converting to MP3?

what happens exactly with the sounds

It’s maybe a stupid question but I would really like to know: when I convert a song to mp3 I can choose the quality. 196 sounds allright but I know the songs too good, maybe I hear things because I think I hear them. When I choose 196 it should be “better quality” the converterprogramm says so. My question is better quality than usual mp3, better quality than the track I converted (I can’t imagine), or does it change something in the music…better (or different) than what? What does the programm do exactly with the music while converting to mp3? Or is it easy: the higher the KBPS is, the more the song sounds like the original? Thanks Maria!:)

it’s a compression algorithm. so… let’s take the jpeg file compression as a visual example.

in a bitmap, EVERY pixel’s color is recorded. This makes for a good looking picture, but also makes it a large file in order to account for each pixel. when you compress with JPEG, the algorithm looks at each pixel’s color, and decides that this color blue is very similar to this other color blue, and instead of coloring them each an individual blue, it colors them the same blue. Now-the image quality suffers a little because you’re losing some of the colors you had in the bitmap, but the file size is much smaller because of that as well.

In audio, the most accurate format (like the bitmap) is a .wav file.(or .aiff on Mac). This file records the position of EVERY sample in the file and subsequently the file size is huge since you’re recording an average of 44,100 samples per second.

Now, an mp3 is like the JPEG. it looks for similar things and turns them into the same thing. It also does this with frequencies and will even shrink the 20 hz -20,000 hz range down to say 50 hz-16,000 hz (I don’t know the numbers exactly).

When you know that, you see why the file size of an MP3 is much smaller than the .wav, but you also lose some frequencies and the detail that was there. It’s gone forever too. changing back to a wav from mp3 can’t replace those frequencies because they weren’t recorded in the file’s “notes.”

And finally, if you turn up the “quality” on the mp3, it compresses LESS information, resulting in a more detailed recording, but also a larger file size. Still nowhere near as much as a .wav though.

get it?

Thank you! It’s very clear now!!:)