Digital audio files are described, as most things digital, with a lot of numbers.
And the numbers you see in the description of an MP3 file can be confusing.
So what does 128k (or 128 kBPS) actually mean?
In digital multimedia, MP3 files included, the bitrate represents the amount of information, or data, that is stored per second/minute/whatever of a recording.
That final “s” in kbps stands for “seconds” – so there are 128,000 bits of data in every second of a 128 kbps MP3 file.
And like a lot of math, more is better. 128 is better than 96, 96 is better than 64.
Better sounding that is, because more data per second means better definition of the sound, but with every higher number, the size of the file increases greatly.
Napster ruined a whole generation’s idea of what good sound is by defaulting to 128 kbps sound files. And stereo ones, no less, so it’s really 64 kbps per channel.
One more reason to go back and look at Napster with disgust.
But – setting your MP3 encoder at 128 for your auditions is just fine. They’re mono.
Hope this helps.