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Increasing Bitrate On MP3s


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#1
jek1862

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I have some old songs on my computer that are mp3s. They are only 96 bitrate. I have tried to find higher bitrates to get better sound quality, but have been unsuccessful, so far. It seems the older the song the harder it is to get it at a higher bitrate. At least that has been my experience, thus far.
So, I've done a little research. I read that increasing the bitrate on an mp3 DOES NOT improve the sound quality of the mp3. I was rather surprised by this, but it does seem to be the case. In other words, using an audio converter and taking an mp3 at 96 bitrate and converting it to, say, 192 bitrate will not improve the quality to what you would get for a 192 bitrate mp3. I've tried it several times and do not notice any significant difference. All it does it take up more space on my hard drive, increasing the file's size.
This is a shame. You would think there HAS to be a way to improve the sound quality of a lower rated bitrate mp3, but right now, I don't know of a way. That is why I am posting this, to see if there IS a way. Maybe there is a way to improve the quality, which doesn't involve increasing the bitrate, which as I said, doesn't work anyway. Is my ONLY alternative trying to find the mp3 at a higher bitrate?? That's tough! I am hoping you can tell me a way...a software, preferably free, I can download that can help improve the quality of these low bitrate mp3s I have. Thanks for your help and any education you may pass my way on this issue
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#2
Neil Jones

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This is akin to watching a scene, repeated ad nauseum in the movies, where the police department have a CCTV image of somebody that was taken at the far end of the street from the camera. They magically blow it up into super-duper high-quality definition where you can see in full colour the pimple on the guy's face and the hair up his nose. This is after the fact has been stated (usually copiously to any character in a 20 mile radius) that the CCTV cameras in the region are grainy black-and-white cheap pieces of crap because the city can't afford new ones.

In other words: It's not possible. In real life you can't blow something up from a low-quality source and expect the quality to go with it. If you blow up a very small thumbnail picture of somebody to A4 size, it will look awful. Likewise you can't add extra detail to an MP3 file by encoding it at a higher resolution because the tones have already been stripped out by compressing it at 96k. All you'll do by re encoding it at 192k, as you've found, is that it'll take up twice as much space and be no better quality.

The only option you have if you want the file at a higher bit-rate is to seek it out at that bit-rate. The missing "data" that you need is no longer in the MP3 file at 96k, it was lost when the file was made. No software will be of use to you.

Edited by Neil Jones, 04 April 2010 - 04:34 AM.

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#3
phillipcorcoran

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You can't increase the bit-rate of an existing recording if the data isn't there in the first place. It can only be done at the recording stage - choosing the bitrate before recording commences. Lower bit-rates discard audio data to make a smaller file of lower quality. How can you expect any software to be able to put that discarded data back?

I'm surprised you expect it to be possible.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 04 April 2010 - 08:00 AM.

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#4
jek1862

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Your reply to me was somewhat 'sarcastic' and rude. I was not familiar with how MP3s work, bitrates, and such. You know this information, I did not. That is why I came here. I believe you could have phrased your reply in a more 'respectful' way. Thank you.
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