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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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Will converting a 128kbps mp3 to 320kbps improve the quality? 

by on July 7, 2009

Q: I have an audio converter that converts between mp3, wma, etc. If I have some songs at 128kbps and raise the bit rate to say 320, 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?

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Easiest way to rip audio CDs to your computer 

by on January 27, 2009

Q: What free software should I use to rip some audio CDs to my computer’s hard drive?

A: It’s always fun to help people rip music to their computers for the first time! Apple’s iTunes software is probably the best free CD ripping software for beginners. iTunes is pre-installed on today’s Macs, and you can download iTunes for Windows for free . For legal reasons, I recommend that you only rip music from your own CD collection.

To set your CD ripping preferences in the Windows version of iTunes, go Edit => Preferences => General. If your computer has a large hard drive, I suggest that you import your CDs at full quality by choosing the Apple Lossless option in Edit => Preferences => General => Import Settings => Import Using. Music imported with the Apple Lossless setting works great on today’s iPods! Read the rest of this entry »

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