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Discussion Starter #1
Now I know there will be a lot of people saying "no mp3 will sound as good as lossless" and lots of other possible arguments here so I'll narrow it down as much as I can:

I have a lot of CDs that I'm looking to rip into mp3s so I could have them on my ipod being that Ipod is my main source of music in the car.

I'm looking to have my mp3s in high(er) guality - 256 and/or 320kbps but those few converters I've used in past all have a lot more other options as for what I want my end result to be - Audio Sample Rate (44 Hz???), DB Volume (bass boost??)....

I've used a few different free softs in past but this time I'm willing to buy one if it will make a difference in anything. So:

1. What converter would you recomend?
2. What are the optimal settings to use when converting CDs to mp3s?
 

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Keep it simple and select 256 kbps or 320 kbps and leave everything else on the defaults. It doesn't matter if you use Windows Media Player, iTunes, Mediamonkey, they all use acceptable codecs, if not the same codec, to rip CDs to MP3.
 

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I like EAC and dBpoweramp. EAC for the ripping part.

As for encoding, all of the good software (including EAC and dBpoweramp) use LAME for the encoding, so it won't matter what you use, really. I generally recommend VBR, as it's the most efficient setting. I recommend using the V2 preset. It will usually give you mean bitrates around 180-200kbps, but will jump up to 320kbps for the more demanding parts of the music (and drop to as little as 32kbps for parts where it doesn't need it, like silence). Anything smaller than that might yield an audible difference. But V2, in general, is going to give you a perfect output. If you're really anal, you could use V0 (with averages that usually range between about 200-220kbps), but there's probably not going to be an audible difference between that and V2.
 
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