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Linux Magazine: Rocking and Rolling the MP3 WayJul 29, 2000, 17:36 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Perlow)
"The most important concept in understanding how MP3 encoders work is the trade-off that exists between sound quality on the one hand and bit rate and file size on the other. When you create an MP3 file, you have an option of specifying something called a bit rate -- effectively how much you want to compress the audio stream. The higher the bit rate, the larger your MP3 output file is and the better your sound quality will be (and the longer it will take to encode the file). Typically, acceptable audio quality can be achieved with a 128-160 Kbps bit rate for stereo music on a basic PC-powered speaker/16-bit soundcard setup."
"If you have a more sophisticated sound card and speaker configuration (such as Creative's SoundBlaster Live! using digital SPIDIF output with the Creative FPS2000 4-speaker/subwoofer combination) or are piping the audio output to a home stereo receiver, then you'll want to encode your files at a higher rate, anywhere from 256Kbps to 320 Kbps, which will deliver true CD-quality music."
"If you're going to take up encoding MP3s as a serious hobby, you'll want to invest in a fast CD-ROM drive with fast DAE or "ripping" capabilities, like my trusty Plextor UltraPlex 40Max SCSI-2 reader that can do DAE at 24x speed. There's a great page on the DAE benchmarks for many CD-ROM drives at the CD Speed home page, in case you're wondering which CD reader to purchase. At the time of this writing, the fastest CD-ROM read-er on the planet was Kenwood's True-X 72X ATAPI drive ($120.00 street price), which was benchmarked at 46.1X speed for DAE."
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