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Can I encode MP3@lower bitrate than usual b/c itís from a smaller WMA?, Was: Converting WMA to MP3 at what bitrate?
post Oct 26 2011, 03:53
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I normally create MP3s at 320 kbps. However, I have a bunch of WMA files which I want to convert to MP3. Does it make a difference if I convert to, say 120 kbps, as opposed to 320 kbps? Is there a bottleneck effect in that WMA files may be at a lower bitrate, consequently, encoding at 320 not making that much of a difference from doing so at a lower rate?



This post has been edited by db1989: Oct 26 2011, 12:20
Reason for edit: removing unrelated link to personal site

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post Oct 26 2011, 15:28
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Transcoding from one lossy format to another will always cause further degradation of quality; this is not invariably audible, but its being so is fairly likely at bitrates such as 128 kbps and in formats such as WMA and MP3, especially in succession. By the same token, any given lossy encoder has no way of knowing that the signal it is processing has previously been encoded at all, whether that be at a lower bitrate, by the same or a different format, etc., so there are no smart tricks that enable maximal preservation of quality or suchlike.

Both of these phenomena undermine what might initially seem like the intuitive reasoning that one should not encode to a higher bitrate. Ideally, avoid transcoding whenever possible. But assuming that’s not an option, the simplest course of action is just to encode at 320 kbps as normal.

I had a quick search (use the built-in Google bar, or the IPB search with + prepended to each word) for previous discussions about converting WMA to MP3 and found at least one thread that might be of interest to you; I dare say there are more about those specific formats or about lossy–lossy transcoding in general.

This post has been edited by db1989: Oct 26 2011, 15:34
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