Converting Minidisc to MP3

Ilze asked me a question about converting from Minidisc to mp3…

Dear Kenny!
Thank you for always sending such helpful information. I really like your site cause you really care about your customers and think about us musicians in general. It is very nice to have such great service. THANKS! I am trying to convert songs that I have on minidisc (some are mp3 tracks and some are midi) to my ipod. I record it on to my computer with a music program (nuendo)and then do a mixdown to Mp3, but I find the quality is not as good as onĀ  the minidisc.It all seems very compressed and equal in sounds…no ups and downs. Is there anything I can do to improve the quality? Hope you can answer this.
Thank you,
Ilze van Zanten

Hi Ilze

Glad you’re enjoying all the stuff I send out – it’s nice to know someone appreciates it!

Regarding sound quality issues with MP3, there are probably three things you need to be aware of when converting fom Minidisc to mp3:

1. If the quality of the song on the minidisc is poor quality to begin with, then when you record it in to your computer and encode it to mp3 it will still be poor quality (the rubbish in, rubbish out rule applies).

2. If the quality of the computer sound card on the computer you’re recording to is not good quality, the resultant mp3 will also be poor quality.

3. If the quality of the program you are using to do the mp3 conversion is not good quality, the resultant mp3 will also be poor quality.

4. The bit-rate you choose on the mp3 recorder can affect the quality. Generally the higher the bit-rate the better the quality. However just be aware that too high a bit-rate results in a bigger file size causing some mp3 players to skip and stutter when trying to play the file (skipping is not good for backing track playback). A bit-rate of 128Kb/s gives the best trade-off between sound quality and file size and is a safe bit-rate for backing tracks – most mp3 players will play 128Kb/s files without skipping or problems and the sound quality is more than good enough for live onstage use.