I have a few thousand MP3 files and they are all of mixed bitrate.
I would like to run a program that can batch encode them all to 128 kbps. Are there any decent and free solutions for this for Windows?
here's a free one: http://winff.org
It will take a while and bring up a command prompt where it does its magic with ffmpeg
if you are into command lines, you can download ffmpeg and use the below command line to convert a file:
If you put it into a batch file, you can convert a whole bunch at once. mine looks like this:
I don't think the problem you have is converting mp3, but having a fast recovery process from your sister-in-law machine.
So, I suggest the following:
When your sister-in-law screws up the machine, you just need to restore the Ghost Image (in 10 minutes) in your C: drive. All files in D: are kept intact.
(If you don't like my suggestion and still want to reencode the mp3s, you can use foobar2000, a free windows audio player (it can convert files too) application.)
dbPowerAmp is what I use. There is a 21 day fully functional trial, and it can handle everything in batches.
Converting MP3 to MP3 can cause serious audio quality problems, it is best to convert them to .wav files first, then encode them back to your desired bit rate. Regardless of what method you use, the converted files will be of lesser quality than the original MP3.
DB PowerAmp is probably the best solution to keep the directory structures intact and is great for batch work.
DB Poweramp use to be free, there may be old versions (Version 10) of it floating around on the internet somewhere, http://www.videohelp.com/tools/dBpowerAMP, you will need to download codecs and install them After DB is installed.