Suggestions for reducing MP3 size but keeping so-so quality?

New to this stuff…have some MP3 files that I created from ripping CD’s of mine…I’m not that picky on audio quality so used what I understand is “128bit, 44Khz, Stereo” format…the largest is 4864KB for a 5:10 song…well, I wanted to put some of these on my older 128MB thumb drive but ran into space issue…so I need to try to shink the files a bit…

Thus looking for suggestions on what format to use…I’m used to listening to talk show on radio on bad reception station so my desired playback quality is not that critical…I’ll be using a FM modulator to play the songs back thru my car stereo, which is factory unit so not great quality…looking for something that might resemble the sound I’d hear if song was heard on a regular FM station…

Thanks!

Going below 128K for MP3 starts to introduce distortion into the signal, saying that however there are a few things you can try as long as your portable supports the format.

If you dont mind going for Mono you can get away with 96k or 64k encodes (half your current 128)

If you still want stereo, try and use VBR encoding, this changes the number of bits per second used for the encoding so less complex sections use less bits.

Try using a different compression system. If your playback device supports OGG or WMA they have slightly (very slightly in the case of WMA) better compression for similar sound quality.

So now could someone now point me to which free software I should use to try to create a VBR file? I may be overlooking the obvious, but I don’t see this “fancy” options in either Audacity or BeLight, which are the two that I’d installed long ago…

And my playback device only supports MP3 and WMA…

Try the most recent version of the LAME encoder, possibly with the GUI ‘RazorLAME’…

Looked at RazorLAME…from screenshots, it definitely seemed promising…so downloaded it…but now, there are a number of RLO preset files, but no clear docs (that I see) on which ones to use for what…

Hmmm… I hope you also downloaded the LAME encoder itself and put it in the RazorLAME folder.

RazorLAME is just a front-end which passes parameters such as VBR (variable bit rate) to LAME, which otherwise is a command-line application running in a DOS window.

I already had LAME in another folder so just pointed RL to it…I knew LAME was kinda like a sub-module that needed a friendly GUI to access it…the RL interface seems a bit more understandable to me than BeSweet/BeLight that I had from before…

It’s just those two libraries of presets that I’d like to find more info on what to use when of the files in there…

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