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Reader Q&A: Audio Compression

May 22nd, 2007 Jason Dunn

I received a reader question a couple of weeks ago that I thought would be worth answering on the site so everyone could benefit from it:

“I have compressed all my audio files to 64 kbps MP3 file because I was using an MP3 player with a limited storage space back then. Now I was planning to buy a player with bigger space and I want to “uncompress” my 64 kbps audio files back to 256 kbps. Can I just use my converter software and convert all my audio files from 64 to 256 kbps, will it sound as good as it was before i compressed it? Or do I need to rip the files again one by one so I can achieve better quality?”

Unfortunately, you need to re-rip them again. Once you rip at 64 kbps, that’s all the data there is - everything else has been thrown away in order to get those files down to the smaller size. The best thing to do is rip at 256 kbps the first time, then using Windows Media Player, configure it so that it will convert to 64 kbps on the fly as it syncs (using this method), keeping your original files intact at the original bit rate. This will make the sync take longer, but ultimately it’s worth it. But in your case, it seems like you’ll have enough storage space for 256 kbps files, so you don’t need to bother with that.

Entry Filed under: Software