Developer: Xing Technology
OS: Win 95/98/NT
Installed Size: 8.8MB
When encoding speed is the need, Xing MP3 Encoder comes to mind. Sporting the fastest encoder around, even the largest encoding batches can be converted in just minutes. When I first bought this product and started using it, I was amazed. I converted most of my WAV files to MP3 in around 30-40 seconds each....simply blazing. If you are in the need for speed, Xing is the encoder for you.
So is this the best encoder around then? It all depends. If you have a sensitive ear, you will probably notice some problems with the quality of the Xing encoder. It gets its great speed at a price and many files have a noticeable "flanging" effect on some of the instruments. If you are a musician, you will notice it easily. However, if you are an average listener, you may not have a problem.
The Xing MP3 encoder does has some positive features though. The software incoporates Xing's variable bit rate encoding, an attempt at minimizing file size and optimizing quality. The software also now reaches a range of 20kHz, far past anything most people can hear but felt the need to exceed the standard anyway. Xing's software features speedy batch encoding and a command line utility to plug into ripping programs like Exact Audio Copy for quality ripping and fast encoding. One major drawback is no trial download offered and Real Networks and does not support Windows ME or 2000.
Download Xing MP3 Encoder for $19.95