Which bitrate should I choose?


That is entirely up to you. Since different people hear different ranges of sound and play thier music over different systems, their needs for MP3 sound quality vary greatly.

If you’re a sound quality buff, you’ll want to have MP3s encoded at a high bitrate (the floor for sound buffs is usually 192k, but many prefer 256 or even 320.) One thing to keep in mind is that several users at iPodLounge have reported problems with iPods playing 320k mp3s, a result of the iPod not having enough RAM to play the 320k properly.

If hard drive space is a concern, you may want to make your mp3s smaller – 160 or 128k.
The best way to tell what bitrate you’ll need is to do a test: rip the song in several bitrates and compare them to the original CD track. When you can’t hear a difference between the two, you’ve found your bitrate. Remember to test the mp3s on your iPod, not just on your computer.


Dennis Lloyd

I'm a passionate, long-time lover of Apple products, and was a civil draftsman and graphic designer before creating the iLounge web site. My prior projects include work for The Los Angeles Times', and the company Creative Domain, where I developed websites for clients including Columbia Pictures, Disney, Fox Studios, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers. As the Publisher of iLounge, I direct the site's community forums, photo galleries, iPod User Group, and general business affairs, which have grown under my watch to over sixteen million page views every month. I'm happily married with one daughter, one dog (Rocket the Wonderdog), one cat (Ferris), many iPods, iPhones, iPads, and two turntables.