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MP3 is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 and it is the preferred audio format at The Mixing Bowl due to its compatibility and quality.

MP3 Licensing

See royalty rates, consider using an open and patent-free alternatives as Ogg Vorbis or FLAC.

MP3 playback

Any hardware and software player/device can decode and play these files. A very good all-platform player is VLC, for the Windows platform the preferred choices are Winamp (the de-facto standard), foobar2000 (great sound quality for experienced users), and Apollo, the best "mp3-only" player on the internet (very often used by radio stations to broadcast mp3-based content).

MP3 creation

The LAME encoder is needed. Do not use other MP3 encoders (for example that one that comes with Winamp)! Encoding with LAME is very simple and easy:

  • Please visit the LAME wiki page for the current recommended version
  • The input file for LAME is most often a WAV file (CD tracks or recorded broadcasts with the *.wav extension). The general syntax (command line) for getting a suitable MP3 file is quite simple: "lame.exe switch input.wav", e.g. lame.exe -V 0 input.wav output.mp3
  • Create preferably variable bitrate files (VBR) with a targeted average bitrate of 245kbps. Do this by using the -V 0 switch (alternative LAME VBR switches might be necessary for WAV files recorded from FM broadcasts, although the LAME encoder is very clever and the -V 0 switch is really all you need).

If you don't like the LAME command line and prefer graphical interfaces or simply if you want to read a more complete guide, then please read the LAME page on the wiki.

MP3 editing

MP3 Cutters/Splitters

Editing MP3s, to cut/split audio from a file, is best done using an editor that can perform that task losslessly; that is, the MP3 file does not get decoded to WAV to allow editing, and then re-encoded back to mp3.

Recommended lossless mp3 cutters/splitters are:

MP3 Volume Changing

MP3 Validation/Fixing

CD ripping to MP3

The best way to rip CDs to MP3 is with EAC. The following EAC guides are very good: