How to change MP3 bit rate

I am transfering my cassette tape library to my media server. Exporting as WAV files sounds as good as the original, but the file size is big. I was thinking of using MP3 instead. The default is 128kbps, but I want to try 320kbps as I read that it sounds about as good as WAV. Any recommendations welcome as I am new at this. My server accepts WAV and MP3 audio files.
I am using Audacity 2.0,1, latest LAME and FFmpeg on a Windows desktop XP sp3. What settings do I use and how do I find them?
I am using the default settings for Audacity as I want to keep things as simple as possible.

When you get the export screen up for selecting “MP3”, click on the “Options” button.
320 kbps is available in the “Presets” as “Insane”.
The “Extreme (220 to 260 kbps)” preset is also excellent sound quality and worth trying.

If you may be doing further editing, you should keep a WAV copy as the quality degradation of MP3 encoding is cumulative. Editing an MP3 and then re-exporting as MP3 will be lower quality than editing a WAV and exporting as MP3.

Sounds easy. Which rate is pretty close in quality to WAV?

320 is excellent I doubt you would ever hear the difference unless you have very young (female) ears and listen closely on high-end equipment.

I use 256 (actually 256 VBR AAC, Apple’s lossless format) in my iTunes library - and on high-end QUAD electrostatic speakers these sound pretty good to my ageing ears - my son, who is a purist insists on 320.

256 gives me a 9-10:1 compression ratio - meaning I can get nine or ten times as much music on compared to using WAV.


320 kbps CBR (preset “Insane”) is the best possible quality for MP3.
~250 kbps VBR (preset “Extreme”) is said to give “Transparent” quality with most material:

Well, thanks to all for the info. You get 5 stars today! Yeah, I am pretty much an oldster too.
I will try this stuff out.
Although this is not the forum for it, no matter what I have tried, I can not cure the Realtek HD Audio Eaccess Violation
problem on my native audio processor. I think it started after some Microsoft update. Searched the net, but no joy for a
real solution (it locks up the Line level slider). (WIN XP)

First thing I would do would be to make sure you’ve got the up-to-date drivers for your soundcard (just be careful what you download and where you download from on t’interweb).