If you re-encode 192k files to 192k again to clean-up headers, how much quality loss?

My bud has some 192k files that he used MP3Trim on, or some such thing, one of those lossless trim apps, and now he is having trouble getting accurate playback time info on his MP3 player.

So, he wants to take all his files that are already in 192k lame and re-convert them to 192k lame so that the headers and all are recreated so they will play back error free. He did a test with 5 affected files and that did fix the problem, but he asked me if it will affect the quality of the MP3.

It seems that if LAME processes the frequencies the same way as before, and the file sizes are almost identical (a byte here, a byte there - not much diff at all) that he would not lose much quality.

But I’m not sure about that and wanted to go ahead and ask here to see if anyone can help enlighten me, cause I’m kinda curious too.


Re-encoding with MP3 always hurts the quality. Garbage in = garbage out, as they say.

Try VBRfix to fix the headers (yes, even though the files are CBR).

As NRen2k5 said, re-encoding a lossy format will always hurt quality, even if the same encoder and settings are used.

I have also used VBRfix (the old VB version, not the newer QT version) and it can fix some broken mp3 files - it may or may not fix your buddy’s files. Always make a backup copy of such files before trying to fix them.