I'm new here so go easy on me, I don't know much about the subject.
I would like to know if CBR 320kbps is the best possible quality for an .mp3 file
if 44.1Khz/Joint Stereo should be chosen.
I have been searching the forum but everyone participating in this kind of discussion (is 320kbps good, etc) seems to post these very elaborate answers and it makes it hard for a foreigner to easily understand things.
I've come to the conclusion that I should use .mp3 files because this is the most common format for music files.
I am trying to understand how I can obtain the best possible quality in the .mp3 files themselves.
I can't understand how some users say that VBRs are better than CBR 320kbps. How can it be better if the only way of going as high as 320kbps is using CBR? And if your file constantly plays at the highest possible bit-rate, it makes no sense (to me) when people claim to prefer VBRs quality-wise.
Also, according to this article (http://www.richardfarrar.com/what-is-joint-stereo/), when you reach bit-rates higher than 256kbps, Full Stereo is better than Joint Stereo. This is another thing that confuses me, because every .mp3 file that I have is a Joint Stereo file even though they are CBR 320kbps.
Please note that the files I have at the moment were not self-encoded.
I gotta give it to you all, now that I think of it, CBR 320kbps may be a bit overkill. If I want great quality, might as well go Lossless, instead of high quality lossy.
There are issues with silence at the beginning (or end?) of MP3s that make it tricky to get gapless playback. As far as I know this is not an issue with other formats. If you want gapless playback, it's probably best just to avoid MP3. Gapless playback not a big concern to everyone and there are several work-arounds, but there is not one-solution that works on every player.
With LAME, VBR -v 0 is better than CBR 320kbps simply because the implementation of the encoder differs slightly between CBR and VBR. This is only a theoretical difference between the two encoder settings. In practice, it is impossible to test the difference between VBR -v 0 and CBR because the quality is already past the limits of human hearing.