Using LAME 3.99. I'm encoding files using lame.exe -m j -V 0 -q 0 <file>. When I open the encoded file in MediaInfo, the Encoding settings field shows -m j -V 0 -q 0 -lowpass 22.1 --vbr-new -b 32. The -b 32 seems to be the default setting. Should I explictily pass in the -b flag with something higher like -b 96 to limit the minimum bitrate to 96kbps?

1 Answer 1



With -q 0 and -V 0 you've told lame to be as true to the original as possible (subject to any -B <max_kbps> upper limit).

Very low bitrates (like the implicit -b 32) will only be used for ~silence, so a hard lower limit of -b 96 would be wasteful only where it doesn't matter.

If you find a track with a lot of silence (like spoken word), watch the ASCII histograms during encoding, you'll see more low-bitrate frames, than you would for typical music.

Ages ago I experimented with -V # across lots of different music to see what the resulting min/max bitrates would look like. You can poke around in the data & results here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15dulFA-wP7wZzIK7qCu0qCKHprYdbbFZ1ovBg8NKGKM/edit?usp=sharing#gid=4

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