I listen to lots of audiobooks and have recently started sharing with friends. I find myself rather confused by the whole bitrate/frequency question.
The recommended settings (in the spoken word/audiobook scene) as a compromise between quality and file size are 64 kbit/s, 44 khz, mono.
However, I have a whole lot of files which I created ages ago before I knew any of this. They were ripped with Nero (which I no longer use) and used the Nero Mp3 Pro settings, which result in files which are 80 kbit/s and 22 khz, stereo.
As a total ignoramus, I’m trying to get my head around comparing 64 kbit/s 44 khz with 80 kbit/s, 22 khz.
The practical question is whether it is worth the bother of re-ripping the CDs to 64 kbit/s 44 khz, or whether I should keep the 80kbs, 22khz files and just use dbPoweramp to convert them from stereo to mono, to reduce the file size.
I suppose the underlying question is which is more critical - the bit rate or the frequency and whether the higher bit rate (80 as compared to 64) makes up for the lower frequency (22 as compared to 44)?
The second question is, if I use a program like dbPoweramp to convert the 80 kbit/s, 22 khz files to mono, leaving all the other settings the same, am I going to lose much in the conversion process (ie, I belive that every time you process a file, you lose something in the process)?