Converting VBR audio to CBR.

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

I have a bunch of audio tracks that say "encoded with: LAME3.90" and the bitrate is "218 kbps (VBR)."

Can I just convert the file to 256kbps AAC CBR? It sounds the same to me.. but am I screwing up the file somehow by doing that?



  • Reply 1 of 2
    phlakephlake Posts: 91member
    Frankly, I would leave the files alone. If I'm not mistaken, LAME is an MP3 encoder, so by changing the format you are inheriting the weaknesses of MP3, the weaknesses of AAC, and forcing the new file to take up more space.

    If you cannot tell a difference in the audio, it's best to leave the files alone. Every transformation degrades the quality, which can be especially bad when you play the files on a nice set of speakers.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    Alright, well here's the thing. When they are VBR files, the time counter reaches the end of the song before the song ends, and then while the right hand side of the progress bar shows 0:00, the left hand side continues counting up, beyond the length of the song. I find that weird, and I don't like it.

    The files do take a bit more space in 256kbps, obviously.. but they are then encoded with iTunes and Quicktime, instead of Lame.90 or whatever.

    Since I can't hear a difference in the sound quality, is there any real reason I should leave the files as they are?
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