Several thousand 320kbps mp3s of studio and live high fidelity recordings of concerts will be landing on my computer soon. (not pirated, I promise you!)

I'm happy to have and use them for personal use (not for streaming per se, but at some point, I would probably want a way to set up a streaming solution for personal use). Right now I primarily plan to use them for casual listening on tablets on from a Windows PC.

My 50 year old non-musician ears can live with some artefacts. As of a year ago I've been ripping my CDs into opus vbr -- you can't beat its file size and sound quality. Frankly, 320Kbps are unwieldy for personal listening because they take up a lot of space.

I would probably need to keep one version for my archive format. Here are my choices:

  • save the mp3 320 as my archive format and transcode to opus
  • save the mp3 320 as my archive format and transcode to a lower bit rate of mp3
  • convert the mp3 320 to flac (for my archive format) and then downcovert to opus


  1. would there be any reason to think that transcoding from a high quality mp3 to opus would have significantly more artefacts than transcoding to a lower quality version of the same lossy mp3 codec?
  2. Would there be any value in inserting the intermediary step of saving those 320kpbs mp3s to a lossless format like flac before using another lossy codec to downconvert?

Up until now I have been using dbpoweramp to do my ripping and conversions. (opus 1.1.1, LAME, 3.99.5). I am using only players which can read opus files.


  • As you correctly stated, this does look like a duplicate question and the original has some good info for you. Basically, transcoding to lossy format will incur generation loss. The amount of loss depends on the quality of the format you are transcoding to. So converting from a low data rate mp3 to a high data rate mp3 will still incur data loss. Only transcode between lossy formats if you have to.
    – n00dles
    Nov 22, 2016 at 19:42

1 Answer 1

  1. no, I don't think it'll add more distortion, unless you you turn down the kbps ratio too much.

  2. it would make no sense to convert an mp3 file to lossless as it won't add to the quality.

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