Which audio bit-rate to use

I know this is subjective as hell, but does anyone (and I’m referring this to you WM9 users out there) have a preference at which bit rate to use while ripping CD’s in WM9 format?

I’ve got about 30 done so far at 192-bit rate, but then it takes up tons of space. Then I started doing some research, and I hear that the 64 Variable Bit Rate is really, really good, and cuts down file size around 75-percent.

I’ve tried recording the same song in different bit rates: 64, 64 VBR, and 192. The regular 64-bit rate does sound a bit tinny at times. 64 VBR and 192 sound really close. But I’m wondering if any of you have any experience/knowledge on this.

The ultimate goal is to find the most ideal bit rate for both audio quality and file size. Plus, eventually I’ll get a PocketPC, and I want to be able to just jam as many WMA’s on it as I can.

I would choose MP3 or OGG instead of … you know.

Which is why I specified this question to WM9 users. Cause I knew you OGG’ers would poke your head out of the ground to deliver some backjabs.

I always thought that 128 kbps rate was considered “near CD quality”, and for the average person listening to top 40s music you couldn’t really tell the difference (especially if you have a cheap stereo or computer sound card in the first place). For the audiophiles, there is a difference. One example:


We’re experimenting with the new DVD Audio and Direct-Stream digital formats here that Sony and Panasonic are developing–and while they offer much higher fidelity I personally can’t tell the difference between those and regular CD quality. I’m sure DaveC could hear the difference… :)