Less opinions-only, more help please!

Why is that people feel that when asked a question like:

“How do I convert my large MP3 files into a lower bit rate file so I can fit more songs on my smaller MP3 player?” that they respond with far too often useless opinions:

  • “You’re destroying the quality of the music.”
  • “Get a bigger music player”
  • “Just sync less music to your player”
  • Etc., blah blah blah.

Many times, they’re not even anonymous users or voices. What’s worse is they rarely actually answer the question because they must honestly believe that their rationale is so sound that there’s no need to continue address the original question, as they’ve handled it sufficiently: “You are a moron for wanting this your way, do it my way.”

It’s like going to the store and looking for some orange juice.

“Which brand of orange juice should I buy?”

  • You shouldn’t buy orange juice, instead buy oranges and make it fresh every day. Otherwise, your children will hate you and likely have scurvy, you slimy bastard.
  • You don’t want orange juice at all, you really should make your own pomegranate juice every day – it’s full of blah blah blah.

Further annoyance – these aren’t like big life decisions that we’re talking about here where hearing out multiple opinions is terribly useful, certainly not to the degree that many take their arguments.

You’re more than welcome to offer an opinion (as I’m doing here), but consider tempering that with something that actually addresses the actual question. Maybe they don’t have time to make fresh squeezed orange juice every morning?


You see, I was looking for an answer to the MP3 problem above. I found far more useless dribble than I did actual help. Google may index zillions of web pages – but there are many that they should leave out. Arrgh.


To answer the MP3 question above and what I’ve tried, I’ve tried a few different solutions all with different degrees of success. We have 53GB of MP3s right now – which is too large for my wife’s iPod Touch. She wants most of the music on the player, so we reduce the bitrate and she is somewhat picky-and-choosy about the songs.

image I’m currently watching MediaMonkey (a shareware app) convert the songs. It generally works, but I’ve had to kill the process a few times as it’s gone haywire on me (with errors that make no sense). The UI of MediaMonkey is terrible though overall – I really don’t care for it (but we did pay for a lifetime subscription as it had a few features we found useful, but I wouldn’t use it as my every day player).

We tried the MP3QualityModifier from here, but it crashed and was also hard to get it to started with a large set of files.

I tried Foobar2000 with the converter plug-in, and that crashed after a while as well.

One Comment

  1. You might be able to script something up using LAME, an open source MP3 encoder. I’ve used it in the past to recode my collection on the fly for streaming (back in the time when I had ISDN). There are a good number of settings you can configure (you might google a bit for a UI to LAME, as it’s a command line tool), I’d recommend 128 or 96 VBR and maybe try as low as 64 VBR depending on how she listens to songs from her iPod – if it’s just with the standard ear buds and in the car, she probably won’t notice much, if any quality loss.

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