Best settings when transcoding FLAC to mp3?

Some dude
  • Some dude

    Some dude - 2016-12-28

    Hello all,

    I want to use LAME to reduce size of my FLAC files so I can store much more music on my phone. I will still keep the FLAC files for my home audio needs, the MP3s for my phone are just for headphones, a middle of the road bluetooth speaker, and the car. Meaning file size is much more important that bitrate/quality for the purposes of this question.

    I understand that the average CD will average around 175 kbps. In looking at the LAME default options, 192kbps with a midpoint in quality seems to be the dafault. These seem like reasonable defaults for my purposes. The question is, should I use VBR, ABR, or CBR? I listen to a lot of hard rock and metal, if that helps.

    Thanks for weighing in! \m/

  • Robert Kausch

    Robert Kausch - 2016-12-28

    Hi, for your use case, if file size is important, I would go lower than 192kbps. You can use the "Medium, Fast" preset which will give you around 165kbps or use VBR with a quality setting between 4 and 5 to get between 140 and 170 kbps. It's very unlikely that you will be able to distinguish that from CD quality in your listening scenario (even 128kbps might be enough in your case, but I wouldn't go lower than that).

    Regarding the choice between CBR, ABR and VBR, you should use VBR nowadays unless you have a reason to use something else. CBR can be useful for old players (~20 years old) that do not properly support VBR. ABR is used to have more control about the output bitrate (i.e. if you really need to get close to e.g. 160 kbps and not get 150 or 170kbps for some files).

    In general, VBR should provide the best quality and in most cases there is no reason to not use it.

  • Some dude

    Some dude - 2016-12-31

    Thanks Robert! And great software as well, kudos :)


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