What do I have: 100k+ music files in different formats with various bitrates (mp3 64/128/192/256/320kbps, aac 256kbps, flac, alac). Most of them are mp3 320kbps.

What do I want: mp3 64/128/192kbps

Why: to free some space as I cannot distinguish difference between 192 and 320kbps bitrate on my audio devices

What's the problem?: I know how to convert ALL files to 192kbps bitrate, but how do I leave untouched mp3 64/128/192kbps bitrate to avoid e.g. 128 to 192kbps conversion?

P.S: OS doesn't matter

  • 3
    Well, you maybe can't distinguish between 192 and 320 kBit/s files initially, but when you convert them from 320 to 192, you're introducing quite a bit of quality loss. Are you sure this is what you want? Have you tested it on individual files and checked whether they still sound fine? – slhck Feb 7 '15 at 16:55
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    I can't suggest a song. First, I don't know what music you have in your library, second, it depends on how good the initial encode is, and third, it's all up to your personal taste, how much of an audiophile you are, your listening equipment, etc. Just pick a few songs you like and try. – slhck Feb 7 '15 at 17:04
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    @slhck & janot - I'd say if it's to listen from an iPod etc or in the car, 128 would do. If it's to listen to in the main room, fully appreciating the nuances of the recordings, consider a big drive to backup the full quality files on, if you really need the space. jabot - a great album to test would be [whether you like the music or not] Blue Nile - Walk Across the Rooftops as one of the cleanest recordings, required listening on some audio engineering courses. But as slhck says, depends on the source. – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 17:06
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    as an aside - have you considered converting to AAC instead. To my ear, better quality : file size ratio. – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 17:10
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    Try different ones, especially with large dynamic range and fast changes (where it is less predictable); maybe you want to give a look on the net. Before you erase files I suggest you to listen as many (compressed) as you can. Consider how much space you save: did it deserves? – Hastur Feb 7 '15 at 17:11

You can do this using MediaMonkey. When viewing the list of all songs in your library (choose "Songs" in the left pane), there is a column for bitrate, allowing you so sort your library by bitrate. You can then select all of the songs greater than 192 and convert them (Tools > Convert Format). I've done exactly this with my own music library.

Make sure to choose "Convert files, replacing the originals" so that you don't end up with duplicates.

  • Good idea - I just realised iTunes will allow that too - though it will create duplicates in the filesystem rather than delete the 'unwanted' version – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 17:17
  • @Tetsujin Right, MediaMonkey has both options. I'll add a note to my answer. – bdr9 Feb 7 '15 at 17:19

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