Monday 6 July 2015

Why is Bit Rate Important When Converting YouTube to MP3?

I am sure that you have used YouTube to MP3 converters at least once to get the audio file of your favorite YouTube video. Obviously you would like to get the best quality MP3 files. But are you aware of the role of bit rate selection when converting YouTube videos to MP3? As the years passed, technology helped in improving the speed and quality of various things. While this increase in speed and quality has a number of factors, a lot of it relates to something called bit rate.

 What is Bit Rate?

You must have come across the term bit rate quite often when trying to convert YouTube videos to MP3. Bit rate is used to describe the amount of data that is passed or processed in a specific duration. In the context of audio / video files, bit rate refers to the amount of data stored for each second of media that is played. Common measurements of bit rate includes kbit/s (kilobits per second) and Mbps (megabits per second). In the case of bit rates, the higher the value, the greater would be the quality of the data. However, a higher bit rate would also mean greater load on the file which may put more strain on your system as compared to a file with lower bit rate. This is why it is important to select the most optimum bit rate value when converting video files to audio files.

Official Bit Rate Table

Google recommends that videos be uploaded with a higher bit rate. This gives the compression software greater quality data to work with. This is useful for ensuring the retention of the maximum possible quality in the output files. When working with really high resolution videos, it is suggested that you use a computer with i5 or i7 processor for best results. 

Check out Google’s recommended bit rates for videos. Since YouTube is a product of Google, the rates are applicable to YouTube videos as well.

Google’s recommended bit rate for videos (Source:Google Support)

Significance of Bit Rate Selection

The significance of bit rate selection is actually more in the video upload phase rather than the conversion or download phase. Lower bit rates means the data is compressed more which is done by removing chunks from the data bundle. As such, you're more likely to notice certain imperfections that come with compressing music into lower bit rate files. A 320 kbps audio file is good enough unless you have a strict preference for audio quality. In such cases, it would be better for you to get lossless versions of the files. “Lossless” versions are nothing but original files which have never been altered or compressed in any manner. 
The reasons why people prefer “lossy” or compressed formats is that they take almost a third of the space required by lossless files. For example, an album in MP3 or AAC format might take up 100 MB of space, whereas the same album in lossless format (FLAC or ALAC) might take up close to 300 MB. This is the reason behind the increasing popularity of lossy formats as it saves up on storage space and also reduces data consumption while downloading the required files. 

So the next time you plan to convert YouTube videos to MP3, take a close look at the bit rate options and make sure you get the one with the right bit rate. This would ensure better audio quality and an enjoyable acoustic experience for you as you enjoy your favorite audio. 

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