VBR file compatibility

Hi Folks,

In terms of compatibility nowadays, is it ok to encode files to VBR and be able to play them back in most mp3 players? Someone brought this up today and it made me think. Let me know.


VBR will play on probably 95% of MP3 players.

The only MP3 player I know of which can’t play VBR is the I-Pod. Older I-Pod’s can play VBR without any trouble, but the newer ones have some kind of “feature” that makes VBR files skippy.

Many players that can play VBR MP3’s will show incorrect timing and have some weird seeking behaviour, but the MP3’s will play fine and sound great.

Awesome, all I needed to know!

Strange that the newer Ipod’s behave this way though :confused: If needed is there a way to convert those VBR to a steady CBR w/o losing quality?

Nope, you’ll have to lose quality, because re-encoding is the only way. Quality loss can be pretty minimal if you use a good encoder with good settings, though.

I want to add that the i-Pod VBR bug only affects a very small number of files, maybe less than 1%, and then only a specific passage in the song where there is a massive bitrate jump. If you’re lucky, you’ll never hear this problem in the music you have. Still, shame on Apple for this stupid bug!
For further information, there is a very long and detailed thread about in on www.hydrogenaudio.org

Thanks for the replies folks - I imagine its something that all mp3 players will be able to play in the future…hopefully!