Guidance for Encoding MP3s
Need help encoding your music? We're here to help!
- As our Submission Standards and Instructions mention, audio must be 16-bit, 44.1kHz stereo with a bitrate of either:
- 192kbps (constant or average bitrate) *OR*
- VBR1 (variable bitrate, quality = 1).
- Both of these settings produce good results; VBR1 results in higher quality, but 192kbps may be easier depending on your software or personal workflow.
- While some Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) allow exporting a song directly to MP3, we recommend exporting to WAV and then encoding with a separate application. This allows the most flexibility and also ensures you've got a backup WAV copy of your song if you need to re-encode!
- We strongly recommend the LAME encoder; a good Windows frontend is winLAME. Additional frontends are listed at http://lame.sourceforge.net/links.php
- If your DAW supports directly exporting to MP3 and you prefer doing it that way, that's fine, just make sure it supports either 192Kbps or VBR1!!
- A walkthrough of encoding a WAV with winLAME is available below for reference.