3. Resample to 44.1/48 kHz, don't do bit reduction, don't create intermediate files.Built-in resampler in LAME isn't great. But LAME accepts 24-bit input, so there's no reason to reduce bit depth to 16 (and add quantization/dither noise).
1) yes. Mp3 maxes out at 48k.2) in theory 44.1k is most used, I doubt it matters much though. Use whatever makes sense for you.2b) Lame uses floating point, not integer precision. Everything is converted to that.3) none make a huge difference. I would probably just use default.
In short that means there is no "true" bit depth and therefore encoding from a from a 24bit or 16bit source (or 32bit or 8bit for that matter) doesn't make any difference?
If starting with 48kHz material...don't bother down sampling to 44.1 before conversion to .mp3?
But if starting with something greater than 48kHz, since you're already converting, might as well convert to 44.1?
There really shouldn't be a difference from converting to >48 to 48 or 44.1? Will 44.1 make the file smaller than 48 do you know?