Converting MP3 and WMA files to higher quality

by on July 9, 2009

Q: I have an audio converter that converts between MP3, WMA, and other formats. If I have some songs at 128kbps and convert them to 320kbps does doing this actually raise the quality of the song if I ripped the song to the computer at 128kbps? How can you increase quality if there is only so much given?

A: If we were on a TV show like CSI Miami or NCIS we would be able to increase the sound quality of a 128kbps music file by converting it to 320kbps but in the real world it does not work that way. Once you have ripped your song from your CD and converted it into a digital representation there is no way to increase the sound quality. Converting from 128kbps to 320kbps will just increase the size of your file and you will end up with the same or worse sound quality because converting usually means there is a chance you can lose some quality. The only way to increase your sound quality is to go back to your source, the CD, and rip the music again at a higher quality.

If you have a chance you should do some experimenting. You should rip a few different songs at 320kbps, 192kbps, 128kbps and some of the other bit rates available. Take the time to listen to each of them and see what kind of a difference each bit rate it makes for you so that you can decide what one you like best. Different people have different needs. Personally I’m very happy with 192kbps or 128kbps and can’t really tell the difference.

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