Re-saving an MP3, does quality suffer

I have a lot of MP3 recordings and I want to divide them into separate tracks with track names. The source MP3 is at 192 kbps and output at the the same bit rate. My question is does the sound quality suffer and if so, how significant is it. Relating it to saving photos as jpeg and then modifying them does reduce the quality somewhat but not significantly. How does it work for MP3’s. Thanks

For a simple editing job like that, you are strongly urged to use a simple MP3 editing tool rather than Audacity. Because of the re-encoding problem, you can get a significant bump-down in quality. You will probably never notice it because down from 192 is still a significant bitrate, but a program like MP3SPLT will have zero bump-down.


Yes, just like working with lossy compression in graphics, re-compressing an MP3 will reduce the quality. Whether the reduction is “significant” or not is a matter of opinion (it depends how fussy/critical you want to be). The judge of that is yourself - try it and listen to the result to decide if the quality is acceptable.

As Koz wrote, for simple edits like splitting or shortening tracks there are programs available that can do this without decoding/re-encoding (such as MP3Split and mp3DirectCut), and so no loss in quality.