MP3 Quality Modifier 1.41
on 11 May 2011, reviewed by: Mido Remedie
I came across MQM (MP3 Quality Modifier 1.41) when I was struggling with a lack of disk space.
I'm trying to create a kind of document (database) for my first grand child, which represents an overview of all modern music at this moment, called "The day before you came". And trying to fit it on one standard 320 GB USB disk.
Up till now I reviewed about 11.000 cdees and several hundreds of personal collections and playlists (including Indie).
The document consists of seven parts: a cd top 1000 (1100 to be sure), collections of all major (about 700) artists, collections of about 25 genres, 25 locally oriented mainstreams (African, Arabic, etc.), a collection of important events (Woodstock etc), some externally generated collections (Rolling Stone, top 1000, etc) and a personal view of about 50 compilations called "Dutch Treat".
So I have a lot of files. And I want the best quality (if it sounds good, it\'s more likely you appreciate the music).
So MQM looks like the perfect solution for me (although it should be a feature of other more commonly used programs).
My first experiment had a strange result. The file became bigger! Obviously the program does not look at an optimum but reacts on a chosen quality. This is not what you want when you have a library whit several different bitrates.
I just want the smallest files without loosing quality and without me knowing what kind of settings I'll have to choose to achieve it.
For my trash library (too good for the trash bin) I could choose Variable 170-210. That is good enough. However 128 Kbps will be enlarged substancely! Not very useful.
I used replace (I trust the program and can't check all files anyway) and my preset button was blanked out. So it was suggested not to use the presets anyway (although it did). So probably just a display issue.
Converting files up and down the quality ladder gave some unexpected results. so be careful.
My advise: use the program for all files from which you are sure that the bit rate settings will cover those from the files. I created bit rate depended libraries (128, 160,192, 224, 256, 320) (I used mp3tag) and run the program using variable, stereo and bit rate that covers the one of the file(s). The result will save at least 10% of disk space.
My ears and eyes (tags) could not find any difference. In fact sometimes I had the impression that some noise was reduces as well. Sometimes my WMP enthusiastically reported that the file had become 320 Kbps. That looks quite solid.
I even tried some lower bitrates and could save some 40% of disk space without noticing the difference. However I love transparent music and more complicated music (metal) is much more critical.
In short, quite a good and effective (free) tool which would be quite handy when it's able to select the "best" bit rate settings automatically per file. Then you could use for instance, a slide bar with the desired quality percentage on a long list of different rated MP3 files.
Some additional small remarks:
After converting a small library, my list of size changes was sorted descending (from 50 to 8%). I doubt people like that, why not the original order.
Adding a directory should start with the last used entry. This prevents unnecessary and annoying repetitions.
The file list presented does not give you the option of selecting parts of the list. It's all or one. Enabling this option will save a lot of time.
Running the program multiple times on the same file results in minor quality loss.
Listing a selected folder take about 1 minute per 1.000 entries. Not too fast I think.
Compressing a file takes on average some 12 sec per file. Not too bad! So, for me that's about 1.200.000 seconds (hum 20.000 hours to go?!). 20 minutes for about hundred files sounds a bit better.