Decoder (Windows, Freeware).
Only versions 2.20-2.22 use the good Fraunhofer decoder
(shareware, v2.22 still available on http://www.winampheaven.com/)
L.A.M.E. (Freeware/open source) was the only MP3 Encoder
that produced fantastic results during my tests. By encoding
stereo/256 kbps/High" (still a 1:5 ratio) the result was as
transparent as one could ever hope for, beating the
Fraunhofer encoder in every aspect, such as frequency range
and less artifacts on difficult material where usual
psychoacoustic models may fail. I hate to admit that I even
failed to tell an encoded signal from an original, derived
from a 48kHz/20bit-SBM A/D transfer of a 7.5 ips reel with a
60's soundtrack through a pair of Sennheiser HD600
For non-Linux mortals, download CDex for a good Windows frontend.
I have no way of
verifying it, but DropMP3 seems to be something similar for