What are mp3 "bitrates" and why should it matter to you?
An mp3 file's bitrate affects how good it sounds and how much space it uses on your hard drive or Live365 storage space. When a file is converted to the mp3 format, some of the information is thrown away to make the file smaller. Lower bitrate files do not sound as good when played back, but they take up less space. For example, a file encoded at 32kbps will take up half the space of the same file encoded at 64kbps.
mp3PRO files work the same way except they use a slightly different process that produces higher quality sound in players that are mp3PRO-enabled. If a player is not mp3PRO-enabled, the sound quality will be slightly worse than the equivalent mp3 bitrate. For example, a 64kbps mp3PRO file will sound like a 128kbps mp3 file in an mp3PRO-enabled player, but it will sound like a 56kbps mp3 file in a player that is not mp3PRO-enabled.
Bitrates are measured in kbps (kilobytes per second). The bitrates supported by Live365 include:
The lowest bitrates (8, 16, and 24kbps) are best suited for talk programs or stations that have a large number of listeners on dial-up connections. Since the vast majority of Live365 listeners have broadband access, most stations use a bitrate of 32kbps or above.
Other factors besides bitrate can influence sound quality.