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Delivering MP3 for smart phones - whats recommended bit rate (quality vs filesize) etc..?

ManicMiner

in the Skylab landing bay
I am doing some spoken voice narration over a music bed and aiming to offer these for people to listen on their smart phones.

I want a good quality, but I dont want a super-large file size to clog up peoples limited phone storage.
I was thinking 256k bit rate, VBR. I think Amazon delivers their MP3s these settings.

Does anyone else have any recommendations?
 

dsblais

Member
I am doing some spoken voice narration over a music bed and aiming to offer these for people to listen on their smart phones.

I want a good quality, but I dont want a super-large file size to clog up peoples limited phone storage.
I was thinking 256k bit rate, VBR. I think Amazon delivers their MP3s these settings.

Does anyone else have any recommendations?
The higher the better, especially for the mixed usage you describe. An hour of 320kbps MP3 is only about 150MB. That’s only a couple minutes of phone recorded video. It’s just not an issue for most people any more.
 

dsblais

Member
Is MP3 still a thing? AAC should be better or lossless such as FLAC or just plain WAV.
You’re right and AAC is supported on almost everything made within the last several years. There are better technical options, but it’s the best compromise currently available.
 

dsblais

Member
You can also try the Ogg Vorbis format (Ogg Vorbis stream 320 kbps from Spotify is a high quality stream) or FLAC.
These are good solutions, but will not work with the native player on iPhones and some other hardware. So you'd need to release it as an app with a decoder/player built in (both are free codecs, so there are plenty out there).
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
AAC should be almost as universal on modern devices as mp3 is. For example:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1761460/supported-audio-file-formats-in-iphone (sorry didn't find a direct page from Apple)

And https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/media/media-formats for Android.

However it also might depend on how you're imagining your audience will listen - i.e. what apps are you expecting them to use? Best to check if those apps will support AAC too.

For AAC you can choose between a lot of different container file formats, like ADTS, MP4, or a few others too. Not knowing your exact situation I'd suggest going with MP4, with the *.m4a extension. But maybe the apps you're targeting would have different requirements, good idea to check.
 
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