times would it approximately take before the loss in audio quality becomes noticeable?

if you take a normally bitrate of128 or 192, already at the first time!

I use dbpowerAMP to convert .wav to .mp3. It is available here:

You can also add various codecs that allow you to convert to other formats as well. One of the features I like best is its integration into Win XP so you can convert by using a right click…