WinMP3Packer Decreases The Size Of Your Music Library With No Quality Loss

WinMP3Packer Decreases The Size Of Your Music Library With No Quality Loss

Windows: If your music’s starting to take up an uncomfortable amount of space on your hard drive (or small MP3 player), you can decrease the size of it by converting all your songs to Variable Bit Rate with WinMp3Packer.

A lot of the music we download and rip is stored in a constant bitrate format, which at higher bitrates can be inefficient. Variable bitrate (VBR), on the other hand, is much more space efficient. MP3Packer is a free program for Windows that will turn any MP3 file into a variable bitrate MP3 file, thus shaving a bit of space off each track. The best part is, since you’re not re-encoding your music, it’s a lossless conversion—the quality stays the same while the space used goes down.

Whether it saves a meaningful amount of space depends a lot on your music. Reader Mxx, who sent in the tip about this program, said he shaved about 500MB off his 31 GB library, which is significant if you’re still rocking a 30 GB iPod—that’s a few more albums you can squeeze on the device. I noticed closer to 300MB, but a good amount of my music was variable bitrate already.

If you imported all your music yourself through a program like iTunes, you might notice a bigger space savings, and if you happened to download your music from somewhere like BitTorrent, you might save even more (depending on the encoding presets the original ripper used). And, the higher the bitrate of the original track, the more you’re likely to save. All in all, it’s a cool program to just run some of your music through to see if you can save some space. Hit the link to read more about how it works.

WinMP3Packer is a free download for Windows.

WinMP3Packer [HydrogenAudio Forums via #tips]


  • Might want to change the title to “WinMP3Packer Decreases The Size Of Your Music Library With Quality Loss”… or if you really still wanted a senationalist title “WinMP3Packer Decreases The Size Of Your Music Library With No Audible Quality Loss”

    Although many people would say that the latter is still not true.

    Anything encoded with a lossy codec (ie. MP3) induces loss of quality. A loss encode (MP3 of any bitrate) recoded again in with a lossy codec (MP3 of any bitrate, including the original) looses even more quality.

  • Ash, Damien, please read more about it. It’s NOT doing a re-encode/transcode to accomplish what it does. It’s analyzing and rearranging the already encoded MP3 data and removing wasted space. A sonically simple portion of a song may only need, say, 192kbps to be stored at the best possible quality the MP3 codec is capable of. So, if the whole song is encoded at constant 320kbps rate there’s a lot of wasted space in that portion and others like it. This program just rearranges the encoded data, removing the wasted padding from the constant bitrate frames when the audio is simple enough that the extra space can’t be used to store any additional detail. The result is a variable bitrate file where each frame contains the minimum amount of padding, making the most efficient use of space to store actual audio information. It’s true that there’s no additional impact to the audio quality.

    If the files are already variable bitrate, or if they’re lower constant bitrate, then there probably won’t be much wasted padding space to begin with. But with high constant bitrate files you can realize some modest space savings.

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