I’ll beg your indulgence right from the get go. This question doesn’t relate to Audacity; but I know of no group better qualified to answer it.
I downloaded this program called MP3 Quality Modifier, in the hopes of reducing the size of some of my music files, that have a bitrate higher than 192, which seems to be an acceptable quality ‘for me’. In my collection are some pieces with bitrates of 128, which increased noticeably in size after processing (to 192 or higher). Is increasing the bitrate of an mp3 file tantamount to attempting to make a silk purse from a sows ear?
Could be. In comparison to, say, a WAV file, an MP3 file has been “audibly damaged” by the process of compression. When opening that file in a sound editor software program and applying a second dose of compression (in your case to a higher bit rate - 128 to 192) there is a real likelihood of making that audible damage even worse.
However, to my way of thinking, the bottom line is: does it sound worse to you? If you are going to be the sole consumer of these new files and you are happy with the sound quality, does anything else really matter?
You’re right of course. It all depends on what I like. And frankly, I couldn’t see any difference. But the reason I ask is that I’ve noticed in the past that increasing the bitrate from 128 to 192 on exported files, removed some distortion problems, that showed up at the lower bitrate. However, I didn’t save the lower bitrate samples, and so was wondering if applying the change (128>192) on the saved at 128 pieces, is the same thing as exporting them at 192 in the first place. It’s more of a curiosity than anything at this point.
That’s not something I’ve ever done, so cannot make any observation that might help you. Dare I suggest: Suck it and see!
No. As PGA explained, the damage has been done, You could save it as a WAV and it would not get any better. Re-saving at 192 may actually make it worse. So there is no point in upping the bit rate of your existing 128 kbps MP3s - you’ll just use more storage space for no better quality.
I appreciate the help.
The best way to explain this might be to say that the MP3 format is a lossy form of compression - it makes the file smaller by removing parts of the file. Expanding the file to a higher bit rate will increase the file size but never add the missing information back into the file.
Yes… that makes sense now.