LAME is high quality MP3 encoder. The name LAME is a recursive acronym for LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder, although the current version is, in fact, a stand-alone MP3 encoder. It is the recommend MP3 encoder at The Mixing Bowl due to its superior performance, gapless playback and automatic ReplayGain tagging.
Download LAME from RareWares:
Use the 3.97 beta 2 lame.exe fixed for decoding version (direct download link for lazy people).
LAME is a command line program, although there are graphical interfaces like ALL2LAME which can make it easier to use.
Variable Bitrate (VBR)
VBR mode is recommended way to use LAME at The Mixing Bowl. You use it like this:
lame --vbr-new -V 2 input.wav output.mp3
The -V 2 part controls the quality LAME will use and it can be any whole number between 0-9. A lower numbers means a higher quality and therefore a higher bitrate.
-V 2 is the recommend quality to use at The Mixing Bowl and usually results in a bitrate between 180-200 kbps. It is probably a higher quality than is strictly necessary as higher numbers still provide excellent quality, but its usage is strongly encouraged to avoid any arguments over quality.
Constant Bitrate (CBR)
CBR mode is not recommend because VBR provides better quality, but if you still want to use it you use it like this:
lame -b 192 input.wav output.mp3
The -b 192 controls the bitrates LAME will use. Please use a bitrate of 192 kbps to avoid any arguments over quality (or better still, use VBR mode instead).
ALL2LAME is a graphical interface for LAME that makes it very simple to use. Follow these instructions for the easiest way to encode high quality MP3s:
- Download ALL2LAME from ALL2LAME homepage (http://members.home.nl/w.speek/all2lame.htm) and extract it to a folder.
- Download LAME from RareWares (as explained in the download section at the top of this page, and not from the link on the ALL2LAME homepage) and extract into the ALL2LAME folder.
- Run ALL2LAME and type --vbr-new -V 2 in the Switches: box.
- Load the files you want encoding and click Encode.