If player problems with VBR are the issue you have more options besides plain -b 128 or plain -V5:a) -V5 -b 128 -B 128 -F thus restricting frame size to 128 kbps frames but still using the VBR audio data production machinery. Quality can be better than that produced by CBR 128. Not clear though whether or not clipping can occur like with CBR because of the restricted frame bitrate as it has not become clear yet for what specific reasons CBR/ABR is more clipping prone than VBR is.b) use -V5 and have Omion's mp3repacker tool losslessly create a CBR file from the -V5 file. You have to accept though that resulting CBR bitrate can get higher than 128 kbps depending on your music.
-b 128 4:14-V 5 3:29-V 5 + mp3packer -z 3:29 -V 5 -b 128 -B 128 -F 4:13 (song fades to silence, missing portion not noticeable) -V 5 -b 128 -B 128 -F + mp3packer -z 4:16 (plays only to 4:14 before advancing)
To recap:I require CBR since I am unfortunate to have one player that screws up VBR. In most cases it plays 90% files OK but many songs do not play to the end...
I guess that a combination of the two procedures I proposed will do best:apply the mp3packer CBR feature to the result of -V5 -B 160 or -V5 -B 192 (try them both in order to find out what best fits your needs).
Is the player a program (software or firmware) that may have an update available?
...had to add [-b 16] to my lame encoder setting before they would play.
…which actually will probably be treated as though it were -b32.
Mp3packer claimed minimum bitrates of 256, 224 and 224, respectively.
If you really want to make VBR files at a fixed bitrate, don't forget to add -F to force minimum bitrate. Without that switch, silent parts are still encoded at lower bitrates. lame -V5 -b128 -B128 -F song.wav